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Legal news from Friday, January 22, 2010
by Steve Czajkowski

The Constitutional Court of Turkey on Thursday overturned a law that allowed the prosecution of military personnel in civilian courts and prevented military prosecution of civilians during peacetime. The court was unanimous in its decision to overturn the law, which was seen as necessary for Turkish accession to the European Union …

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by Steve Dotterer

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu stated in a press conference Thursday that Chinese human rights lawyer and activist Gao Zhisheng is "where he should be." Ma stated that holding Gao in Chinese custody since February 2009 comports with the law. The official version of the press conference transcript [text, …

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by Zach Zagger

European Union (EU) justice ministers considered Friday whether to use "enhanced cooperation" to enable some EU countries to work together to create uniform marriage laws for mixed-nationality couples. Incoming EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said that she would enter a demand for enhanced cooperation, a technique used when only some EU …

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by Dwyer Arce

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday that nuclear arms reduction negotiations with the US are likely to resume in early February and will soon result in a landmark nuclear arms reduction treaty. The treaty is to be the successor to the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which expired in December. Official negotiations in …

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by Sarah Paulsworth

A presidential task force has recommended that 35 Guantanamo Bay prisoners face trial or military commissions, the Associated Press reported on Friday. Government officials said that the proceedings for these detainees will most likely be carried out on US soil. The 35 detainees named in the task force report include five detainees that are …

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by Jonathan Cohen

Imam Hassen Chalghoumi of Paris gave his support Friday to a proposed law that would ban wearing the burqa or niqab in public. In an interview with Le Parisien, Chalghoumi said that the full veil is not a part of French culture and that a woman should move to a country where it …

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by Jonathan Cohen

US Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said Friday that Haitians who arrived illegally after last week's earthquake would be sent back to Haiti. Napolitano told a news conference that Haitians should not view the earthquake as an open opportunity to migrate to the US, but should remain in their country to …

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by Sarah Paulsworth

Nigeria’s cabinet must pass a resolution within 14 days on whether ailing President Umaru Yar'Adua is capable of running the country, according to an order issued on Friday by Judge Dan Abutu of Federal High Court in Abuja. Yar'Adua has been absent from the country for two months receiving medical treatment in Saudi Arabia. Last week, a …

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by Patrice Collins

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu on Friday accused the US of harming bilateral relations with China after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, gave a speech promoting Internet freedom and criticizing censorship. Though she did not overtly attack China, Clinton did critique countries that restrict free access of information, declaring …

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by Patrice Collins

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Friday that two Guantanamo Bay detainees have been transferred to Algeria. Hassan Zumiri had spent more than seven years in the Guantanamo detention center, while Adil Hadi al-Jazairi bin Hamlili had been held for five. Both men are Algerian nationals, bringing the total …

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by Daniel Makosky

The California Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously overturned a 2003 law limiting the amount of marijuana that may be possessed under the state's Medical Marijuana Program (MMP). The court ruled that Health and Safety Code § 11362.77, allowing patients to possess no more than eight ounces of dried marijuana, represented an …

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by David Manes

Federal prosecutors on Thursday announced the indictment of seven more individuals in connection with the probe surrounding Galleon Group hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam and former hedge fund consultant Danielle Chiesi. The seven defendants were originally arrested in November on insider trading charges, and the 10-count indictment …

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by Matt Glenn

US President Barack Obama proposed new banking rules Thursday that he claims would stabilize the banking system and reduce the risk of future bank failures. The legislation would prohibit banks from owning, investing or sponsoring hedge funds, private equity funds, or proprietary trading funds for profit where the funds do not benefit the …

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by David Manes

Kenyan officials on Thursday announced the creation of a special tribunal to hear legal claims dealing with HIV, including discrimination and medical confidentiality cases. The tribunal will have the legal standing and powers of a subordinate court, and will be under the office of the Attorney General. Earlier this month, Kenya's National Aids Control …

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by Daniel Makosky

Zimbabwean state-run media on Thursday announced the suspension of governmental efforts to collect public opinions on a new constitution for the country. Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana, co-chairman of the committee charged with drafting the document, cited financial and logistical concerns, as well as disagreements over who would be responsible for gathering the public’s views. Movement for Democratic Change …

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by Matt Glenn

EU officials told US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano Thursday that European airports will not install body scanning technology until the countries have studied the effectiveness, safety, and threat to privacy of such devices. The US already has placed body scanners in some airports, and encouraged their use in Europe following the failed airline …

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