Legal news from Thursday, December 22, 2005
20:12 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate has voted to approve the one-month extension [JURIST report] of the Patriot Act [JURIST news archive] passed by the House of Representatives earlier Thursday after House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. James Sesenbrenner blocked a six-month Senate extension on the grounds that the original Patriot Act conference [read more]

19:12 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge ruled Thursday that two Chinese Uighur detainees held by the US at Guantanamo Bay could be detained there indefinitely even though their imprisonment was unlawful. US District Judge James Robertson said that the courts simply had no relief to offer the men, who are no longer [read more]

16:12 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that the US House of Representatives has passed a one-month extension of the Patriot Act [JURIST news archive], significantly less than the six-month extension [JURIST report] approved by the Senate Wednesday night. 4:32 PM ET - House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) objected to [read more]

15:12 EDT

[JURIST] The Texas Third Court of Appeals [official website] Thursday denied a request by US Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) [official website; JURIST news archive] to hasten his appeals process by reducing allowable filing periods from 20 to five days. Prosecutors are appealing the dismissal [JURIST report] of the conspiracy charge [read more]

13:12 EDT

[JURIST] The presiding judge of the 11-member Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) [constituitive statute], the secret court charged with overseeing government espionage activities, has organized a classified briefing for panel members to allow administration representatives to report on the scope of the recently uncovered [JURIST report] National Security Agency (NSA) [read more]

13:12 EDT

[JURIST] The Iraqi Special Tribunal [official website] Thursday adjourned the Saddam Hussein trial [JURIST news archive] until January 24 after a day of testimony during which Hussein berated the US [JURIST report] for denying his claims, made Wednesday [JURIST report], that he had been beaten in custody. During cross-examination, Hussein [read more]

12:12 EDT

[JURIST] The French Senate [official website] approved anti-terror legislation [text, in French; legislative materials] in a 202-122 vote Thursday after preliminarily approving the bill [JURIST report] last week. The bill, introduced by conservative presidential hopeful and current Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy [BBC profile] and influenced by the recently enacted British [read more]

12:12 EDT

[JURIST] A British appellate court has ruled [opinion summary; full text] Thursday that British soldiers in Iraq are forbidden to subject Iraqi prisoners to cruel or degrading treatment while in their custody. The determination that the Human Rights Act [text] - a 1998 statute encating the European Convention on Human [read more]

12:12 EDT

[JURIST] Australian police have arrested a 33-year-old man for using text messages to incite rioting a week after race riots broke out in Sydney [JURIST report] involving 5,000 people, mostly white men and youths, attacking Muslim residents on local beaches. Wednesday's arrest marks the first instance someone has been charged [read more]

11:12 EDT

[JURIST] Nearly 700 same-sex couples in Britain took part in civil partnership ceremonies Wednesday, the first day of eligibility under Britain's Civil Partnership Act [text], which was enacted in 2004. Registration for civil partnerships [JURIST report] began earlier this month, and couples are required to wait 15 days after registration [read more]

11:12 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate voted Wednesday to repeal the Byrd Amendment in October 2007, following a similar vote [JURIST report] in the US House of Representatives last month. Officially known as the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act [text], the amendment, which allows private companies to collect duties from foreign [read more]

10:12 EDT

[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan [official profile; JURIST news archive] said in his traditional year-end press conference [transcript; JURIST video] Wednesday that he wanted to dedicate his final year in the position to encouraging peace and UN reform [JURIST news archive]. Looking back on 2005 he also offered stinging criticism [read more]

09:12 EDT

[JURIST] US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile; JURIST news archive] requested that the German government not release Mohammed Ali Hamadi, a convicted hijacker accused of killing a US Navy diver, but Germany [JURIST news archive] refused, the Bush administration confirmed Wednesday. Hamadi was convicted for the 1985 hijacking of [read more]

09:12 EDT

[JURIST] Colombian prosecutors plan to file charges against former justice minister Alberto Santofimio Botero [BBC report] in connection with the 1989 assassination of Liberal party presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galan [Wikipedia profile], the attorney general's office announced Wednesday. Santofimio will face homicide and conspiracy charges for Galan's assassination, which took [read more]

09:12 EDT

[JURIST] Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] on Thursday denounced US denials of his claims that he has been tortured [JURIST report] while held by US forces and argued that the US had also lied about Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction in the run up to the war in [read more]

09:12 EDT

[JURIST] A lawyer for Tariq Aziz [BBC profile], Iraq's deputy prime minister during Saddam Hussein's regime, said Wednesday that US troops are protecting "high-value" former Iraqi officials released from custody [JURIST report] earlier this week. Badee Izzat Aref said that 25 officials, including Dr. Rihab Taha al-Azawi [BBC profile] know [read more]

09:12 EDT

[JURIST] Afghan journalist Ali Mohaqiq Nasab, the editor of the magazine Hoqooq-i-Zan, (translated as Women's Rights) who was convicted of blasphemy for publishing anti-Islamic articles, has been freed from jail [Reporters without Borders press release], a senior Afghan judge said Thursday. Nasab was arrested [CPJ report] in October for reprinting [read more]

08:12 EDT

[JURIST] Russia's Duma [official website], the lower house of parliament, approved on Wednesday a much-criticized bill restricting NGO activity by 376-10 on its second reading. The bill would create a government agency [JURIST report] with broad power to monitor and regulate NGOs though original provisions that would have subjected local [read more]

08:12 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate [official website] on Wednesday approved a defense policy bill [text] banning the cruel and inhumane treatment of detainees in US custody but also limiting the ability of Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] prisoners to challenge their detention in federal court, effectively allowing information obtained through coercion [read more]

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