Legal news from Thursday, May 17, 2007
20:05 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for the US government argued for the extradition of Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] in a hearing before a London court Thursday. Al-Masri is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence [JURIST report] in Britain for urging his followers to kill Jews and other [read more]

18:05 EDT

[JURIST] The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website; JURIST news archive] held elections [official results; recorded video] to its 47-member Geneva-based panel on Thursday, with Bosnia-Herzegovina and Slovenia defeating Belarus [JURIST news archives] for the two available Eastern European states seats. The US, most European countries, and several human [read more]

15:05 EDT

[JURIST] Two Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Thursday that they plan to seek a vote of no-confidence in Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [JURIST news archive]. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that only President Bush remains confident in Gonzales, under fire for the allegedly political firings of nine [read more]

15:05 EDT

[JURIST] Key US senators from both political parties and White House cabinet officers reached a tentative agreement on immigration reform [JURIST news archive] on Thursday, after weeks of negotiations. The proposal, which President Bush calls "secure, productive, orderly, and fair" [statement], gives more weight to an immigrant's education level than [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] A lawyer for Vice President Dick Cheney urged a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit [complaint, PDF; JURIST report] brought by former CIA operative Valerie Plame [WP profile] against members of the Bush administration, arguing that the lawsuit is based on "fanciful claims." Plame filed the lawsuit last year, [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] Australian authorities have released British-born Jack Roche [BBC profile] on parole 3 years after sentencing him in 2004 to nine years in prison [JURIST report] for plotting to blow up the Israeli Embassy in Canberra [official website], according to Thursday media reports. Roche must now regularly report to police. [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour [official profile] Thursday denounced the poor conditions of prisons in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) [JURIST news archive] during a visit there, deploring in particular overcrowding and inadequate access to justice. Three thousand people are imprisoned at the CPRK (Centre [read more]

12:05 EDT

[JURIST] Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) [official website], the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, predicted Thursday that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [JURIST news archive] will resign from his post at the conclusion of current investigations into the allegedly-political firings of federal prosecutors [JURIST news archive]. Specter's comments followed others [read more]

12:05 EDT

[JURIST] Ivan Dombrovsky, chairperson of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine [official website; JURIST news archive], resigned without elaboration Thursday as the 18-judge court continued to deliberate the constitutionality of Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko's April 2 decree [text; JURIST report] dissolving parliament and calling for new elections. The Constitutional Court has [read more]

11:05 EDT

[JURIST] The UK Court of Appeal Thursday restored [opinion] a control order [JURIST news archive] on a terrorist suspect identified only as "E". The court held that a prior ruling wrongly required Home Secretary John Reid [official profile] to consider the judgments of a Belgian court when determining whether there [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] The African Commission on Human and People's Rights [official website] will review alleged human rights violations committed by Zimbabwe [JURIST news archive] after African non-governmental organizations placed the issue on the agenda of ACHPR's 41st session, which began Wednesday. In an interview [recorded audio] with VOA News, Wilbert Mandinde, [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] The British House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee [official website] released a report [text] Wednesday recommending that the government "bring forward proposals" to the European Commission "for an extension of copyright term for sound recordings to at least 70-years." The current British audio recordings copyright limit is [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR) [advocacy website] filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF; press release, PDF] against the US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) [official website] Wednesday requesting the public disclosure of a terrorist watch list containing more than [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] Thursday extended the suspension [JURIST report] of the Supreme Judicial Council's (SJC) inquiry into the alleged misconduct of ousted Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry [official website; JURIST news archive], denying a government request to resume proceedings and dismiss petitions filed by Chaudhry. [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] Police in Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe [JURIST news archive], were seen assaulting and arresting protesters who had taken to the streets Wednesday to express dissatisfaction with newly proposed constitutional amendments. Witnesses reported that at least 20 protesters were arrested and three were severely beaten by police. At [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) [official website] released a report [PDF text] Wednesday criticizing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) [official website; JURIST news archive] and the Customs and Border Protection Agency's Automated Targeting System [DHS backgrounder, PDF; ACLU backgrounder], which the GAO says violates federal privacy laws [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] The California Supreme Court [official website] denied review [materials] of a lower court ruling Wednesday, effectively allowing the continuation of a state-sponsored program for stem cell research [JURIST news archive] operated by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine [official website]. A California state appeals court upheld [JURIST report; opinion, [read more]

07:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) considered replacing at least 26 of 93 US Attorneys between February 2005 and December 2006, a much higher number than previously acknowledged by officials, according to a report in Thursday's Washington Post. Documents not publicly disclosed indicate that Kyle Sampson [DOJ press release; [read more]

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