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Legal news from Friday, June 25, 2010
by Hillary Stemple

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on Friday announced the opening of a new high-security courtroom in Kenya that will hear maritime piracy cases as well as cases involving other serious criminal offenses. The courtroom, opened on Thursday, was funded through contributions the UNODC received from donor states including Australia, Canada, Germany, France, …

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by Hillary Stemple

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Friday reinstated a lawsuit challenging the Obama administration's decision to ease restrictions on stem cell research. The lawsuit was originally dismissed by the district court in October for lack of standing. The plaintiffs argued that their …

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by Hillary Stemple

The Romanian Constitutional Court on Friday ruled that a government plan to reduce pension funds by 15 percent was unconstitutional, jeopardizing a pending billion dollar loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) needed to stabilize the Romanian economy. The planned decrease in the pension fund was part of a larger package of benefit …

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by Sarah Miley

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Friday urged Hamas authorities to allow captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit to communicate with his family and receive visits from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Shalit was captured in 2006 by Palestinian militants during a raid …

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by Hillary Stemple

Members of the US Senate and House of Representatives on Friday reached an agreement on the financial reform bills passed by each chamber, which focus on increasing regulation in the financial sector following the recent economic crisis. The reconciled bill creates a new regulatory council to monitor financial …

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by Sarah Miley

The UN Development Programme (UNDP), in coordination with the UNAIDS Secretariat, on Thursday launched the Global Commission on HIV and the Law in order to better understand the role played by the law in facilitating universal access to AIDS prevention and treatment. The commission is charged with developing "actionable and evidence-informed recommendations" to create national …

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by Sarah Miley

The German Federal Court of Justice on Friday ruled that removing a patient from life support is not a criminal offense if the terminal individual had previously given consent. The landmark ruling legalized the right to die and overturned the nine-month sentence of a lawyer …

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by Ann Riley

A Pakistani anti-terrorism court on Thursday sentenced five Americans to 10 years in prison for plotting attacks on Pakistan. Waqar Hussain Khan, Ahmed Minni, Ramy Zamzam, Aman Yemer and Umar Farooq, all students from the Washington, DC metro area, were convicted of criminal conspiracy and funding a banned terrorist organization and will carry out the respective ten-year …

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by Hillary Stemple

The US House of Representatives on Thursday voted 219 to 206 to approve legislation aimed at decreasing the ability of corporations and other special interest groups to influence elections. The bill, known as the Disclose Act, was developed in response to the January US Supreme Court ruling …

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by Ann Riley

Gabon police arrested Rwandan doctor Jean-Chrysostome Ndindabahizi on charges of conspiracy to commit genocide, crimes against humanity and murder in connection to the 1994 Rwandan genocide, according to Rwandan National Public Prosecution Authority spokesperson Augustin Nkusi on Thursday. Witnesses say Ndindabahizi was working as a doctor at Butare University Hospital …

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by Sarah Miley

A federal judge on Thursday denied a request to delay the corruption trial of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich in order for his defense lawyers to review a decision by US Supreme Court limiting the scope of the federal honest services fraud statute [18 USC § 1346 text]. Blagojevich is currently facing several honest …

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by Dwyer Arce

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Thursday ruled 4-3 that the European Convention on Human Rights does not mandate that member states recognize same-sex marriages. The applicants, an Austrian same-sex couple, argued that their country's prohibition on same-sex marriage violated their rights under the Article 8 right to …

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