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Legal news from Thursday, July 9, 2009
by Andrew Morgan

The Supreme Court of India on Thursday accepted a petition challenging a lower court ruling declaring India's anti-sodomy law unconstitutional. Sushil Kumar Kaushal asked the Court to set aside a ruling by the Delhi High Court, which found that Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, outlawing "carnal conduct …

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by Christian Ehret

Bangladesh should improve their war crimes laws to bring justice to victims of the 1971 War of Independence from Pakistan, Human Rights Watch urged Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wednesday. The rights group sent a letter to Hasina applauding the government's commitment in setting up tribunals to prosecute war criminals and asked …

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by Andrew Morgan

A collection of advocacy groups filed suit Thursday against New Mexico and Indiana alleging that the states have failed to comply with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) by not providing voter registration cards at public assistance agencies. Commonly known as the "Motor Voter Act," NVRA requires that states make voter registration materials available …

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by Christian Ehret

Ethiopian lawmakers passed a controversial new anti-terrorism Tuesday law that rights groups claim will negatively affect human rights in the country. Ethiopian authorities responded Wednesday to a recent Human Rights Watch report, which expressed concern that the law could "punish political speech and peaceful protest as terrorist acts and encourage unfair trials." HRW argued …

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by Christian Ehret

The French Senate on Wednesday approved a new version of a controversial Internet piracy law after portions of it were rejected last month by France's Constitutional Council. The original law subjected violators of copyright laws to suspension of Internet access at the …

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by Andrew Morgan

A Kosovo court on Wednesday began trial of three former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) members accused of committing war crimes during the 1998-1999 Balkan ethnic conflicts. The trial, being held in the Kosovo's District Court of Prishtina, involves a mixed team made up of local and European Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) …

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by Andrew Morgan

A commission created by the French National Assembly began hearings Wednesday to consider whether to enact laws banning the wearing of burqas or other "full veils." The commission heard testimony from anthropologist Dounia Bouzar who suggested that a broad ban on covering one's face to conceal identity …

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by Christian Ehret

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday upheld the state of Washington's mandates prohibiting patient discrimination and requiring that pharmacies deliver lawfully-prescribed, approved medications. Under the rules, pharmacists are not required [WAC § 246-863-095 text] to dispense medication if they personally object to it, but will be subjected to professional discipline …

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by Andrew Morgan

People arrested in Iran after last month's disputed presidential election have been beaten, deprived of sleep, and threatened with torture in an effort to force false confessions, according to a report released Wednesday by Human Rights Watch (HRW). HRW alleges that Iranian authorities are attempting to support accusations that the post-election civil unrest …

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by Christian Ehret

US President Barack Obama announced Tuesday his intent to nominate war crimes prosecutor Stephen Rapp as Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues. In this position, Rapp will head the Office of War Crimes Issues at the US Department of State, coordinating US support for war crimes prosecutions in international and …

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by Devin Montgomery

The International Criminal Court (ICC) said Wednesday that it is still seeking the arrest of Ugandan rebel leader and war crimes suspect Joseph Kony and his deputies, four years after warrants for the men were issued by the court. Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), is wanted [warrant, PDF; …

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by Brian Jackson

John Harris, former chief of staff to Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, pleaded guilty to a single count of wire fraud on Wednesday in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The guilty plea is the first in the high-profile case concerning the suspected efforts of Blagojevich to …

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