Legal news from Thursday, November 9, 2006
21:11 EDT

[JURIST] The president of Burundi [JURIST news archive] admitted Thursday that instances of torture and brutality by police and members of the military do sometimes occur in the country, but told reporters in Paris that the perpetrators of those ‘isolated’ incidents are arrested approximately 85% of the time. President Pierre [read more]

20:11 EDT

[JURIST] The US Army announced Thursday that it will push forward with a court martial of 1st Lt. Ehren Watada [advocacy website; JURIST news archive], an Army officer who refused [JURIST report] deployment to Iraq and openly protested the war as ‘unlawful’. Fort Lewis [official website] commander Lt. Gen. James [read more]

19:11 EDT

[JURIST] Environmental extremists in Oregon pleaded guilty [US Attorney press release] to conspiracy and arson on Thursday for their roles in a streak of environmentally motivated arsons by the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) [advocacy website] and the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) [advocacy website] over the course of five years. US [read more]

16:11 EDT

[JURIST] The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) [advocacy website] announced [press release] Thursday that a coalition of US and international human rights groups plan to file a war crimes lawsuit against outgoing US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld [official profile] after his resignation Wednesday. Rumsfeld enjoys statutory immunity [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] Argentina federal judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral on Thursday authorized the arrest of former Iran President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani [BBC profile; official website, in Persian] and eight other Iranian officials for their alleged roles the AMIA Jewish cultural center bombing [Wikipedia backgrounder, BBC report] that killed 85 people and wounded [read more]

14:11 EDT

[JURIST] The president of the UK Asylum and Immigration Tribunal [official website] told tribunal judges Thursday they should allow Muslim lawyers to wear veils in their courtrooms unless it interferes with the "interests of justice", as long as their clients approve and all parties to the proceedings can hear the [read more]

13:11 EDT

[JURIST] Kyrgyzstan President Kurmanbek Bakiyev [BBC profile] signed the country's new constitution [constitutional materials, in Kyrgyz] Thursday, which limits his power to dissolve the parliament, gives the legislature the right to form the government and enlarges the parliament from 75 to 90 deputies. The People's Assembly [official website] adopted the [read more]

11:11 EDT

[JURIST] Thailand's National Legislative Assembly (NLA) [member list] on Thursday approved the lifting of a ban on public gatherings of more than five people, according to Assembly President Meechai Ruchapan [JURIST report]. The Council for National Security [official website, in Thai], formerly the Council for Democratic Reform, announced the ban [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] Xiao Yang, president of the Supreme People's Court [official website] in China, has encouraged Chinese courts to refrain from passing death sentences [JURIST news archive], telling judges to always lean toward life when possible [press release, in Chinese]. Xiao's comments, reported in the state media Thursday, follow recent legislation [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] held a hearing [press release] Thursday to determine whether there was enough evidence to proceed to trial in the case [ICC materials] against a Congolese militia leader. Thomas Lubanga [Trial Watch backgrounder; JURIST news archive], founder of the militant Union of Patriotic [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Russian Supreme Court [official website] on Thursday reversed the acquittal [JURIST report] of two Chechens accused of murdering Forbes magazine editor Paul Klebnikov [Economist obituary] in 2004 and ordered a new trial in the case. Kazbek Dukuzov and Musa Vakhayev, who did not appear in court Thursday, were [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Ethiopian government is responsible for the deaths of thousands of student protestors and demonstrators over the past 15 years, Judge Teshale Aberra told the Guardian in an interview Wednesday. Aberra, who was president of the Oromia Supreme Court and a judge in Ethiopia [JURIST news archive] for 12 [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] US District Judge Susan Illston [official profile] of the Northern District of California [official website] on Wednesday blocked the enforcement of provisions of Proposition 83 [text, PDF], a measure approved Tuesday by 70 percent of state voters [results, CA Secretary of State; Yes on 83 advocacy website] that prohibits [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] Wednesday applauded the resignation [JURIST report] of US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld [official profile] as a "step in the right direction" and urged Congress to launch an investigation [press release] into his alleged abuses of power. ACLU Executive Director Anthony [read more]

08:11 EDT

[JURIST] Martha Stewart [JURIST news archive], her company and its insurers are expecting to pay $30 million to settle a class action lawsuit regarding Stewart's 2001 sale of ImClone Systems [corporate website] stocks one day before an FDA announcement resulted in a significant drop in the stock's value, according to [read more]

07:11 EDT

[JURIST] Thai Defense Minister Boonrawd Somtas said Thursday that newly installed Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont [official website; BBC profile] will likely lift martial law [JURIST report] before he leaves for an international summit in Vietnam on November 18. Thailand [JURIST news archive] has been under martial law [JURIST report] since [read more]

07:11 EDT

[JURIST] China [JURIST news archive] has convicted almost all criminal defendants who have come before the courts over the last nine years, the People's Court Daily [media website, in Chinese] reported Thursday. From January 1998 through September 2006, 6.2 million criminal defendants were tried with only 41,038 of them acquitted, [read more]

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