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Legal news from Thursday, June 26, 2008
by Deirdre Jurand

Belarusian online news services and journalist organizations have denounced a proposed new law that would restrict online press freedom by requiring news services to register with the government. The House of Representatives of Belarus' National Assembly approved the "On Mass Media" law Tuesday after its second reading. Belarusian online news sources Wednesday posted …

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by Andrew Gilmore

US President George W. Bush Thursday announced plans to remove North Korea from a State Department list of terror sponsors. The move comes after the North Korean government presented China with a detailed report outlining its nuclear energy and weapons programs, in accordance with international efforts to end its nuclear ambitions. Other sanctions against …

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by Deirdre Jurand

Officials from the UK Government Equalities Office (GEO) introduced a new equality bill [bill framework, PDF; BBC Q/A] Thursday designed to combat discrimination based on age or gender. Equalities Minister Harriet Harman told the House of Commons that 40 years of anti-discrimination laws have not sufficiently reduced inequality in the UK:This package will see us …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Amnesty International marked International Day in Support of Victims of Torture by protesting in front of the European Parliament in Brussels on Thursday. The protest criticized European Union states for failing to condemn alleged abuses in countries like the United States and Tunisia, warning that many governments were using the threat …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled Thursday that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) improperly destroyed recordings of agent interviews with terror suspect Adil Charkaoui, but the justices refused to stop Charkaoui's extradition to Morocco. The Court found that the loss of evidence hampered judicial review:As things stand, the destruction by CSIS …

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by Deirdre Jurand

A Canadian Federal Court judge ruled Wednesday that the government must release evidence to Canadian Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr that could assist in his defense. The decision followed last month's Supreme Court of Canada ruling that Khadr had the right under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms …

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by Andrew Gilmore

India's National Human Rights Commission should create a special department to investigate deaths in police custody, the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) said in a Wednesday report. The report found that over 7,000 people, many of whom were allegedly tortured, have died in the custody of Indian police between 2002 …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The US House voted 402-17 to approve the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008 Wednesday. The bill makes it easier for employees with mental or physical handicaps to prove they are victims of workplace or hiring discrimination. Bill co-sponsor Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said that the new legislation closed gaps in …

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by Devin Montgomery

The US District Court for the Southern District of New York Wednesday ruled that the National Security Agency (NSA) does not have to tell lawyers for Guantanamo Bay detainees whether it has used electronic surveillance methods to monitor their communications. The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed the lawsuit [complaint, …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The US Supreme Court handed down three decisions Thursday, including District of Columbia v. Heller, in which the Court ruled 5-4 that the Second Amendment to the US Constitution prohibits the District of Columbia from banning private handgun ownership. The Court found that the Second Amendment bestows upon …

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by Deirdre Jurand

A number of politicians have denounced Wednesday's US Supreme Court ruling [Kennedy v. Louisiana opinion text; JURIST report] that the death penalty constitutes cruel and unusual punishment for the rape of a child. At a press conference, Democratic Party presidential candidate Barack Obama (D-Ill) said thathe rape of a small child, six or eight years old …

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by Kiely Lewandowski

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) announced Wednesday that it will prepare a report on allegations of organ trafficking in Kosovo. Former prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Carla Del Ponte has alleged in a new book that about 300 …

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by Kiely Lewandowski

The New Zealand government and several Maori groups signed a deed of settlement Wednesday worth nearly NZ $196 million to resolve certain indigenous claims concerning land taken by British settlers in the 19th century. The deed of settlement agreement, known informally as the Treelords deal [settlement back-grounder, PDF], restores land rights and nearly 176,000 hectares of forest previously appropriated …

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