Legal news from Thursday, February 23, 2006
20:02 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers defending former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive], on trial before the Iraqi High Criminal Court, have filed a formal motion [DOC] seeking the disqualification of chief judge Rauf Abdel-Rahman [BBC profile]. Abdel-Rahman began presiding over the trial [JURIST news archive] last month after his predecessor resigned [read more]

19:02 EDT

[JURIST] Microsoft [corporate website] Thursday made a symbolic response to a new antitrust complaint filed with the European Commission [official website] by IBM, Oracle, Sun Microsystems and six other companies by taking the unusual step of posting online its full 78-page defense [text; press release] against a Commission complaint that [read more]

19:02 EDT

[JURIST] UN General Assembly President Jan Eliasson [official profile] on Thursday unveiled a draft proposal for a new United Nations human rights body that would replace the highly criticized Commission on Human Rights [UN backgrounder]. The blueprint [PDF text] describes a 47-member Human Rights Council whose membership would be open [read more]

17:02 EDT

[JURIST] A Human Rights Watch expert Thursday told members of a European Parliament [official website] committee formed to investigate allegations that the US has transferred prisoners through Europe on secret extraordinary rendition [JURIST news archive] flights that the United States has gone to great lengths to cover up evidence of [read more]

16:02 EDT

[JURIST] HealthSouth [corporate website; JURIST news archive] on Thursday finalized a settlement agreement [press release] with plaintiffs in several federal securities class action suits for a total $445 million. HealthSouth itself will pay defrauded investors $215 million, and its insurance carriers will pay $230 million, pending final approval by the [read more]

16:02 EDT

[JURIST] The International Labour Organization (ILO) [official website], a UN agency, on Thursday officially adopted [press release] the long-debated Maritime Labour Convention [ILO materials], a bill of rights applicable to maritime workers that sets minimum standards for wages, work-to-rest ratios, and lays out comprehensive health and safety standards. The convention [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] Opposition politicians in Uganda [JURIST news archive] have said that Thursday's election, the first multi-party elections held in the country in more than twenty years, was marred by fraud. Though it appears that incumbent President Yoweri Museveni [BBC profile] will win re-election, claims of voting fraud have been leveled [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] Two separate reports issued in Britain Thursday strongly criticized the anti-terror strategy of Prime Minister Tony Blair's government, documenting domestic deprivations of human rights, condemning UK policy on torture, and urging the government to press the US to shut down its controversial detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] An Amnesty International spokesman said Thursday in Berlin that torture was still practiced and legally recognized in Turkey [JURIST news archive] despite the latest reform efforts of the Turkish government. Wolfgang Grenz made the statement at the presentation of a new study of 18 cases carried out by a [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] has granted a rehearing [court order, PDF] in a case challenging the native-only admissions policy of a Hawaiian school. In August 2005, the Ninth Circuit ruled [PDF opinion; JURIST report] that the admissions policy of the Kamehameha Schools [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said Thursday that the European Union [official website] will suspend membership negotiations with Serbia if it did not fully cooperate in seeking the arrest of war crimes fugitive Ratko Mladic [ICTY case backgrounder; BBC profile]. Mladic faces charges [indictment text] brought by the International [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] California faces a virtual moratorium on executions in the wake of a court ruling that medical professionals must monitor executions by lethal injection to be sure that the inmate feels no pain. The execution of condemned killer Michael Morales [NCADP profile], was put on hold [JURIST report] late Monday [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] The US military should take a greater, perhaps sometimes even temporarily a leading role in disaster recovery, and policy steps should to be taken to facilitate this, according to a 228-page White House report [table of contents and full text; fact sheet] released Thursday on lessons learned from the [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] Fusako Shigenobu [Wikipedia profile], founder of the terrorist group known as the Japanese Red Army (JRA) [FAS backgrounder; BBC timeline], was convicted in a Tokyo court Thursday and sentenced to twenty years in prison for kidnapping and attempted murder during a 1974 attack on the French Embassy in The [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] US District Judge Melinda Harmon [official profile] has given preliminary approval to a $6.7 billion settlement in a class-action lawsuit [plaintiffs' website] brought by Enron [JURIST news archive] shareholders, an attorney involved in the case said Wednesday. Shareholders brought suit against several banks, accusing them of helping Enron hide [read more]

07:02 EDT

[JURIST] The South Dakota Senate [official website] on Wednesday approved by a 23-12 vote a bill [PDF text] that would ban all abortions, excluding only those necessary to save a woman's life. A similar bill [PDF text] has already passed the state House by a vote of 47-22. After legislators [read more]

07:02 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Thursday's international brief, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir [BBC profile] has been named among possible target for UN Security Council [official website] sanctions being considered against high-ranking officials in the Sudanese government that are thought to be complicit in human rights abuses currently occurring in Darfur [JURIST news archive]. [read more]

04:02 EDT

[JURIST Europe] Belarus newspaper Zgoda has been criminally charged for reprinting cartoons caricaturing the Prophet Muhammad [JURIST news archive] that have sparked violent protests across the Muslim world. The Belarus State Security Committee [official website, in Russian], still known as the KGB, has cited Zgoda for breach of Part 1, [read more]

03:02 EDT

[JURIST Europe] The Spanish National Court (Audiencia Nacional) [official website] has taken jurisdiction over a case investigating Guatemalan officers accused of genocide and torture during the civil unrest from 1978 to 1986. The allegations were made 1999 by Guatemalan Nobel Peace Prize laureate Rigoberta Menchu [Nobel Prize profile], who felt [read more]

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