Legal news from Thursday, May 8, 2008
20:05 EDT

[JURIST] A US federal judge Thursday directed the CIA [order, PDF] to produce a 2002 US Department of Justice memo that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) claims authorized the agency to use specific torture techniques - including waterboarding [JURIST news archive] - on US detainees held abroad. The memo [read more]

17:05 EDT

[JURIST] An Egyptian court Thursday ordered the editor of independent newspaper al-Badeel to pay a $2,000 fine for publishing an article about labor disputes in the state-owned Middle East News Agency [media website, in Arabic]. Mohammed Sayyed was convicted of libel, and also ordered to pay $1,000 in compensation to [read more]

16:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Australian Defence Force [official website] is investigating claims by four Taliban members detained following the death of an Australian soldier in Afghanistan that they were mistreated during their time in custody, Australian media reported Thursday. The allegations were reported by a senior Afghan commander who spoke of "mistreatment" [read more]

15:05 EDT

[JURIST] Vietnam will prosecute two anti-Communist activists on "terrorism" charges for distributing literature critical of the government, a government spokesperson said Thursday. The men are members of US-based rights group Viet Tan [advocacy website, in Vietnamese], which has denied that it endorses anti-government violence and has said that the men [read more]

15:05 EDT

[JURIST] The parliaments of Latvia and Lithuania Thursday adopted the new EU reform treaty [JURIST news archive], properly known as the Treaty of Lisbon [PDF text; official website], bringing the total number of ratifying nations to 13. All 27 EU countries must approve the Treaty before it takes effect; most [read more]

15:05 EDT

[JURIST] Turkish President Abdullah Gul Wednesday signed an amendment into law restricting the controversial Article 301 [Amnesty backgrounder; JURIST news archive] of the country's penal code [text, in Turkish], which makes "insulting the Turkish identity" a crime. The amendment recharacterizes the crime of "insulting the Turkish identity" as insulting the [read more]

15:05 EDT

[JURIST] The European Parliament [official website] Thursday approved [press release] a report [PDF text] calling for a mandatory registry of lobbyists seeking access to EU lawmakers [CorpWatch backgrounder]. The measure was passed 547-24, with 59 abstaining. The Parliament also supported a "one-stop-shop" proposal, which would allow lobbyists to register once [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] An Islamic court in Malaysia [JURIST news archive] ruled Thursday that a Buddhist woman who converted to Islam should be allowed to return to her original faith. The ruling is unusual in Malaysia, which has both secular and Sharia courts; Sharia courts rarely allow converts to renounce Islam, a [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] The FBI has withdrawn a National Security Letter (NSL) [CRS backgrounder, PDF; FBI backgrounder] issued against an Internet library website in a settlement [ACLU press release; Internet Archive statement; EFF press release] announced Wednesday. The FBI had issued the NSL to the Internet Archive [archive website], seeking personal information [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] Germany's Federal Constitutional Court [official website, in German] Wednesday ruled [judgment, in German; press release, in German] that German surveillance flights over Turkey conducted in 2003 during the lead-up to the Iraq War were unconstitutional. The court held that the flights equated to "armed deployment," and thus needed to [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] A panel convened last week by Pakistan's coalition government has completed a draft parliamentary resolution to reinstate judges ousted by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf last year, Pakistani Law Minister Farooq Naek said late Wednesday. The resolution now goes to the top leadership of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and [read more]

12:05 EDT

[JURIST] A Bangladeshi court Wednesday formally charged former Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed [party profile; JURIST news archive] with corruption under the recommendation of the country's Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) [governing statute]. Hasina and eight other people are accused of involvement in an kickback scheme that awarded lucrative gas contracts [read more]

12:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Maryland Court of Appeals has ruled [opinion, text] that the Islamic talaq [IRFI backgrounder], a controversial practice under which a husband can divorce his wife without her say, violates the state constitution [text] and therefore does not constitute a valid form of divorce in Maryland. The Court held [read more]

12:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled [PDF text] Wednesday that the plea agreement made by BP [corporate website] following a 2005 explosion at a Texas City refinery must be sent back to the US district court in Houston for reconsideration. The accident killed 15 and injured 180, [read more]

12:05 EDT

[JURIST] One of the bombers involved in a series of suicide attacks in Mosul, Iraq, in April was a former detainee held at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], the US military said Wednesday. Kuwaiti Abdullah Salim Ali al-Ajmi was detained in Afghanistan before being transferred to Guantanamo for three years; [read more]

11:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Michigan Supreme Court ruled [PDF text] Wednesday that governments and universities may not provide health benefits for same-sex partners of their employees. The 5-2 ruling interpreted a 2004 state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage [text] to mean that same-sex couples are to be denied any of the benefits [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US military has reduced the sentence of Marine Corps Sgt. Lawrence G. Hutchins III [JURIST news archive] handed down after following his conviction [JURIST report] last August for killing an Iraqi civilian, AP reported Thursday. Hutchins' attorney said he learned Tuesday that Hutchins will now serve only 11 [read more]

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