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Legal news from Tuesday, June 17, 2008
by Andrew Gilmore

US immigration prosecutions continued to increase in March 2008, jumping nearly 50 percent from the previous month and nearly 75 percent from the previous year, according to a report released by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University. Federal immigration prosecutions have risen since February, when such prosecutions hit a …

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by Devin Montgomery

A military judge Tuesday dropped charges against a US Marine charged in connection with the November 2005 killings of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha. Battalion commander Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani had faced court-martial for dereliction of duty and violation of a lawful order based on allegations that he failed …

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by Deirdre Jurand

Bolivian officials Monday rejected a Peruvian proposal to expand intellectual property protections, arguing that the amendment would be illegal and would harm the Bolivian economy. Peru is anxious to strengthen its intellectual property laws because its trade agreements with third countries are contingent on their development. Bolivian officials said that widening the Common Intellectual …

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by Andrew Gilmore

Detained members of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), a rebel group from Sudan's Darfur region, will be charged with terrorism and tried this week, Sudanese Justice Minister Abdel Basset Sabdarat told AP Monday. Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that Sudanese security forces arrested over 100 JEM members following a May …

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by Devin Montgomery

Mexican President Felipe Calderon Tuesday signed into law constitutional reforms which provide for public and oral trials, guarantee the presumption of innocence, and guarantee suspects representation by qualified public defenders. According to a press release  from his office, the Calderon said the new reform "offers a transparent system of justice …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Former Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov lost an appeal in the Moscow Court Tuesday to force Russian authorities to register his People for Democracy and Justice party. Russian officials refused to register the party, alleging that the official party membership roster contained invalid names and violated various regulations. …

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by Deirdre Jurand

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi wrote Monday that proposed amendments designed to suspend older trials for nonviolent crimes would allow the judiciary to consider more important cases and would give the government time to introduce judicial reforms. The amendments would affect a larger anti-crime package [Senate …

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by Devin Montgomery

Japan carried out its thirteenth execution since Japanese Justice Minister Kunio Hatoyama assumed office last August with the hanging of three condemned inmates Tuesday. Tuesday's executions are the latest in an increasing number of executions in the country. In recent years, Japan has experienced a sharp upswing in both violent crime and the …

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by Andrew Gilmore

The Federal Court of Malaysia ruled Monday that former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim can challenge the constitutionality of his 1998 removal from office by former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. Anwar was widely expected to succeed Mahathir as prime minister, but Mahathir dismissed him following disagreement on …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Former DOD General Counsel William "Jim" Haynes encouraged the use of harsh interrogation tactics on terror detainees, US Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) said at a Tuesday committee hearing. Refering to Haynes and others, Levin asked:So, how did it come about that American military personnel stripped detainees …

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by Devin Montgomery

European Union foreign ministers said Monday that member states that have not yet ratified the EU reform treaty, formally known as the Treaty of Lisbon, should continue their ratification processes despite an Irish referendum which rejected the treaty last week. The agreement came during a special meeting held in Luxembourg, …

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by Andrew Gilmore

The UN Security Council Monday issued a short presidential statement calling on Sudan to work with the International Criminal Court (ICC) to "put an end to impunity for the crimes committed in Darfur." Sudan is not a party to the ICC, but must cooperate to fulfill its obligations under Council Resolution 1593, which established jurisdiction …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown Tuesday spoke in favor of a controversial anti-terror bill [materials; BBC Q/A] that would allow authorities to detain terror suspects without charge for up to 42 days in a speech he presented to the Institute for Public Policy Research. Brown said that stronger safeguards are needed to protect …

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by Deirdre Jurand

The trial of British national Simon Mann, accused of participating in a 2004 coup attempt against Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, began Tuesday in Malabo. Government officials charged Mann, a former Special Air Service officer who allegedly signed the contract for the coup, with crimes against the head …

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by Devin Montgomery

The Supreme Court of California ruling which overturned a state ban on same-sex marriage took effect Monday, allowing same-sex marriage ceremonies in the state to go ahead. The Court's decision has so far withstood challenges from both in-state conservative groups and out-of-state attorneys general who object to the …

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by Andrew Gilmore

Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on the government of Pakistan to abolish the country's death penalty in a letter sent Tuesday to Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gillani. In the letter, HRW expresses concern over the number of executions in the country, the high number of executable offenses in …

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by Deirdre Jurand

Russia will not recognize the new Kosovar constitution because it is illegal, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation announced Monday. The Assembly of Kosovo adopted the constitution in April, and the EU later certified it as guaranteeing the individual and community rights of all its citizens. The …

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