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Legal news from Tuesday, July 7, 2009
by Christian Ehret

A Washington, DC law recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states or jurisdictions took effect Tuesday, following Congressional inaction on the matter. The Jury and Marriage Amendment Act of 2009, passed by the Council of the District of Columbia in May by a 12-1 final vote, was subject to Congressional review pursuant to …

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by Andrew Morgan

The American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary on Tuesday gave US Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor a unanimous "well-qualified" rating. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said that the positive assessment should aid Sotomayor in her confirmation hearings, …

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by Christian Ehret

Iranian opposition leaders called Tuesday for the release of persons detained for their alleged involvement in protests following last month's disputed presidential election. The request was brought jointly by candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi and former president Mohammad Khatami, who also called for the government …

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by Andrew Morgan

A German appeals court on Tuesday found that suspected Nazi Waffen-SS soldier Heinrich Boere is medically fit to stand trial for the 1944 murder of three Dutch civilians. The Cologne Higher Regional Court overturned a lower court decision, which found that a heart condition and other medical problems rendered …

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by Andrew Morgan

Retired Rear Admiral John Hutson, formerly the US Navy's Judge Advocate General, argued Tuesday that the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA) should be repealed rather than reformed. At a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Hutson said that although he was an "early and ardent …

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by Christian Ehret

The Supreme Court of India on Monday rejected a bid to replace executions by hanging with lethal injections. The suit was brought by rights advocate Ashok Kumar Walia who maintained that hanging executions were cruel and painful. Chief Justice Balakrishan and Justice Sathasivam questioned the allegation that hanging causes more pain …

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by Andrew Morgan

Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Tuesday appealed the court's decision not to charge Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir with genocide. ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said that the evidentiary standards imposed by the Pre-Trial Chamber in advance of their March indictment was an …

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by Christian Ehret

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Monday affirmed a ruling that a prisoner's First Amendment rights are not violated if he is prohibited from writing material that encourages inmates to participate in work stoppages. Sing Sing prison inmate Prince Pilgrim brought the suit to challenge a New York …

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by Andrew Morgan

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Tuesday called for restraint from all sides and a respect for due process in the ethnic unrest in China's Xinjiang Autonomous Region, in which the Chinese government says 156 were killed and more than 800 wounded on Sunday. Expressing her condolences to the victims …

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by Christian Ehret

A federal appeals court on Monday ordered an en banc rehearing of a patent case that challenges new US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) rules. The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will reexamine a previous ruling that upheld three of the rules but rejected …

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by Jay Carmella

The prosecution warned the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) Monday that the trial of former Liberian president Charles Taylor at The Hague could take four years to complete due to the extensive list of defense witnesses. Taylor is charged with 11 counts of crimes against humanity, …

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