Legal news from Thursday, December 1, 2005
19:12 EDT

[JURIST] Jordan's King Abdullah II [official website] has urged the Jordanian parliament to quickly approve new anti-terrorism legislation, drafted two weeks ago [JURIST report] in the wake of last month's hotel bombing [Reuters report] that left 57 people dead. During the Thursday opening of the third parliamentary session since 2003 [read more]

19:12 EDT

[JURIST] Convicted drug trafficker and Australian citizen Van Tuong Nguyen [Wikipedia profile] was executed by Singapore Thursday, despite a strong plea for clemency submitted by the Australian government to the president of Singapore. Nguyen was caught with 14 ounces of heroin at Singapore's Changi Airport in 2002, a crime invoking [read more]

18:12 EDT

[JURIST] Conrad Black [CBC Profile], press baron and former chairman of Hollinger International, pleaded not guilty to eight fraud charges during his arraignment in Chicago Thursday. Along with other former Hollinger executives, he is accused by the US government of diverting more than $80 million from Hollinger International and its [read more]

18:12 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Thursday's environmental law news, James Hardie Industries [corporate website] signed an agreement [press release] Thursday with the government of New South Wales [official website] to pay $4.5 billion to compensate Australian asbestos victims. Hardie, a building products company, will make payments capped at no more than 35 percent [read more]

17:12 EDT

[JURIST] The Bush Administration Thursday asked the US DC Circuit Court of Appeals to reinstate the US Defense Department's mandatory anthrax vaccination program [official website]. The anthrax vaccine is currently labeled for use by individuals who are at high risk for exposure to the disease; however, the Bush Administration argued [read more]

16:12 EDT

[JURIST] Lebanese Defense Minister Elias al-Murr announced Thursday that Lebanon will ask the UN Security Council to extend for another six months its investigation into the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri [UN materials; JURIST news archive]. UN chief investigator Detlev Mehlis was scheduled to deliver his final [read more]

16:12 EDT

[JURIST] New trials have begun in Uzbekistan [JURIST news archive] for fifty-eight people charged with terrorism, religious extremism and other serious crimes stemming from the death of as many as 1,000 villagers in the Uzbek city of Andijan, the country's Supreme Court announced in a statement Thursday. This second round [read more]

16:12 EDT

[JURIST] Members of the European Parliament [official website] on Thursday criticized EU leaders for failing to push the United States on recent reports of a secret network of CIA prisons in Europe [JURIST report] used to hold suspected terrorists. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw [official profile] has, on behalf of [read more]

15:12 EDT

[JURIST] The Connecticut General Assembly [official website] passed a tough new campaign finance law [PDF text] Thursday that strictly limits campaign contributions for all state offices and creates a public campaign finance system. Once enacted, the bill will ban political contributions from lobbyists, their spouses, and state contractors, limit contributions [read more]

15:12 EDT

[JURIST] Samsung [corporate website], the world's largest maker of computer memory chips, has pleaded guilty to criminal antitrust charges [indictment text] and was ordered pay a $300 million fine, the second largest fine in a criminal antitrust case, for conspiring to fix the price of its personal computer chips. The [read more]

14:12 EDT

[JURIST] Senegal President Abdoulaye Wade has called for the creation of an African tribunal that would hear abuse charges against the continent's "dictators", similar to those leveled against former Chad President Hissene Habre [HRW profile]. Wade's comments come as Habre resides in Senegal awaiting a decision from the African Union [read more]

14:12 EDT

[JURIST] Australia's Labor Party leader Kim Beazley [official profile] said Thursday that the controversial sedition provisions [JURIST report] set to be included in Australia's new anti-terror laws lower the country "to the standard[s] of North Korea, Syria and Cuba." On Wednesday, Australian Prime Minister John Howard [official profile] bowed to [read more]

14:12 EDT

[JURIST] Iraq Interior Minister Bayan Jabr [CBS profile] on Thursday fired Nouri al-Nouri, the country's senior inspector handling human rights issues, in connection with a torture scandal involving dozens of prisoners at a Baghdad prison, according to an Iraqi official. Al-Nouri, the ministry's lead inspector for corruption and human rights [read more]

13:12 EDT

[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour [official profile; JURIST news archive] has warned [press release] that the Nepalese government and Maoist rebels must take "steps towards lasting peace" in order to avoid "grave violations of human rights and international humanitarian law" being committed by both sides. Arbour [read more]

13:12 EDT

[JURIST] Nigeria's Kaduna Code of Conduct Tribunal on Thursday began legal proceedings against Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, governor of the oil-rich state Bayelsa [profile], on charges of corruption. The tribunal, an anti-corruption body that has the power to strip elected officials of immunity, has begun investigating alleged failures by Alamieyeseigha to declare [read more]

