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Legal news from Wednesday, June 8, 2011
by Zach Zagger

The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled unaimously Tuesday that a blogger does not have the same privilege to protect her sources as other journalists in traditional media. The court found that a New Jersey "shield law" [NJSA 2A:84A-21–21.8] allowing reporters to protect the confidentiality of their sources could not be invoked by a blogger who posted comments …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

A federal judge on Tuesday permitted two environmental groups to sue a Texas refinery owned by ExxonMobil Corp. for failing to enforce federal environmental standards. The Sierra Club and Environment Texas filed the lawsuit in December in the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas against ExxonMobil's Baytown, Texas, …

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by Julia Zebley

The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances called Wednesday for China to address its practice of "enforced disappearances" and reveal the location of 355 detained Tibetan monks. In April, Chinese authorities took the monks from the Kirti monastery in buses to an unknown location. In the process, they are accused …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a statement Wednesday that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has continued to commit crimes against humanity in Darfur. According to Ocampo's statement, al-Bashir continues to commit genocide, halt dissemination of information about displaced victims, and threaten the …

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by Zach Zagger

The US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit heard oral arguments Wednesday over the constitutionality of the new health care reform law and its individual mandate requiring citizens to purchase health insurance. The Department of Justice (DOJ) appealed the decision of the US District Court for the Northern District of …

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by Julia Zebley

The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) on Wednesday indicted five men for contempt over allegations of witness tampering. Two indictees include former leaders of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), Ibrahim Bazzy Kamara and Santigie Borbor Kanu, who were both convicted by the SCSL in June 2007, and sentenced …

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by Zach Zagger

US citizen and convicted terrorist Jose Padilla, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Wednesday appealed the dismissal of his lawsuit against government officials over his detention in a military prison. The ACLU filed the appeal in the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit arguing that he …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

The United Nations (UN) Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Tuesday announced that Bahrain has agreed to permit a UN commission to investigate human rights violations related to pro-democratic reform protests in the country. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay and Bahrain's health minister Fatima …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

A Philippine court on Tuesday froze USD $23 million worth of assets owned by the Ampatuan family, who are accused of ordering the killing of 57 people. The Philippines Department of Justice (PDOJ) had implicated Andal Ampatuan Sr., the leader of a Muslim clan in the Philippines' semi-autonomous southern province of Maguindanao, and several of his followers …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

A judge for the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on Tuesday reaffirmed a ruling he issued two weeks ago striking down a ban on corporate donations to federal political candidates. On Friday, District Judge James Cacheris held a hearing during which US prosecutors said they failed to …

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by Dan Taglioli

Former Russian oil executive Mikhail Khodorkovsky on Tuesday reissued an appeal for release on parole that was returned to him due to insufficient documentation. Khodorkovsky has served half of a 13-year sentence for fraud, theft and money laundering, which under Russian law makes him eligible for parole. Once CEO of Yukos …

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by Julia Zebley

Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International (AI) on Wednesday criticized Kyrgyzstan's lack of judicial progress, marking the one-year anniversary of the June 2010 ethnic violence that resulted in more than 300 deaths and 2,000 injuries. Both reports alleged that investigations have been conducted through torture, and …

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