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Legal news from Friday, May 14, 2010
by Jaclyn Belczyk

The UN Committee Against Torture (CAT) on Friday urged Syria, Yemen, and Jordan to conduct thorough investigations into allegations of torture by law enforcement officials. Concluding its forty-fourth session, the group of 10 independent experts issued conclusions and recommendations on eight countries. In Jordan, the CAT was "deeply concerned at the …

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by Daniel Makosky

Turkey's opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) filed suit in the country's Constitutional Court Friday in an effort to halt proposed constitutional amendments offered by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). The CHP is challenging reforms that seek to restructure the judiciary, claiming …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon on Thursday introduced legislation to strengthen prohibitions on bulk removal of Canada's fresh water outside the country. The Transboundary Waters Protection Act [C-26 text] would strengthen existing regulations by giving rivers and streams that cross international borders the same protection already in place for the Great Lakes. The bill …

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by Daniel Makosky

The Spanish General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) voted unanimously Friday to suspend National Court judge Baltasar Garzon for abusing his power by opening an investigation into war crimes allegedly committed under Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War. The CGPJ, ruling 18-0 with three abstentions, …

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by Sarah Miley

The UN General Assembly on Thursday elected 14 new members to the Human Rights Council (HRC), half of which have questionable human rights records. Several of the new members, including Libya, Angola, Malaysia, Thailand, and Uganda have been accused of human rights violations. The election, which is performed as a secret ballot, was uncontested, …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia on Thursday ordered the release of Russian Guantanamo Bay detainee Ravil Mingazov. Judge Henry Kennedy Jr ordered the government to "take all necessary and appropriate diplomatic steps to facilitate Mingazov's release forthwith." Government lawyers are currently reviewing the …

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by Sarah Miley

The Roman Catholic Diocese in Vermont on Thursday settled with dozens of former alter boys who alleged they were sexually abused by several clergy 30 years ago. The church agreed to pay 26 accusers a total of $17.65 million to drop child sex abuse cases pending in Burlington's Chittenden Superior Court. The original claims were …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

Haitian prosecutors on Thursday requested a six-month prison term for a US missionary accused of illegally trying to remove 33 children from the country in the wake of the January 12 earthquake. Prosecutors claimed that Laura Silsby knew she was breaking the law when she attempted to take the children into the Dominican Republic. …

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