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Legal news from Wednesday, February 25, 2009
by Devin Montgomery

The US Supreme Court decided two cases Wednesday. In Pleasant Grove City v. Summum the Court ruled unanimously that privately donated monuments displayed in public parks qualify as government speech, and that their display is therefore not subject to freedom of expression considerations that apply …

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by Jake Oresick

The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled Tuesday that two former lobbyists may use classified documents in their defense against charges under the 1917 Espionage Act. Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, previously with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), are charged with conspiring …

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by Jake Oresick

The Supreme Court of Pakistan Wednesday upheld a lower court ruling that bars Nawaz Sharif, former prime minister and current leader of the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), from holding elected office based on a past criminal conviction for "hijacking". Sharif was convicted of the offense for attempting to divert a plane …

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by Kayleigh Shebs

Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) prosecutor Stephen Rapp has told Reuters that lack of court funds due to the global economic downturn may require the release of former Liberian President Charles Taylor. The SCSL has charged Taylor with 11 counts of crimes against humanity …

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by Caitlin Price

Lawyers for Canadian Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr were blocked from attending a scheduled Tuesday meeting with Khadr at Guantanamo Bay. Officials have launched an investigation into the ethics of the defense team, and Navy Lt. Cmdr. Bill Kuebler, a military lawyer for Khadr, e-mailed media outlets to state …

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by Ximena Marinero

Spain's Minister of Foreign Affairs Miguel Angel Moratinos on Tuesday indicated his country's willingness to accept Guantanamo detainees during his meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington DC. No specific details were set out during the meeting, and Moratinos told Spanish media [El Pais report, in Spanish; …

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by Caitlin Price

Internet search company Google, Inc. will apply to join a European Commission (EC) antitrust proceeding against Microsoft, accusing the software giant of hindering competition, according to a message from Google Vice President Sundar Pichai posted to the company's official blog Tuesday. On January 17, the EC confirmed that it sent a Statement …

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by Safiya Boucaud

Colombian president Alvaro Uribe on Monday denied ordering Department of Administrative Security (DAS) agents to conduct wiretaps on politicians, judges and journalists. Journalists from the Colombian magazine Semana were the first to publish the allegations, and have stated that certain recordings have already been destroyed. Some fear …

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by Lucas Tanglen

British Justice Secretary Jack Straw on Tuesday vetoed a British Information Tribunal order for the release of redacted minutes of two Cabinet discussions from the months prior to the invasion of Iraq. Straw declared that the public interest in keeping Cabinet meetings secret …

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by Ximena Marinero

Amnesty International (AI) on Wednesday urged the Guatemalan Congress to approve a law establishing a National Search Commission for the Persons Forcibly and Involuntarily Disappeared. The proposed legislation was presented to the Guatemalan Congress in January 2007, and was an important part of a 1999 report by the Commission for …

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by Lucas Tanglen

A Paris appeals court on Tuesday overturned the 2007 terrorism convictions of five French citizens who had been questioned by French officials while detained at Guantanamo Bay. The court held that counter-terrorism agents from the French national security service DST could not gather intelligence and conduct a criminal investigation at the same …

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by Andrew Gilmore

US President Barack Obama urged sweeping reform of the American financial regulatory system in a speech on his economic revitalization plan to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night. His address, which came less than a week after he signed into law the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), focused on …

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