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Legal news from Thursday, July 16, 2009
by Jaclyn Belczyk

US Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor reiterated her commitment to applying the law fairly to the facts of each case as members of the US Senate Judiciary Committee concluded their questions Thursday. During questioning from Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Sotomayor said:The role of the courts is to …

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by Andrew Morgan

Detainees held at the US detention facility at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan have refused prison privileges to protest their detention, according to Thursday reports. Since early July, hundreds of Bagram detainees have refused shower and exercise time and have ceased participation in a family visits and teleconferences set up by International Committee of …

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by Andrew Morgan

The French National Assembly on Wednesday approved 282-238 a bill that would relax the country's restrictions on Sunday commercial activities. If passed by the Senate next week, the bill would alter a 1906 law establishing the principle of "Sunday rest" to allow businesses in tourist zones and major cities to open on …

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by Christian Ehret

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) stated on Wednesday that they do not oppose a motion to suppress the allegedly torture-induced confession of Guantanamo detainee Mohammed Jawad. Jawad's motion sought to suppress all out-of-court statements made to US and Afghan officials on the grounds that they were the …

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by Andrew Morgan

Military prosecutors at Guantanamo Bay on Wednesday sought to delay the trials of three suspected terrorists while the US government revises the military commission system used to try them. At the second day of hearings held at the detention facility since US President Barack Obama took office, judges granted a government …

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by Christian Ehret

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) was criticized by the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC) Wednesday for its role in interrogating Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr. The committee reported that the intelligence agency failed to consider Khadr's age and human rights issues regarding alleged mistreatment by US authorities …

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by Andrew Morgan

The chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Thursday received and reviewed a sealed envelope listing the names of those believed to be responsible for the post-election violence in Kenya in late 2007 and early 2008. ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo also received "six boxes of documents and supporting materials" …

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by Christian Ehret

The Swiss Federal Criminal Court on Tuesday released the frozen assets of former Zaire leader Mobutu Sese Seko. The court ruled that the approximately 7.7 million Swiss francs stored in banks, which were said to have been gained illegally, will be returned to the late Mobutu's heirs. The funds were …

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by Christian Ehret

The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled Wednesday that Maryland alcohol price regulations violate federal antitrust laws. The court upheld their previous ruling from 2001 that state pricing schemes for liquor and wine wholesalers restrain trade and constitute horizontal price fixing under the Sherman Antitrust Act. The regulations required …

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by Andrew Morgan

The head of the UK's judiciary on Wednesday said that judges have been improperly excluded from debate over "major constitutional changes" in recent years. In a speech at a judicial banquet held by the Lord Mayor of London Ian Luder, Lord Chief Justice Lord Igor Judge suggested that judges may have a have a "duty …

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by Benjamin Hackman

Russian human rights activist Natalia Estemirova was kidnapped in Grozny Wednesday morning and shot to death, according to news reports. Estemirova, 50, investigated allegations of human rights violations in Chechnya for about 10 years. Estemirova's body, which had been shot multiple times, was found Wednesday afternoon in nearby Ingushetia. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev [official …

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by Brian Jackson

The sodomy trial of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim began in Kuala Lampur on Wednesday, one year after he was arrested. Anwar is charged with sodomizing a male aide in June 2008, though his lawyers have claimed that he was not at the site of the suspected act. Prior to the commencement …

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