Legal news from Thursday, May 3, 2007
19:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives [official website] Thursday approved a bill [PDF text; HR 1592 summary] to expand federal hate crimes legislation to include violent attacks against people based on gender or sexuality. The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007 broadens the definition of a hate [read more]

17:05 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for the Canadian government said in an affidavit Thursday that Canada and Afghanistan have formally signed a new agreement allowing for monitoring of prisoners transferred from Canadian to Afghan custody as a safeguard against torture and abuse. Following submission of the affidavit, a Federal Court judge in British [read more]

16:05 EDT

[JURIST] The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] Thursday ruled [DOC text; press release] that Poland [JURIST news archive] violated the rights of a group of gay rights activists by refusing to authorize a 2005 rally in Warsaw. The Polish government rejected the group's application to hold a [read more]

16:05 EDT

[JURIST] A former Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee who was arrested [JURIST report] by authorities upon being returned to his home country of Morocco has been released from custody, relatives reported. Criminal charges against Ahmed Errachidi [Wikipedia profile] were dropped after he appeared before a judge Wednesday, according to [read more]

15:05 EDT

[JURIST] Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) [party website, in Turkish; Wikipedia backgrounder] announced Thursday that it has formed a coalition with a small opposition Motherland Party of Turkey (ANAP) [party website, in Turkish; Wikipedia backgrounder] to pass a series of constitutional amendments that would change Turkey's system for [read more]

15:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US Commission on International Religious Freedom [official website] Wednesday released [press release] its annual report on worldwide religious freedom [PDF], finding for the first time since the ouster of Saddam Hussein that freedom of religious worship in Iraq is under severe threat. The commission pointed to increasing government [read more]

11:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice [official website] has launched an internal investigation into whether a top aide to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales considered the political affiliations of candidates for career prosecutor positions in the Department, contrary to federal law [OSC backgrounder] and longstanding practice. A Department spokesman said Wednesday [read more]

11:05 EDT

[JURIST] Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe [official website; BBC profile] repeated his call for reforming the Japanese constitution [text] on Thursday, the day of the constitution's 60th anniversary. Abe said that the country's pacifist constitution "needs to be revised as its basic framework can no longer proceed with major changes [read more]

11:05 EDT

[JURIST] Lawmakers dismissed in February from Ecuador's Congress clashed with protesters Wednesday in an unsuccessful bid to forcibly retake their seats in the country's assembly. Police cordoned off the Congress building during the confrontation. The legislators were sacked [JURIST report] by Ecuador's electoral tribunal [official website, in Spanish] and eventually [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Nebraska Supreme Court [official website] issued an order [PDF text] Wednesday staying the execution of Carey Dean Moore [Amnesty profile] while the court determines whether death by electrocution is cruel and unusual punishment. In a 4-3 decision, the Court noted that recent US Supreme Court decisions have raised [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] US District Judge Jay Zainey has dismissed part of a wrongful death lawsuit filed by families whose relatives died during Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive]. The son of Ethel Mayo Freeman sued the federal government, including former FEMA director Michael Brown [Wikipedia profile] and Secretary of Homeland Security Michael [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] Australian Attorney General Philip Ruddock said Thursday that the government plans to strengthen foreign bribery laws after a government commission concluded that the Australian Wheat Board (AWB) corporate website] paid roughly $220 million in kickbacks to Saddam Hussein's former regime to secure $2.3 billion in grain contracts under the [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] UN Undersecretary-General for Legal Affairs Nicolas Michel [official profile] has been unable to break a deadlock within the Lebanese government preventing approval of an international tribunal to try suspects in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [JURIST news archive], Michel told the UN Security Council [read more]

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