Legal news from Thursday, January 29, 2009
17:01 EDT

[JURIST] The Illinois State Senate [official website] voted unanimously Thursday to convict Governor Rod Blagojevich [official website; JURIST news archive] of abuse of power and remove him from office. Blagojevich, who had been boycotting the impeachment proceedings [JURIST report], arrived on the Senate floor Thursday to make a final plea [read more]

16:01 EDT

[JURIST] The European Commission [official website] announced [press release] Thursday that it has initiated infringement proceedings [EC backgrounder] against ten European Union (EU) member states for failing to comply with legislation aimed at reducing emissions of certain harmful airborne particulates called PM10. The EU implemented heightened PM10 standards under last [read more]

15:01 EDT

[JURIST] Moscow's Ninth Arbitration Court of Appeals on Thursday declared void [Interfax report] most of the Russian government's tax claims against the British Council [official website], the British government's cultural relations arm, relating to the organization’s in-country operations in 2004-2006. The British Council filed suit last May seeking to void [read more]

14:01 EDT

[JURIST] The chief judge for US military commissions [DOD materials] at the Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detention center rejected [order and defense response, PDF] Thursday the request of government prosecutors to delay the proceedings against alleged USS Cole plotter Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri [GlobalSecurity profile; JURIST news archive]. Prosecutors had [read more]

14:01 EDT

[JURIST] Japan's Ministry of Justice [official website, in Japanese] announced Thursday that four death row inmates were executed, despite international pressure to end the practice. The executions [Mainichi Daily News report] are the country's first of 2009. Last year, the Ministry of Justice carried out the execution of 15 prisoners, [read more]

13:01 EDT

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation [official website, in Russian] on Thursday rejected an appeal by relatives of victims of the 1940 Katyn Massacre [Polish government backgrounder; JURIST news archive] to reopen investigations into the killings. The court reasoned [RIA Novosti report] that the Soviet-era criminal code to [read more]

12:01 EDT

[JURIST] A judge for the National Court of Spain ordered [text, PDF in Spanish] an investigation Thursday of former Israeli Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer [official profile] and six soldiers under his command for alleged crimes against humanity committed in a 2002 attack in the Gaza Strip. Judge Fernando Andreu issued [read more]

12:01 EDT

[JURIST] US President Barack Obama [official website] signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 [S.181 materials] into law Thursday, extending the deadline for employees to sue their employers for unequal pay discrimination. The law's "clarification" of equal pay protections effectively overturns the 2007 decision of the US Supreme [read more]

12:01 EDT

[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official profile; JURIST news archive] expressed deep concern Thursday over the deteriorating conditions for a quarter of a million Sri Lankans [press release] trapped in the conflict-ravaged north, calling for investigations and prosecutions of killings and other human rights abuses. Pillay [read more]

11:01 EDT

[JURIST] Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesman major general Abdel Karim Khalaf said Thursday that the country would not renew a contract allowing Blackwater Worldwide [corporate website] private security forces to operate within the country. Under the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) [CFR materials; McClatchy translation], which became effective this month and was [read more]

10:01 EDT

[JURIST] Former Bosnian Serb leader and war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic [ICTY materials; JURIST news archive] requested [motion, PDF] Thursday that the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] shorten his indictment [amended indictment, PDF] in order to expedite his trial. The request came as a response [read more]

09:01 EDT

[JURIST] The trial of former Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga [ICC materials; JURIST news archive] resumed Thursday after the first witness to testify withdrew his testimony Wednesday, causing the inaugural war crimes trial of the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] to adjourn temporarily to assess witness safety. The witness, [read more]

08:01 EDT

[JURIST] A judge in the US District Court for the District of Columbia ruled [order, PDF] Wednesday that the US may continue to hold Yemeni detainee Ghaleb Nassar Al Bihani [NYT materials] at the Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] prison facility. Judge Richard Leon [official profile] held that the government [read more]

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