Legal news from Tuesday, September 27, 2005
21:09 EDT

[JURIST] Minority Shiites who make up about about ten percent of Saudi Arabia's population have petitioned King Abdullah [Wikipedia profile] for prisoner releases and equal opportunities a month after the new monarch in his first address to the nation [excerpts] pledged to "work for justice and serve all citizens without [read more]

20:09 EDT

[JURIST] Wire services are reporting that a military jury at Fort Hood, Texas, has sentenced Pfc. Lynndie England [JURIST news archive] to three years in prison in connection with abuse of Iraq prisoners at Abu Ghraib. She was also given a dishonorable discharge. The sentence was substantially lighter than the [read more]

19:09 EDT

[JURIST] An Egyptian court has adjourned the forgery trial of Ayman Nour [Wikipedia profile], the Egyptian opposition leader who was ordered to re-appear in court [JURIST report] earlier this week on charges connected to the submission of forged signatures [JURIST report]. The Cairo appeals court adjourned the case in response [read more]

19:09 EDT

[JURIST] Antonio Guterres [Wikipedia backgrounder], the new UN High Commissioner for Refugees [official profile] and former Portuguese prime minister, said Tuesday that international awareness of internal refugee issues was increasing and that countries had started to act to set and fulfil obligations towards them. There are around twenty to twenty-five [read more]

18:09 EDT

[JURIST] Pfc. Lynndie England [JURIST news archive] Tuesday apologized for posing for pictures with humiliated Iraqi prisoners, saying that she had been used by her then-boyfriend Spc. Charles Graner [JURIST news archive; after his own conviction in January for abusing prisoners Graner was demoted to Private]. As the sentencing phase [read more]

17:09 EDT

[JURIST] In Tuesday's environmental law news, the European Commission [official website] has approved a plan [EC press release, EC backgrounder] to add international airline flights to the European Union's carbon dioxide (CO2) emission trading scheme (ETS) [EU backgrounder]. The ETS sets an overall cap on CO2 emissions, and participating industries [read more]

17:09 EDT

[JURIST] The Pentagon announced Tuesday that David Hicks [Wikipedia profile], the only Australian held at the US terror suspect detention camp at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], will go to trial before a special military commission on November 18, about a month later than earlier expected [JURIST report]. Hicks was [read more]

16:09 EDT

[JURIST] The embattled chief of the New Orleans Police Department [official website] resigned his position Tuesday on the same day he announced the establishment of a special tribunal to contend with the nearly 250 New Orleans police officers who went missing from their posts [JURIST report] in the wake of [read more]

16:09 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Tuesday's states brief, the Washington Supreme Court [official website] heard oral arguments today on whether the 1.4% motor vehicle excise tax approved by voters in November 2002 for the financing of Seattle's Monorail Project [official website] is illegal. Currently, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels [Mayor's press release] and the [read more]

16:09 EDT

[JURIST] The Mississippi Legislature [official website] convened for a special session Tuesday to begin work in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive]. Gov. Haley Barbour [official profile] addressed lawmakers [AP report; full transcript] at the session and challenged them to help rebuild coastal areas devastated by Katrina. One [read more]

15:09 EDT

[JURIST] The European Commission [official website] Tuesday withdrew 68 pieces of pending legislation [legislation withdrawn, PDF] as part of its initiative [EU backgrounder] to cut back on regulatory restrictions on EU businesses. A review committee led by EU Enterprise and Industry Commissioner Guenter Verheugen [official profile] reviewed 183 legislative proposals [read more]

15:09 EDT

[JURIST] White House spokesperson Scott McClellan said [official transcript] Tuesday that President Bush is close to completing the process of picking the next Supreme Court nominee. According to McClellan, the President has met with 50 Senators, including all but one member of the US Senate Judiciary Committee [members roster]. He [read more]

15:09 EDT

[JURIST] The trial of 16 former Parmalat [corporate website; Wikipedia backgrounder] directors and executives, including the company's founder and former chairman Calisto Tanzi [OpenFacts profile; JURIST report], is set to open in Milan Wednesday, nearly two years after massive accounting fraud was uncovered at the Italian dairy giant. The 16 [read more]

14:09 EDT

[JURIST] In a televised interview Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin [official website] stated he foresaw no major changes to the Russian Constitution [English translation] while he was in office. Putin's statement comes after proposed legislation [JURIST news report] that would have allowed Putin to serve as president after his second [read more]

