Legal news from Tuesday, November 1, 2005
19:11 EDT

[JURIST] Invoking a rare procedure, the US Senate held a closed session Tuesday to discuss continuing controversy over the intelligence on alleged weapons of mass destruction used by President Bush leading up to the Iraq war. The main issue raised was the incomplete second phase of an investigation by Intelligence [read more]

19:11 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] heard oral arguments in two cases Tuesday, with newly appointed Chief Justice John Roberts [JURIST news archive] taking an active role in both. Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao Do Vegetal [Duke Law backgrounder] involves a religious dispute over the use of [read more]

17:11 EDT

[JURIST] Members of the Louisiana Legislature [official website] have been summoned [official announcement] by Governor Kathleen Blanco [official website] for a two-week session [Governor's statement; press conference video] to deal with the consequences of Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive] and Hurricane Rita. The special session will start this Sunday and [read more]

17:11 EDT

[JURIST] In Tuesday's environmental law news, the US Environmental Protection Agency [official website] has announced [press release] that is will be awarding over $40 million to over 140 American Indian tribes for environmental protection projects. The tribes [EPA backgrounder], mainly in the Pacific Southwest, will use the money to build [read more]

16:11 EDT

[JURIST] A same-sex couple on Tuesday petitioned the Israeli High Court of Justice [Wikipedia backgrounder] to force the country's Population Registry to recognize their same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive], performed legally in Toronto, Canada in July 2005. Jonathan Herland, a 29-year-old Canadian immigrant to Israel, and Ayal Walerauch, 26, accuse [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld [official profile] on Tuesday defended the US government's decision to prohibit UN human rights observers from interviewing detainees [JURIST report] on any visit to the prison facilities at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive]. The UN observers said Monday they would not accept the [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] Texas Judge C.W. Duncan ruled Monday afternoon that Rep. Tom DeLay [official website; JURIST news archive] will get a new judge to preside over his trial on money laundering and criminal conspiracy charges [JURIST report]. In granting DeLay's recusal motion [JURIST report], Duncan said that Judge Bob Perkins should [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] An influential Ohio Republican said Tuesday that US Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito [official profile; JURIST news archive] had a judicial philosophy "clearly within the mainstream" and that he should not be filibustered. Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH) was a member the bipartisan group of fourteen Senators that fashioned an [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] The US military released 500 prisoners Tuesday from the Abu Ghraib prison [JURIST news archive] in observance of Eid ul-Fitr [Wikipedia backgrounder], the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan [Wikipedia backgrounder]. The 500 prisoners, like the 1,000 prisoners released at the beginning of October [JURIST report] at [read more]

14:11 EDT

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia [official website] on Tuesday transferred its case against Rahim Ademi and Mirko Norac [ICTY case backgrounder] to Croatia, marking the first time a case involving persons already indicted by the ICTY has been transferred to the country. In 2004, ICTY prosecutors [read more]

14:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Syrian government on Tuesday sharply criticized a UN resolution [text; JURIST report] ordering Syria to fully cooperate with the international investigation into the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [JURIST news archive] or face serious diplomatic consequences. In Tuesday's response, the Syrian government characterized the UN [read more]

13:11 EDT

[JURIST] A group of asylum-seekers originating from Asia and Africa has begun a hunger strike in a detention camp in southwest Morocco in an attempt to gain refugee status from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) [official website], the Moroccan Association of Human Rights [advocacy website, in French] said [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] Former Canadian prime minister Jean Chrétien and his chief of staff, Jean Pelletier, must be held accountable for the flawed running of the federal sponsorship program [CBC backgrounder] from 1994 to 2003, said the first report on the scandal [text; Commissioner's statement] from Justice John Gomery, released in Ottawa [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] The President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform [official website], created by President Bush to find simpler and more economically productive methods of taxation, has recommended two different tax plans, both of which would change the way all individuals and businesses pay and file their taxes. In its final [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] In a document to be released later this month, the European Commission [official website] will set forth nearly 150 requirements, all of which must met by Turkey within two years, in order for the Mediterranean nation to be accepted into the European Union [official website], the Financial Times reported [read more]

11:11 EDT

[JURIST] Joshua Colangelo-Bryan [attorney profile] an American lawyer for Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee Jumah Dossari [Amnesty International case sheet], recently became the first outsider to witness an attempted suicide at the military prison. Human rights advocates say Dossari timed the attempt so that it would be witnessed by [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] The leading Islamic party in Tajikistan [US State Dept. backgrounder] has criticized the country's recent ban on Islamic headscarves in secular schools [JURIST report]. The Islamic Renaissance Party (IRP) said the ban was unconstitutional and against the interests of a majority of the country, which is more than 90% [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Michigan Court of Appeals Monday complied with a request by state Attorney General Mike Cox [official website] seeking to delay a lower court ruling which allowed public-sector employers to offer domestic partner benefits to employees. In September, a County Circuit judge ruled [PDF decision] that providing the benefits [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] Syria [JURIST news archive] has agreed to allow Detlev Mehlis, the German prosecutor leading the UN probe of the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [JURIST news archive], to interview two relatives of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad [BBC profile]. The Syrian Ambassador to Britain, Sami al-Khiyami, told [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] Magistrates in Zimbabwe [JURIST news archive] told court officials Monday that they are starving and unable to afford three meals a day, as the country's inflation soars and more than 75% of the population lives below the poverty line. The statement by magistrate Enias Magateto was made in response [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] Abdurahman Jafar, vice chairman of the legal affairs committee [website] of the of the Muslim Council of Britain [advocacy website], warned the UK Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights [official website] Monday that the country's anti-terror proposals [JURIST report] may undermine the Muslim community's commitment to combating terrorism. Jafar [read more]

08:11 EDT

[JURIST] Daniel Martin, a 35-year old Gulf War veteran suffering from memory problems, asthma and anxiety, said Tuesday that he feels "vindicated" by a UK Pensions Appeal Tribunal [official website] ruling [PDF text] that awarded him a disability pension for Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) [Wikipedia backgrounder]. The tribunal said that [read more]

08:11 EDT

[JURIST] A day after lawyers for Australian Guantanamo Bay prisoner David Hicks [BBC profile; advocacy website; JURIST news archive], said they have evidence that Hicks suffered sexual abuse and torture [JURIST report] while in US custody, the Australian government has said it will investigate Hicks' accusations. Hicks' father and a [read more]

07:11 EDT

[JURIST] Mohamed ElBaradei [official profile], Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) [official website], Monday called for the start of negotiations [statement] on the long-stalled Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty [FAS backgrounder], a global treaty banning the further production of nuclear materials such as weapons-grade uranium and plutonium. ElBaradei, [read more]

07:11 EDT

[JURIST] Paul Volcker, chairman of an independent commission [official website] probing the now defunct UN oil-for-food program [JURIST news archive], blamed lapses at the UN on a "systemic problem" and said he found only "limited" corruption during his testimony [hearing notice and statements] Monday to the US Senate Homeland Security [read more]

07:11 EDT

[JURIST] US military investigating officer Col. Patrick Reinhert on Tuesday recommended a court-martial for Staff Sgt. Alberto B. Martinez, a National Guard soldier charged with killing two of his superiors in Iraq [JURIST report]. Col. Reinhert also noted that capital punishment could be an option for Martinez due to aggravating [read more]

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