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Legal news from Wednesday, February 23, 2011

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] on Wednesday convicted [judgment, PDF] former senior Serbian police official Vlastimir Djordjevic [ICTY backgrounder, PDF; case materials] on five counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes, sentencing him to 27 years [press release]. Djordjevic was convicted of … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Wednesday ruled [opinion, PDF] unanimously in Walker v. Martin [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report] that a state law barring a prisoner from collaterally attacking his conviction is adequate to support a procedural bar to filing a habeas corpus petition. … [read more]

[JURIST] Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile] said Wednesday that the ICC cannot investigate possible crimes in Libya [press release] because the country is not a party to the Rome Statute [materials]. Moreno-Ocampo noted that the ICC lacks the authority to intervene … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Wednesday unanimously reversed [opinion, PDF] a California appeals court ruling [opinion, PDF] in Williamson v. Mazda Motors of America [docket], finding that a federal minimum safety standard [text] does not preempt state tort actions. The court held that compliance … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] announced Wednesday that it will no longer defend the constitutionality [press release] of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) [text; JURIST news archive], which defines marriage for federal purposes as a legal union between one man and one … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] heard oral arguments [day call, PDF; merit briefs] in two cases: one determining whether a court may modify a sentence when the US Sentencing Commission [official website] has subsequently lowered the sentence range and the other examining the state of mind necessary for … [read more]

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] ruled [opinion] Tuesday that Congress acted within its constitutional powers in passing the health care reform law [text; JURIST news archive] and that the law does not violate the religious freedom of plaintiffs who challenged … [read more]

[JURIST] The Algerian Council of Ministers on Tuesday approved a draft ordinance repealing the country's 19-year state of emergency, delivering on a promise made the week before [JURIST report]. The draft ordinance will have the force of law upon publication in the Official Journal of Algeria [official website], which the … [read more]

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