Legal news from Thursday, September 21, 2006
20:09 EDT

[JURIST] Senior US Senate Republicans reached an agreement on military commissions legislation [JURIST news archive] with the White House Thursday that would make the President the sole arbiter of the meaning of the Geneva Conventions [ICRC materials] for the United States and would bar litigants such as detainees from invoking [read more]

18:09 EDT

[JURIST] US Central Intelligence Agency [official website; JURIST news archive] officers concerned about being prosecuted [JURIST report] for illegal interrogation tactics refused to carry out interrogations of terror suspects, contributing to pressure on the Bush administration to empty its secret prisons and transfer top terrorism suspects to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba [read more]

15:09 EDT

[JURIST] UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak [official profile] said Thursday in Geneva that "the situation as far as torture is concerned in Iraq is now completely out of hand", and is so bad that "many people say that it is worse than in the times of Saddam Hussein." [read more]

14:09 EDT

[JURIST] Amnesty International [advocacy website] said Thursday that China [JURIST news archive] has not been working quickly enough [Amnesty press release] to meet its promise to improve human rights in the country in order to host the 2008 Olympic Games [official website] in Beijing. Amnesty said China's overall record was [read more]

14:09 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for the US Department of Justice Thursday asked the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals [official website] to reverse a ruling [JURIST report] of Judge Garr King of US District Court in Portland to allow a lawsuit by the US branch of the Saudi Arabia-based Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation [read more]

14:09 EDT

[JURIST] A group of five United Nations human rights investigators told the UN Human Rights Council [official website] in Geneva Thursday that pending US legislation [text, PDF; White House factsheet] drafted by the Bush administration to clarify interrogation methods for terror suspects will breach Common Article 3 [text] of the [read more]

14:09 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge ruled [PDF text] Thursday that all evidence relevant to the CIA leak case [JURIST news archive] against former vice-presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby [defense profile] should be considered for admission, despite government concerns about confidentiality. Attorneys for the government had suggested a three-part test for [read more]

14:09 EDT

[JURIST] The retrial of five Bulgarian nurses [JURIST report] and one Palestinian doctor accused of infecting over 400 Libyan patients, primarily children [JURIST news archive], with the HIV virus, was adjourned Thursday after a defense lawyer did not show up in court. In the absence of leading defense lawyer Othmane [read more]

13:09 EDT

[JURIST] The Royal Thai Army [official website] which took over the government of Thailand [JURIST news archive] through a coup [JURIST report] earlier this week said Thursday that four top leaders of the government of ousted Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [BBC profile] have been detained. The new military rulers [read more]

12:09 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge Wednesday ruled that the Pentagon must release additional documents revealing the names of Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees who have either been released or who have alleged abuse by prison guards or other detainees. The order was made pursuant to a lawsuit [JURIST report] brought [read more]

11:09 EDT

[JURIST] A US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] spokesman retreated Wednesday from comments [JURIST report] made earlier this week by US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile] on the case of Canadian Maher Arar [advocacy website; CBC timeline] in which Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said the US was not [read more]

11:09 EDT

[JURIST] A Louisiana grand jury in New Orleans indicted Salvador and Mabel Mangano Wednesday on 35 charges of negligent homicide and 64 charges of cruelty to the infirm from the couple's alleged refusal to evacuate a St. Rita's Nursing Home in St. Bernard Parish under a mandatory evacuation order during [read more]

11:09 EDT

[JURIST] A judge in Turkey [JURIST news archive] Thursday acquitted Turkish novelist Elif Shafak [personal website] on charges that she "insulted the Turkish identity" in violation of Article 301 [Amnesty International backgrounder] of the country's penal code, for comments referring to an Armenian genocide [Wikipedia backgrounder] contained in one of [read more]

10:09 EDT

[JURIST] The US House Judiciary Committee [official website] voted 20 to 16 along party lines Wednesday to approve [press release, PDF] the Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act of 2006 [HR 5825 summary], a measure that would relax warrant requirements for electronic surveillance [JURIST news archive] of certain domestic communications, making such [read more]

10:09 EDT

[JURIST] The US House Judiciary Committee [official website] approved the Military Commissions Act [HR 6054 summary] Wednesday 20-19, but only after its Republican leadership harnessed enough votes to overcome an initial 20-17 vote that would have killed the legislation. Key Republican members were missing when the first vote was taken. [read more]

10:09 EDT

[JURIST] US Justice Department Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty [official profile] argued against the pending Free Flow of Information Act of 2006 [S 2831 summary] during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing [witness list] Wednesday, saying that a federal shield law for reporters will hinder national security investigations by encouraging people [read more]

09:09 EDT

[JURIST] An Iraqi woman who attempted to detonate a suicide bomb as part of the 2005 deadly hotel bombings in Amman [CTV report] was sentenced to death Thursday by a Jordanian military court. Sajida al-Rishawi was convicted along with six others who were tried in absentia of conspiracy to carry [read more]

09:09 EDT

[JURIST] Clarence Hill [NCADP profile; FLDOC profile], who was convicted of the 1982 murder of a police officer, was executed Wednesday in Florida after the US Supreme Court denied [order, PDF] his request to stay the execution. Five justices voted to refuse the stay; Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Souter and Stevens [read more]

08:09 EDT

[JURIST] The Hong Kong Court of Appeal [official backgrounder] Wednesday upheld [judgment text] a 2005 ruling [JURIST report] that laws prohibiting gay sex are unconstitutional and discriminatory and violate Hong Kong's Basic Law [text and background] and the Bill of Rights [text]. The law in the former British colony, now [read more]

07:09 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge Wednesday reinstated [opinion, PDF] a 2001 ban on road construction in almost a third of US forests, ruling that the Bush administration did not conduct appropriate environmental research before suspending the rule and giving states the authority to manage their own forests. The original Roadless Area [read more]

07:09 EDT

[JURIST] A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] has ruled [opinion, PDF] that a program in San Diego County [official website] which uses peace officers to search the homes of welfare applicants without having warrants does not violate constitutional bars against unreasonable [read more]

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