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Legal news from Friday, March 7, 2003




Citing breakdown in rule of law, US freezes assets of Zimbabwe President
Bernard Hibbitts on March 7, 2003 10:01 PM ET

[JURIST] In an official Message to Congress [text] Friday, President Bush ordered financial sanctions and an asset freeze against Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and 76 associates, citing "the unusual and extraordinary threat posed to the foreign policy of the United States by the deterioration of Zimbabwe's democracy and the resulting breakdown in the rule of law, politically motivated violence, and the political and economic instability in the southern African region." The Executive Order detailing the sanctions is not yet online from the White House, but a statement by Press Secretary Ari Fleischer is available.






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Criminal defense bar: new military tribunal rules could backfire against US
Bernard Hibbitts on March 7, 2003 9:27 PM ET

[JURIST] In a letter [text, WPD] to the Department of Defense General Counsel released Friday, the President of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers [official website] said the new Pentagon draft instruction [PDF text] on crimes justiciable by military commissions could end up posing a danger to US military personnel. The NADCL is concerned that "the proposed Instruction is so alien to recognized principles of international law, especially the Law of Armed Conflict, that by implementing them, the Department of Defense is seriously jeopardizing the legal rights and privileges of American military members abroad, should they become captured." Read the NADCL Military Law Committee's full report on the draft military commission instruction [WPD text].






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Partial-birth abortion ban
Bernard Hibbitts on March 7, 2003 9:08 PM ET

[JURIST] The US Senate Republican Policy Committee has posted a background paper on the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 [PDF text] (S. 3) scheduled to come up for consideration in the Senate on Monday, March 10. The bill amends the Federal criminal code to prohibit any physician or other individual from knowingly performing a "partial-birth abortion" – defined as an abortion in which the person partially delivers a living fetus and kills the fetus before completing delivery, with exceptions in the case of the life of a mother endangered by a physical disorder, illness, or injury.






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Official version of new UN draft Resolution on Iraq
Bernard Hibbitts on March 7, 2003 8:53 PM ET

[JURIST] The UN has posted an official version of the new draft Resolution on Iraq [PDF text] presented at Friday's Security Council meeting by the United Kingdom, the United States, and Spain. The draft presents Iraq with a March 17 deadline to cooperate fully with Security Council demands to rid itself of weapons of mass destruction.






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Arms reduction treaty with Russia
Bernard Hibbitts on March 7, 2003 8:45 PM ET

[JURIST] President Bush Friday commended the Senate [Bush statement] for consenting to the ratification of the Moscow Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions, which President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed in Moscow on May 24, 2002. Read the full text of the treaty.






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UK, Paris professors of international law oppose Iraq war
Bernard Hibbitts on March 7, 2003 8:34 PM ET

[JURIST] In a letter Friday to The Guardian newspaper in the UK, 16 professors of international law from the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, London and Paris said there is "no basis in international law" for war against Iraq:

The UN charter outlaws the use of force with only two exceptions: individual or collective self-defence in response to an armed attack and action authorised by the security council as a collective response to a threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression. There are currently no grounds for a claim to use such force in self-defence. The doctrine of pre-emptive self-defence against an attack that might arise at some hypothetical future time has no basis in international law. Neither security council resolution 1441 nor any prior resolution authorises the proposed use of force in the present circumstances.
Read the complete letter.





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UN Security Council statements - recorded video
Bernard Hibbitts on March 7, 2003 7:56 PM ET

[JURIST] Recorded video of statements on Iraq made at Friday's Security Council meeting by UNMOVIC Chairman Dr. Hans Blix, IAEA head Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei and representatives of Germany, the United States, Russia, France, China, the United Kingdom and Iraq is now available online from the UN. The UN has also provided a short print summary of the Security Council proceedings.






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Colin Powell's Security Council statement on Iraq
Bernard Hibbitts on March 7, 2003 2:29 PM ET

[JURIST] A transcript of US Secretary of State Colin Powell's statement on Iraq at Friday's UN Security Council meeting is now online from the State Department.






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French Foreign Minister's Security Council statement on Iraq
Bernard Hibbitts on March 7, 2003 1:59 PM ET

[JURIST] A transcript of French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin's statement on Iraq at Friday's UN Security Council meeting is now online from the French Embassy in Washington, DC.






