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Legal news from Thursday, June 2, 2011

[JURIST] Turkmenistan [BBC backgrounder] adopted a new law on Thursday for regulating presidential elections that changes the qualifications potential candidates must satisfy. The law says that an individual must be either backed by a political party or collect at least 50,000 signatures [AP report] to qualify as a presidential candidate. … [read more]

[JURIST] California Governor Jerry Brown [official website] on Thursday indicated that he would ask a federal judge for more time to construct his plan to reduce the state's prison population. The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] ruled [opinion, PDF] last week in Brown v. Plata [Cornell LII … [read more]

[JURIST] A Tanzanian judge on Thursday urged police to arrest Freeman Mbowe, the chairman of the country's opposition party, Chadema [party website, in Swahili]. Judge Charles Magesa issued arrest warrants for Mbowe and six others last week when they failed to appear in court for a hearing on their case. … [read more]

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) [official websites] and a coalition of other civil rights groups filed a class action lawsuit [complaint, PDF] Thursday challenging a Georgia immigration law [HB 87 text] similar to Arizona law already being challenged in federal court. The … [read more]

[JURIST] The Global Commission on Drug Policy [official website] released a report [text, PDF] Thursday recommending international legalization of cannabis, marijuana and other drugs. The panel also recommended expanding the variety of treatments available to drug users, as well as making them more available, and investing in programs to discourage … [read more]

[JURIST] US authorities announced Thursday that they are investigating claims by Google that hundreds of personal Gmail accounts were breached by hackers in China. Google disclosed [Guardian report] on Wednesday that hundreds of users, including US government and military officials and political activists, were targets of a "phishing" scam originating … [read more]

[JURIST] Russia's Federal Security Service on Thursday charged [ITAR-TASS report] Rustam Makhmudov with the 2006 murder [JURIST report] of journalist Anna Politkovskaya [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive], after his arrest [JURIST report] Tuesday. Makhmudov, an assumed assassin on an international most wanted list since 1997 [ITAR-TASS report], was charged with … [read more]

[JURIST] The Obama administration took a stand Wednesday against a controversial Indiana law [HB 1210] that prevents health care providers with abortion [JURIST news archive] services from receiving Medicaid funds. Donald Berwick, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services sent a letter [text, PDF] to Patricia Casanova of … [read more]

[JURIST] Iraqi police forces have been beating and illegally detaining protesters over the past week, according to a report [text] released Wednesday by Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website]. Demonstrators are reported to be peacefully protesting, or simply organizing protests, when interrogated and detained. The report details several incidents of … [read more]

[JURIST] The New York attorney general on Wednesday filed a complaint [text, PDF] against the US government for failing to investigate the risks of hydraulic fracturing [EPA backgrounder], or "fracking," a controversial technique used to release natural shale gas. The complaint seeks to compel a number of federal agencies to … [read more]

[JURIST] The Port Authority or New York and New Jersey [official website], owners and maintainers of the World Trade Center (WTC), argued in an appeal [summary of the case, PDF] on Wednesday before the New York Court of Appeals [official website] that they were not liable for negligence in the … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit [official website] Wednesday heard oral arguments over a challenge to the individual mandate of the health care reform law [text; JURIST news archive]. The Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) [advocacy website] is representing plaintiffs challenging the constitutionality of the individual … [read more]

[JURIST] An Iraqi-Canadian civilian on Wednesday appealed his conviction by a US military court. Alaa "Alex" Mohammad Ali [JURIST news archive], a military contractor who was convicted by a US military court [JURIST report] in Iraq in 2008, argued that his conviction was unconstitutional [AP report]. The case was the … [read more]

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida (ACLUFL) [advocacy website] filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF; press release] Tuesday challenging an executive order that mandates state government agencies provide pre-employment drug screening for all prospective employees and provide for random drug testing of all current agency employees regardless of classification. … [read more]

[JURIST] Rwandan gacaca courts [official website; BBC backgrounder] have carried out flawed trials for crimes committed during the country's 1994 genocide [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive], according to a report [materials] released Tuesday by Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website]. The gacaca courts were established by the Rwandan government in … [read more]

[JURIST] A three-person commission for the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website] appointed to investigate violence in Libya published a report [PDF] Wednesday saying that government forces have committed crimes against humanity and war crimes under orders from Libyan leader Mummar Gaddafi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] and other … [read more]

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