Legal news from Thursday, June 19, 2008
20:06 EDT

[JURIST] A representative for the US nursing home industry urged members of Congress Wednesday not to pass legislation that would eliminate the arbitration clauses which are typically part of admission contracts to nursing homes. In a joint meeting [recorded audio] between the Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition and Consumer Rights [read more]

16:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) [official website] Thursday announced that more than 400 people had been indicted [press release] in connection to what has been termed the US "sub-prime mortgage collapse." The vast majority of the indictments involved fraud related to individual mortgages, with the FBI focusing on [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website] Wednesday criticized the government of Myanmar [A/HRC/8/L.12 text, PDF] for its continued human rights abuses and refusal to cooperate with humanitarian groups. The resolution calls on the Myanmar government to free political prisoners, stop recruiting child soldiers and to implement earlier [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] A US military judge at Guantanamo Bay Thursday set October 8 as the date for the military commission trial of Canadian-born Omar Khadr [DOD materials; JURIST news archive]. Khadr's military defense lawyer Navy Lt. Cmdr. William Kuebler said that judge Col. Patrick Parrish, who replaced Col. Peter Brownback [JURIST [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] Chief Justice Royce Lamberth [official profile] of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia held an off-the-record meeting Wednesday with defense lawyers for enemy combatants being held at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] to discuss court procedures in light of the US Supreme Court's recent opinion [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] Former Serbian chief of state security Radomir Markovic was sentenced to 40 years in prison Thursday for his role in a 1999 assassination attempt on then-Yugoslav opposition leader Vuk Draskovic [BBC profile]. The Supreme Court of Serbia also sentenced ten other individuals, including special police commander Milorad Ulemek [JURIST [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] Italy's highest court of appeal, the Court of Cassation [official site, in Italian], Thursday ruled that Italian courts lack jurisdiction to try a US soldier accused of shooting an intelligence agent in Iraq. Last year, Italian prosecutors filed an appeal of a Rome court's dismissal [JURIST report] of the [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] Malaysian rights group Suaram [advocacy website] Thursday published its annual report [PDF text; press release] on the state of human rights in the country, saying that conditions had significantly worsened over the past year. The group cited the country's judicial fixing scandal [JURIST news archive] and lax prosecution of [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) [official website, in Bahasa] began investigating the country's Supreme Court [official website, in Bahasa] Monday for suspected embezzlement [Jakarta Post report]. The Court collects administrative fees from appellants but has so far not accounted for the money. Late last month officials from Indonesian [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Vestre Landsret [court website, in Danish], one of the two second-highest appeals courts in Denmark, denied [text, PDF, in Danish] Wednesday an appeal of a 2006 lower court judgment [JURIST report] dismissing a lawsuit concerning caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad [JURIST news archive]. The defamation lawsuit was brought [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] Thirty-nine accused Darfur [JURIST news archive] rebels appeared before special courts in Sudan to be tried under a 2001 anti-terrorism law Wednesday. The accused allegedly belong to the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) [group website], which Sudanese officials accuse [AP report] of terrorism, rebellion and conspiring against the constitution. [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US congress voted late Wednesday to override President George W. Bush's veto [JURIST report] of the new Farm Bill [HR 6124 materials]. The override passed easily in both chambers, with votes of 80-14 in the Senate and 317-109 [roll calls] in the House. Bush had vetoed the legislation [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] ruled [PDF text] Wednesday that employees have a reasonable expectation of privacy in text messages sent on work cell phones. The present case was bought by an Ontario police officer who alleged that his department violated his Fourth [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu [Nobel Prize profile] said [backgrounder] Wednesday that the US Senate should quickly pass a proposed bill [S 2731 text, PDF] designed to combat AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria because it would save lives and encourage other governments to increase their anti-AIDS efforts. The bill would [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] handed down five decisions Thursday, including MetLife v. Glenn [Duke Law backgrounder; JURIST report], in which the Court ruled 6-3 that an employee benefit plan administrator has an illegal conflict of interest under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act [text; [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] Mexico has asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) [official website] for assistance in stopping the Texas executions of five of its citizens, including Jose Ernesto Medellin [ASIL backgrounder; JURIST news archive], who is scheduled to be executed August 5. In hearings [schedule, PDF] scheduled for Thursday, Mexico will [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Swedish parliament Wednesday passed a controversial warrantless wiretapping law [draft text, in Swedish] that gives the country's National Defence Radio Establishment [official website] broad authority to monitor international telephone and electronic communications passing through the country. The bill, which had been rejected Tuesday [JURIST report], passed by a [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] The status of more than 1,000 protesters detained by Chinese authorities during March demonstrations [BBC backgrounder] in Tibet remains unknown, according to an Amnesty International report [text, DOC; press release] released Wednesday. About 370 of the protesters who surrendered to authorities and about 980 arrested in April after the [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] Canada classified the World Tamil Movement (WTM) as a terrorist organization Tuesday [Canadian list of terrorist entities], according to comments [press release] by Canadian Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day [official website]. Day characterized the group as a front for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) [group website; CFR [read more]

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