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Legal news from Wednesday, December 2, 2009
by Dwyer Arce

The New York Senate rejected legislation Wednesday that would have legalized same-sex marriage. The sponsors of the bill, supported by New York Governor David Paterson, were unable to marshal the votes required to pass the bill out of the state senate, where the Democratic Party holds a single seat majority. …

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by Hillary Stemple

The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Wednesday ordered former Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba to remain in custody until his trial next spring. The ruling reverses a decision issued in August ordering Bemba's conditional release. The order for release was opposed by ICC …

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by David Manes

Iranian economist and journalist Saeed Laylaz was sentenced to a nine-year jail term on Wednesday for possessing classified information and participating in protests following the contested presidential election in June. Laylaz has been a longstanding critic of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and was an editor for the reform newspaper Sarmayeh [media …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in Stop the Beach Renourishment, Inc. v. Florida Department of Environmental Protection on the constitutional scope of states' authority to modify property boundaries without a judicial hearing. At issue is whether Florida's restoration of storm-eroded …

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by Carrie Schimizzi

The Malaysian high court ruled Tuesday that opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim will stand trial on charges on sodomy early next year. Counsel for Anwar had argued for the case to be thrown out since medical reports showed no conclusive proof of penetration, but Justice Mohamad Zabidin concluded that medical reports …

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by Dwyer Arce

The Council of the District of Columbia voted Tuesday in favor of a law that would allow same-sex marriages to be performed in Washington, DC. The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009 passed with a vote of 11-2, despite opposition from the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, which has pledged …

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by Amelia Mathias

The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) named a new head co-prosecutor Wednesday after the September resignation of Canadian Robert Petit. UK lawyer Andrew Cayley, who will serve alongside a Cambodian prosecutor, has previously been in private practice defending alleged war criminal Charles Taylor in The Hague. He …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

Lawyers for former Guantanamo Bay detainee Ahmed Ghailani have filed a motion to dismiss the charges against him, according to heavily redacted court documents made public Tuesday. Ghailani's lawyers argued that his right to a speedy trial was violated after he spent nearly five years in custody before being …

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by Amelia Mathias

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Tuesday condemned Switzerland's ban on building minarets, a type of tower associated with Islamic mosques. The ban, which was approved Sunday with 57.5 percent of the vote and the majority of Swiss cantons, was put forth by conservative political groups and opposed by churches, …

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