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Legal news from Thursday, June 3, 2010
by Dwyer Arce

The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday voted 85-0 to pass revisions to the Nigerian Constitution that would clarify the exercise of executive authority in the absence of the president. The constitutional revisions would require the president to inform the National Assembly in writing of any absence from office within 21 days, during which time …

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by Hillary Stemple

A report released Tuesday by the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) details continued widespread racial discrimination in jury selection in Southern states. EJI conducted research in eight southern states over a two-year period and found that the practice of striking members from a jury based on race remains common, particularly in serious criminal cases and death …

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by Sarah Miley

Zimbabwean human rights activist Farai Maguwu was arrested Thursday for allegedly supplying false information about Zimbabwe's controversial diamond mining practices to the international diamond control body the Kimberley Process (KP). Maguwu, head of a prominent non-governmental organization (NGO) monitoring the diamond fields, had been in hiding for several days since his office and residence were raided by …

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by Dwyer Arce

US lawyer and JURIST Forum contributor Peter Erlinder on Wednesday attempted to commit suicide while being held in a Rwandan prison on charges of genocide denial, according to police. Erlinder was reportedly found semiconscious in his cell Wednesday morning as police attempted to summon him for further questioning. According to …

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by Sarah Miley

The EU Court of Justice (ECJ) issued two judgments on Thursday against UK betting companies Ladbrokes International and Betfair, upholding Dutch restrictions on Internet gambling. The Netherlands Supreme Court sought guidance from the ECJ to determine whether the Dutch licensing system was compatible with EU law on service provisions and games of chance [Article …

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by Drew Singer

A top UN official on Wednesday called on the US to cease CIA drone strikes in Pakistan until more accountability for the strikes exists. UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Philip Alston said that, despite their usefulness against terrorist organizations, the international community is kept uninformed of when and where drone attacks …

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by Hillary Stemple

A civil judge and court clerk were shot and killed in a central Brussels courtroom on Thursday by a man attending the morning's hearings. Police were searching for the shooter who fled the courtroom, but may have been injured while escaping. Private gun ownership is legal in Belgium, but the government enacted stricter regulations in 2006 …

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by Dwyer Arce

US President Barack Obama on Wednesday ordered executive agencies to offer greater benefits to the same-sex partners of federal employees and their children, expanding benefits to their allowable limits under federal law. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) prevents the Obama administration from extending the full benefits given to opposite-sex spouses of federal employees. Despite this, …

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by Hillary Stemple

Federal prosecutors on Wednesday filed additional charges against four members of the "Christian warrior" militia, Hutaree, alleging possession of machine guns and unregistered rifles, as well as use of firearms during a violent crime. Nine members of the militia were originally indicted in March on charges of seditious …

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by Erin Bock

The Canadian government on Wednesday introduced the Copyright Modernization Act aimed at updating existing copyright law and bringing it in line with international standards. If passed, the bill would protect copyright holders by prohibiting hacking of digital locks, allowing the use of user-generated content, and giving authorship rights to photographers. Consumers would officially …

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by Erin Bock

The Italian Court of Cassation, the country's highest appeals court, ruled Tuesday that couples seeking to adopt children of a certain ethnicity or race "are not suitable for international adoption." The judgment was prompted by the case of a Sicilian couple who declared that they only wanted to adopt a Caucasian child of European descent. …

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