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Legal news from Friday, February 24, 2012

[JURIST] A federal immigration judge in Florida decided Thursday that former El Salvador General Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova can be deported for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed while in El Salvador. Judge James Grim found [NYTimes report] that Vides assisted in both the killing of four American women … [read more]

[JURIST] Former Commander of the Bosnian Serb Army, Ratko Mladic [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], accused the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) of being "biased" against Serbs and a "puppet" of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) [official websites]. Mladic faces charges [case background] of genocide and … [read more]

[JURIST] Former Somali prime minister Mohamed Ali Samantar on Thursday accepted legal responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity before the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia [official website]. The civil suit [case summary] was brought by the Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA) [advocacy website] … [read more]

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] expressed concern [press release] Thursday over the investigation into post-election violence [JURIST news archive] in the Ivory Coast in 2010 and 2011 and advocated six-month extension of the probe. HRW's primary concern rests on the short time-frame of the investigation, begun in January … [read more]

[JURIST] The Advancement Project [advocacy website] filed a lawsuit [text, PDF] Thursday on behalf of four other rights groups alleging that the new Wisconsin voter ID law, Wisconsin Act 23 [text, PDF], is unconstitutional because it is racially discriminatory. The new law states that all voters must present photo identification … [read more]

[JURIST] Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning [official website], joined by attorneys general from six other states, filed a lawsuit Thursday [complaint, PDF] in the US District Court for the District of Nebraska [official website] challenging new health care mandates that require the provision of contraception for all employees, including those … [read more]

[JURIST] UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Margot Wallstrom [profile] on Thursday presented the Secretary-General's annual report on conflict-related sexual violence [text, PDF] to the UN Security Council [official website; press release]. The report documents numerous conflict-related sexual violence cases [UN News Centre report] in Colombia, Ivory Coast, … [read more]

[JURIST] Pfc. Bradley Manning [advocacy website; JURIST news archive] was formally charged with 22 counts, including aiding the enemy, under the Espionage Act [text] on Thursday. Manning declined to enter a plea [AP report] at the hearing. The maximum penalty Manning faces is life in prison. The government alleges that … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Thursday that buccal mouth swabs may be used to extract DNA samples from any adult arrested or charged with a felony in California. The 2-1 decision upholds a 2004 voter-enacted provision [Proposition 69 materials] of … [read more]

[JURIST] Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak [Al Jazeera profile; JURIST news archive] has told the court that he is saddened by "charges of unfair and baseless fabrications" and expressed his confidence in the Egyptian judicial system. Mubarak's remarks were published in form of a memo [text, in Arabic] by Tahrir … [read more]

[JURIST] The continuing dispute between Cambodia and the UN over the appointment of Judge Laurent Kasper-Ansermet to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website] threatens the legitimacy of the court [report, PDF; press release], the Open Society Justice Initiative [advocacy website] said Thursday. Kasper-Ansermet took over … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Thursday that heirs of victims of the Armenian genocide [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] in Turkey cannot sue German insurance companies for failed life insurance payments from German insurance companies. Descendants of the genocide victims … [read more]

[JURIST] The Maryland Senate on Thursday approved the Civil Marriage Protection Act [SB241, PDF], which would legalize same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder] in the state. The legislation passed by a 25-22 margin in the Senate, having already been approved by the lower house [JURIST report] earlier in the week. The bill … [read more]

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