Legal news from Monday, January 23, 2006
20:01 EDT

[JURIST] The US Army [official website] has issued new regulations governing the military death penalty [DPIC backgrounder]. What the Army is calling a "major revision", however, raises questions whether the military is considering its first execution since 1961, when Army Pvt. John Bennett was put to death after being convicted [read more]

20:01 EDT

[JURIST] Defense lawyers for I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby [CBS News profile], the former chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney indicted last October in the CIA leak case [JURIST news archive], petitioned Monday to use classified evidence in his trial, a move that could delay the case. The request [read more]

19:01 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge Monday overturned as unconstitutional a Louisiana law [text] that would have moved the state's congressional primary from November to October. Louisiana passed the legislation under the impetus of its "open primary" system that allows all candidates to run together, regardless of party affiliation. If no candidate [read more]

16:01 EDT

[JURIST] A European Union [official website] spokesman said Monday that Turkey's action in dropping charges [JURIST report] against novelist Orhan Pamuk [TIME profile; JURIST news archive] for "insulting Turkishness" was "good news". EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn [official profile] cautioned, however, that other "journalists, editors, writers and academics still face [read more]

15:01 EDT

[JURIST] Cook County Circuit Court Judge Bernetta D. Bush Monday approved a $20 million final settlement in a class action suit against newspaper publishing giant Hollinger International Inc. [corporate website]. Advertisers brought the suit claiming they had been defrauded by inflated circulation numbers for the Chicago Sun-Times [media website] and [read more]

15:01 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Monday refused to reconsider a federal court ruling that the BlackBerry [product website], the hand-held internet and email device from Research in Motion (RIM) [corporate website], violated existing patent rights. Last August, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld [read more]

14:01 EDT

[JURIST] Iraq's newly-elected parliament will ignore a constitutional provision on setting the date for their first meeting, officials announced Monday. According to the constitution [JURIST news archive; JURIST document], approved in the 2005 October referendum [JURIST report], parliament is to meet 15 days after the final certification of an election [read more]

14:01 EDT

[JURIST] A ban on public gatherings, night-time curfews and other restrictions in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal [JURIST news archive] capital, has been lifted by government officials. Nepalese officials have also lifted a ban on mobile phone use and released senior opposition leaders from house arrest. Nepal's government implemented the [read more]

14:01 EDT

[JURIST] US President George Bush on Monday defended his authorization of the domestic surveillance [JURIST news archive] program employed by the National Security Agency (NSA) [official website], saying that he was acting under a Congressional mandate to protect the US from terrorist attacks. In a speech [transcript] at Kansas State [read more]

14:01 EDT

[JURIST] Mikhail Khodorkovsky [MosNews profile; JURIST news archive], the former owner of Russian oil giant Yukos [corporate website; JURIST news archive] convicted of tax fraud and now incarcerated in a Siberian prison [JURIST report], has appealed to the Russian Supreme Court against Siberian prison regulations which restrict prisoners' access to [read more]

14:01 EDT

[JURIST] Russia's most senior judge has predicted that the Kremlin's growing power will eventually result in a dictatorship if it remains unchecked by the country's judiciary. Chairman of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation [Russian Information Network backgrounder] Valery Zorkin made his comments in a Reuters interview following criticism [read more]

13:01 EDT

[JURIST] Jury selection is slated to begin Tuesday in Rio Grande City, Texas, in the latest wrongful death case involving the painkiller Vioxx [Merck Vioxx Information Center website; JURIST news archive]. The family of Leonel Garza is suing Merck Pharmaceutical Company [corporate website] after he suffered a fatal heart attack [read more]

13:01 EDT

[JURIST] In a statement issued Monday, Uzbek opposition group Sunshine Uzbekistan [party website] called on authorities to hold open proceedings [statement, in Russian] when opposition leader, Sanjar Umarov [official profile] goes on trial. Umarov, a business man with ties to the United States, was arrested in October [JURIST report] and [read more]

