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Legal news from Thursday, February 23, 2012

[JURIST] A Guantanamo Bay [JURIST backgrounder] detainee reached a plea agreement with military prosecutors on Wednesday that included an agreement to testify against other detainees. Under the agreement, detainee Majid Khan [GlobalSecurity profile], a 31-year-old former Baltimore-area resident, will be required to testify at the trials of other detainees in … [read more]

[JURIST] The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] on Thursday ruled [text] that Italy violated international human rights laws when a group of Somalian and Eritrean migrants traveling from Libya were intercepted by Italian authorities and returned to Libya. The court found that Italy violated Article 3 of … [read more]

[JURIST] International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile] on Wednesday was granted permission [decision, PDF; press release] by a pretrial chamber to expand his investigation of war crimes in the Ivory Coast to incidents dating back to 2002. Ocampo began his investigation [JURIST report] in … [read more]

[JURIST] The Council of Europe's (COE) [official website] Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Punishment (CPT) published a report [text] Wednesday rejecting the practice of surgical castration [COE press release] as a means of treatment for sexual offenders. In Germany, surgical castration as a means for … [read more]

[JURIST] The Virginia House of Delegates [official website] passed a watered-down version of a controversial ultrasound [JURIST news archive] bill [SB 484] Wednesday, which requires women seeking an abortion have a transabdomenal ultrasound before going through with the procedure. The bill differs from the controversial one passed by the Senate … [read more]

[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon [official profile] on Tuesday extended the mandate for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) [official website; JURIST news archive] for the next three years. The independent tribunal was set up by the Lebanese government to try the suspected perpetrators of the 2005 assassination of former … [read more]

[JURIST] The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) [official website] on Thursday sent a letter [text, PDF; press release] to Google, singed by 36 state attorneys general, expressing concerns about the company's new privacy policy [corporate website; press release]. The new policy, which is scheduled to go into effect on … [read more]

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Western District of Washington [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Wednesday that requiring pharmacies to sell Plan B and other emergency contraceptives violates the pharmacists' constitutional right to freedom of religion. Under Washington law [WAC § 246-869-010] pharmacies are required to … [read more]

[JURIST] Former Philippines president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo [BBC backgrounder, JURIST news archive] pleaded not guilty on Thursday to charges of electoral fraud. Arroyo is accused of rigging senate elections [AP report] in favor of the candidates she supported in 2007. Arroyo was formally charged in December with corruption and election fraud … [read more]

[JURIST] Members of the Indiana chapter of an electrical engineers union filed suit on Wednesday in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana [official website] seeking to block implementation of the state's new right-to-work legislation [HB 1028 text]. The suit, filed by the International Union of … [read more]

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of California [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Wednesday that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) [text; JURIST news archive] is unconstitutional. The plaintiff, Karen Golinski, filed suit [JURIST report] against the US Office of Personnel Management for … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] heard oral arguments [day call, PDF] in two cases on Tuesday. In United States v. Alvarez [transcript; JURIST report], the court heard arguments on the constitutionality of the Stolen Valor Act (SVA) [text]. Xavier Alvarez was convicted under the SVA in 2007 after … [read more]

[JURIST] The UN-appointed Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria on Wednesday accused Syria of violating international human rights law [report, PDF] after finding that Syrian forces are engaging in torture and killings under orders from high level government officials. Military forces under Syrian President Bashar al-Assad [BBC profile; JURIST … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled 6-3 [opinion, PDF] Tuesday in Messerschmidt v. Millender [JURIST report] that police officers continue to have qualified immunity if a search warrant is later found invalid. Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, noted that the bar set in United States … [read more]

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