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Legal news from Monday, October 26, 2009
by Haley Wojdowski

Sri Lankan Minister for Disaster Management and Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe announced Monday that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to appoint an independent committee to investigate allegations of human rights violations in that nation. "Incidents During the Recent Conflicts in Sri Lanka", a US Department of State (DOS) report presented to Congress, …

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by Hillary Stemple

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday announced the formation of a task force to respond to the Goldstone Report, which accused both Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and Hamas fighters of war crimes during last winter's Operation Cast Lead. The task force will be led by …

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by Carrie Schimizzi

A prominent opposition leader and human rights activist in Russia's southern province of Ingushetia, Maksharip Aushev, was reportedly shot dead Sunday while traveling on a highway in the North Caucasus region of Kabardino-Balkaria. According to Russian media, the unidentified gunmen fired more than 60 shots at Aushev's vehicle, killing him …

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by Ann Riley

Uruguayan voters on Sunday rejected an initiative to end the country's Expiry Law, which grants amnesty to military officials accused of human rights violations during the country’s 1973-1985 dictatorship. With approximately 48 percent voting in support, the referendum to overturn the law fell short of the required …

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by Jay Carmella

The Supreme Court of Hawaii announced Friday that state courts will be closed two Fridays each month beginning in November 2009. Chief Justice Ronald Moon found that the difficult decision [Honolulu Star-Bulletin report] was necessary due to the financial conditions that currently exist in Hawaii. Moon ordered:In consideration of (1) the …

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by Patrice Collins

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on Monday temporarily adjourned proceedings against former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic after Karadzic failed to appear for the opening of his war crimes trial. Karadzic announced last week that he planned to boycott his trial because he had not been …

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by Zach Zagger

An Ontario law banning the use of handheld devices while driving took effect Monday, outlawing text messaging and talking on a cellphone while behind the wheel. The ban makes it illegal to use any handheld wireless communication devices but also extends to any device with a screen that can take the driver's eye off the road, …

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by Jonathan Cohen

The Seoul Central District court on Monday found Dr. Hwang Woo-Suk guilty of embezzling research funds and bioethics violations. Hwang was acquitted on fraud charges and given a two-year suspended sentence instead of the four-year sentence requested by the prosecution. Hwang, who worked for the Seoul National University (SNU), was charged in 2006 …

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by Safiya Boucaud

Former Uruguay military dictator and army chief Gregorio Alvarez was convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to 25 years in prison Thursday for his role in 37 homicides during the country's 1973-1985 military rule. Alvarez, who served as commander in chief and later as de facto president, was allegedly responsible for the secret transfers and disappearance …

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