Legal news from Tuesday, September 13, 2005
22:09 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Tuesday's corporations and securities law news, Washington Superior Court Judge Steven Gonzalez ruled that former Microsoft [corporate website] executive Kai-Fu Lee [Wikipedia profile] can work for Google [corporate website]. The ruling allows Dr. Lee to work for Google China [Google press release] so long as he does not [read more]

21:09 EDT

[JURIST] Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti [official website] announced Tuesday that he had filed 34 charges of negligent homicide against the husband and wife co-owners of a nursing home in St. Bernard Parish near New Orleans where 34 people drowned [NYT report] in flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news [read more]

21:09 EDT

[JURIST] Workers in six countries filed a class action lawsuit in California Tuesday against retail giant Wal-Mart [corporate website; JURIST news archive], alleging illegal sweatshop conditions in the company's toy and clothing factories. The non-US claims cite that the workers were paid below minimum wage, forced to work unpaid overtime [read more]

21:09 EDT

[JURIST] The UN General Assembly ended its session Tuesday by approving a draft agreement [UN press release] for the UN's 2005 World Summit [official website], scheduled to begin Wednesday in New York. The watered-down agreement reflects consensus on several issues [BBC report], including a pledge to establish a new human [read more]

20:09 EDT

[JURIST] Following up on earlier questions about abortion [JURIST report], members of the US Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday pressed Chief Justice nominee John Roberts [JURIST news archive] for his views on civil rights, torture, and the use of foreign law as precedent. Challenged by Senator Edward Kennedy on his allegedly [read more]

19:09 EDT

[JURIST] B'nai Brith Canada [advocacy website] officials said Tuesday that they are considering a constitutional challenge to the Ontario ban on rabbinical courts imposed by Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty [official profile], arguing that the ban may limit freedom of religion. The premier ordered the ban on all faith-based arbitration [JURIST [read more]

18:09 EDT

[JURIST] The US Army said Tuesday that the court-martial of Pfc. Lynndie England [Wikipedia profile; JURIST news archive] will start next Tuesday at Fort Hood [official website]. England, accused of abusing prisoners at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison [JURIST news archive], pleaded guilty [JURIST report] in May to charges of conspiracy, [read more]

16:09 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Tuesday's states brief, the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division [official website] heard oral arguments today on whether the court should uphold a lower court ruling that found the state's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional [JURIST report]. Attorneys for New York City argued that gay marriage is a legislative [read more]

16:09 EDT

[JURIST] Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas [official profile] and other leaders Tuesday called on Palestinians to halt looting [Reuters report] and restore order following Israel's withdrawal [JURIST report] earlier this week from the formerly occupied Gaza Strip [Wikipedia backgrounder]. Celebrations and disorder spread swiftly after Israeli forces pulled out Monday. Abbas, [read more]

16:09 EDT

[JURIST] A US probe into allegations of abuse of detainees at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] reported that distrust between military police and investigators led to problems at the prison facility, according to new documents obtained by the Associated Press in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. The investigation revealed [read more]

15:09 EDT

[JURIST] Muslim scholars in Nigeria have begun a campaign promoting Sharia [Wikipedia backgrounder] or Islamic law as a tool for actually improving conditions for local women. Ibrahim Naiya Sada, director of the Centre for Islamic Legal Studies at a top Nigerian university, says Sharia can offer greater protection for women [read more]

15:09 EDT

[JURIST] In Tuesday's environmental law news, the US Senate, in a 51-47 vote, has defeated a motion that would have overturned mercury emission rules [JURIST report] that the Environmental Protection Agency [official website] finalized in March. AP has more.In other environmental law news...The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) [official [read more]

15:09 EDT

[JURIST] An Iraqi taxi driver testifying Tuesday at a court-martial of seven British soldiers [JURIST report] for the alleged murder of an Iraqi civilian said he was also beaten by the troops. Through translated testimony, Athar Finnijan Saddam told jurors that he was carrying passengers in southern Iraq in May [read more]

15:09 EDT

[JURIST] UN negotiators involved in reform talks ahead of the 2005 World Summit [official website] continued talks late into the morning Tuesday in hopes of having at least some proposals finalized ahead of the summit, which begins Wednesday. Hopes of producing a comprehensive reform proposal on a variety of issues [read more]

