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Legal news from Tuesday, April 1, 2008
by Deirdre Jurand

US senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Christopher Dodd (D-CT) have asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate the enforcement division of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) after learning that the number of fines ordered by the SEC dropped by more than half from fiscal year 2006 to 2007, Reed said Tuesday. …

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by Kiely Lewandowski

The lower house of the Polish parliament voted 384-56 Tuesday to approve the EU reform treaty, formally known as the Treaty of Lisbon. The upper house is expected to ratify the treaty Wednesday. Poland had raised numerous objections to the pact during negotiations, many having to do with …

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by Devin Montgomery

The US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on Tuesday rejected new US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) rules that would have retroactively limited the number of claims that can be included in a patent application and the number of times a continuation application can be filed for …

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by Leslie Schulman

The Bush administration plans to invoke legal waivers to push through completion of 267 miles of fencing along the US-Mexico border by the end of this year, federal officials said Tuesday according to AP. The waivers, authorized under Title I sec. 102 of the Real ID Act, would allow …

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by Leslie Schulman

A US Department of Defense official pleaded guilty Monday in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to one count of conspiracy for disclosing national defense information. Gregg William Bergersen, an analyst at the DOD's Defense Security Cooperation Agency, who was charged and arrested …

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by Leslie Schulman

The European Court of Justice Tuesday ruled that a person in a same-sex partnership has the right to collect their partner's pension benefits after that partner's death. The ruling came in the case of a man who was in a registered same-sex partnership in Germany. According to the court's press release:As regards the question …

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by Michael Sung

Egyptian security forces Tuesday arrested five members of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood as they were posting campaign fliers on behalf of Muslim Brotherhood candidates slated to run in local council elections scheduled for April 8. Tuesday's arrests add to the over 800 Muslim Brotherhood members already in custody, including 148 council election candidates. On Sunday, …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Britain's most senior judge concluded that UK courts are "seriously overstretched" in his first Review of the Administration of Justice in the Courts, published Monday. Lord Chief Justice Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers expressed some frustration with the difficult position he said judges were being increasingly put in by Parliament setting detailed legislative mandates for …

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by Michael Sung

The United Nations should investigate Australia for its alleged military intervention in Fiji during the December 2006 military coup in Fiji, the Fiji Human Rights Commission said in a report released Tuesday. The commission said that Australia's naval presence in the region and its alleged deployment of soldiers violated the principle of sovereign …

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by Michael Sung

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Tuesday sent a joint letter to Nepalese Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, urging an end to the violent crackdown by Nepalese government security forces against Tibetan protesters and accusing the Nepalese government of preemptively detaining Tibetans to prevent the assembly of protests. Last week, HRW reported …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The US Justice Department filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court on Monday seeking review of a Ninth Circuit ruling affirming a district court opinion 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 …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Far-right Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders, who released a controversial 15-minute film titled "Fitna" through his website last week, agreed on Monday to edit out a cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad after its creator threatened to sue Wilders for copyright infringement. The film, dismissed by the UN secretary-general as "offensively anti-Islamic" …

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by Lisl Brunner

Former Argentinean naval officer Ricardo Miguel Cavallo was extradited Monday from Spain to Argentina, where he will face trial for crimes committed during Argentina's 1976-83 "Dirty War". Cavallo was a lieutenant at the Navy School of Mechanics (ESMA) in Buenos Aires, where an estimated 5,000 …

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