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Legal news from Friday, July 10, 2009
by Andrew Morgan

The Kurdish Parliament announced Friday that it was postponing a public referendum on approval of the Constitution of Kurdistan. The vote had previously been scheduled to coincide with parliamentary elections later this month, but parliamentary president Adnan Mufti said that the election commission was unable to organize both …

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by Devin Montgomery

An African Union (AU) panel led by former South African president Thabo Mbeki recommended Friday that the AU cooperate with International Criminal Court (ICC) efforts to arrest Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The recommendation comes …

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by Christian Ehret

The UK Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) announced Friday that it is investigating the alleged mistreatment of an Ethiopian Guantanamo Bay detainee by British intelligence officers. Binyam Mohamed, who was arrested in Pakistan in 2002, claims that while he was held in Pakistan for three months he was …

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by Andrew Morgan

Chinese authorities on Wednesday detained four employees of Australian mining company Rio Tinto on suspicion of stealing 'state secrets' during stalled iron ore price negotiations. Rio Tinto's Shanghai manager Stern Hu, who is an Australian citizen, along with three of the company's Chinese employees are accused of bribing officials and steel industry executives in order …

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by Christian Ehret

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said Thursday that human rights violations committed during recent Somalian conflicts may amount to war crimes. Pillay said that ongoing violence between Islamist rebels and the newly-formed government has resulted in hundreds of civilian deaths, despite a peace accord signed last year. Pillay's office reported that the …

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by Andrew Morgan

A group of federal judges on Thursday urged the US Sentencing Commission (USSC) to revise complicated and mechanical calculations used to determine federal criminal sentences. Federal circuit and district court judges praised the 2005 Supreme Court decision in US v. Booker, which made the USSC's guidelines advisory rather than mandatory, but said …

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by Andrew Morgan

Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Thursday approved a law that would allow the prosecution of military personnel in civilian courts and would prevent military prosecution of civilians during peacetime. Gul said that the law was necessary for accession to the European Union (EU), but suggested that parliament amend the …

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by Christian Ehret

The Afghan government has revised a controversial law which appeared to legalize marital rape, according to statements made by government officials on Thursday. The provisions of the Shi'ite personal status law requiring a wife to submit to sex with her husband were removed along with other provisions, following international condemnation and protests. Afghan President Hamid …

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by Devin Montgomery

The trial of Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi resumed Friday with the testimony of Khin Moe Moe, a member of Suu Kyi's National League of Democracy (NLD) party. Suu Kyi is charged with violating the terms of her house arrest by allowing an American to stay at her home, but …

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by Andrew Morgan

The Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation on Wednesday filed a request for partial summary judgment concluding that the National Security Agency (NSA) illegally wiretapped several conversations between the charity and its lawyers. The organization is suing the government for the wiretapping and is seeking both disclosure of …

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by Christian Ehret

A federal appeals court Wednesday upheld a Massachusetts law prohibiting people from protesting directly outside of abortion clinics. The US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled that the law, which creates a 35-foot buffer zone around entrances and exits of reproductive health clinics, was a reasonable response to a significant threat to …

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by Benjamin Hackman

Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan Thursday delivered the names of those believed responsible for the post-election violence in Kenya in late 2007 and early 2008 to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. Annan sent a sealed envelope to ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official …

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by Matt Glenn

Sweden will become the first European Union (EU) nation to extradite a Rwandan to his native country so that he can stand trial for his alleged role in Rwanda's 1994 genocide, Swedish Justice Minister Beatrice Ask announced Thursday. The announcement comes in response to a Rwandan government request for Sweden to …

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