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Legal news from Wednesday, August 10, 2011
by Julia Zebley

The son of former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo, Michel Gbagbo, and 12 other Gbagbo allies were charged Wednesday with committing acts of post-election violence. The 13 men are charged with armed insurrection and undermining the nation. Although Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara has insisted that all those …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

The International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh (ICTB) on Wednesday began the country's first trial against a suspect accused of war crimes related to the 1971 War of Independence. Delwar Hossain Sayedee, 71, is a senior leader of the Islamist group Jamaat e Islami (JI) accused of genocide, killing more than 50 people, …

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by Julia Zebley

Twenty-seven rights groups called Tuesday for the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to convene a special session on Syria. The organizations asked the council to end its silence on Syria, especially in light of the ongoing recent killings since the start of Ramadan. The letter demands that the council convene an emergency …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera on Tuesday proposed legislation that would legalize same-sex civil unions. The bill, entitled Acuerdo de Vida en Pareja, would extend inheritance and social welfare rights to same-sex couples and unmarried heterosexual couples. Pinera insisted that marriage is between a man and a women but …

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by Julia Zebley

California Governor Jerry Brown on Monday signed into law AB 459, an interstate compact which would deliver all 55 of California's electoral college votes to the winner of the national popular vote in a presidential election. However, the law will only go into effect if enough states to constitute an …

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by Julia Zebley

An unknown Western country is funding an investigation into Syria's recent human rights abuses, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday. A diplomat acknowledged that an anonymous Western nation is working to collect enough testimony to potentially try President Bashar al-Assad for war crimes in the International Criminal Court (ICC). The anonymous official …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday announced the dissolution of a special court he had established to investigate poll fraud in last September's parliamentary elections. The special court overturned the election results of nearly 25 percent of the assembly seats in June amidst criticism that the …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

The UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) announced on Tuesday that Lebanese authorities reported to the tribunal on their efforts to search for and arrest four men wanted for killing former prime minister Rafik Hariri. Arrest warrants were issued in June for Mustafa Badreddine, Salim al-Ayyash, Hasan Aineysseh …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

The state of Kansas on Wednesday filed an appeal seeking to overturn a federal judge's ruling that blocks a Kansas law that would prevent Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri (PPKM) from receiving federal funding. On August 1, a judge for the US District Court for the District of Kansas [official …

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by Dan Taglioli

Three environmental groups filed a notice of appeal Monday signaling their collective intention to challenge a lower court ruling upholding Congressional action removing federal protections for gray wolves in Montana and Idaho. The Alliance for the Wild Rockies (AWR), Friends of the Clearwater and WildEarth Guardians are seeking to reverse the judgment handed …

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by Julia Zebley

The Iraqi Parliament passed a bill Tuesday proclaiming to guarantee more protections and rights for journalists, although several journalist rights groups have opposed the law's passage. The Journalists Protection Law, originally proposed in August of 2009 protects journalists from questioning or investigations unless a judge mandates that action. The …

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