[JURIST] The Israeli cabinet Sunday approved the provision of legal aid and support services to any Israeli military officer past or present who is charged outside of the country with war crimes. Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni proposed the undertaking after it was disclosed that former Israeli Maj. Gen. Doron Almog, once commander of Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip, narrowly avoided arrest for war crimes on a recent trip to London [JURIST report], and that private legal proceedings in Britain against other Israeli officers were planned. UK law authorizes universal jurisdiction [Amnesty International backgrounder] for war crimes under the 1957 Geneva Conventions Act. Israel has already asked the British government to act to limit such suits [JURIST report]. The government estimates that roughly $1 million will be required to underwrite the services. From Israel, Haaretz has more.
[JURIST] Acting in the aftermath of the London bombings [JURIST news archive], the French government [official website] has finalized a new draft anti-terror law that would bolster the countrys video, telephone and Internet surveillance as well as tighten travel controls into countries at risk. French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy [official profile; BBC profile] said in a speech [text in French] in Paris Friday that the 16-article draft law would bolster the government's ability to track suspicious activity. The draft, which will be presented to the Cabinet on October 19, will also extend prison terms for leaders and members of extremist groups. Addressing concerns of civil liberties groups, the bill's provisions on police wiretap and Internet monitoring powers have a three-year limit. AFP has more.
[JURIST] Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki Sunday called Saturday's International Atomic Energy Agency resolution [PDF] declaring Iran in "non-compliance" with safeguards [JURIST report] under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) a "politically and illegally motivated decision" made to a "US pre-planned scenario", but told reporters [offical text] that Iran had not ruled out further negotiations with Germany, France and Britain, the so-called EU-3. Under the resolution, Tehran could be subject to UN Security Council sanctions. Iran has been accused by Western governments of using its nuclear program as a cover for the development of atomic weapons. Mottaki said that "Iran will not abandon its right to develop nuclear technology, including development of the fuel cycle for peaceful nuclear energy purposes guaranteed under the NPT." Voice of America has more.
[JURIST] A conference in Turkey on the alleged genocide of 1.5 Armenians [Wikipedia backgrounder] in the then-Ottoman Empire between 1915 and 1917 went ahead on Saturday despite a court ban that prompted protests from EU representatives [JURIST report] who saw it as casting a continuing shadow over Turkey's human rights record as it seeks EU membership. The court ruling was circumvented by having the conference venue changed to Bilgi University [university website], a private institution in Istanbul. The meeting, which continued Sunday, has infuriated Turkish nationalists who deny or minimize the killings, and has been problematic under Turkey's penal law which even in its recently-revised form [JURIST report] makes promoting certain interpretations of Turkish history a criminal offence. Aljazeera has more. From Istanbul, Hurriyet provides local coverage in English.
[JURIST] A California judge ruled Friday that credit card companies Visa [corporate website] and MasterCard [corporate website] do not have to notify individual consumers whose account data was stolen by an as-yet-unknown hacker in a mass cybertheft disclosed by MasterCard [JURIST report] earlier this year. San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer denied the contention of plaintiffs in a class action suit [complaint, PDF] that there was any immediate threat of harm to affected consumers. The theft is deemed to have exposed some 40 million accounts to potential abuse, and to have yielded sufficient information to permit fraud against some 264,000 accountholders. Visa and MasterCard have said that the danger of identity theft to individual cardholders is low, in part because the data did not include Social Security numbers and home addresses, and in part because the companies and affiliated banks have zero liability [Visa backgrounder] policies that would reverse any fraudulent charges. AP has more.
Feedroll provides free Paper Chase news boxes with headlines or digests precisely tailored to your website's look and feel, with content updated every 15 minutes. Customize and get the code.
Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.