12:09 EDT

[JURIST] The Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] wasted no time in asking for the thoughts of Chief Justice nominee John Roberts [JURIST news archive] on abortion and the 1973 high court decision in Roe v. Wade during Tuesday's round of confirmation hearings. In the morning session [Washington Post transcript] Roberts [read more]

11:09 EDT

[JURIST] Former New Orleans mayor and current President and CEO of the National Urban League [advocacy website] Marc Morial [official profile] has called for a Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive] victim's compensation fund, similar to the one created in the wake of the 9/11 attacks [Wikipedia backgrounder]. Speaking at the [read more]

11:09 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge has ruled that correction officers in Fresno California violated the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations [text] by not properly informing twelve Mexican defendants of their right to contact the Mexican Consulate after their arrests on drug charges. The jail officials gave the defendants hand-outs in Spanish [read more]

11:09 EDT

[JURIST] A blue-ribbon California civil justice commission comprised of lawyers, judges, and academic, business, labor and community leaders has called for interpreters to be made available in civil as well as criminal cases in California courts. The California Commission on Access to Justice [commission website] issued a report Tuesday saying [read more]

10:09 EDT

[JURIST] The European Court of Justice [official website] ruled [judgment text; press release, PDF] Tuesday that the European Union can require member states to criminally prosecute companies that violate EU environmental laws. The decision was made in response to a 2001 lawsuit brought by the European Commission [official website] against [read more]

10:09 EDT

[JURIST] Nepali police Tuesday detained at least 250 pro-democracy activists - including a former deputy prime minister - for defying a ban on demonstrations in the Kathmandu city center. Protestors from seven major political parties took to the streets to condemn the February seizure of power [JURIST report] by King [read more]

10:09 EDT

[JURIST] The president of Australia's Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) [official website], a national independent statutory government body, cautioned Tuesday that the country's proposed new anti-terrorism measures [JURIST report] could violate human rights and said the legislation needed a time limit to ensuring periodic review of the terror [read more]

10:09 EDT

[JURIST] Sunni Arab negotiators Tuesday requested that the UN guarantee a fair referendum on the draft Iraqi constitution [English translation, PDF; JURIST news archive], while expressing frustration and rejecting the latest version of the charter. Sunni negotiator Hussein al Falluji said he and others had spoken with Ashraf Qazi, UN [read more]

09:09 EDT

[JURIST] The Ukrainian Constitutional Court [official website] Tuesday approved by a 10-4 margin a draft law that would alter the country's constitution [text] by limiting presidential authority while strengthening parliamentary control. The measure, to take effective on January 1, 2006, gives parliament the power to appoint the prime minister, defense [read more]

09:09 EDT

[JURIST] Italy's highest court upheld a lower court ruling [JURIST report] Tuesday permitting the extradition of Hussain Osman [Wikipedia profile], also known as Hamdi Issac, a suspect in the failed July 21 London bomb attacks [JURIST report]. Osman, who is expected to be transferred to Britain within the next 10 [read more]

08:09 EDT

[JURIST] Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah [Wikipedia backgrounder] approved government plans Monday to set up an "independent human rights commission" which would "protect human rights and spread awareness about them...in keeping with the provisions of Islamic law." The decision was made at a Cabinet meeting which was chaired by the King. [read more]

07:09 EDT

[JURIST] The number of detainees on a hunger strike at the Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] terror detention camp has increased to at least 128, a US military spokesman said Monday. Eighteen detainees are being force-fed intravenously as the hunger strike enters its second month [JURIST report] and are reported [read more]

07:09 EDT

[JURIST] Former Westar Energy [corporate website] CEO David Wittig and former Chief Strategy Officer Douglas Lake were both found guilty Monday of fraudulently taking millions of dollars from the company, the largest electric utility in Kansas. Witting was found guilty of 39 counts and Lake 30 counts on charges that [read more]

06:09 EDT

[JURIST] Indonesian militant Rois, also known as Iwan Dharmawan, was sentenced to death Tuesday in Indonesia [JURIST news archive] for his role in the September 2004 suicide car bombing at the Australian embassy in Jakarta [JURIST report; BBC report] which killed 10 Indonesians. Although Rois proclaimed to be innocent, he [read more]

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