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Legal news from Monday, December 1, 2008
by Deirdre Jurand

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday in two cases. In Kansas v. Colorado, the Court heard arguments on whether the Supreme Court must abide by Congressional rules regarding expert witness costs when the case falls under the Supreme Court's original and exclusive jurisdiction. The …

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by Lucas Tanglen

The UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution Monday condemning human rights violations in the Democratic Republic of Congo at the close of a special session on renewed violence in the country. The Council singled out abuses in the eastern province of North Kivu, including sexual violence and the recruitment …

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by Tere Miller-Sporrer

Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg said Monday that human rights standards have been undermined by the "war on terror." Hammarberg focused on blacklists created by UN Security Council Resolution 1267 (1999), the EU common position 2001/931, EU Regulation 2580/2001, and revisions made to EU …

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by Jake Oresick

The Spanish Foreign Ministry expressly allowed the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to use Spanish resources in transporting terror suspects to Guantanamo Bay, according to a 2002 internal Foreign Ministry memorandum released by Madrid's El Pais newspaper on Sunday. According to the document, an official for the ministry …

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by Ximena Marinero

US President-elect Barack Obama officially announced on Monday that he is nominating former Department of Justice (DOJ) official Eric Holder as the next US attorney general. If confirmed by the Senate, Holder will be the first African American to lead the DOJ. Holder served as Deputy Attorney General during …

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by Kayleigh Shebs

Government officials in Zimbabwe said Monday that they will disregard a South African Development Community Tribunal ruling that ordered Zimbabwe to halt its Land Reform Program. The tribunal held that the program's seizure of white-owned farms was racially motivated and therefore contrary to the Southern African Development Community …

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by Tere Miller-Sporrer

The government of Switzerland on Sunday announced that voters in a referendum have approved a measure making the country's heroin assisted treatment program (HAT) permanent. Sixty-eight percent of 2.26 million voters approved the permanent legalization of heroin while voting against a proposal for …

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by Jay Carmella

The Central Criminal Court of Iraq (CCCI) on Sunday ordered the release of Ibrahim Jassam Mohammed, an Iraqi freelance photographer working for Reuters held by the US military. The court order, supplied to a Reuters' attorney, said the US military had no evidence to support Jassam's continued imprisonment. Jassam has been held since September in …

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by Safiya Boucaud

Kazakhstan has fallen short on its pledges to reform election laws before it takes over as chair of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Europe's main security and human rights body, in 2010, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report released Monday. The report focused on two fundamental areas …

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by Tarah Park

A Myanmar court on Friday sentenced two reporters to seven years imprisonment for allegedly undercutting the country's military junta by possessing reports deemed seditious. Thet Zin and Sein Win Maung were found in February with a copy of a UN special rapporteur's human rights report on Burma, along with videotapes of last year's pro-democracy demonstrations (Independent backgrounder) …

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