Legal news from Wednesday, May 30, 2012

[JURIST] The Minnesota Supreme Court [official website] on Wednesday issued a summary judgment [opinion, PDF] in favor of Philip Morris, Inc. [corporate website], finding that the plaintiffs were barred from recovery due to a settlement in a state lawsuit from 1998. The plaintiffs sued Philip Morris in 2001 for using … [read more]

[JURIST] Director General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) [official website], Irina Bokova [official website], expressed her concern [press release] Tuesday over the murder of Somali journalist Ahmed Addow Anshur, who was killed [ABC News report] last week. Anshur was shot in Mogadishu, Somalia, but the perpetrator … [read more]

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota (ACLU-MN) [official website] on Wednesday filed a petition [press release] seeking to eliminate a proposed ballot initiative [text] that would amend the Minnesota Constitution [text] to require citizens to present photo identification in order to vote. If allowed to proceed, the initiative … [read more]

[JURIST] A Pakistani doctor who helped the US government find Osama Bin Laden [JURIST news archive] was convicted last week for his association to a militant group in Pakistan, not for his ties to the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website], as was originally reported. A court document released … [read more]

[JURIST] Twenty-five gay and lesbian couples filed [complaint, PDF] two lawsuits on Wednesday against Illinois Governor Pat Quinn [official website] challenging the constitutionality of the state's same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder] ban. The lawsuits are supported by the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois (ACLUI) and gay rights group Lambda Legal … [read more]

[JURIST] Iraq's human rights situation remains fragile [press release], the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) [official website] reported [text, PDF] Wednesday. Iraq is currently transitioning from a decade-long dictatorship and its underlying armed conflict and violence to a peaceful democratic system. UNAMI recognized some improvements towards such a system, … [read more]

[JURIST] Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan [official website, in Turkish] has called for stricter regulations on abortions [JURIST backgrounder] and Caesarean births in Turkey, a Turkish television network reported Tuesday. Among his desired reforms are restricting the reasons a woman may seek an abortion, limiting the time period in … [read more]

[JURIST] The UN Human Rights Council [official website] announced Wednesday that they will hold a special session [press release] this Friday to discuss the situation in Syria [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] in light of last week's massacre [JURIST report] in Houla. The announcement came after a written request for … [read more]

[JURIST] The two sons of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak [Al Jazeera profile; JURIST news archive] are being charged with stock market fraud, the public prosecutor's office said Wednesday. Gamal and Alaa Mubarak, along with seven others, are accused of using unfair trading practices [Reuters report] and illegally manipulating the … [read more]

[JURIST] A Bangkok criminal court on Wednesday sentenced Chiranuch Premchaiporn, webmaster of independent Internet news site Prachatai [media website], to an eight-month suspended sentence for failing to delete defamatory comments against Thailand's royal family. She was initially sentenced to one year in prison, but the court reduced and suspended the … [read more]

[JURIST] Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari [official website] on Wednesday signed a bill [text, PDF] authorizing the creation of an independent human rights commission in Pakistan. The new committee will be authorized to investigate human rights violations in the country and make recommendations to the government. The bill does not … [read more]

[JURIST] The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) [official website] on Wednesday sentenced [press release, PDF] former Liberian president Charles Taylor [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] to 50 years in prison for war crimes committed during the decade-long civil war in Sierra Leone [JURIST news archive]. The sentence came after … [read more]

[JURIST] The appeals chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] on Wednesday ruled [judgment, PDF; press release] that the pre-trial chamber did not err in ruling that there is not enough evidence to try Rwandan rebel leader Callixte Mbarushimana [ICC materials]. Mbarushimana was allegedly tied to the murder, … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled unanimously [opinion, PDF] Tuesday in RadLAX Gateway Hotel, LLC v. Amalgamated Bank [SCOTUSblog backgrounder] that debtors are not entitled to a "cramdown" plan including the sale of collateral that avoids a bank's lien. However, the court ruled that the bank is also … [read more]

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