Legal news from Thursday, March 30, 2006
21:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] Thursday approved by a 12-6 vote S. 1768 [PDF], an amendment to 28 USC 45 [text] that would permit Supreme Court proceedings to be televised, "unless the Court decides by a vote of the majority of justices, that allowing such coverage in [read more]

20:03 EDT

[JURIST] Judge Lewis A. Kaplan of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website] has ruled that Bank of America [corporate website; press release] may proceed with a counterclaim for damages of over $1 billion against bankrupt Italian dairy giant Parmalat SpA [corporate website; JURIST [read more]

16:03 EDT

[JURIST] Manfred Nowak [official profile, DOC], the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture [official website], told reporters Thursday that he is currently investigating allegations raised by the Falun Gong spiritual group [Wikipedia backgrounder], banned by the Chinese government, that thousands of its followers were being held in a Chinese "concentration camp" [read more]

15:03 EDT

[JURIST] US District Judge Emmit G. Sullivan has ruled [PDF text] that the Federal Election Commission (FEC) [official website] has not provided adequate reasons for failing to more strictly regulate so-called 527 groups [Opensecrets.org backgrounder], nonprofits named for the tax code section under which they are organized. The groups are [read more]

15:03 EDT

[JURIST] Chilean President Michelle Bachelet [BBC profile] has said that Chile would continue to prosecute human rights abuse cases against those involved in the 1975 Operation Colombo [Wikipedia backgrounder] massacre. Bachelet's comments [press release] came during the 21st anniversary of the massacre, one of the most infamous assassination incidents in [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] The French Constitutional Council [official website] on Thursday declared [press release] that the First Employment Contract (CPE) [text], a controversial labor law which allows employers to hire workers under 26 for a conditional two-year period at the end of which they can be dismissed without cause, is constitutional. The [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] A group of 27 Muslim organizations have filed a lawsuit against the two editors from Jyllands-Posten [media website] who were responsible for the Danish newspaper's publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad [JURIST news archive], which last month set off worldwide protests among Muslims leading to multiple deaths [JURIST [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] Chief Justice Mawlavi Fazel Hadi Shinwari of the Afghanistan Supreme Court [Wikipedia backgrounder] on Thursday asserted the independence of the high court in response to criticism from members of Afghanistan's parliament for the release of Abdul Rahman [Wikipedia profile], the Afghan man who faced the death penalty [JURIST report] [read more]

12:03 EDT

[JURIST] Omri Sharon, son of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon [BBC profile], appealed his nine-month prison sentence [JURIST report] on Thursday, apologizing for his actions and arguing that his resignation from the Knesset was punishment enough. Sharon was convicted of illegally raising money [JURIST report] for his father's re-election campaign.The [read more]

12:03 EDT

[JURIST] The European Union [official website] warned Serbia [JURIST news archive] Thursday that it must immediately make efforts to turn over Bosnian war crimes suspect Ratko Mladic [BBC profile, JURIST news archive] in order for April negotiations regarding Serbia's potential membership to the EU to take place as planned. EU [read more]

12:03 EDT

[JURIST] Civil rights, religious and community groups have asked the US Department of Justice [official website] to block a law that would require voters in Georgia to show photo identification before they could cast their ballots. The bill [PDF text; bill summary] was passed by the Georgia state legislature [official [read more]

11:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Australian government has threatened to overturn a proposed same-sex civil union bill [press release] in the Australian Capital Territory [government website] unless substantial changes are made. The bill, introduced by ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope [official profile], would be the first of its kind in Australia and would [read more]

11:03 EDT

[JURIST] US Rep. J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) [official website], speaker of the US House of Representatives [official website], has said that he and other House Republicans would be willing to consider an immigrant guest-worker program, which may lead to a compromise with the US Senate [official website] over the controversial [read more]

11:03 EDT

[JURIST] A Louisiana State Senate [official website] committee has rejected a bill that would have made it easier for residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina [JURIST report] to vote in next month's New Orleans municipal elections [JURIST news archive]. The bill would have created polling places in other states so that [read more]

11:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Belarus prosecutor general said Wednesday that there will be many trials for opposition supporters who protested the country's presidential elections [JURIST report] earlier this month. Pyotr Miklashevich indicated that over 500 protestors, including 21 foreigners, were detained for their part in protesting the reelection of Belarus President Alexander [read more]

10:03 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts [official website] ruled Thursday that same-sex couples from outside of Massachusetts cannot marry in the state. Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] with the state high court's 2003 decision in Goodridge v. Department [read more]

10:03 EDT

[JURIST] The UK Terrorism Act 2006 [PDF text; Home Office backgrounder] became law Thursday as the legislation received royal assent. A vote in the UK House of Lords last week cleared the way [JURIST report] for the bill to move forward, as the Lords backed down on their objections to [read more]

09:03 EDT

[JURIST] The UK House of Lords and House of Commons [official websites] ended a political standoff Wednesday by adopting a compromise on the controversial Identity Cards Bill [PDF text; JURIST news archive]. The legislation had bounced back and forth between both houses of parliament in recent months with the Lords [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs [official website] said Thursday that the Special Court for Sierra Leone [official website] has asked the country to host the war crimes trial of former Liberian president Charles Taylor [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] in The Hague. A spokesman from the Dutch Foreign [read more]

07:03 EDT

[JURIST] The jury in the Zacarias Moussaoui [JURIST news archive] sentencing trial will resume deliberations Thursday to decide whether the al Qaeda conspirator should receive the death penalty for his role in the Sept. 11 attacks [JURIST news archive]. The case went to the jury late Wednesday afternoon and the [read more]

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