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Legal news from Thursday, June 12, 2008
by Deirdre Jurand

The UK shadow Home Secretary resigned his parliamentary seat Thursday in protest at House of Commons passage Wednesday of an anti-terror bill [materials; BBC Q/A] that would allow authorities to detain terror suspects without charge for up to 42 days. Conservative Party frontbencher David Davis called the Labour Party government's bill …

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by Andrew Gilmore

Ethiopian human rights practices in the eastern Ogaden region have come under attack in a new report from Human Rights Watch (HRW), made public Thursday. The report details atrocities committed by both the Ethiopian military and the ethnic Somali group the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), who are seeking independence for …

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by Andrew Gilmore

The Arizona State Legislature passed legislation Wednesday barring the state from implementing the REAL ID Act of 2005. The Arizona House voted 51-1 for the bill Wednesday; the Arizona Senate had approved the bill 21-7 on May 6. The bill prohibits the state from participating in or implementing the …

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by Deirdre Jurand

Zimbabwean police arrested opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Secretary General Tendai Biti Thursday on suspicion of treason. Biti left Zimbabwe after the disputed March 29 elections in which MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai challenged current Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe; police arrested him as soon as he …

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by Andrew Gilmore

Convicted rapist and murderer Karl Eugene Chamberlain was executed by lethal injection at a Texas prison Wednesday evening. His death marked the state's first execution since the US Supreme Court's April ruling in Baze v. Rees, in which the Court held that execution by lethal injection did not violate the Eight Amendment prohibition …

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by Andrew Gilmore

Singapore Second Foreign Minister Raymond Lim said in a speech Wednesday that the new human rights body of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) should not set initial standards too high for the organization's member states. The terms and powers of the new human rights body will be determined in Singapore next month at …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The US Supreme Court ruled Thursday in the consolidated cases of Munaf v. Geren and Geren v. Omar that federal courts have jurisdiction over habeas corpus petitions filed by American citizens detained abroad by US military personnel, even if the military is operating under a multinational force. Although the …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The US Supreme Court held in the consolidated cases of Boumediene v. Bush and Al-Odah v. United States Thursday that federal courts have jurisdiction to review habeas corpus petitions filed by Guantanamo detainees who have been classified as "enemy combatants." Overturning a decision by the …

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by Deirdre Jurand

Sudanese UN ambassador Abdel-Mahmood Mohamed told Reuters Wednesday that International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo is a terrorist. He said that the ICC's plan to divert the plane of Minister for Humanitarian Affairs Ahmed Harun in order to arrest him constitutes terrorism and piracy, for which Moreno-Ocampo should …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The US Supreme Court handed down five decisions Thursday, including Republic of the Philippines v. Pimentel, where the Court ruled that an interpleader action to determine ownership of assets held by former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos cannot continue because an indispensable party is protected by sovereign immunity. …

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by Kiely Lewandowski

Myanmar law allows the continued detention of pro-democracy party leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the government-run New Light of Myanmar insisted in an editorial Wednesday. The editorial cited Myanmar's 1975 "Law Safeguarding the State from Dangers of Subversive Elements," which it said permitted detentions for up to six years. It noted [AFP …

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by Andrew Gilmore

The Supreme Court of Israel Wednesday upheld a controversial law allowing the government to detain unlawful combatants suspected of belonging to terrorist groups. The Incarceration of Unlawful Combatants Law allows the Chief of the General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to issue an order to detain any person who is …

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by Kiely Lewandowski

Malaysian Law Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim Wednesday said legal reforms are needed to safeguard the independence of the country's judiciary. His remarks came in response to recent allegations that during his term of office, former PM Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad threatened to remove judges unless they rendered satisfactory verdicts. Ibrahim indicated that the reform would come …

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by Deirdre Jurand

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper officially apologized Wednesday for Canada's former Indian residential schools policy, which was designed to aggressively assimilate aboriginal children. The school policy, which was in place from the 1870s to the 1970s, required aboriginal children to attend federally funded Christian boarding schools, communicate in only English or French, adopt the …

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