Legal news from Thursday, January 19, 2006
20:01 EDT

[JURIST] The US Justice Department [official website] Thursday released [letter to Senate Majority Leader, PDF] a 42-page white paper [text, PDF] laying out a legal basis for the domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive] run by the National Security Agency [official website]. The paper argues that the NSA activities are [read more]

19:01 EDT

[JURIST] White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Thursday there is no immediate plan to release six of eight women detained by US forces in Iraq. His comment and similar ones from US military spokesmen follow statements by Iraq's Justice Ministry [Global Security backgrounder] earlier in the day that the women [read more]

19:01 EDT

[JURIST] Nigeria’s government has announced plans [official press release] to ban same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] and any protests urging same-sex unions. Government officials have said the legislation is a preemptive step in light of other nations legalizing same-sex unions around the world. President Olusegun Obasanjo [official profile] has been [read more]

17:01 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Thursday's environmental law news, Maine has became the first state in the US to require manufacturers to pay the cost of recycling computer monitors and televisions [press release] under a program [backgrounder] that began Wednesday pursuant to Maine's amended E-Waste Law [text]. The state has approved 5 consolidation [read more]

16:01 EDT

[JURIST] The International Mission for Iraqi Elections (IMIE) [official website] released its report [text] on the December 15 parliamentary elections [JURIST news archive] Thursday, endorsing the election results despite finding isolated instances of fraud. The IMIE, a 10-nation oversight group led by Elections Canada, agreed to review results [JURIST report] [read more]

15:01 EDT

[JURIST] US Senate Judiciary Committee ranking Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) [official website] announced during a speech [text] at the Georgetown University Law Center Thursday that he intends to vote against the nomination of Samuel Alito [JURIST news archive] to the Supreme Court, citing Alito's expansive views on presidential power. [read more]

15:01 EDT

[JURIST] Carla Del Ponte [BBC profile] Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] said Thursday that former Serbian general and indicted war criminal Ratko Mladic [ICTY case backgrounder; JURIST news archive] is still being shielded from authorities by the Serbian army he once [read more]

14:01 EDT

[JURIST] The US military said Thursday that the number of detainees participating in hunger strikes at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] had reached its lowest point since October 2005, but offered no reasons for the dropoff. The number of hunger strikes has dropped from as many as 131 to only [read more]

14:01 EDT

[JURIST] The Iraqi High Criminal Court (IHCC) (formerly the Iraqi Special Tribunal [official website]) confirmed Thursday that Sayeed al-Hamashi, who was selected to preside over the Saddam Hussein trial [JURIST news archive] on Monday, will retain his position despite allegations that he belonged to the banned Baath party [BBC backgrounder]. [read more]

13:01 EDT

[JURIST] The Human Rights Watch annual report [PDF text] released Wednesday alleges an increasing amount of human rights abuses in Iraq, including torture of detainees and attacks on civilians, and assigns some of the blame to the US and its military. The report finds a deteriorating situation in Iraq partly [read more]

12:01 EDT

[JURIST] The European Parliament [official website] announced on Wednesday that it would investigate claims [press release] that the CIA has been illegally detaining and torturing terrorism suspects in European countries or using European air bases as transit points to send suspects to other countries to be tortured, a process called [read more]

12:01 EDT

[JURIST] In the final run-up to next Monday's Canadian federal election that is expected to bring his Conservative Party [party website] to power after 13 years in the political wilderness, leader Stephen Harper [CBC profile] has backpedaled after suggesting that a Conservative government could not have a "true majority" [CP [read more]

11:01 EDT

[JURIST] The European Court of Justice [official website] ruled on Thursday that Germany may not apply restrictions [judgment, PDF; press release, PDF] to workers from outside the European Union sent to Germany by European companies. The German law, passed last year, required such workers to have worked for their company [read more]

11:01 EDT

[JURIST] The non-partisan Congressional Research Service [official website], the public-policy research arm of the Library of Congress [official website], called the Bush administration's limited briefings on the NSA domestic spying program [JURIST news archive] "inconsistent with the law" in a report released to the House Intelligence Committee [official website] on [read more]

10:01 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for Tariq Aziz [JURIST news archive; BBC profile], the former Iraqi deputy prime minister under the Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] regime, have asked Italy and Croatia to grant him asylum if Aziz is released from US detention. Aziz's lawyers argue the 69-year-old is in very poor health [read more]

10:01 EDT

[JURIST] The Electronic Privacy Information Center [advocacy website] has announced plans to file a federal Freedom of Information Act [text] lawsuit Thursday against the US Justice Department [official website] seeking the release of documents about the department's role in the government's domestic spying program [JURIST news archive]. EPIC has filed [read more]

10:01 EDT

[JURIST] The Nepalese government on Thursday arrested over 52 senior politicians and activists in an apparent attempt to shut down an anti-government rally [Reuters report] planned for Friday in the capital. The government banned demonstrations and imposed a night curfew earlier this week in anticipation of the rally, and in [read more]

10:01 EDT

[JURIST] The Iraqi Ministry of Justice [Global Security backgrounder] said Thursday that the US military would release six Iraqi women prisoners from Abu Ghraib prison [JURIST news archive], but insisted the release is not in response to threats from a militant group that has kidnapped American journalist Jill Carroll [CNN [read more]

09:01 EDT

[JURIST] Detainees held at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] were able to provide valuable information in connection with last year's London bombings [JURIST news archive], Army Maj. Gen. Jay Hood, who is in charge of the prison, said Wednesday. Hood said that a number of Guantanamo detainees, though not British [read more]

08:01 EDT

[JURIST] A leaked UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office [official website] memo says that while undertaking or cooperating with extraordinary rendition [JURIST news archive] of terror suspects to countries where they could face a real risk of torture could never be legal under UK law, the British government could not say [read more]

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