Legal news from Tuesday, October 9, 2007
22:10 EDT

[JURIST] Democrats in the US House of Representatives introduced a draft bill [PDF text; summary, PDF] Tuesday designed to "modernize" the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) [text; JURIST news archive]. The so-called RESTORE Act of 2007 ("Responsible Electronic Surveillance That is Overseen, Reviewed and Effective Act of 2007") would [read more]

20:10 EDT

[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour [official website] on Tuesday urged Afghanistan to reinstate a moratorium on executions [statement]. Afghanistan executed 15 prisoners by firing squad [JURIST report] Sunday and Arbour said that "the circumstances of the executions may constitute a breach of Afghanistan's obligations under international [read more]

19:10 EDT

[JURIST] US District Judge Gladys Kessler of the DC District Court [official website] has directly intervened to block the transfer of a Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee to Tunisia, where he faced the threat of torture. In her decision last week, which was not made public until Tuesday, Kessler [read more]

19:10 EDT

[JURIST] The corruption and violence permeating the Nigerian government have reached crisis levels, according to a report [text; press release] issued Tuesday by Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website]. Comparing the behavior of the Nigerian government to a criminal organization, the HRW report said that politicians use hired thugs to [read more]

18:10 EDT

[JURIST] The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) [official website] Tuesday sentenced [press release, PDF] two former leaders of Sierra Leone's Civil Defense Forces (CDF) [SCSL case materials] - Moinina Fofana and Allieu Kondewa - to six and eight years imprisonment, respectively. The sentences will run from the date they [read more]

18:10 EDT

[JURIST] Pennsylvania's death penalty system [PA DOC materials] is so flawed that it has denied defendants of due process and could result in wrongful executions, the American Bar Association death penalty assessment team [ABA materials] said Tuesday. The team's report [PDF text; executive summary, PDF] identified several problems [fact sheet, [read more]

16:10 EDT

[JURIST] Party allies of opposition leader and democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi [BBC profile] Tuesday renewed calls for unconditional talks [JURIST report] between Suu Kyi and junta leader Senior General Than Shwe [BBC profile]. Members of Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) urged the military government to drop [read more]

16:10 EDT

[JURIST] The Rhode Island Supreme Court [official website] Tuesday heard arguments in a case on whether a lesbian couple legally married in Massachusetts has the right to divorce in Rhode Island. In Chambers v. Ormiston [GLAD amicus brief, PDF; additional case materials], Rhode Island residents Cassandra Ormiston and Margaret Chambers [read more]

15:10 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] heard oral arguments [transcript, PDF] Tuesday in Stoneridge Investment v. Scientific-Atlanta [Duke Law case backgrounder; merit briefs], 06-43, to determine when a "secondary" actor in securities fraud, such as a bank, lawyer, or accountant, can be treated as a "primary" [read more]

13:10 EDT

[JURIST] A military court in Jordan [JURIST news archive] Tuesday sentenced Dr. Ahmad Oweidi al-Abbadi [advocacy website], a former member of parliament and head of the Jordanian National Movement [party website], to two years in prison after convicting him on charges that included slandering officials, harming the government's reputation, and [read more]

11:10 EDT

[JURIST] Approximately 40 inmates in a Tanzania prison awaiting trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website] began a hunger strike Monday to protest the planned transfer of three ICTR cases to the national courts of Rwanda. In September, the ICTR prosecutor asked the tribunal to transfer [read more]

10:10 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Tuesday denied [order, PDF] without comment the petition for certiorari filed by Khaled el-Masri [JURIST news archive] against the US government, ostensibly supporting the Bush administration's contention that allowing el-Masri's lawsuit [complaint, PDF; ACLU materials] to proceed would require the revelation of [read more]

09:10 EDT

[JURIST] The Iraqi government intends to oust Blackwater USA [corporate website], the private security firm involved in a September shooting incident [JURIST report], from its borders over the next six months, according to a report complied by Iraqi authorities and the Iraqi National Police. The report, which is the culmination [read more]

08:10 EDT

[JURIST] European laws need to be strengthened in order to more effectively fight organized crime throughout Europe, Italian prosecutor Nicola Gratteri said Monday. Gratteri is investigating the August slayings of six Italians in Duisburg, Germany [BBC report], widely believed to be the result of a decades-old feud involving the Italian [read more]

07:10 EDT

[JURIST] Serbian police arrested 56 neo-Nazis for protesting the potential independence of Kosovo from Serbia [JURIST news archives] despite a ban against their planned demonstration, Serbian police said Monday. The arrests were made after fighting broke out Sunday between the neo-Nazis protesters and a group of anti-fascists, who were holding [read more]

07:10 EDT

[JURIST] American Electric Power (AEP) [corporate website] has settled a lawsuit for $4.6 billion with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [official website], 12 environmental groups and eight northeastern states. The settlement is expected to be formally announced Tuesday, the same day the lawsuit was set to go to trial. Under [read more]

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