12:01 EDT

[JURIST] Several family members and former employees of former Chilean president General Augusto Pinochet [JURIST news archive] were indicted [PDF text] Monday on tax evasion charges. Judge Carlos Cerda issued arrest warrants for Pinochet's wife, four of his children, daughter-in-law, former attorney and secretary, following the release of indictments that [read more]

12:01 EDT

[JURIST] Six non-US citizens who were arrested and detained on visa violations as "persons of interest" in terror investigations after the Sept. 11 attacks return to the United States this week to give depositions in a lawsuit filed against detention guards [JURIST report] and top government officials. The lawsuit brings [read more]

12:01 EDT

[JURIST] Turkish state prosecutors have set January 18, 2010 as the date when Mehmet Ali Agca [Wikipedia profile], the man who shot Pope John Paul II [official website] in 1981, will be released from jail. Agca was freed [JURIST report] from a Turkish prison earlier this month for a brief [read more]

12:01 EDT

[JURIST] Newly-elected Bolivian president Evo Morales [official website; BBC profile] addressed the nation during his inauguration speech [excerpts] Sunday and promised to promote justice for indigenous Bolivian Indians, saying that they had been discriminated against and "never recognized as human beings." Morales, who became the first indigenous person elected president [read more]

11:01 EDT

[JURIST] The chief investigative judge for the Iraqi High Criminal Court (formerly the Iraqi Special Tribunal [official website]) announced Monday that judge Ra'uf Rashid will replace former chief judge Rizgar Muhammad Amin in the Saddam Hussein trial [JURIST news archive]. Amin's resignation earlier this month [JURIST news report] was followed [read more]

11:01 EDT

[JURIST] Sudanese security forces released nearly 50 human rights delegates attending the African Union [official website, JURIST news archive] summit in Khartoum Monday. Members of the Sudanese Organization Against Torture [advocacy website], Amnesty International, Anti-Slavery International and the International Bar Association were temporarily detained after forces raided their meeting and [read more]

10:01 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] handed down decisions in three cases Monday, including a decision in Wisconsin Right to Life v. Federal Election Commission [Duke Law case backgrounder], where the Court remanded the case to the federal District Court in Washington, DC to reexamine whether the Bipartisan Campaign [read more]

10:01 EDT

[JURIST] Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] condemned "Iranian meddling" in Iraq after being briefed on major Iraqi, Arab and international affairs over the weekend, his defense team said Monday. Defense lawyer Saleh al-Armuti said Hussein had complained of not being kept up to date on world news so his lawyers [read more]

09:01 EDT

[JURIST] The number of targeted assassinations [EJIL paper, PDF] of journalists is on the rise, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) [advocacy website] said Monday in its annual report, Targeting and Tragedy: Journalists and Media Staff Killed in 2005 [PDF text, Part II, Part III]. The IFJ reports that 89 [read more]

09:01 EDT

[JURIST] Activists around the country marked the 33rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade [opinion] with demonstrations on Sunday. In Minnesota, San Francisco, Idaho and Michigan, hundreds of anti-abortion and abortion rights demonstrators gathered in front of state capitols. Activists in Michigan marked the anniversary by debuting Michigan Chooses Life, an [read more]

08:01 EDT

[JURIST] The trial of former Yugoslav dictator Slobodan Milosevic [BBC profile; ICTY case backgrounder] resumed Monday at The Hague, as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia [official website] ended its extended winter break. The break had been prolonged [ICTY press release; JURIST report] due to health concerns raised [read more]

06:01 EDT

[JURIST Europe] The UK High Court [judicial website] Monday rejected a review of guidelines [UK Dept. of Health backgrounder] that do not require parental consent for minors to receive contraception or abortion advice. Sue Axon of Manchester, a mother of five, had brought a lawsuit hoping to change the law [read more]

06:01 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Monday's international brief, the 2006 African Union [official website] summit opened Monday in Khartoum, Sudan, with a sharp controversy over the potential chairmanship of the organization by a regime accused of directly contributing to over 300,000 deaths and nearly two million Internally Displaced Persons in Darfur [JURIST news [read more]

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