14:09 EDT

[JURIST] Belgian Foreign Minister Karel de Gucht has formally asked that Guy Theunis, a Belgian priest, be brought to Belgium to face trial for his alleged role in the Rwandan genocide [Wikipedia backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. Earlier this month, Theunis was the first foreigner to be brought before community gacaca [read more]

14:09 EDT

[JURIST] Missouri Judge Charles Atwell [official profile] has issued a further temporary restraining order against Missouri's abortion law [SB 1 text], the second TRO to be issued since the law was signed eleven days ago. Atwell said a provision allowing parents to sue people who helped their minor daughters get [read more]

13:09 EDT

[JURIST] The European Parliament [official website] Tuesday Tuesday a joint proposal by several EU governments to retain phone and e-mail data [JURIST report] for up to three years for use in anti-terror investigations. The parliament said the proposal from Britain, France, Sweden and Ireland that was introduced last year and [read more]

13:09 EDT

[JURIST] Influential Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani [official website] has denied reports that he will issue a fatwa [JURIST report], or religious edict, telling Shiite Muslims to vote "yes" in the upcoming referendum on the Iraqi constitution [English translation; JURIST news archive]. Rather, Al-Sistani said in a statement reported [read more]

12:09 EDT

[JURIST] Four merchant groups have filed an antitrust lawsuit against Visa [corporate website], Mastercard [corporate website], and dozens of major banks, over interchange fees, which retailers pay to issuing banks to receive payment for transactions involving the banks' cards. The fees, says Hank Armor of the National Association of Convenience [read more]

12:09 EDT

[JURIST] The rate of illegal immigration into the United States has increased despite tighter security measures in place since the September 11 terror attacks, but only at a pace that parallels the rate of economic growth, according to a report [PDF text] released Tuesday. The report from the Pew Hispanic [read more]

11:09 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] granted certiorari Tuesday in several cases, including a review of how states use tax incentives to attract companies that will create jobs in their regions. In DaimlerChrysler Corp. v. Cuno, the Court will consider an appeal of ruling [PDF text] from the Sixth [read more]

11:09 EDT

[JURIST] Two-thirds of the $1 billion distributed to US companies from 2001 to 2004 under the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act (CDSOA) [text], otherwise known as the Byrd Amendment, went to only three industries - ball bearings, candles and steel - according to a Government Accountability Office report [PDF [read more]

10:09 EDT

[JURIST] Television and newspaper reports of widespread crime and violence in the days following Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive] are proving to be largely unsupported or exaggerated, according to recent reports by journalists and officials. The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported Monday that news stories of rapes, murders, sniper attacks and [read more]

10:09 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Tuesday's international brief, China's Supreme Peoples' Court [official website] regained the power to review death sentences on Tuesday, after nearly six months of intense criticism of the old process, which allowed regional courts to review death sentences. Chinese media highlighted nearly a dozen cases over the last six [read more]

09:09 EDT

[JURIST] A woman who was ordered by a British court to destroy frozen embryos produced with her former partner is taking her case to the European Court of Human Rights [official website] Tuesday, claiming the refusal to allow her to implant the embryos is a breach of the European Convention [read more]

09:09 EDT

[JURIST] Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif [Wikipedia profile] told newly-appointed US Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy Karen Hughes Monday that his government plans to lift the state of emergency [EOHR backgrounder] that has been in place in the country for 24 years. Nazif told Hughes that the process would [read more]

08:09 EDT

[JURIST] New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey filed lawsuits Monday against Hess [corporate website; PDF complaint], Shell [corporate website; PDF complaint], and Sunoco [corporate website; PDF complaint], alleging that the oil and gas giants and several independent gas-station owners illegally hiked prices in the days surrounding Hurricane Katrina [JURIST [read more]

07:09 EDT

[JURIST] Australian state and territory leaders Tuesday agreed to strict new anti-terror measures [official news release] proposed by the federal government of Prime Minister John Howard [official profile] which include detaining terror suspects for up to 48 hours without charge and using electronic tracking devices to keep tabs on suspects. [read more]

07:09 EDT

[JURIST] US District Judge Jed. S. Rakoff Monday denied government claims that he was interfering with the president's constitutional authority to wage war when he ordered that Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees [AP detainee list] be asked if they want their names to be publicized. The government objected to [read more]

07:09 EDT

[JURIST] A New York court Monday commenced proceedings in the civil trial arising out of the 1993 truck bombing of the World Trade Center [Wikipedia backgrounder]. The court will need to determine whether the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey [official website] is liable for their failure to [read more]

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