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Legal news from Thursday, November 13, 2008
by Eric Firkel

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Thursday urged the European Union (EU) to adopt a series of specific human rights benchmarks Russia should meet before moving forward with the EU-Russian Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. HRW said Russia must focus on carrying out judgments by the European Court of Human Rights [official …

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by Kiely Lewandowski

The Italian Court of Cassation, the country's highest court, ruled Thursday that the father of Eluana Englaro, who has been in a vegetative state for 16 years, can remove her feeding tube. Last month, Italy's Constitutional Court rejected a parliamentary challenge to …

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by Kiely Lewandowski

State and national housing advocates filed a class action lawsuit Wednesday arguing that Louisiana's Hurricane Katrina recovery program, Road Home Louisiana, discriminates against African-American homeowners. The federally-funded program awards grants to homeowners in the lesser of the following two amounts: the pre-storm value of the home or the cost of the damage. …

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by Devin Montgomery

A panel for the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on Wednesday dismissed an appeal by Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) seeking to have bribery charges against him dropped. Jefferson argued that the grand jury indictment against him was based on evidence protected by the US Constitution's Speech or …

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by Christian Ehret

Former Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian continued a hunger strike in the Tucheng jail in suburban Taipei Thursday after being incarcerated Wednesday, according to local media reports. While there are no official charges against Chen, the former leader of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was arrested Tuesday and questioned by prosecutors for …

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by Andrew Morgan

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Wednesday that the International Criminal Court (ICC) needs more vocal support from its member countries in a memorandum sent to member governments in advance of their annual meeting. Citing recent efforts to convince the UN Security Council to suspend the case …

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by David Weber

The Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA) and the Asociacion Pro Derechos Humanos de España (APDHE) filed suit Thursday in Spain's National Court against Alfredo Cristiani, the former president of El Salvador. The groups claim that Cristiani, along with 14 others, committed crimes against …

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by Eric Firkel

Germany's lower house of parliament voted Wednesday to approve a new law which would expand the power of Germany's federal police agency, the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA), to undertake online and telephone surveillance. Under the proposed law, a judge would be required to order an online search before BKA agents would be …

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by Benjamin Klein

Authors of a new report on detainees released from US detention in Guantanamo Bay are urging US president-elect Barack Obama to form an independent, nonpartisan commission with subpoena powers to investigate the treatment of US detainees in Guantanamo as well as in facilities in Afghanistan and …

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by Jake Oresick

The European Court of First Instance on Wednesday denied an appeal by the Danish company Lego to restore its EU trademark for its interlocking toy bricks. The decision upheld an Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) ruling that the distinctive nature of the product is its …

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by Kayleigh Shebs

A court in Brandenburg, Kentucky began civil trial proceedings Wednesday against the Kentucky-based Imperial Klans of America over injuries sustained to then-16-year old Jordan Gruver, a US citizen of Panamanian descent, during a racially motivated beating allegedly perpetrated by members of the IKA. The lawsuit, brought on behalf of Gruver by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) …

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by Eric Firkel

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Wednesday announced that it had filed an Alabama Open Records Act request to obtain documents related to the Hankins Middle School policy of educating students in a single-sex environment. In a letter to the Mobile County School System, the …

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by Tarah Park

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced concern Wednesday about the lengthy and "severe" prison sentences recently issued by a Myanmar court against pro-democracy demonstrators. He called for the country's military junta to release the more than 30 activists, along with all other political prisoners in a statement urging national reconciliation. The sentences …

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by Lucas Tanglen

Connecticut Superior Court Judge Jonathan Silbert signed a final order on Wednesday allowing same-sex marriage in the state. Last month, the state Supreme Court ruled in a 4-3 decision that state statutes barring same-sex marriage violated the state constitution by discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. The high court …

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by Andrew Gilmore

The South African Constitutional Court Wednesday refused to hear an appeal brought by former president Thabo Mbeki of a lower court ruling that dismissed corruption charges against his rival, African National Congress (ANC) president Jacob Zuma and suggested he Mbeki had a role in bringing …

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