Legal news from Friday, February 2, 2007
16:02 EDT

[JURIST] US Defense Department Deputy Assistant Secretary for Detainee Affairs Charles "Cully" Stimson [JURIST news archive] resigned Friday in the aftermath of a backlash to remarks [JURIST report] he made in a radio interview [recorded audio] last month criticizing lawyers at top US law firms for representing Guantanamo detainees pro [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge ruled [PDF text] Friday that the US Army Corps of Engineers [official website] can be sued by victims of Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive] flood damage who allege the Corps ignored warnings that the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet (MRGO) [Wikipedia backgrounder] contained defects that exacerbated the flooding. [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour [official profile; JURIST profile] on Friday criticized [press release] the amnesty resolution [JURIST report] adopted by the lower house of the Afghan parliament Thursday. The resolution, part of a national reconciliation effort, extends official pardons to warlords and alleged war criminals. [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] US Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) [official website], chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Thursday that he intends to ask [recorded video] the Government Accountability Office [official website] to look into why Canadian citizen Maher Arar [advocacy website; JURIST news archive] remains on the US terror watch list. Leahy [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Michigan Court of Appeals [official website] has ruled [opinion text, PDF] that an amendment to the state constitution [PDF text] defining marriage as between a man and a woman also prohibits Michigan public employers from offering benefits, such as health insurance, to same-sex partners of homosexual employees. The [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] The United Nations Friday released a plan for Kosovo [JURIST news archive] to govern itself as a multi-ethnic society that it says safeguards the rights of all groups within its territory. An executive summary of the plan was issued to Serbian and Albanian leaders by Special Envoy for the [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] Australian Minister of Justice Chris Ellison [official website] Friday offered the Australian government's strongest criticism yet of the US government's 5-year detention without charge of Australian citizen David Hicks [JURIST news archive] at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], calling it "totally inappropriate" and urging that a trial be held [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] Judicial reform in China should be managed by the Chinese Communist Party [official website] rather than by reformers and non-governmental organizations, according to an article [Xinhua report] published Thursday by China's top law enforcement official. Luo Gan [official website; BBC profile], a member of the ruling Politburo Standing Committee, [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website] heard oral arguments Thursday regarding the government's power to designate "enemy combatants" and subject them to military detention without charge. The case centers on Ali al-Marri [Brennan Center case materials], an Illinois student who has been detained since [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] The War Crimes Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina [official website; HRW backgrounder] has indicted [PDF text; press release] former Bosnian Muslim military commander Sefik Alic for acting contrary to Article 3(1)(a) of the Third Geneva Conventions [text; ICRC backgrounder] by subjecting prisoners to inhuman treatment and [read more]

09:02 EDT

[JURIST] Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen [official profile] issued an executive order [PDF text; press release] Thursday, directing the Tennessee Commissioner of Corrections to conduct a "comprehensive review of the manner in which death sentences are administered... and provide [the governor] new protocols and related written procedures in administering death sentences [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Bulgarian National Assembly [official website, in English] on Friday adopted [press release] amendments to its constitution [text, in English] in an effort to increase the efficiency and transparency of the country's judiciary. The amendments, required for entry to the European Union [official website], were passed on their third [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] Montana filed a lawsuit Thursday against Wyoming [JURIST news archives] in the US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] for allegedly violating a 1950 agreement allocating water rights [Wikipedia backgrounder] to two tributaries of the Yellowstone River. In a motion, complaint and brief [PDF text], Montana Attorney General [read more]

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