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Legal news from Wednesday, January 19, 2011
by Daniel Makosky

The Somali Parliament on Tuesday rejected legislation designed to combat piracy. The bill, introduced last week by government officials, seeks to criminalize piracy and improve internal mechanisms for trying alleged offenders. Lawmakers expressed reservations about the bill, including concerns about its necessity and that the proposed sentencing provisions are inconsistent with Islamic …

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by Hillary Stemple

The US Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled in Harrington v. Richter that the section of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) [28 USC § 2254 text] limiting federal review of state court decisions to decisions resulting from an unreasonable application of the law or an …

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by Sarah Posner

Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday announced a one-month postponement in the seating of the country's new parliament, following a request by a high court judicial tribunal asking for more time to look into allegations of fraud surrounding last September's parliamentary elections. Karzai issued a decree in December authorizing the …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit unanimously ruled Tuesday to uphold the affirmative action policy of considering race in student admissions at the University of Texas at Austin (UT). The plaintiffs, two Caucasian students, were denied undergraduate admission to UT in 2008, and subsequently challenged UT's admissions …

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by Sarah Miley

The US Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously overturned a lower court's ruling in NASA v. Nelson and upheld the background checks that NASA uses for employees of companies working under contract. In 2008 the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that …

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by Brian Jackson

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in FCC v. AT&T on whether exemption 7(C) of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) [5 USC § 552] applies to corporations. Under exemption 7(C), an agency can withhold information pursuant to an …

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by Daniel Makosky

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday appealed a ruling that found the minimum coverage provision of the recently enacted health care reform law unconstitutional. The government filed a notice of appeal in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, signaling its intent …

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by Sarah Posner

The human rights group Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) released a report Wednesday detailing human rights abuses in Myanmar. The report revealed eight violations that fall under the purview of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and may be classified as crimes against humanity. The report presented the first quantitative data …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Monday commenced the trial of Idelphonse Nizeyimana on charges related to his role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Nizeyimana, nicknamed "Butcher of Butare", faces four counts of genocide, complicity in genocide, and crimes against humanity including rape and other inhumane acts. …

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by Matt Glenn

A judge for the Jerusalem District Court on Wednesday ordered suspected Bosnian war criminal Aleksander Cvetkovic held in jail while the Israeli government attempts to extradite him to Bosnia to stand trial for crimes committed during the 1992-1995 Bosnian Civil War. The Israeli State Attorney's Office filed a petition [press release, in …

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by Matt Glenn

A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled Tuesday that the US government does not have to release non-redacted transcripts relating to the interrogation of certain "high value" detainees at Guantanamo Bay. The court held that the Department of Defense (DOD) and Central Intelligence …

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by Julia Zebley

Former Haitian president Jean-Claude Duvalier [BBC Profile; JURIST news archive was charged Tuesday with corruption, theft, misappropriation of funds and other unnamed crimes. Duvalier underwent several hours of questioning, and, although he was released, he does not have the right to leave Haiti. Duvalier returned to Haiti from exile in France on Sunday, stating that he had …

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