Legal news from Monday, December 8, 2008
16:12 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] heard oral arguments [day call, PDF; briefs] Monday in two cases. In Peake v. Sanders [oral arguments transcript, PDF], the Court considered whether the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) [official website] bears the burden of proof that it adequately [read more]

16:12 EDT

[JURIST] The Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) on Sunday announced plans to collect signatures to initiate a referendum to make the province of Basra autonomous so that it can benefit from its oil wealth. The referendum was initiated by Wael Abdul Latif [AFP report], an independent member of parliament [read more]

15:12 EDT

[JURIST] War crimes and other human rights violations are being committed in the ongoing Somali conflict [BBC backgrounder], according to a report [text, PDF] released Monday by Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website]. The report, titled "So Much to Fear: War Crimes and the Devastation of Somalia," accuses all parties [read more]

14:12 EDT

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] on Monday unsealed indictments [text, PDF; DOJ press release] for five Blackwater USA [corporate website; JURIST news archive] guards involved in the September 2007 killings of 17 Iraqi civilians [JURIST report]. The 35-count indictment, which was returned under seal [JURIST report] [read more]

12:12 EDT

[JURIST] Pakistani police on Sunday night raided a militant camp and arrested the alleged plotters of the Mumbai terror attacks [BBC backgrounder]. Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi [START profile], head of the Pakistani terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) [ADL backgrounder], was arrested, along with several other individuals believed to be responsible for the November [read more]

11:12 EDT

[JURIST] Five Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], the self proclaimed architect of the 9/11 attacks [JURIST report], indicated at a military commission pre-trial hearing on Monday that they wished to plead guilty to the charges against them. The judge, Army [read more]

08:12 EDT

[JURIST] A judge in the Court of First Instance of the High Court of Hong Kong [Judiciary website] ruled on Monday that inmates have a constitutional right to vote while serving sentences. The court's decision stipulates that the justice department and the electoral commission must find a way to implement [read more]

08:12 EDT

[JURIST] Human rights conditions are worsening in 12 Arab nations, according to a report [text, PDF, in Arabic; synopsis, PDF] published Friday by the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) [advocacy website]. The publication, which is the group's first annual report [press release], is titled "From Exporting Terrorism to [read more]

08:12 EDT

[JURIST] The Dong Da district court in Vietnam on Monday convicted eight Catholics of disturbing public order and destroying property during protests over disputed land, but gave them light sentences, letting them all go free. Seven defendants received suspended sentences of 12-15 months [AP report], and the remaining defendant received [read more]

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