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Legal news from Thursday, September 25, 2008
by Devin Montgomery

Minority Rights Group International (MRGI) released a report Wednesday criticizing the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights for its failure to effectively institute a court to adjudicate human rights issues on the continent. MRGI said the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights has not yet begun to …

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by Steve Czajkowski

The UN Human Rights Council completed its ninth session in Geneva Wednesday by adopting 24 texts, one of which included a decision to extend the mission of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Sudan, Sina Samar, until June 2009. The President of …

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by Joe Shaulis

A US military prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay filed a declaration with the US military commissions Wednesday stating that he is resigning because of ethical concerns. Army Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld said potentially exculpatory evidence had been withheld from defense attorneys for Afghan detainee Mohammed Jawad, who …

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by Devin Montgomery

The Iraqi Parliament on Wednesday approved a controversial bill providing for provincial elections in much of the country. Kurdish legislators had strongly opposed a provision establishing a provincial council in Kirkuk [GlobalSecurity.org backgrounder] made up of equal numbers of Kurdish, Arab and Turkmenian representatives. After several failures, the parliament accepted a UN-proposed compromise …

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by Steve Czajkowski

Jury selection began Wednesday in US District Court for the Southern District of Florida for the torture trial of Charles McArthur Emmanuel, son of former Liberian President Charles Taylor. Earlier this month, Emmanuel pleaded not guilty after he was indicted in December on charges that he was involved with killings …

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by Joe Shaulis

Thirteen state attorneys general urged the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Wednesday to withdraw a proposed rule that they said could threaten women's access to abortion and birth control. The Provider Conscience Regulation, published last month, is intended to reinforce federal statutes protecting …

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by Andrew Gilmore

The Thailand Court of Appeals ruled against former Thai prime minister Samak Sundaravej Thursday, upholding defamation convictions against him and an associate, Dusit Siriwan. The charges stem from a 2006 television appearance in which both men allegedly insinuated that former Bangkok deputy governor Samart Rajpolasidhi was involved in a vote-rigging scheme. Samak and Dusit …

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by Andrew Gilmore

Former Rwandan deputy state prosecutor Siméon Nchamihigo was sentenced to life imprisonment Wednesday by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). Nchamihigo was charged with four counts of genocide, murder, extermination, and other crimes against humanity. According to an amended indictment, Nchamihigo ordered an accomplice to kill a Tutsi victim …

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by Andrew Gilmore

Congress passed legislation [H.R. 6983 text, PDF] Tuesday to reduce inequities in the insurance coverage of mental health and addiction treatment, bringing the insurance costs for such treatment in line with those of conventional medical procedures. The bill, known as the "Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008," and often referred to …

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