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Legal news from Wednesday, June 20, 2007
by Caitlin Price

A German Presidency policy paper proposing that European Union nations abandon talks on a constitutional treaty circulated Wednesday, just prior to Thursday's summit meeting of European Council in Brussels. Last week German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the summit chair, expressed doubts that the meeting would see any progress beyond …

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by Caitlin Price

The Colombian Senate voted 34-29 against landmark gay rights legislation Tuesday. The bill, endorsed by President Alvaro Uribe, was approved by the lower house 62-43 last week. Many of the 102 Senators were not present Tuesday for what was expected to be a routine bloc vote, but …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Wednesday moved to ease accounting procedures [meeting agenda; recorded video, (00:41:15) WMV] required for foreign companies trading on US exchanges. The SEC commissioners voted 5-0 to amend federal regulations to accept financial statements prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), as published by the International Accounting …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The New York State Assembly Tuesday passed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage following three hours of often emotional debate. The bill was proposed in April by New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, and was sponsored in the Assembly by gay Assemblymember Daniel O'Donnell …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California (ACLU/SC) brought a federal class action lawsuit against the US Tuesday on behalf of two immigrants who said they were forcibly drugged with sedatives during deportation proceedings. The ACLU/SC began an investigation into the alleged incidents soon after the allegations were made. In one incident from December …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

US President George W. Bush Wednesday followed through on his promised veto of a Democrat-backed bill that would have relaxed funding restrictions on embryonic stem cell research. The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007, sent by Congress to the White House earlier this month, would have allowed federal funding for research …

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by Michael Sung

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso urged EU member states to compromise to resolve key differences in negotiations over the proposed constitutional treaty during a press conference Tuesday, reiterating that the EU must continue to demonstrate pragmatism, flexibility, and unity to iron out its differences. He also asked state …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The US House of Representatives Wednesday overwhelmingly passed the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act by 422-2. The bill would establish an Unsolved Crimes Section within the civil rights divisions of the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, funded by an allocation of $10 …

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by Michael Sung

The Libyan Supreme Court announced Wednesday it will rule on the appeal of six foreign medics in three weeks. The five Bulgarian nurses and one Palestinian doctor were convicted last year of knowingly infecting over 400 Libyan patients with the HIV virus. Analysts say that the court, which heard the medics' appeal …

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by Michael Sung

The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) on Wednesday convicted three former leaders of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council of crimes against humanity including collective punishments, murder, rape, conscripting or enlisting child soldiers, enslavement, and pillage. The verdict, the first judgments to be handed down by the SCSL, also represents the first …

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by Michael Sung

Serge Brammertz, the deputy prosecutor for investigations at the International Criminal Court, resigned on June 14, according to a Tuesday announcement from the International Criminal Court. Brammertz will continue to head the UN International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC), which is currently investigating the February 2005 Rafik Hariri assassination [JURIST news …

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by Michael Sung

Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski said Tuesday that Poland plans to appeal a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that found Poland in violation of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights for prohibiting a pregnant woman who had a serious risk of vision loss if …

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by Michael Sung

Members of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence expressed reservations Tuesday about the nomination of John Rizzo as CIA general counsel, questioning the career CIA-lawyer's decision to sign off on the controversial 2002 "Bybee Memo" in which the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) defined torture …

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by Michael Sung

Taiwanese President Chen Shui-Bian is proceeding with plans to hold a largely symbolic national referendum on whether Taiwan should attempt rejoining the United Nations (UN) under the name of Taiwan, despite opposition from China, the United States, and members of the opposition party, presidential spokesperson David Lee said Wednesday. The proposal, which …

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