A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh
Legal news from Tuesday, April 19, 2011
by John Paul Putney

UN Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression Frank LaRue on Tuesday called on Algeria to "guarantee the right to freedom of opinion and expression" including decriminalizing defamation. LaRue noted that, despite significant progress since the 1990s, which saw more than100 journalists killed, a number of challenges remain. LaRue highlighted that the television …

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by Aman Kakar

The US Supreme Court ruled 6-2 Tuesday in Virginia Officer for Protection and Advocacy v. Stewart that a state agency can sue state officials in federal court to remedy a violation of federal law. The Virginia Office for Protection and Advocacy (VOPA) is an independent state agency that is a designated "protection …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in American Electric Power Co. v. Connecticut regarding whether electric utilities contributed to global warming. The court is being asked to decide (1) whether states and private parties have standing to seek …

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by Sarah Posner

The Syrian legislature on Tuesday passed a bill that, if signed by President Bashar al-Assad, will end the country's 48-year-old state of emergency. Prime Minister Dr. Adel Safar chaired the legislative session, which voted to end the emergency law that has been in place since 1963. The government also abolished the Supreme State Security …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

A Tunisian court on Tuesday dropped charges against a police officer who incited protests in several Arab countries when she allegedly slapped a local fruit vendor. Police woman Fedia Hamdi was accused of slapping Mohamed Bouazizi in December in a dispute during which Bouazizi's cart was confiscated after he was allegedly found without a permit. As a …

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by Matt Glenn

The Republican-led US House of Representatives filed a motion Monday with the US District Court for the Southern District of New York seeking to intervene in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). This follows the Obama administration's February announcement that it would …

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by Aman Kakar

Apple filed suit Friday claiming that the Samsung "Galaxy" line of products copies its iPhone and iPad technology. The complaint, filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, includes 10 patent infringement charges, two trademark violations, two trade dress violations and accusations of unjust enrichment and unfair business practices. …

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