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Legal news from Tuesday, March 25, 2008
by Kiely Lewandowski

UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Philip Alston Tuesday urged Guatemalan lawmakers not to override a presidential veto of a bill that would restore the country's death penalty in a way he said would be contrary to international human rights law. Alston said:This law can only be intended as …

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by Deirdre Jurand

German prosecutors Tuesday charged the chair of the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) with libel and inciting racial hatred for comments he made about a German soccer player. Udo Voigt and two other party officials allegedly published a pamphlet and circulated online messages before the 2006 World …

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by Devin Montgomery

US President W. George Bush on Tuesday issued presidential pardons to 15 people convicted of crimes that ranged from drug offenses to wire fraud to violations of fish and wildlife regulations. He also commuted the sentence of a woman convicted of conspiracy to distribute crack-cocaine. Bush has issued a total of 157 pardons in his seven years …

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by Caitlin Price

The Bush administration has asked Congress to shield Libya from a measure in the newly-passed National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 that would allow victims of state-sponsored terrorism to sue for that country's assets held in the US. The military spending law, signed by US President George W. Bush …

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by Caitlin Price

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Tuesday overturned a New York law requiring airlines to provide passengers on seriously delayed flights with basic amenities, ventilation, and waste removal, holding that federal law preempts state airline regulation. Last August, New York became the first state to pass an Airline Passenger Bill of Rights [text; …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in the consolidated cases of Munaf v. Geren and Geren v. Omar, 06-1666, and 07-394, where the Court is considering whether federal courts have jurisdiction over habeas corpus petitions filed by American citizens detained by US military personnel operating …

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by Lisl Brunner

Lawyers for Guatemalan adoption agency Casa Quivira have been charged with human trafficking as a result of irregularities discovered in the agency's records, the defendants' lawyers said Monday. The investigation began in August, when government authorities raided the premises of Casa Quivira and removed 46 infants who were awaiting adoption by families in the …

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by Leslie Schulman

Nepalese police arrested at least 100 Tibetan monks, refugees, and other protesters near the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu Tuesday as demonstrations continued against China's recent crackdown against pro-Tibet protests. The new arrests follow the arrest of at least 400 protesters Monday and 50 more last week. Since demonstrations began earlier this …

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by Leslie Schulman

Saudi Arabia should enact a written penal code to protect the rights of criminal suspects and minors, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Tuesday in two reports released after a year-long HRW investigation into the Saudi Arabian justice system uncovered numerous human rights violations. One report documented widespread use of arbitrary arrests and vague charges …

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by Leslie Schulman

Zimbabwe police arrested a pilot and several members of the opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) as they were arriving at Harare International Airport to deliver campaign materials, a MDC spokesman said Tuesday. The MDC has previously accused the government of using arbitrary arrests and "trumped up charges" to block it …

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by Michael Sung

The South Korean National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK) said Tuesday that it will begin an official investigation of alleged human rights violations by North Korea, adding that it will begin the investigation by interviewing North Korean defectors in April. NHRCK spokesperson Lee Myung-jae said the organization has been annually collecting information from defectors …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The US Supreme Court handed down decisions in two cases Tuesday, including Medellin v. Texas, where the Court ruled that President Bush does not have the authority to direct a state court to comply with a ruling from the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Jose Ernesto Medellin [ASIL …

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by Michael Sung

American Bar Association (ABA) President William H. Neukom said in an op-ed published on the ABA website Monday that American lawyers are "deeply troubled by six death penalty cases" being tried by the military commissions process at Guantanamo Bay:The defendants are charged with horrific crimes — assisting in the September 11 terror attacks. …

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by Michael Sung

An city official with Farmers Branch, Texas said Monday that city officials have accidentally issued several city rental license applications designed to enforce an anti-immigration measure, sending out the applications requiring landlords to verify the legal residency of prospective tenants. Opponents of the measure, who have obtained a temporary restraining order …

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