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Legal news from Thursday, July 24, 2008
by Mike Rosen-Molina

Senegal has formally adopted a constitutional amendment giving the nation's courts jurisdiction over the trial of former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre, according to a Thursday statement by Human Rights Watch (HRW). The group expressed doubt that the nation has the political will to prosecute Habre, who has been …

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by Devin Montgomery

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo filed a lawsuit against financial firm UBS on Thursday for allegedly misrepresenting so-called "auction rate securities" as low-risk despite the actual volatility of such investments. In the complaint, Cuomo alleges that UBS led investors to believe they could easily divest themselves of the long-term securities, and that …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced Thursday that he has appointed South African judge Navanethem Pillay as the new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, replacing departing commissioner Louise Arbour. Pillay, a former judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and a current appeals chamber judge on the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official …

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by Deirdre Jurand

Officials at the US Chamber of Commerce's affiliate, the Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), said in a report released Thursday that the system of heavy securities class action litigation in the US is inefficient, unnecessary, and harmful to the US economy. The report says that the current securities class action system forces companies …

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by Devin Montgomery

The US Senate Indian Affairs Committee on Thursday held hearings on a bill designed to give Native American courts and law enforcement broader authority to combat violent and sex-related crimes. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and 12 co-sponsors introduced the Tribal Law and Order Act on Wednesday. If passed, the bill would …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

An immigration policy reform group Wednesday called on the Northern California US Attorney's Office to take over a murder investigation involving an illegal immigrant who previously avoided deportation under a 2007 San Francisco sanctuary ordinance. Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) accused San Francisco of being "repeatedly irresponsible" [press …

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by Deirdre Jurand

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on Thursday convicted a Kosovar journalist on contempt of court charges and fined him 7,000 euros for revealing the identity of a witness in the war crimes trial of former Kosovar Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj. Baton Haxhiu [ICTY case …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

A lawyer for Bosnian Serb leader and former fugitive Radovan Karadzic on Thursday threatened to sue several unknown persons whom he alleges kidnapped Karadzic last week. Serbian officials have said that Karadzic was arrested on Monday, but Karadzic disputes that date, saying he was first captured on Friday and then detained in …

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by Kiely Lewandowski

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday held that the REAL ID Act of 2005 (RIDA) gives a "reasonable opportunity" for judicial review to those aliens whose removal orders became final before RIDA entered into effect. Prior to RIDA's enactment, aliens convicted of crimes in the US could request …

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by Devin Montgomery

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) argued on Wednesday that it should be immune from lawsuits brought by Hurricane Katrina evacuees who claim they were injured by toxic fumes released by emergency trailers provided by the agency. FEMA made the argument before the US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, …

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by Kiely Lewandowski

The US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit Wednesday upheld part of a Florida law that requires students in grades kindergarten through 12 to obtain parental permission before they can be excused from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. The court held that another provision requiring all students to stand, …

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