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ABA opposes requiring lawyers to tell on money-laundering clients
Bernard Hibbitts on March 7, 2003 1:42 PM ET

[JURIST] In a letter sent Thursday to the Senate Judiciary Committee leadership, American Bar Association President Arthur Carleton Jr. registered the ABA' s opposition to an international task force proposal that would require lawyers to report to a government enforcement agency information of "suspicious" activities relating to possible money laundering by their clients. Read the ABA letter.






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Text of ElBaradei Security Council statement
Bernard Hibbitts on March 7, 2003 12:42 PM ET

[JURIST] The full text of Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei's Friday report to the UN Security Council on Iraq's compliance with Security Council Resolution 1441 is now online from IAEA.






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Text of Blix Security Council statement
Bernard Hibbitts on March 7, 2003 12:17 PM ET

[JURIST] The full text of Dr. Hans Blix's Friday report to the UN Security Council on Iraq's compliance with Security Council Resolution 1441 is now online from UNMOVIC.






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New scholarship - replacing copyright
Bernard Hibbitts on March 7, 2003 11:11 AM ET

[JURIST] New and interesting papers Friday on SSRN include:

Authorship Without Ownership: Reconsidering Incentives in a Digital Age [abstract]
by Diane Zimmerman [faculty profile] of New York University School of Law [official website]
From the Abstract: "This article examines some of the proposed alternatives that would radically restructure the relationship between authors and their audiences. These would replace traditional copyright with direct payment by the public to an author. The author in turn would release the work, retaining thereafter few, if any, rights to control future uses or reproduction of the work. In reviewing these proposals - which, in addition to their emphasis on one-shot sales of rights, seem to contemplate a strategy for releasing longer works like books in parts rather than as an entirety - an intriguing similarity emerged. This sounded like the process by which novels were produced in nineteenth century England. Authors at that time were typically paid a lump sum for their work, and gave up any right to control their use or distribution in the future. (Copyright, in the sense of exclusive rights over time, was largely a benefit to publishers, not authors.) Interestingly, too, nineteenth century novels were commonly issued initially in serial form. The existence of these parallels led to an investigation of history as a source of possible insights into whether a system that dispenses with traditional publishers and with copyright itself, could work."






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Japanese American internment cases - webcast from Duke Law
Bernard Hibbitts on March 7, 2003 10:59 AM ET

[JURIST] Duke Law School has posted streaming video of a presentation [Duke press release] by Peter Irons of the University of California - San Diego and Eric Muller of the University of North Carolina School of Law entitled Looking Like the Enemy: The Japanese American Internment Cases in Perspective [recorded video], recorded at Duke on March 4.






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Hans Blix at the Security Council
Bernard Hibbitts on March 7, 2003 10:46 AM ET

[JURIST] UNMOVIC Chairman Dr. Hans Blix is now reporting to the UN Security Council on Iraq's compliance with Security Council Resolution 1441. JURIST's Paper Chase is carrying live video of his report and the debate that will follow.






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Bin Laden's sons arrested - AP
Bernard Hibbitts on March 7, 2003 10:30 AM ET

[JURIST] The Associated Press is reporting that two of Osama Bin Laden's sons have been arrested in southeastern Afghanistan in a joint operation involving US forces, according to Pakistan provincial home minister Sanaullah Zehri speaking in a telephone interview.

UPDATE [2:38 PM ET]: This story in now being denied by US officials, according to MSNBC.






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White House website on judicial nominations
Bernard Hibbitts on March 7, 2003 10:21 AM ET

[JURIST] Underneath its coverage of President Bush's Thursday evening press conference on Iraq [transcript], the White House website Friday highlights a new issue page on Judicial Nominations, now featuring the President's comments reacting to Thursday's defeat of the cloture motion to stop the Democratic filibuster of Miguel Estrada's nomination to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.






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Friday's law school briefs
Bernard Hibbitts on March 7, 2003 9:30 AM ET

[JURIST] The University of Pennsylvania Law School [official website] hosted a symposium Thursday on terrorism and the US Constitution, featuring law professors and lawyers addressing issues involving criminal procedure, immigration, First Amendment law and human rights. Friday's Daily Pennsylvanian reports.

Percy Luney, dean of the new Florida A&M University College of Law [official website], has written to the St. Petersburg Times firing back at a columnist who claimed that the historically black institution (first operated between 1951 and 1968 and only now being revived) was doomed to be "second-rate."

What was it like to be a female law school student in the early 1960s? Friday's online edition of the New York Law Journal carries a story about Pinstripes and Pearls [Amazon.com review], Judith Richards Hope's new book about the women in the Class of 1964 [New York Law Journal report] at Harvard Law School [official website].






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