Legal news from Friday, March 24, 2006
15:03 EDT

[JURIST] US Chief Justice John Roberts [official profile] has appointed US District Judge and former Whitewater prosecutor John D. Bates [official profile] to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) [FJC backgrounder] to replace US District Judge James Robertson [official profile], who resigned [JURIST report] last December, purportedly in protest over [read more]

15:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] said Friday that it will rehear oral arguments [order text, PDF] for death penalty case Kansas v. Marsh [Duke Law backgrounder; merit briefs] so that Justice Samuel Alito can break a tie in the deadlocked court. The Kansas death penalty [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Hong Kong Law Reform Commission (HKLRC) [official website] on Friday released its proposals [HKLRC press release] to embed greater safeguards in the executive order on covert surveillance operations made last year by Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen [official profile]. Hong Kong High Court Justice Michael Hartmann ruled the [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] Abortion rights activists in South Dakota [JURIST news archive] on Friday announced that they will seek a referendum [press release] that will overturn the state's newly-enacted abortion ban [PDF text]. The campaign [Reuters report], led by the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families [advocacy website], must collect 16,728 signatures [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] announced Friday that US authorities have arrested [press release] Faheem Mousa Salam, a government contractor performing translation for Titan Corporation in Iraq, on bribery charges in Washington, DC. Salam, a naturalized US citizen, allegedly offered $60,000 to an Iraqi police official [read more]

12:03 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Friday's international brief, the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI) [advocacy website] in Uganda has issued a report warning that the independence of the judiciary and the freedom of the press have been seriously impinged upon in the past year. In a report documenting the activities of the [read more]

12:03 EDT

[JURIST Europe] Fresh talks between French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin [official website] and French trade union leaders over the new First Employment Contract (CPE) labor law [FAQ, in French; English-language official backgrounder] ended in deadlock Friday with the government continuing to insist that it will not withdraw the law, [read more]

10:03 EDT

[JURIST] American officials denied a claim Friday that they planned to release 12 high-ranking prisoners from the US detention facility at Camp Cropper [Wikipedia backgrounder] near Baghdad International Airport [GlobalSecurity backgrounder]. Iraqi lawyer Badia Aref had said that US officials planned to free the prisoners within two weeks, but that [read more]

10:03 EDT

[JURIST] Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif [official profile] has said that he plans to replace [JURIST report] the country's 25-year-old emergency laws [EOHR backgrounder] with anti-terror legislation. The emergency laws, renewed every three years, are set to expire in May. They were adopted in 1981 in response to the assassination [read more]

10:03 EDT

[JURIST Europe] Early Friday morning local time, Belarus police swept down on hundreds of demonstrators camped out in Minsk's Oktyabrskaya Square in protest against the results of last Sunday's presidential elections [JURIST report] which returned Alexander Lukashenko [official website; BBC profile] to power in Belarus [JURIST news archive] with 82.6 [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] After European Union foreign ministers met in Brussels Thursday to discuss the future of the EU Constitution [text; JURIST news archive], Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik [official EU profile] has expressed doubt that a solution to the current impasse will be ready by a June summit on the constitution. [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] UN Legal Counsel Nicolas Michel [official profile] said Thursday that the UN is ready to begin final negotiations on the establishment of an international tribunal to try suspects in the February 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [JURIST news archive]. Michel said that a mixed tribunal [read more]

07:03 EDT

[JURIST] A spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry [official website, English version] said Thursday that the case of a detained Chinese researcher who worked for the New York Times is being dealt with according to Chinese law. Zhao Yan has been held since September 2004, and has still not been released [read more]

07:03 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Muslim clerics have urged that Afghanistan [JURIST news archive] ignore international pressure and execute Abdul Rahman [JURIST report] for converting from Islam to Christianity. "The people will kill him if he is freed," declared the chief cleric of a Kabul mosque, and Abdul Raoulf, chief of the Afghan [read more]

07:03 EDT

[JURIST] Prosecutors concluded their case in the sentencing trial of Zacarias Moussaoui [JURIST news archive] Thursday with the testimony of former FBI agent Aaron Zebley, who claimed that the FBI would have been able to trace records and identify 11 of the 19 hijackers if Moussaoui had admitted receiving thousands [read more]

06:03 EDT

[JURIST Europe] A Belgrade court has reinstated an arrest warrant against the widow of ex-Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic [JURIST news archive] after she failed to attend a court appearance [JURIST report] scheduled for Thursday. Mira Markovic [BBC profile] was charged with abuse of power when she obtained a flat for [read more]

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