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Legal news from Thursday, May 29, 2008
by Deirdre Jurand

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) issued five decisions Thursday finding Russia responsible for the disappearance of a dozen people during Russian armed raids in Chechnya in 2002 and 2003. Families of the victims, all of whom are presumed dead, had raised claims under the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms [PDF …

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by Andrew Gilmore

The court-martial of a US Marine intelligence officer charged in connection with the November 2005 killings of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha began Thursday at Camp Pendleton, California. US Marine Corps 1st Lt. Andrew Grayson is charged with multiple violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice …

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by Andrew Gilmore

An Afghan detainee at Guantanamo Bay Wednesday moved to have all charges against him dismissed, alleging that he has been tortured in US custody. In a motion filed by his military defense lawyer, Mohammed Jawad said that he has been subjected to abusive treatment, including the so-called "frequent-flier program," in which …

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by Deirdre Jurand

A judge in the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas ruled Wednesday that a Farmers Branch, Texas ordinance that would bar landlords from renting apartments to most illegal immigrants is unconstitutional. Ordinance 2903 requires apartment renters to show proof of US residency and penalizes landlords who rent …

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by Andrew Gilmore

New York Governor David Paterson has ordered all state agencies to recognize same-sex marriages from other states as legal marriages for purposes of New York law. The instructions highlighted in Thursday media reports came in a May 14 memo circulated by the governor's legal counsel David Nocenti, which directed state …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

A Chinese woman who is a permanent resident of New Orleans pleaded guilty Wednesday in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana to charges of aiding and abetting espionage by passing national defense information to Chinese agents. Yu Xin Kang could face 10 years in prison for acting as an intermediary between …

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by Deirdre Jurand

The co-chair of Pakistan's governing Pakistan People's Party (PPP) pleaded for calm Thursday with members of the nation's vocal lawyers' movement, cautioning that "hidden forces" could seize on any perceived unrest to reimpose martial law and destroy democracy in Pakistan. Speaking to members of the People's Lawyers Forum (PLF), Asif Ali Zardari reiterated his support …

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by Deirdre Jurand

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Wednesday ruled to remand a set of consolidated tort claims brought against military contractors in Iraq, holding that further factual development is necessary before determining whether the cases were nonjusticiable political questions. The plaintiffs allege that military contractor Halliburton and then-subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & …

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by Andrew Gilmore

California Deputy State Registrar and Chief of the Office of Vital Records Janet McKee issued a memorandum Wednesday setting June 17 as the start date for issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The California Supreme Court's May 15 ruling in In re Marriage Cases overturned a ban on same-sex …

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