Legal news from Monday, February 27, 2006
20:02 EDT

[JURIST] A defense lawyer for ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] said Monday that the Iraqi members of the defense team will attend the next session of the trial set to resume on Tuesday. Earlier this month Hussein, four co-defendants and defense lawyers boycotted trial proceedings [JURIST report] [read more]

19:02 EDT

[JURIST] The United Nations Security Council [official website] deadlocked Monday over what sanctions [UN News report] to impose in connection with the ongoing conflict in Sudan's Darfur [JURIST news archive] region. The US, Britain, Denmark and France would like to move ahead with action against individuals they have identified as [read more]

18:02 EDT

[JURIST] EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn [official profile] said Monday that the European Union [official website] will suspend membership negotiations [JURIST report] with Serbia and Montenegro [JURIST news archive] if it did not fully cooperate in apprehending war crimes fugitive Ratko Mladic [ICTY case backgrounder; BBC profile], echoing a formal [read more]

16:02 EDT

[JURIST] The last Iraqi daytime curfew [JURIST report] was lifted in Baghdad Monday after five days of sectarian bloodshed, but tensions in the country still threaten to bring civil war. Iraqi officials announced an end to the curfew to let people go back to work, but an overnight curfew remains [read more]

16:02 EDT

[JURIST] A last-minute effort [JURIST report] by Miami-based Eller & Co. [corporate website] to block expected UK High Court approval of the $6.8 billion sale of US port operating rights by British company P&O [corporate website] to United Arab Emirates firm DP World [corporate website] was met with derision Monday [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] The US vowed Monday to reject a proposal to establish a UN Human Rights Council [JURIST report] presented by UN General Assembly President Jan Eliasson [UN profile] last week. In remarks at a brief press conference [text], US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton [official profile] said the US [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] Canadian Federal Court judge Marshall E. Rothstein [official profile; FJA materials], nominated to replace Justice John Major on the Supreme Court of Canada [official website], was questioned by a parliamentary committee in televised hearings [JURIST report] Monday, the first time a nominee to the Canadian high court has faced [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] Several Chinese companies have reportedly donated more than $315,000 to help pay for lawsuits against the Japanese government for war crimes allegedly committed by Japanese troops [Wikipedia backgrounder] during their occupation of part of China during World War II. Representatives of three companies told reporters over the weekend that [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] refused Monday to entertain a second appeal by convicted murderer Clarence Hill [NCADP advocacy letter] in which his lawyers argued that Florida's system of death by lethal injection amounted to a cruel and unusual punishment. The decision has little practical significance, as Hill's [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] US military judge Lt. Col. Paul McConnell Monday delayed the start of a court-martial trial for an army dog handler accused in an Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal. The March 8 trial date for Sgt. Santos Cardona has been pushed back to May 22 to allow the defense more [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] Prisoners in Kabul's Policharki Prison [AP backgrounder; IWPR backgrounder; also "Pul-e-Charkhi"] who rioted over the weekend agreed Monday to temporarily end their disturbance and allow injured inmates to be removed for medical care, according to the chief negotiator for the Afghan government. Sibghatullah Mojaddedi also reported an inmate request [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge blocked [press release] the Department of Defense [official website] Monday from enacting a merit pay system for its government employees. US District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan [official profile] said the proposed National Security Personnel System [official website] would make it unfairly difficult for employees to appeal [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] Mexico's "scorched-earth" campaign in the 1960s and 1970s resulted in crimes against humanity, including genocide, torture, executions and disappearances, according to a draft report [text, in Spanish] made public by the National Security Archive at George Washington University. The report, commissioned by Mexican President Vicente Fox [official website, in [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] In a letter [text] sent to President Bush Monday, 17 Democrats from the US House of Representatives called for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate allegations that the National Security Agency conducted warrantless surveillance of US citizens in violation of the Fourth Amendment and the Foreign Intelligence [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] Six law professors at Cambridge University have warned that an innocuous-sounding bill now going through Parliament would give UK government ministers the power to abolish jury trials, place citizens under house arrest, and rewrite the law on nationality and immigration, all without Parliamentary consent. In a letter [text] published [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [official profile] has agreed to meet with opposition leaders to discuss constitutional reforms, after the parties threatened to boycott the April elections. Thaksin dissolved Parliament [AP report] on February 24 in response to street protests calling for his removal and set general elections for [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] A Serbian who may prove to be a key witness in the trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic [BBC profile, JURIST news archive] was arrested in Madrid for the murder of a human rights leader in Kosovo, Spanish police said Monday. Veselin Vukotic and two other men allegedly [read more]

09:02 EDT

[JURIST] Public hearings on the merits of a case alleging state-sponsored genocide by Serbia and Montenegro opened Monday at the Hague-based International Court of Justice [official website]. Proceedings technically began in March 1993, when Bosnia filed a claim [application text; ICJ case docket] alleging violations of the UN Convention on [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] US Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) [official website] has begun circulating a draft version of a bill that would require the federal government to obtain permission before conducting domestic surveillance [JURIST news archive]. The bill, which Specter first mentioned earlier this month [JURIST report], would mandate that [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] An Australian man plans to appeal his conviction for receiving money and a plane ticket from an Osama bin Laden associate, his lawyer said Monday. Joseph Terrence Thomas [advocacy website; ABC TV report] was found guilty by a jury [BBC report] over the weekend for receiving $3,500 from Khaled [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] has ended a hunger strike to protest his trial after fasting for 11 days, according to his chief lawyer Monday. Khalil Dulaimi [JURIST news archive] met with his client for several hours [JURIST report] over the weekend and learned that US prison officials stepped [read more]

07:02 EDT

[JURIST] China [JURIST news archive] will increase the number of public trials for death penalty appeals during the second half of 2006, a legal scholar from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences [official website, in Chinese] said Monday. Liu Renwen estimated that China executes approximately 8,000 people per year, giving [read more]

07:02 EDT

[JURIST] Police in the Philippines [JURIST news archive] Monday charged 16 people with rebellion for allegedly planning to oust Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo [official website; BBC profile], according to the head of the police legal department. The coup plot involved five members of the Philippines House of Representatives [official website], [read more]

06:02 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Monday's international brief, despite the status of Hamas as a listed terrorist entity, the European Union [official website] has announced plans at a foreign ministers' meeting Monday to attempt to work around a legal ban that prohibits European nations from providing funding to any member of Hamas. Since [read more]

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