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Legal news from Monday, March 3, 2008
by Andrew Gilmore

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour Monday called on Israel to conduct an impartial investigation into the deaths of Palestinians during recent Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip, noting that as an occupying power Israel "bears a particular responsibility under international human rights and humanitarian law to protect the civilian …

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by David Frueh

The US Senate Monday unanimously confirmed Illinois US District Judge Mark Filip as US deputy attorney general as part of an apparent compromise between the White House and Senate Democrats on a series of stalled nominations. Filip replaces Paul McNulty who, along with several other top Justice Department officials, resigned in 2007 amid controversy surrounding …

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by David Frueh

Former Rwandan councillor Vincent Rutaganira was released Sunday after completing a six-year jail sentence for crimes against humanity, according to a statement Monday by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ITCR). Rutaganira was convicted by the ITCR in March 2005 after pleading guilty to one count of "extermination as an accomplice by …

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by Andrew Gilmore

Nigerian opposition leader and presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari has asked the Supreme Court of Nigeria to review last week's decision by the country's election tribunal to uphold the results of last year's disputed presidential elections, according to Monday statements by Buhari's lawyer. Buhari alleges that the election was marred by rampant fraud, but …

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by Alexis Unkovic

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on Monday called on the 47 member states of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to "create an environment of trust" and "spur greater accountability for action on human rights." In his speech at the opening of the Council's seventh session in Geneva, Ban emphasized the …

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by Alexis Unkovic

Arrest warrants issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the leaders of Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) "remain in effect and have to be executed" despite requests from Uganda that they be withdrawn, according to a statement issued by the office of ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo Monday. The …

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by Alexis Unkovic

An Iraqi court has dropped all pending criminal charges against former Iraqi Deputy Health Minister Hakim al-Zamili and Brigadier General Hameed al-Shimmari "for lack of evidence," in part because many witness accounts were based on hearsay, Iraqi chief prosecutor Ghadanfar Mahmoud said Monday. The two high-level officials were accused of channeling millions in government money to the Mehdi Army …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The US Supreme Court handed down decisions in two cases Monday, including Boulware v. US, where the Court overturned a Ninth Circuit decision upholding a criminal tax evasion prosecution. The Supreme Court wrote:Sections 301 and 316(a) of the Internal Revenue Code set the conditions for treating certain corporate distributions …

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by Joshua Pantesco

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour will not seek a second term when her commission ends on June 30, the Washington Post reported Monday citing anonymous sources. While serving as the UN's top human rights official, the Canadian-born Arbour has frequently spoken out against rights abuses by world powers, including the United States in the …

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by Michael Sung

Pakistani police clashed with protesting lawyers outside the home of former Pakistani Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry Monday, as the country's Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) announced plans to hold new demonstrations to pressure President Pervez Musharraf to reinstatement former Supreme Court justices who were ousted after Musharraf declared emergency rule in November 2007. …

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by Joshua Pantesco

UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak told AP on Sunday that multiple sources have confirmed that the US detained terror suspects at the US military base on the British island of Diego Garcia between 2002 and 2003, a claim which the US has previously denied. According to Nowak, his sources are "credible" and include former detainees …

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by Michael Sung

Election observers from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Monday expressed reservations about the fairness of Russia's weekend presidential election, pointing to media restrictions and alleged polling irregularities that hampered opposition candidates. In a statement, PACE said:this election repeated most of the flaws revealed during the Duma elections of December 2007. They were …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A suspect in the assassination attempt against East Timorese President Jose Ramos Horta turned himself in late Saturday, several weeks after the February 11 attempt on Horta's life outside his home. The suspect, Amaro da Costa, was described as an ex-police officer and is the only suspect in custody to date, though police have issued multiple arrest …

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by Eric Firkel

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has upheld a lower court decision rejecting the Bush administration's attempt to exempt the US Navy from environmental laws so that the Navy could continue using sonar in its anti-submarine warfare training off the coast of southern California. In a ruling [PDF …

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