Legal news from Wednesday, February 21, 2007
19:02 EDT

[JURIST] The South Dakota Senate State Affairs committee [official website] rejected a bill [House Bill 1293 materials] in an 8-1 vote on Wednesday that would have criminalized most abortions in the state with exceptions for rape, incest and life-threatening conditions to the mother. According to the bill, the state has [read more]

19:02 EDT

[JURIST] Rhode Island [official website] will recognize same-sex marriages [JURIST news archive] of state employees performed in Massachusetts, according to Attorney General Patrick Lynch [official profile] in a letter [text, PDF] sent to the Commissioner of the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education [official website]. The letter said [read more]

19:02 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] heard oral arguments [transcript, PDF] Wednesday in Microsoft Corp. v. AT&T Corp. [Duke Law case backgrounder; merit briefs], 05-1056, where the court must decide whether Microsoft [corporate website] should be held liable for patent infringement in Windows software sold abroad. [read more]

16:02 EDT

[JURIST] Arturo Sarukhan [Wikipedia profile], Mexico's newest ambassador to the US, says his country is launching an intensive lobbying effort to secure an immigration reform agreement between the two nations. The plan includes negotiations between Mexican consulates and US state and federal lawmakers, business chambers and civic organizations concerned with [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] A Spanish judge requested permission from Mexico Wednesday to extradite former Argentine naval officer Ricardo Miguel Cavallo [TrialWatch profile] back to Argentina. Cavallo was extradited from Mexico to Spain and has been in Spanish custody since 2003. In January 2006, he was charged with genocide [JURIST report], organized terrorism [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] The UK High Court [official website] on Wednesday denied an application for judicial review stemming from a 12-year old Muslim girl's challenge to a public school policy that prevented her from wearing her full-face veil (niqab) [Wikipedia backgrounder; JURIST news archive] at school. Mr. Justice Silber found the policy [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] A French judge on Wednesday signed a 191-page indictment against 17 former associates of former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], charging them with abduction and torture in connection with the disappearance of four French nationals [JURIST report] in Chile during Pinochet's rule from 1973 [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] A Romanian parliamentary commission announced Wednesday that it had found no evidence that Romania cooperated with the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website] in operating illegal secret prisons and extraordinary rendition flights [JURIST news archives] in Europe, or that secret facilities ever existed in Romania. Norica Nicolai [official [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] The European Commission (EC) [official website] on Wednesday levied a record-breaking antitrust fine [press release] against the four biggest elevator and escalator manufacturers in Europe after finding them guilty of restrictive business practices in violation of Article 81 of the EC Treaty [text]. Otis, KONE, Schindler and ThyssenKrupp [corporate [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] Police imposed a three-month ban on political rallies and protests Wednesday in the Zimbabwean capital of Harare after a political rally held Sunday by opposition group Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) [official website]. Despite a court order [Reuters report] instructing police not to interfere with the rally, police used [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Russian Supreme Court [official website] on Wednesday agreed to overturn the 24-year sentence [JURIST report] given to former Yukos [corporate website; JURIST news archive] security chief Alexei Pichugin [Wikipedia profile] for organizing a series of contract killings, including the 1998 murder of Vladimir Petukhov, the mayor of Nefteyugansk [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] Lawmakers in the French Senate have buried a draft bill [text, in French] that would have criminalized any denial that the mass killings of Armenians in Turkey during World War I [ANI backgrounder] constituted genocide. The bill has been taken off the Senate agenda, and as presidential and legislative [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] Two human rights groups have called on Canada's Federal Court to review the legality of terrorism detainee transfer procedures under the Canada-Afghanistan Detainee Agreement [text]. Amnesty International Canada and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association [advocacy websites] filed an application for judicial review Wednesday, alleging that the transfer of [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales unveiled [transcript; press release] the First Freedom Project (FFP) [official website] Tuesday afternoon, a new Department of Justice initiative aimed at stricter enforcement of laws against religious discrimination and educating the public about their rights in this area. The DOJ will hold training seminars [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] The UN Development Programme [official website] ordered an audit [AFP report] Wednesday of the human resources practices of the Extraordinary Chamber of the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website], the international tribunal established to try former Khmer Rouge officials, in response to reports of corruption. The Open Society Justice [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] US District Court Chief Judge Vaughn Walker issued an order [PDF] Tuesday imposing a limited stay on discovery in a class action lawsuit [EFF case backgrounder; JURIST report] challenging the legality of the Bush administration's domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive], despite the government's request [PDF text] to stay [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] handed down decisions in two cases Wednesday, including Wallace v. Kato [Duke Law case backgrounder; JURIST report], where the Court held that the two-year statute of limitations for a false arrest action under under 42 USC 1983 [text] begins accruing [read more]

07:02 EDT

[JURIST] The number of extra-judicial killings in the Philippines is critically high, according to UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions [official website] Philip Alston [NYU Law profile], who on Wednesday reported on his 10-day investigation into the surge of political murders in the Philippines [JURIST news archive]. [read more]

07:02 EDT

[JURIST] Seven Saudis formerly detained at Guantanamo Bay arrived in Saudi Arabia [JURIST news archives] on Wednesday after US authorities granted their release earlier this week. The Saudi Press Agency reported their return, and noted that Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz "expressed his appreciation at the level of co-operation [read more]

07:02 EDT

[JURIST] Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan [official profile; BBC profile] asked Iraq's leadership to postpone a decision on future control of the city of Kirkuk [Global Security backgrounder] on Tuesday, citing concerns for the growth of a Kurdish insurgency in Turkey. The Iraqi constitution [JURIST news archive], however, mandates [read more]

06:02 EDT

[JURIST] US Army Sgt. Paul E. Cortez pleaded guilty on Tuesday to the rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl [JURIST news archive] and the murder of her family in the Mahmudiya (also "Mahmoudiya") area last March. Cortez reached a plea agreement [JURIST report] with prosecutors last month, removing [read more]

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