Legal news from Wednesday, November 29, 2006
19:11 EDT

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] decided Wednesday to move Serb nationalist war crimes suspect Vojislav Seselj [BBC profile; ICTY case backgrounder] to a hospital unit adjoining its detention center [ICTY backgrounder] at Scheveningen near The Hague to monitor his medical condition. Seselj has [read more]

18:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Canadian Parliament [official website] will revisit the issue of same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] next week, with debate on a federal law permitting same-sex marriage [text] scheduled to begin in the House of Commons Wednesday. The ruling Conservative Party [official website] in June promised to reconsider the law [read more]

18:11 EDT

[JURIST] US District Judge Richard J. Leon [official profile] ruled [opinion, PDF; order, PDF] in Washington, DC, Wednesday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) [official website] must reinstate certain housing payments for victims of Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive]. Leon granted the plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction against [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] The US government agreed to pay $2 million Wednesday in a settlement agreement [PDF text] with Brandon Mayfield, the attorney arrested [JURIST report] and detained for two weeks in May 2004 after the FBI mistakenly established that his fingerprints matched [JURIST report] those found on a bag containing detonators [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR) [corporate website] has settled fraud allegations [DOJ press release] under the False Claims Act [text], the US Justice Department said Wednesday, and has agreed to pay the US $8 million for allegedly overcharging the Army for logistical support it provided between 1999 [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] Significant racial and ethnic discrimination and violence persist in European Union countries, according to a report [PDF text; summary, PDF] released by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) [official website] Tuesday. According to the report, victimized groups include asylum seekers, refugees, undocumented migrants, Roma gypsies [ERRC [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour [official profile] told [transcript] the UN Human Rights Council [official website] Wednesday in the aftermath of a controversial trip [AFP report] to the Middle East that "the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory is grave and worsening, within a [read more]

14:11 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] heard oral arguments [transcript, PDF] Wednesday in Massachusetts v. EPA [Duke Law case backgrounder; merit briefs], 05-1120, a case where 12 states and several environmental groups are challenging an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [official website] determination that it does not [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan [official profile] Wednesday urged the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) [official website] to avoid the "political maneuvering" that plagued the rights body's predecessor, the UN Human Rights Commission [official website], telling the 47 member states that their role was to combat human rights violations even [read more]

11:11 EDT

[JURIST] The South African National Council of Provinces [official website] has approved the Civil Unions Bill [JURIST report], legislation that would make South Africa [JURIST news archive] the first African nation to recognize same-sex unions [JURIST news archive] if President Thabo Mbeki [official profile] approves the measure. The lower house [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] Bolivian President Evo Morales [official website, in Spanish; BBC profile] signed a land redistribution bill Tuesday that he hopes will allow his government to give 77,000 square miles of unproductive land to the country's poor. The president signed the bill amidst shouts of approval from more than 3,000 Indian [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] A Serbian war crimes suspect will continue boycotting his war crimes trial, despite the urgings of his court-appointed lawyers, who have not had contact with him since Monday. Lawyers for Serbian war crimes suspect Vojislav Seselj [BBC profile; ICTY case backgrounder] told the International Criminal Tribunal for the former [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] The trial of six German defendants accused of breaching their fiduciary duties during the takeover of telecom giant Mannesmann [corporate website] came to an end Wednesday, with the defendants agreeing to pay substantial financial settlements in exchange for no criminal charges on their records. The defendants, including Deutsche Bank [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for German national Khalid el-Masri [JURIST news archive; ACLU case materials] argued Wednesday before the US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that his civil case against the CIA for his alleged 2003 extraordinary rendition [JURIST news archive] from Macedonia and his subsequent detention in Afghanistan should be reinstated [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] A judge in the Saddam Hussein trial [JURIST news archive] ejected a defense lawyer from the courtroom Wednesday and ordered a day-long detention after the lawyer repeatedly addressed a prosecutor as "brother." Judge Mohammed Oreibi al-Khalifa had previously warned Badih Aref, lawyer for former intelligence director Farhan al-Jubouri [TrialWatch [read more]

08:11 EDT

[JURIST] Flood damage caused by Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive] may be covered under those insurance policies that do not specifically exclude from coverage damage caused by negligence, according to a federal court opinion [PDF text] handed down Monday. Judge Stanwood R. Duval Jr. of the US Eastern District of [read more]

08:11 EDT

[JURIST] An Italian judge held a hearing Wednesday to determine whether Mario Lozano, a US Army Specialist, should stand trial in connection with the death of Italian intelligence agent Nicola Calipari [BBC profile] at an Iraqi checkpoint in March 2005. Italian prosecutors requested an indictment in June after investigators concluded [read more]

07:11 EDT

[JURIST] A US district judge has declared unconstitutional [CCR press release] portions of a 2001 presidential executive order that allowed President Bush "unfettered discretion" to designate organizations as terrorist organizations. In a decision [PDF text] released Tuesday, Judge Audrey Collins ruled that Executive Order 13224 [PDF text; DOS backgrounder], signed [read more]

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