13:12 EDT

[JURIST] Walgreens [corporate website] said Thursday it has suspended four Illinois pharmacists without pay for refusing to fill prescriptions for the morning-after pill in violation of a state rule. The pharmacists said their objections stemmed from religious or moral beliefs. Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich [official website] issued a rule April [read more]

12:12 EDT

[JURIST] The city of York, Pennsylvania, will pay a $2 million settlement to the relatives of a black woman shot to death during race riots in 1969. The two children and two sisters of Lilly Belle Allen will get a total of $200,000 annually for a decade in a deal [read more]

12:12 EDT

[JURIST] The South African Constitutional Court [official website] on Thursday ruled that it is unconstitutional to prohibit gay couples from marrying and gave parliament one year to amend the 1961 Marriage Act to allow same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive]. According to the court's judgment [PDF text; summary], if the legislature [read more]

11:12 EDT

[JURIST] The Japanese government is preparing a legislative proposal that would amend the country's succession law, the 1947 Imperial Household Law [text], to allow female monarchs. Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe said Thursday that a 15-member team has been established to work on a bill to be submitted when parliament [read more]

11:12 EDT

[JURIST] Defense lawyers for Zacarias Moussaoui [JURIST news archive] are seeking to ask jurors in the upcoming sentencing trial for their opinions on Islam, the FBI's performance in several high-profile investigations and for their personal reactions to the September 11 attacks [JURIST news archive], according to proposed jury questions submitted [read more]

10:12 EDT

[JURIST] The final round of Egypt's legislative elections began Thursday, though riot police in some towns blocked access to polling stations in contradiction to government promises of free and fair elections. The cordoning-off of polling stations is thought to be related to the success of the Muslim Brotherhood [Wikipedia backgrounder] [read more]

09:12 EDT

[JURIST] The Argentinean Congress [official website in Spanish] passed a law Wednesday making all Argentinean citizens potential organ donors unless they specifically reject that status. Argentine President Nestor Kirchner [BBC profile] first proposed the bill to his Congress last year; it was previously approved by the Chamber of Deputies [official [read more]

09:12 EDT

[JURIST] Health officials said Wednesday that state laws which prohibit a mercury-based vaccine preservative could impede efforts to fight an avian flu pandemic should an outbreak occur. At a meeting of the US Department of Health and Human Services National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) [official website], the healthcare officials said [read more]

08:12 EDT

[JURIST] The Iraqi government has said that it has been unable to complete an investigation into allegations that prisoners at an interior department facility were tortured because mistakes made by US soldiers who discovered the site tainted some of the evidence. Sources in the US investigation said that the Iraqi [read more]

08:12 EDT

[JURIST] A bombing at a Bangladesh [JURIST news archive] court complex Thursday during a strike by lawyers in the country has wounded 25. The blast is the latest in a series of bombings outside courthouses and reportedly occurred near a police checkpoint in Gazipur, north of the capital Dhaka, and [read more]

08:12 EDT

[JURIST] UN leaders have largely given up on completing a comprehensive treaty against terrorism [UN backgrounder] before the end of the year, as hoped by UN leaders, with a working committee on the treaty failing to break an impasse over how to define terrorism. UN General Assembly President Jan Eliasson [read more]

07:12 EDT

[JURIST] The government's lead counsel in its lawsuit against the tobacco industry [DOJ backgrounder] on Wednesday withdrew from the case, as an investigation continues into whether political pressure forced the government to lower its demands in the case. Sharon Eubanks, a US Department of Justice attorney, had pursued a racketeering [read more]

07:12 EDT

[JURIST] The California Supreme Court [official website] late Wednesday denied a request by Stanley Tookie Williams [advocacy website], the Crips gang founder turned anti-gang activist, to halt his scheduled execution. Defense lawyers for Williams challenged forensic evidence in the case in a last-ditch effort to halt his execution scheduled for [read more]

05:12 EDT

[JURIST Europe] Authorities in France and Belgium [government websites] have arrested fifteen suspects connected with a suicide bombing attack in Iraq on November 9 carried out by a woman who has been confirmed as a Belgian national married to an Islamic radical. The suicide attack is thought to be the [read more]

04:12 EDT

[JURIST Europe] A UK High Court has heard an extradition appeal by three British men charged in connection with the Enron [JURIST news archive] scandal challenging the validity of the British government's approval of a US extradition request [JURIST report]. Britain had granted a US request for the extradition of [read more]

04:12 EDT

[JURIST Europe] British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw [official profile] says he has written a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [official profile], on behalf of EU nations [JURIST report], questioning the landing of CIA planes in nineteen airports [Guardian report] in England and Scotland as well as in other [read more]

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