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Legal news from Tuesday, November 4, 2008
by Joe Shaulis

Voters in 36 US states considered more than 160 initiatives and referenda at the polls Tuesday, including ballot measures dealing with gay rights, abortion, affirmative action and illegal immigration. Probably the most closely watched ballot measure is in California, where voters will decide whether to effectively overturn a decision by that state's Supreme Court …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in three cases. In FCC v. Fox Television Stations, the court will consider whether the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) acted arbitrarily and capriciously in changing its policy regarding fines for the broadcast of isolated expletives. …

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by Andrew Gilmore

Iraqi Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, one of two Iraqi vice presidents, called Tuesday for a national referendum on a proposed US-Iraqi Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA). The agreement, which has been the subject of protracted negotiations between Iraq and the US since May, would extend the role of US forces in Iraq …

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by Jay Carmella

The State Council Information Office of China announced Tuesday that the country will draft a plan to protect human rights. The panel being formed to draft the plan will receive input from more than 50 groups, including the Chinese Legislature, the Supreme People’s Court and the National Development Reform …

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by Lucas Tanglen

The Dutch government on Tuesday announced that it has proposed legislation that would allow journalists to keep their sources secret from the government. The proposal comes two years after a Dutch trial judge detained two newspaper reporters for three days after they refused to reveal their sources when …

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by Andrew Gilmore

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Monday reinstated a water pollution lawsuit brought by survivors of the Bhopal disaster against US chemical producer Union Carbide. The litigation in the case, Sahu v. Union Carbide, concerns water pollution and groundwater contamination resulting from the 1984 disaster in Bhopal, …

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by Devin Montgomery

Chief Justice Allan Lutfy of the Federal Court of Canada on Monday dismissed a challenge to recent security-related amendments to the country's Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, ruling that it was too early to determine whether they would violate immigrant rights. Under the law, the Canadian government can use security certificates …

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by Christian Ehret

The Singapore Attorney General's Chambers (AGC) on Tuesday filed an application accusing the Wall Street Journal Asia (WSJA) of undermining the independence and integrity of the country's judiciary. Citing two WSJA articles, "Democracy in Singapore" and "Judging Singapore's Judiciary", as well as one letter, all published earlier this …

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by David Weber

South Korea will join the European Union and Japan in supporting a UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution condemning North Korea's human rights practices, according to a South Korean foreign ministry official Tuesday. The resolution will be submitted to the UNGA's Third Committee this week, and is expected to address issues including public …

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by Tarah Park

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Saturday warned that Colombia faces continued human rights struggles, as she concluded a fact-finding mission to the country. Pointing to continued hostage takings, arbitrary arrests, and especially extrajudicial executions by the military as major struggles, Pillay told …

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by Devin Montgomery

The Alaskan Personnel Board on Monday released a report finding that governor and Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin did not violate state ethics rules when she fired former public safety commissioner Walter Monegan. Monegan had alleged that Palin violated the state's Executive Branch Ethics Act (EBEA) by using her office to …

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by Deirdre Jurand

A US military commission sentenced Ali Hamza Ahmad Suliman al Bahlul to life in prison Monday following his Friday conviction for conspiring with al Qaeda, soliciting murder, and providing material support for terrorism. Al Bahlul, a 39-year old Yemeni citizen, went on trial at Guantanamo Bay late …

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by Jake Oresick

Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) has urged the Mexican Senate to change a law requiring those who file criminal complaints to verify their immigration status. CNDH said Sunday that the country's General Law of Population, which requires the verification, denies undocumented immigrants fundamental protections in …

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