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Legal news from Monday, March 8, 2010
by Jaclyn Belczyk

Indian lawmakers on Monday introduced a bill to ensure that one-third of seats in parliament are reserved for women, marking International Women's Day. The Women's Reservations Bill, introduced in the Rajya Sabha, or Council of States, would increase the number of women serving in the 543-seat legislature, which currently has …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

A Haitian judge on Monday ordered the release of one of the last two US missionaries out of a group of 10 who were arrested on kidnapping charges following the January 12 earthquake. The judge announced last month that both missionaries would be released, following the release of the other eight members …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Monday postponed the trial of former Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba, originally set to begin April 27, until July 5. The trial was delayed to allow the court more time to consider the defense's motion on the admissibility of …

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by Steve Dotterer

The top rights official at the Council of Europe on Monday rejected the notion of banning Muslim burqa and niqab garments. Commissioner for Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg noted in a written statement marking International Women's Day: Those who have argued for a general ban of the burqa …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

Thousands of Spaniards gathered Sunday to protest recently approved changes to Spain's abortion laws. Protesters marched in cities across Spain to protest the new law, which will allow abortion up to 14 weeks in most cases. Organizers in Madrid estimated that as many as 600,000 people [press …

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by Steve Dotterer

The Chinese National People's Congress (NPC) on Monday opened consideration of election reforms designed to afford equal representation to residents of rural and urban administrative areas. China's current electoral law provides more congressional representatives to residents of urban districts than residents of rural ones. The draft amendment aims to eliminate the disparity in representation. Vice …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Supreme Court on Monday granted certiorari in three cases. In Snyder v. Phelps [docket; cert. petition, PDF], the court will take up the controversial issue of picketing the funerals of soldiers killed in combat. Reverend Fred Phelps and members of the Westboro Baptist Church …

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by Ximena Marinero

Vietnamese human rights lawyer and activist Le Thi Cong Nhan was released from prison on Saturday after serving a three-year sentence for allegedly spreading propaganda against the state. Although she has been released from jail, she will now serve an additional three years of house arrest. Nhan was convicted and imprisoned in …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Supreme Court on Monday ruled 7-2 in Bloate v. United States that time granted to prepare pretrial motions is not automatically excludable under the Speedy Trial Act [18 USC § 3161(h)(1) text]. The court held that such time may be excluded only when a district …

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by Ximena Marinero

The Malaysian Federal Court ruled Monday that the 1998 removal of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim as deputy prime minister was constitutional. Anwar had challenged his removal on the grounds that the removal was unconstitutional because then-prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who fired Anwar alleging that he had notified the king, lacked the authority …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Supreme Court on Monday ruled in Milavetz, Gallop & Milavetz v. United States that attorneys are considered debt relief agencies under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) when they provide qualifying services. The court also held that the BAPCPA, which requires …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

An Italian appeals court on Friday upheld the convictions of 15 police officers, prison guards, and medical staff found guilty of abusing anti-globalization protesters taken into custody during the 2001 G8 summit in Genoa. The court also reversed the acquittals of 29 others. Amnesty International (AI) noted [press …

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