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Legal news from Friday, May 25, 2012
by Max Slater

The Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) war crimes court ruled on Thursday that two former Bosnian Serb police officers were guilty of aiding and abetting genocide. The court convicted Dusko Jevic and Mendeljev Djuric for taking part in the killing of 1,000 Muslim men during the 1995 Srebenica massacre. Jevic and Djuric …

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by Max Slater

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay insisted on Friday that anyone who engaged in violent acts relating to the April 12 coup d'etat in Guinea-Bissau should be held accountable for their actions. In the press release, Pillay voiced concern that the unstable situation in Guinea-Bissau following the coup could lead to …

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by Max Slater

Human Rights Watch (HRW) criticized the Hungarian government on Friday for ignoring recommendations by the Council of Europe to change its media laws that allegedly curtail press freedom. HRW expressed concern that the media laws' requirement for journalists to register with the national government, as well as a mandate of "balanced" reporting would …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The appeals chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Thursday rejected challenges to the court's jurisdiction in two cases stemming from the 2007 Kenyan post-election violence, clearing the way for trial. The pre-trial chamber confirmed charges against four suspects in January, and their defense lawyers appealed, arguing that the …

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by Max Slater

A senior judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida approved a settlement agreement on Thursday between JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPMC) and more than one million litigants nationwide who sued over excessive overdraft fees. The settlement requires JPMC to pay $110 million to customers in order to …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia on Wednesday ordered the US Department of Defense (DOD) to turn over three videotapes depicting Kuwaiti Guantanamo Bay detainees being forcibly removed from their cells. The ruling came in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit …

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by Max Slater

A federal judge ruled on Thursday that California's state pension system must afford same-sex spouses of state workers the same access to long-term care insurance as heterosexual spouses. Judge Claudia Wilken of the US District Court for the Northern District of California struck down a provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) [text; JURIST …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Department of State (DOS) on Friday released the 2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. The reports outline the prevailing trends that shaped human rights last year. These include uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa, positive reforms in Myanmar, the persecution of religious minorities and the use of new connective technologies. In …

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by Max Slater

The top UN human rights official urged Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Thursday to ensure that Zimbabwe's next elections are legitimate and free from violence. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, visiting Zimbabwe for the first time, stated in the press release that her meeting …

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by Julia Zebley

US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer rejected a stay application Thursday evening by Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee attempting to prevent the release of alleged murderer Jason Pleau to federal authorities. Chafee has been arguing since last year that he has the authority to have Pleau tried in state court, rather …

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by Max Slater

A court in Bahrain on Thursday sentenced Zainab Al-Khawaja, the daughter of jailed pro-democracy activist Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja to one month in prison for trying to organize an anti-government protest, according to Bahraini opposition groups. The court also fined her $530 on Monday on a separate charge of insulting a government employee. …

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by Julia Zebley

The US Supreme Court ruled 6-3 Wednesday in Blueford v. Arkansas that the double jeopardy clause does not prevent the re-prosecution of a greater offense if a jury deadlocks on a lesser-included offense. In this case, a mistrial was declared after a jury reached a unanimous decision to acquit on …

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by Julia Zebley

The US Supreme Court ruled unanimously Wednesday in Freeman v. Quicken Loans Inc. that to prove a violation of Section 8(b) of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), a plaintiff must demonstrate that a fee was split between two or more persons, even though there appears to be no ostensible explanation …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

Amnesty International (AI) on Wednesday published its annual report entitled State of the World's Human Rights, which details the human rights landscape across the world in 2011. Much of the report focuses on the pro-democracy protests and civil unrest that swept the Middle East and Northern Africa in the last year. The report indicates that governmental …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

The Supreme Court of Nepal on Thursday ordered the government to complete the final draft of the nation's new constitution by Sunday. The current administration had requested a three-month extension of the deadline, but the court denied the plea. The Constituent Assembly of Nepal (CA), the group tasked with creating the document, was …

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