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Legal news from Thursday, April 5, 2012
by Brandon Gatto

Chief Judge James Ware of the US District Court for the Northern District of California on Tuesday declared that the denial of insurance benefits to the same-sex spouse of a federal court employee is discriminatory. Specifically, Ware ruled that the California Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) had discriminated against law …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

The UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kyung-wha Kang said Wednesday that Chad has made significant progress in its human rights improvements, but that the Chadian government must continue to work on key shortcomings in order to ensure the rights of its citizens. Kang cited food insecurity, violence against women, forced evictions …

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by Jamie Reese

Suriname lawmakers approved legislation Wednesday that pardons President Desi Bouterse for offenses committed in defense of the state during an earlier dictatorship, despite opposition arguments that the president's trial should continue. The National Assembly approved the legislation by a vote of 28-12 which amends the country's current amnesty law. Bouterse seized control of …

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by Jennie Ryan

The Supreme Court of Chile ruled Wednesday that a hydroelectric dam in Patagonia does not violate the constitutional rights of the environmental groups opposing the project. Several environmental advocacy groups, including Chile Sustentable challenged a ruling of the Court of Appeals of Puerto Montt which refused to …

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by Katherine Getty

Libya's National Transitional Council on Thursday refused a request from the International Criminal Court (ICC) to hand over Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of former leader Muammar Gaddafi. Libyan officials have stated they will keep Saif al-Islam prisoner and he will stand trial within the country. This decision comes after …

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by Keith Herting

The Connecticut State Senate on Thursday passed SB 280, a bill which would end the sentencing of future Connecticut criminals to the death penalty. The bill was passed by a vote of 20-16 and is expected to be passed by the Connecticut House of Representatives soon. Governor Dannel Malloy has …

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by Jennie Ryan

US Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) will respond to a federal appellate judge in Texas who demanded a letter recognizing the federal courts' authority to strike down laws that are passed by Congress. On Tuesday, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued …

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by Saheli Chakrabarty

The Chilean House of Deputies passed an anti-discrimination law on Wednesday in response to the killing of a 24-year-old gay man, Daniel Zamudio, by a group of alleged neo-Nazis in Santiago, Chile. The lawmakers passed the law by a vote of 58-56, after rejecting three of the Senate amendments to the …

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by Julia Zebley

The US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit heard arguments on the constitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) Wednesday, in the first appellate hearing on the law. Although the US Department of Justice (DOJ) filed its initial brief in the case in January …

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by Julia Zebley

Former commander of the Bosnian Serb Army Ratko Mladic pleaded not guilty to all charges in a pre-trial brief released Wednesday by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Mladic is not obligated to put forth his defense in the pre-trial briefing, although the brief describes the …

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