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Legal news from Wednesday, July 30, 2008
by Devin Montgomery

Australian Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Chris Evans has announced that the country will no longer impose mandatory detention on all those who enter the country seeking asylum. Evans said Tuesday that the country's existing immigration policy imposed detentions too broadly, held immigrants in unacceptable conditions, and that those who were detained often …

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by Devin Montgomery

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Tuesday ruled that a lower court had erroneously dismissed a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) lawsuit seeking to prevent Whole Foods Market from buying out competitor Wild Oats Markets. The FTC had been seeking a temporary injunction against the merger while it conducted …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The US House of Representatives late Tuesday approved by voice vote a resolution apologizing to African Americans for slavery and Jim Crow laws. The resolution declares:That the House of Representatives--(1) acknowledges that slavery is incompatible with the basic founding principles recognized in the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal;(2) acknowledges …

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by Devin Montgomery

The Massachusetts House of Representatives Tuesday voted 119-36 for a bill that would repeal a 1913 law barring people from marrying in Massachusetts if their own state would not recognize such a union. The state's Senate passed the bill earlier this month and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has said …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Constitutional Court of Turkey Wednesday rejected a bid to ban the country's ruling Islamic Justice and Development Party (AKP), which was accused of ignoring the secular principles of the country's constitution. Six of the 11 judges on the court favored dissolving the party, but seven would have …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Germany's Federal Constitutional Court Wednesday ruled that state laws banning smoking in bars are unconstitutional as they now stand. Smoking in public places is regulated on a state-by-state basis in Germany, and most states allow bars to designate a separate room for smokers. The court found that such …

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by Devin Montgomery

The Court of Bosnia & Herzegovina Tuesday delivered its first sentences of war crimes suspects from Yugoslavia's violent ethnic conflicts of the 1990s, convicting seven of genocide for their involvement in killings committed at the Srebrenica prison camp. Seven men convicted were given sentences …

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by Deirdre Jurand

The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) has announced that health insurance company BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York has agreed to extend health-care benefits to spouses in validly married same-sex couples. In February, judges for a New York state appeals court unanimously ruled that the state must …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Officials from the US Department of Justice (DOJ) have filed a motion with the US Supreme Court requesting permission to petition for rehearing in Kennedy v. Louisiana, in which the Court found that a death sentence constitutes cruel and unusual punishment when imposed for a crime of child rape in …

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by Deirdre Jurand

UK House of Lords judges Wednesday denied the appeal of a man accused of hacking US government computers in 2001 and 2002 who had argued that his extradition to the US would violate his human rights. British police arrested systems analyst Gary McKinnon in 2002, and US authorities …

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by Devin Montgomery

Council of Europe (COE) Commissioner for Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg Tuesday urged Italy to change immigration and preemptive crime policies that he says marginalize the country's Roma and Sinti minorities. Hammarberg memorandum was issued following visit to the country during which he reported harsh conditions in Roma camps and heard accounts …

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by Deirdre Jurand

Serbian authorities Wednesday transferred Bosnian Serb leader and former fugitive Radovan Karadzic to the custody of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to face trial on war crimes charges. Karadzic, who has been indicted on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, was arrested …

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