Legal news from Friday, February 23, 2007
17:02 EDT

[JURIST] International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) [advocacy website] President Jakob Kellenberger [official profile] told reporters Friday that all sides of the conflict in the Sudan are violating international humanitarian law [press release]. The statement came after Kellenberger completed a 5-day trip to the country that included time in [read more]

16:02 EDT

[JURIST] United Nations human rights experts Friday condemned [press release] a proposed Nigerian law [JURIST report] banning gay marriage and tightening laws criminalizing homosexuality in the country. While engaging in homosexual acts in Nigeria is already punishable by death by stoning, the UN experts said the new law, which authorizes [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger [official website] has announced a plan to release some prisoners convicted of nonviolent crime [press conference video/transcript] to alleviate the burden on California’s overcrowded prison system [JURIST news archive]. The move comes in response to various federal actions, including one as recently as last week [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] A South African court Friday dismissed charges against eight South African mercenaries suspected of plotting a coup [BBC backgrounder] against the president of Equatorial Guinea [JURIST news archive]. The Pretoria judge found that the state had not proven its case against the men. Lawyers for the defendants argued that [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] Members of Guinea's National Assembly voted unanimously Friday to reject the request of Guinean President Lansana Conte [BBC profile] for an extension of martial law in the Republic of Guinea [government website, in French; US State Dept. backgrounder]. Conte declared [JURIST report] martial law in the country last week, [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] Hilmi Aydogdu, leader of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party [official website; Wikipedia backgrounder], was charged by Turkish authorities Friday with inciting hatred after stating that any Turkish attack on Kirkuk [Global Security backgrounder], a city in northern Iraq with a large Kurdish population, would be comparable to an attack [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] State Farm Insurance [corporate website] filed papers on Thursday to have US District Court Judge L.T. Senter, Jr. [district website; JURIST news archive] recused from certifying a class action lawsuit against the company over Hurricane Katrina damages. The insurer questioned Senter's impartiality as fellow judge John Roper and Terri [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] Tens of thousands of protesters rallied [Radio Free Europe report] in the Afghan capital of Kabul Friday to support an amnesty bill that would shield alleged war criminals who participated in the anti-Soviet resistance during the 1980s and the 1992-1996 civil war [Wikipedia backgrounders] from prosecution. The lower house [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [official website] has accused the Saudi government of violating international law when it beheaded four Sri Lankan robbers [HRW report] and placed their bodies on public display in the country's capital, Riyadh, on Monday. According to HRW, the four migrants, who were badly beaten [Daily [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] Forty-six of 49 countries participating in the the two-day Oslo Conference on Cluster Munitions [conference materials] on Friday agreed to an action plan to develop a new international treaty [press release] to ban the use of cluster munitions [FAS backgrounder] by 2008. Hosted by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Canada [official website] ruled [text] Friday that the government's use of security certificates [CBSA backgrounder; CBC backgrounder] to indefinitely detain and deport foreigners with suspected ties to terrorism violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms [text; CDCH materials]. Three Arab Muslim men - Adil [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] The UK High Court has rejected [judgment text] the legal bid of Algerian-born pilot Lotfi Raissi [BBC report; Wikipedia profile] for compensation for his wrongful detention. Raissi was held under a US extradition warrant after being indicted [text, PDF] by a federal grand jury in Arizona shortly following the [read more]

09:02 EDT

[JURIST] A federal jury in California awarded [special verdict form, PDF] Alcatel-Lucent [corporate website] $1.52 billion dollars in damages Thursday for violations of two of Alcatel-Lucent's digital music patents committed by Microsoft [corporate website; JURIST news archive]. The patents govern technology that converts audio input into MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3, [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] US Army Sgt. Paul E. Cortez received a 100-year prison sentence Thursday for his role in 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 pleaded guilty [JURIST report] earlier this [read more]

06:02 EDT

[JURIST] A group that advocates the therapeutic use of marijuana [JURIST news archive] is suing the US Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services [official websites] for their statements that the drug has no medical value. According to a complaint [PDF text] filed Wednesday in [read more]

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