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Legal news from Friday, April 11, 2008
by Steve Czajkowski

The US will not attend a scheduled meeting in Dublin to draft a legally binding ban on cluster bombs in May, US State Department officials told reporters Friday. The US will instead attend United Nations talks in Geneva intended to restrict the use of the munitions, but not ban them outright. In …

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by Eric Firkel

Sending British soldiers on patrol or into combat with inadequate equipment could be a violation of their human rights, the High Court of Justice ruled in London Friday. The British Ministry of Defence had argued that the Human Rights Act does not apply to soldiers on active service abroad outside bases under British military jurisdiction, but …

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by Eric Firkel

South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal ruled Thursday that evidence obtained through torture is inadmissible in court, even when it is found to be reliable and vital for conviction. In doing so, the court overturned the convictions and set aside the sentence of a former police officer who was found guilty of auto theft and armed robbery …

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by Steve Czajkowski

Turkey must speed up political and social reforms to meet the criteria for accession into the European Union, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said in a speech before the Turkish parliament Thursday. Barroso applauded recent efforts to reform the controversial Article 301 of the …

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by Patrick Porter

Police in Zimbabwe Friday banned all political demonstrations as tension continued to mount after the country's contested March 29th presidential election. Independent observers say that Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) candidate Morgan Tsvangirai won more votes than current Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, but Mugabe and his Zimbabwe African National Union …

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by Patrick Porter

Pakistani lawmakers introduced a bill Friday that would lift media restrictions imposed by President Pervez Musharraf after his declaration of emergency rule last November. The bill seeks to remove prohibitions on live broadcasts as well as publishing or broadcasting material found to be defamatory toward public officials. In addition to the ordinances, Musharraf's government …

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by Patrick Porter

US Attorney General Michael Mukasey Thursday disavowed a 2001 memo advising the Bush administration that Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures did not apply to "domestic military operations." Appearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee, Mukasey testified that the 2001 memo is not currently endorsed by the Justice Department and said …

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by Brett Murphy

The Washington Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the Washington state constitution does not provide a right for prison inmates to starve themselves to death. Convicted arsonist Charles R. McNabb sued the Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) to stop his force-feeding. McNabb pursued his case under the Article I, Section …

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by Brett Murphy

Sudanese Guantanamo Bay detainee Ibrahim al-Qosi said at a pre-trial hearing Thursday that he plans to boycott his upcoming military commission trial, becoming the third Guantanamo Bay detainee to announce boycott plans. Al-Qosi declined the assistance of a lawyer, saying that he did not believe in "the justice or the lawfulness" of …

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by Jeannie Shawl

A former top Chinese Communist Party official was convicted Friday of corruption and was sentenced to 18 years in prison. Chen Liangyu [People's Daily profile] was found guilty of accepting bribes and abuse of power, making Chen the highest ranking official to be convicted in China's recent crackdown on corruption. He was fired in …

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by Brett Murphy

US Vice President Dick Cheney and other top White House officials approved controversial interrogation methods, including waterboarding, in secret meetings, AP reported Friday. An unnamed former senior intelligence official confirmed an earlier ABC News report that the officials asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to sign off on the lawfulness of the techniques before approving …

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