[JURIST] Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas [BBC profile] asked his government's Justice Minister Wednesday to set aside verdicts by the much-criticized state security courts [Amnesty International press release]. Human rights groups have said the courts, set up under Yasser Arafat in 1995, were too quick, violated due process and handed down too severe sentences, including the death penalty. The move is part of a larger plan to increase accountability and reduce lawlessness. Abbas wants the cases retried in civilian courts. Reuters has more.