Legal news from Friday, June 24, 2011

[JURIST] Media magnate Conrad Black [CBC profile; JURIST news archive] was ordered to return to prison by the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois [official website] on Friday, to serve 13 more months of his 42 month sentence. Judge Amy St. Eve [official profile], his original sentencing … [read more]

[JURIST] The UN on Friday announced its approval [press release] of the arrest of a former top Guatemalan military figure accused of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. General Hector Mario Lopez Fuentes, former chief of staff of Guatemalan armed forces from 1982-1983, is accused of directing military attacks … [read more]

[JURIST] Apple filed suit Friday in the Seoul Central District Court claiming that the Samsung [corporate websites] "Galaxy" line of products copies its iPhone and iPad technology. This follows similar suits by Apple in the US and suits by Samsung [JURIST reports] filed in South Korea, Japan and Germany. It … [read more]

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives [official website] in two votes Friday sent contradictory messages over authorization of US military operations in Libya. First, the House overwhelmingly voted down 123-295 [roll call vote] a resolution [HJ RES 68] that would have authorized further operations in Libya. Then hours later, it … [read more]

[JURIST] The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website] on Friday announced [text] that it plans to send a panel to investigate the human rights situation in Yemen [OHCHR backgrounder]. Three OHCHR experts will travel to Yemen next week [press release] for a 10-day stint … [read more]

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives [official website] voted 304-117 Friday in favor of the America Invents Act [HR 1249 materials], the largest potential reform to the US patent system since 1952. If the bill passes it would replace the current "first inventor to use" system with a "first inventor … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Department of Defense (DOD) [official website] Thursday announced [press release] the appointment of Army Brig. General Mark Martins [official profile] as the new chief war crimes prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archives] as head of the Office of Military Commissions [official website]. Martins, who is currently … [read more]

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website] on Friday convicted and sentenced [judgment, PDF] six individuals, including the first female to be charged with genocide and crimes against humanity, in relation to the 1994 Rwandan genocide [HRW backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. The six were charged with conspiracy … [read more]

[JURIST] Ukrainian opposition leader and former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko [personal website; JURIST news archive] went on trial Friday in the Pechersky District Court on abuse of power charges. Thousands of protesters [Guardian report] surrounded the building, supporting Tymoshenko and screaming that the judge was a "puppet." Tymoshenko criticized the … [read more]

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia on Thursday ruled [opinion, PDF] against the release of a former high-ranking Taliban [CFR backgrounder] official at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] despite a request from Afghanistan's Peace Council to release the prisoner. Judge Ricardo Urbina [official … [read more]

[JURIST] Two members of the US House of Representatives [official website] introduced a bill [HR 2306 text, PDF] Thursday to legalize marijuana nationally and leave regulation to the states. Representatives Barney Frank (D-MA) and Ron Paul (R-TX) [official websites] wrote the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011 to amend … [read more]

[JURIST] A Maryland court ruled Thursday that the spousal privilege preventing spouses from being compelled to testify against one another applies to a lesbian couple married in Washington DC, recognizing the rights of same-sex married [JURIST news archive] couples though Maryland does not allow the practice. Judge Donald Beachley of … [read more]

[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon [official website] on Thursday condemned [press release] a Bahraini court for sentencing 21 human rights advocates, political activists and opposition leaders to harsh punishments. The court sentenced the protestors [profiles, PDF] to lengthy prison sentences, including life terms. Ban urged Bahraini authorities to comply with … [read more]

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