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Legal news from Thursday, March 26, 2009
by Andrew Gilmore

The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) passed a resolution Thursday calling for laws against defamation of religion, in preparation for next month's Durban Review Conference on racism, discrimination, and xenophobia. The vote was 23-13 in favor of the resolution. Ahead of Thursday's vote, a number of critics of international defamation of religion legislation urged the …

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by Andrew Gilmore

The New Hampshire House of Representatives voted Thursday to approve a bill that would permit same-sex marriage in the state. The bill passed by a vote of 186-179, and now moves on to the New Hampshire State Senate. If approved by the Senate and signed into law by New …

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by Caitlin Price

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania on Thursday ordered hundreds of juvenile convictions to be overturned and records to be expunged without hearing pursuant to the recommendation of a Special Master, in an attempt to rectify "the alleged travesty of juvenile justice" committed by two state judges involved in an alleged kickback scheme. In …

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by Caitlin Price

The corruption trial of former Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian opened Thursday, one day after Chen criticized the proceedings as "political persecution." Chen was indicted in December and faces possible life in prison on charges of embezzlement, receiving bribes, forgery, and money laundering. Chen has maintained that the charges against him are politically …

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by Devin Montgomery

UK Attorney General Janet Scotland said Thursday that police would conduct an investigation into claims that an agent of the country's MI5 intelligence service took part in the allegedly abusive interrogation of former Guantanamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohamed. Scotland said she determined the investigation was …

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by Andrew Morgan

The US House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday approved a bill that would limit the government's ability to compel reporters to disclose confidential sources. Under the terms of the Free Flow of Information Act of 2009, parties seeking the identity of confidential sources from reporters in federal court must show that the information relates to …

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by Benjamin Hackman

The New Hampshire House of Representatives voted 193-174 Wednesday to pass a bill repealing the death penalty. The proposed legislation would amend New Hampshire's criminal code by extending the definition of first-degree murder to encompass capital murder. The bill would take effect January 1, 2010, but Governor John Lynch (D) has …

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by Devin Montgomery

Czech Republic Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek formally resigned Thursday, casting doubt on the future of the European Union (EU) reform pact known as the Treaty of Lisbon. Deputy Prime Minister Alexandr Vondra said Wednesday that the recent collapse of the country's ruling coalition would likely "complicate" its ratification of …

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by Steve Czajkowski

The UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) has named several key officials and finalized procedural and evidentiary rules in order to begin investigating and trying those involved in the February 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, according to a statement issued by the court Wednesday. The STL, …

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by Steve Czajkowski

Vermont Governor Jim Douglas (R) said Wednesday that he would veto a bill [S.0115 text, PDF] approved earlier this week by the Vermont State Senate that authorizes same-sex marriages in the state. In a statement made to reporters, Douglas said that he announced his position early because …

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by Ximena Marinero

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said that the US Department of the Treasury will propose stronger rules in response to the current economic crisis, at a meeting with the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Wednesday. Geithner also said that the US should push for global financial reforms when he accompanies …

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