Legal news from Wednesday, March 4, 2009
17:03 EDT

[JURIST] Italy formally agreed to abolish the death penalty for all purposes by ratifying Protocol 13 [text] to the European Convention on Human Rights [text], the Council of Europe (COE) [official website] announced [press release] Tuesday. Italy is the 41st of the COE's 47 member states to adopt the provision, [read more]

15:03 EDT

[JURIST] Chairman of the US Senate Judiciary Committee [official website; JURIST news archive] Patrick Leahy (D-VT) [official profile; JURIST news archive] called for the creation of a truth commission to investigate the national security policies of the George W. Bush [JURIST news archive] administration at a hearing [video; materials] Wednesday. [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] heard oral arguments [day call, PDF; briefs] in two criminal procedure cases Wednesday. In Abuelhawa v. United States [oral arguments transcript, PDF] the Court heard arguments on whether a defendant who used a cellphone for the misdemeanor purchase of cocaine [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] Sudan and other African countries on Wednesday criticized the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] for issuing an arrest warrant [text, PDF; ICC release] for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir [ICC materials, PDF; JURIST news archive], while Sudan's opposition leaders, the UN, and various Western countries urged Bashir's government to [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] A court under the European Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) [official website, JURIST news archive] reached its first verdict [EULEX report] Tuesday, sentencing Kosovo Albanian Gani Gashi to 17 years in jail for murder, attempted murder, and grievous bodily harm. A three-judge panel, composed of two EULEX [read more]

12:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany [official website, in German] on Tuesday ruled [decision, in German; press release] that the use of electronic voting machines in elections is unconstitutional. The ruling comes after a challenge to the use of the machines in the 2005 Bundestag election. Plaintiffs had argued [read more]

10:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] ruled [opinion, PDF] 6-3 Wednesday in Wyeth v. Levine [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report] that the drug labeling requirements under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) [text] do not preempt state products liability laws. The case was initiated [read more]

09:03 EDT

[JURIST] The New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Tuesday that the parents of a 23 year-old, who donated semen prior to his death from cancer in 1998, were not entitled to possession of the specimens. Mary and Antonio Speranza sought their son Mark's semen [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] on Wednesday issued [decision, PDF; video, MP4 download] an arrest warrant [text, PDF; ICC press release] for Sudanese head of state Omar al-Bashir [ICC materials, PDF; JURIST news archive], charging him with seven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, but [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Zimbabwean attorney general's office on Wednesday appealed to the nation's Supreme Court a Tuesday High Court ruling ordering the release of Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) [party website] party treasurer general and cabinet member-designate Roy Bennett [JURIST news archive]. Bennett faces charges under Zimbabwe's Public Order and Security [read more]

07:03 EDT

[JURIST] Preliminary hearings began Tuesday in the new trial of former Russian oil executive Mikhail Khodorkovsky [defense website; JURIST news archive] in a Moscow courtroom. Khodorkovsky and his former business partner Platon Lebedev [defense website] are facing new charges [JURIST report] of embezzling and laundering nearly $20 billion during their [read more]

07:03 EDT

[JURIST] A group of Massachusetts plaintiffs who are or have been married under the state's same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] law filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF; GLAD press release] against the US federal government Tuesday in the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts [official website], challenging the federal [read more]

06:03 EDT

[JURIST] Former Bosnian Serb leader and war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic [ICTY materials; JURIST news archive] refused to enter pleas on Tuesday to 11 amended charges [indictment, PDF] including genocide and crimes against humanity in a hearing before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website]. Last [read more]

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