Legal news from Wednesday, March 31, 2010
15:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] heard oral arguments [day call, PDF; merit briefs] Wednesday in two cases. In Carachuri-Rosendo v. Holder [oral arguments transcript, PDF; JURIST report], the court heard arguments on whether a person convicted under state law for simple drug possession (a federal [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] Executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) [official website] Yvo de Boer said Wednesday that it is unlikely a new climate change treaty will be concluded until 2011. After the Copenhagen summit (COP15) in December failed to produce [JURIST report] a binding agreement, de Boer [read more]

12:03 EDT

[JURIST] A Belgian parliamentary committee voted unanimously Wednesday to ban the Islamic burqa [JURIST news archive] and other "full veils" from being worn in public. The proposed legislation [materials, in French] applies to areas "accessible to the public" or areas meant for "public use or to provide public services." Violators [read more]

12:03 EDT

[JURIST] An Indian court on Wednesday heard final arguments in the trial of Mohammed Ajmal Kasab [NDTV backgrounder], accused of participating in the November 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive], bringing the yearlong proceedings to a close. The court heard from more than 600 prosecution witnesses [WP [read more]

12:03 EDT

[JURIST] The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] on Wednesday granted the request [decision, PDF] of chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile] to investigate the deadly violence perpetrated after the 2007 Kenyan presidential election [JURIST news archive]. Earlier this month, Ocampo submitted the names [JURIST report] of 20 senior political [read more]

11:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Wednesday ruled [opinion, PDF] 7-2 in Padilla v. Kentucky [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report] that the Sixth Amendment [text] guarantee of effective assistance of counsel requires a criminal defense lawyer to advise a non-citizen client that pleading guilty to [read more]

10:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Serbian Parliament [official website] adopted a declaration early Wednesday morning condemning the 1995 Srebrenica massacre [BBC timeline; JURIST news archive], in which 8,000 Muslims were killed. After a day-long debate, "The Declaration of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Condemning the Crime in Srebrenica" [official summary] [read more]

10:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Wednesday ruled [opinion, PDF] 5-4 in Shady Grove Orthopedic Associates v. Allstate Insurance Co. [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report] that a state legislature cannot prohibit the federal courts from using the class action device for state law claims. The [read more]

09:03 EDT

[JURIST] Pakistan's National Accountability Bureau (NAB) [official website] on Wednesday asked Swiss officials to reopen a corruption investigation against Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari [official website]. The request [DAWN report] was made in a letter from the NAB, the country's chief anti-corruption body, to Swiss officials, but the Swiss Federal [read more]

09:03 EDT

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] criticized the government Tuesday for a lack of accountability, despite granting approval [order, PDF; opinion, PDF] to a $3 million settlement agreement in a civil suit brought by former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) [official website] [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) [advocacy website] filed suit [complaint, PDF; press release] on Tuesday challenging the strict visitation and communication restrictions [visiting regulations, PDF] at two experimental federal prison units called "Communications Management Units" (CMUs). The complaint alleges that the prisoners have suffered "severe and unjustifiable emotional [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] US President Barack Obama on Tuesday signed into law [transcript of remarks] the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act [HR 4872 materials], which represents a group of amendments to the recently approved health care legislation [JURIST news archive] and also provides changes to the administration of the federal student [read more]

07:03 EDT

[JURIST] Corruption, abuse of power, and a focus on short-term security goals in Afghanistan have intensified the issue of poverty, affecting more than two-thirds of the population, according to a Tuesday report [text, DOC; press release] from the UN's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website]. [read more]

07:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Turkish ruling party on Tuesday submitted its controversial reform package to parliament, despite warnings from Turkish President Abdullah Gul [BBC profile] that the party should take more precautions before amending the constitution. The reform package contains seven revisions [Hurriyet report] from the original amendments unveiled last week [JURIST [read more]

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