Legal news from Thursday, November 15, 2007
21:11 EDT

[JURIST] US President George W. Bush on Thursday criticized the Senate's judicial confirmation process as overzealous and said the legislature's constitutional mandate to "advise and consent" can be turned into a method by which to "search and destroy" a nominee's reputation. In a speech [text] Thursday evening at the 2007 [read more]

18:11 EDT

[JURIST] The house arrest order against former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto [personal website] has been lifted, Pakistani police said Thursday. Bhutto was placed under house arrest [JURIST report] for seven days early Tuesday in an effort to block her from leading a planned 160-mile march [JURIST report] from Lahore [read more]

18:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Canada [official website] declined on Thursday to hear the appeals of two US military deserters who sought refugee status within the country. Jeremy Hinzman [JURIST news archive] and Brandon Hughey, both soldiers in the US Army, fled to Canada in 2004 to avoid deployment in [read more]

17:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Parliament of the Georgian Republic [official website] approved a presidential decree on Thursday bringing an end to the country's national state of emergency [JURIST report] effective Friday. Chairwoman of the Parliament Nino Burjanadze [BBC profile] announced the decision following calls by both the US and EU to end [read more]

17:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Constitutional Council of France [official website] Thursday approved a controversial amendment to an immigration law [text; dossier, both in French] that would allow voluntary DNA testing to establish family ties between recent immigrants and relatives already living in France. The Council also rejected an amendment that would have [read more]

17:11 EDT

[JURIST] An official with Russia's Union of Right Forces (SPS) [party website, in Russian] told a news conference Thursday that the opposition political party had filed a lawsuit with the country's Supreme Court [official website, in Russian] requesting that Russian President Vladimir Putin [official website] not be allowed to run [read more]

16:11 EDT

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] threw out planned federal fuel economy standards [NHTSA materials] for light trucks and SUVs Thursday, ruling that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) [official website] did not adequately consider the environmental impact of the proposed standards. The [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Tianhe District Court in China [JURIST news archive] convicted lawyer and dissident writer Yang Maodong [Amnesty report] of conducting "illegal business activity" and sentenced him to serve five years in prison and pay more than $5,000 in fines, according to his lawyer. Yang's trial began [HRIC report] in [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Thursday stayed the execution [order, PDF] of Florida death row inmate Mark Dean Schwab [FCCD profile, DOC] "pending the timely filing and disposition of a petition for a writ of certiorari." Schwab was scheduled to be executed at 6 PM ET on [read more]

14:11 EDT

[JURIST] UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Paulo Sergio Pinheiro [official profile] told reporters at the end of a five-day visit [JURIST report] to Myanmar [JURIST news archive] Thursday that he was able to meet with a number of prominent political prisoners, but that his request to meet with opposition [read more]

13:11 EDT

[JURIST] A British court ruled Thursday that the radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] can be extradited to the United States on charges of supporting terrorism. Abu Hamza, who is currently serving a seven-year sentence in the UK [JURIST report] for urging his followers to [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] The US Justice Department has not yet made a decision on whether it will file criminal charges against Blackwater USA [corporate website] employees involved in the killings of 14 Iraqi civilians during a September 16 incident [JURIST report] that took place in West Baghdad, a DOJ spokesperson said Wednesday. [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued a per curiam opinion [PDF text] on Thursday overturning a district court order to stay the execution of Florida death row inmate Mark Dean Schwab [FCCD profile, DOC]. The federal district court blocked Schwab's execution [AFP report] on Wednesday [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] Polish prosecutors have charged six Polish soldiers with murder and violations of the Geneva Conventions [ICRC materials] in connection with an August 16 incident in Afghanistan in which the soldiers allegedly fired into a crowd of civilians who posed no threat of harm to the soldiers. Six people, including [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] A delegation of lawyers from the Iraqi bar association Wednesday hand-delivered a four-page letter to several US lawmakers that criticizes the US government for not devoting adequate financial resources to ensure the rule of law in Iraq, according to the Hill. The Iraqi lawyers, led by Iraqi bar association [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] The retired Supreme Court of Pakistan judge who unsuccessfully challenged General Pervez Musharraf in his recent bid for legislative re-election as president of Pakistan is bringing an application before the current high court challenging its constitutional status to rule on the pending case concerning Musharraf's eligibility for re-election [JURIST [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] A US military spokesperson on Wednesday acknowledged that a 238-page operating manual for the US facility at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] was leaked on the Internet, but said the document is out-of-date and does not reflect current procedures. The manual, titled Camp Delta Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) [PDF [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] Dismissed Pakistani Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry [JURIST news archive] warned the registrar of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in a letter Wednesday that any effort by the government to remove him from his official residence in the capital, Islamabad, would amount to kidnapping. Chaudhry was responding to indications [read more]

08:11 EDT

[JURIST] The European Parliament committee on CIA activities in Europe (TDIP) [official website] will reopen its investigation into the alleged operation of secret CIA prisons [JURIST news archive] in Europe, two committee members said Wednesday. Giulietto Chiesa and Claudio Fava [official profiles] said that new evidence of secret prisons and [read more]

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