Legal news from Thursday, September 7, 2006
20:09 EDT

[JURIST] Iraq's parliament [official website] adjourned abruptly Thursday following a heated debate about a draft law that would divide the country into autonomous regions. Sunnis oppose the plan because it would leave them without access to Iraq's oil as most Sunnis live in the central and western provinces of the [read more]

20:09 EDT

[JURIST] Four human rights experts appointed by the United Nations [official website] are heading to the Middle East to investigate possible abuses during the recent Mideast conflict [JURIST news archive] between Israel and Lebanon. Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Representative on the human rights of internally displaced persons Walter Kälin, Special Rapporteur [read more]

19:09 EDT

[JURIST] Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper [official website] Thursday urged [press release] members of the Canadian Senate's Special Committee on Senate Reform [official website] to support legislation [text] that would limit terms in the country's unelected Senate [official website] to eight years. Currently, senators appointed on a regional basis can [read more]

17:09 EDT

[JURIST] A bill [text, PDF; JURIST news archive] designed to put the Bush administration's domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive] on a sound legal footing failed to make it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] Thursday. Sponsored by committee chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) [official website], the legislation [S.2453 [read more]

16:09 EDT

[JURIST] A Senate Foreign Relations Committee [official website] vote on whether to confirm the nomination of John Bolton [official profile] as permanent US ambassador to the United Nations [official website] was postponed Thursday after Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) [official website] called for more information from Bolton. Senate Committee chairman Richard [read more]

15:09 EDT

[JURIST] Defense lawyer Badih Aref Izzat, representing a co-defendant in Saddam Hussein's trial [JURIST news archive], announced Thursday that his assistant had been found murdered in Baghdad. Abdel Monem Yassin Hussein is said to have been kidnapped on August 29 and was found five days later in a hospital morgue [read more]

14:09 EDT

[JURIST] The US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals [official website] held Thursday in a 2-1 opinion [text; PDF] that state rules on participation in Ohio's primary elections make it prohibitive for minority parties to be included on the ballot. The court ruled that the requirement that parties must file petitions [read more]

14:09 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Thursday's international brief, international NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] has said that the Sudanese government [official website in Arabic] has entered a prolonged campaign of randomly bombing civilian locations [press release] in the Darfur region [JURIST news archive] and asked the UN Security Council [official website] [read more]

14:09 EDT

[JURIST] The Bush administration has been "disappointed" with the work [statement, PDF] of the newly formed UN Human Rights Council [official website; JURIST news archive], according to US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Mark Lagon [official profile] during his remarks Wednesday at a hearing [recorded video] of the US House [read more]

14:09 EDT

[JURIST] The Defense Department's top military lawyers testified [recorded audio] Thursday before the US House Armed Services Committee [official website], urging Congress to reject White House proposals that would keep some evidence from suspected terrorists who face prosecutions. The Bush administration submitted [JURIST report] the Military Commissions Act of 2006 [read more]

14:09 EDT

[JURIST] The European Court of Justice [official website] ruled [text] Thursday that Great Britain's rest period guidelines for workers are not in compliance with European Union [official website] law which mandates minimum daily and weekly breaks. Member countries of the EU are obligated to ensure workers receive 11 consecutive hours [read more]

12:09 EDT

[JURIST] The Florida Supreme Court [official website] plans to analyze newly proposed rules that would stop the practice of sealing certain court cases from public view in a system that Chief Justice Fred Lewis [official profile] said has "gone awry" Wednesday. A Miami Herald investigation [report] uncovered over 400 hidden [read more]

12:09 EDT

[JURIST] An Indonesian court Thursday sentenced Islamic militant Dwi Widiarto to 18 years in prison for his part in the October 2005 bombings [BBC report] of three restaurants in Bali which killed 26 people. Widiarto was charged with videotaping the three suicide bombers and meeting on three occasions with the [read more]

11:09 EDT

[JURIST] Amnesty International [advocacy website] on Thursday criticized Colombia [press release] for allowing attacks on human rights defenders, calling on the international community to provide more support for local activists in Colombia [JURIST news archive]. In a new report [text] released Thursday, Amnesty blamed the Colombian government for facilitating hostilities [read more]

11:09 EDT

[JURIST] Rights activists on Thursday called for more information from the US government regarding secret CIA prisons where high-value terror suspects have been detained, saying that though US President George Bush's acknowledgement [JURIST report] Wednesday of the prisons' existence was welcome, more information needs to be disclosed. Manfred Nowak [DOC [read more]

10:09 EDT

[JURIST] California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger [official website] on Wednesday vetoed the Free Curriculum Act [text, PDF], a bill designed to add protections against discrimination in schools by prohibiting teaching or textbooks that "reflect adversely" on students based on their sexual orientation. The bill passed both the state Senate and Assembly [read more]

10:09 EDT

[JURIST] The US Justice Department [official website] filed a motion Wednesday requesting US District Judge Simeon T. Lake III defer a ruling on vacating the criminal record [JURIST report] of former Enron [JURIST news archive] CEO Kenneth Lay [Houston Chronicle profile; JURIST news archive] until former Enron executive Jeffrey Skilling [read more]

09:09 EDT

[JURIST] US District Court Judge Ewing Werlein has set either February 5 or September 4, 2007 as the trial date for three former British bankers [JURIST news archive], known as the Natwest Three, who face fraud charges related to the Enron scandal [JURIST news archive]. Defense lawyers argued for a [read more]

08:09 EDT

[JURIST] An amendment to the FY 2007 Department of Defense Appropriations bill [HR 5631 summary] which would prohibit the US military from using cluster bombs in proximity to civilians was defeated in the Senate by a vote of 70-30 [roll call] on Wednesday. The Cluster Munitions Amendment [PDF text], introduced [read more]

08:09 EDT

[JURIST] US Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) [official website] said Wednesday that negotiations in Congress to implement comprehensive immigration reform [JURIST news archive] will be streamlined to focus on border security and worksite enforcement. Both houses of Congress have passed immigration reform bills and the two versions must be [read more]

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