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Legal news from Monday, February 7, 2011
by Megan McKee

Prosecutors and defense attorneys in the US District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania on Monday began selecting the jury in the corruption trial of former Pennsylvania judge Mark Ciavarella for his role in a juvenile sentencing scandal. Ciavarella, a former judge in Pennsylvania's Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas, is accused of …

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by Erin Bock

The UK's top civil servant reported Monday that the previous administration " all it could" to facilitate a Libyan appeal to allow for the release of convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi from a Scottish prison, but that the decision-making power was solely within the province of the Scottish …

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by LaToya Sawyer

UN rights experts called Monday for all global communities to participate in the effort to end female genital mutilation (FGM). The statement, marking the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Genital Mutilation and Cutting, encourages abandonment of the practice that has long-term health effects and is, according to the UN officials, a …

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by Ann Riley

A total of 98.83 percent of nearly 3.8 million southern Sudanese voters voted in favor of secession in last month's Southern Sudan's Independence Referendum, according to the final polling results released Monday by the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission. After the official results were announced in the northern capital of Khartoum, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir [BBC …

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by Ashley Hileman

The Amsterdam District Court began the new trial of right-wing Dutch politician Geert Wilders Monday after replacing the previous panel of judges. The replacement panel will now hear the case against Wilders, which stems from charges that he made inflammatory statements against Islam, calling the religion "fascist" and comparing the Koran to …

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by Zach Zagger

UK think tank Policy Exchange called Monday for the UK to withdraw from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in favor of a domestic high court. Senior UK judge, Lord Leonard Hoffman, wrote the foreword, saying the "Strasbourg court has taken upon itself an extraordinary power to micromanage the legal systems …

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by Dwyer Arce

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the European Center for Human Rights (ECCHR) on Monday urged the signatory states of the UN Convention Against Torture (CAT) to pursue criminal charges against former US president George W. Bush. The call came as the rights groups announced that two criminal complaints [text, …

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by Sarah Paulsworth

The UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) met on Monday to define key terms related to the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri. In particular, the STL is seeking to define the term "terrorism" in order to determine which laws to apply in the case …

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