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Legal news from Thursday, March 17, 2011

[JURIST] A spokesperson for the UK's Metropolitan Police Service [official website] on Thursday confirmed the arrest of a 46-year-old Peruvian national on suspicion of crimes against humanity and torture. He is suspected of involvement with the Shining Path [backgrounder], a Maoist guerilla organization, believed to be responsible for the deaths … [read more]

[JURIST] Congressional Democrats on Wednesday introduced legislation [text] to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) [text], the 1996 federal law that defines marriage as a "a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife." Companion bills were introduced in both chambers of Congress in an … [read more]

[JURIST] The European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) [official website] on Wednesday arrested nine suspects [press release], all former members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), on suspicions of committing war crimes during the 1998-1999 war in Kosovo [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. Included in the arrest … [read more]

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Canada [official website] has agreed to review a lower court order requiring a Muslim woman to remove her niqab [BBC backgrounder] while testifying. The Court of Appeal for Ontario [official website] in October ruled [JURIST report] that a witness does not have to remove her … [read more]

[JURIST] Poland's Constitutional Tribunal [official website] on Wednesday ruled that the 1981 declaration of martial law [Polish government backgrounder] violated the country's then-governing constitution [text]. The decision facilitates the restitution process [Dziennik Gazeta report, in Polish] for those harmed while martial law remained in effect by eliminating the need for … [read more]

[JURIST] Republicans in the Wisconsin state legislature broke several state laws when they passed last month's controversial budget bill, charges Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne (D) [official website] in a complaint [PDF] filed Tuesday in a Wisconsin circuit court [official website]. Ozanne alleges the February 25 special session that … [read more]

[JURIST] Six opposition leaders were arrested in Bahrain on Thursday after the government, backed by foreign troops from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) [official website], violently dispersed protesters in the capital of Manana on Wednesday. Among those arrested [NYT report] are dissident Hassan Mushaima and secular party leader Ebrahim Sharif. … [read more]

[JURIST] The Obama administration on Wednesday backed Internet privacy legislation at a hearing [materials] before the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation [official website]. The hearing followed reports released in December by the US Department of Commerce and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) [reports, PDF] petitioning for stronger … [read more]

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