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Legal news from Thursday, June 4, 2009
by Andrew Morgan

The US House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties on Thursday heard testimony on the state secrets privilege in advance of consideration of the State Secret Protection Act that would reform the assertion of the privilege. Asa Hutchinson [JURIST op-ed], formerly a Republican member of …

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by Christian Ehret

Rights groups on Thursday called for Russia to enforce European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) judgments regarding human rights violations in Chechnya. Human Rights Watch (HRW), the Memorial Human Rights Center and Russian Justice Initiative expressed concerns that the Russian government is not acknowledging the 104 ECHR judgments condemning their …

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by Christian Ehret

The UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism has laid out plans to establish a global tribunal to prosecute private companies accused of human rights abuses. In an interview last week with the Commonwealth Secretariat, Dr. Martin Scheinin said that his proposed "World Court of Human Rights" would enforce judgments on …

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by Andrew Morgan

North Korean state media outlet Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) announced Thursday that the Pyongyang Central Court has begun the trial of two US journalists. Laura Ling and Euna Lee were arrested in March for allegedly crossing into North Korea while reporting on North Korean …

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by Christian Ehret

The Council of the European Union agreed Thursday on parameters for the acceptance of released Guantanamo Bay detainees by European Union (EU) member states. The council concluded that those member states that are willing to receive released detainees should only accept those who are cleared for release, do not face …

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by Andrew Morgan

Human rights and democracy advocates on Thursday called on the Chinese government to investigate the 1989 uprising in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, to release people imprisoned in connection with the uprising and human rights advocacy, to provide an accurate count of those killed in the governments response to the uprising, and to accept the reforms outlined in the …

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by Andrew Morgan

The president of the Hoge Raad der Nederlanden, the highest court in the Netherlands, on Thursday called for a code of conduct for politicians limiting their public statements on court rulings, after comments he says have undermined the judiciary's role. Geert Corstens said in a television interview that …

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by Christian Ehret

A federal judge on Wednesday upheld a federal statute that gave immunity to telecom companies from liability associated with assisting the National Security Agency (NSA) with eavesdropping, dismissing 46 lawsuits against the telecom industry. Additionally, the judge granted an injunction against five states, ordering state officials to cease their investigations into wiretapping activities. …

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by Brian Jackson

US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano said Wednesday that the US government will begin to enforce immigration policy more strictly by targeting employers directly, rather than through continued use of controversial workplace raids. While attending a roundtable discussion at the Aspen Institute, a public policy think tank, Napolitano …

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by Devin Montgomery

US Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday vacated an order by former attorney general Michael Mukasey that had denied those facing deportation the right to challenge immigration decisions based on ineffective assistance of counsel claims. Mukasey's order had held that the Fifth Amendment right to effective …

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by Brian Jackson

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday held that a San Francisco resolution urging the Vatican to withdraw a directive against same-sex adoptions does not violate the Establishment Clause. The resolution was passed in response to the Vatican's directive that Catholic social service agencies should not place children in …

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by Devin Montgomery

New Hampshire Governor John Lynch on Wednesday signed into law legislation allowing same-sex marriages to be performed in the state, provided that religious clergy and organizations and their employees will not be required to participate in the services or recognize the unions. The New Hampshire Senate and House of Representatives passed the …

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