Legal news from Friday, June 1, 2012

[JURIST] The US Army has dropped one of 17 murder charges and added others, including steroid and alcohol use, in its case against Army Sgt. Robert Bales, his lawyer told reporters on Friday. Bales was charged with 17 counts of murder [JURIST report] in March for the alleged shooting of … [read more]

[JURIST] Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic told a Montenegrin state television station Friday that he does not think that the 1995 Srebrenica Masscre [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] was genocide. The Srebrenica massacre took place during the Bosnian Civil War [JURIST news archive] and resulted in the death of more than … [read more]

[JURIST] Upwards of 20.9 million people worldwide work in forced labor, the International Labour Organization (ILO) [official website], a UN agency focusing on labor rights, redported [text, PDF] Friday. The ILO's estimate of about 21 million people in forced labor is a revision from its 2005 "minimum estimate" that 12.3 … [read more]

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] on Thursday urged [HRW news release] the Sudanese government to reform its discriminatory laws and abolish both the death penalty and all corporal punishment after a young Sudanese woman was sentenced to death by stoning for adultery. Intisar Sharif Abdallah, who is believed … [read more]

[JURIST] The Chinese government has detained a former aide to a vice minister in China's security ministry who is suspected of spying for the US [Reuters report], anonymous sources told Reuters. The former aide, whose identity is unknown, allegedly passed information to the US government over a period of years … [read more]

[JURIST] Voters in Ireland have approved the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance [text, PDF] aimed at improving fiscal discipline and promoting greater financial information disclosure between EU member states, according to official results Friday. In a national referendum that took place on Thursday and had a turnout of around … [read more]

[JURIST] A pre-trial chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] on Friday granted a request [decision, PDF; press release] by the Libyan government to postpone an order to transfer Saif al-Islam Gaddafi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], the son of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi [BBC obituary; JURIST … [read more]

[JURIST] The Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) [official website], Irina Bokova [official profile], on Friday condemned the increasing number of murders of journalists [press release] in Pakistan and urged the government to investigate the crimes. Pakistani journalists Abdul Razaq Gul and Aurengzeb Tunio were recently … [read more]

[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official profile] on Friday told officials at the Istanbul II Conference on Somalia [materials] that the Somali government must continue to work [statement; press release] to ensure a smooth transition into permanent government and a new constitution in order to begin its next "political phase." … [read more]

[JURIST] The UN Human Rights Council [official website] voted to condemn Syria [press release] on Friday for killing more than 100 civilians in the Houla region of the country last week. The 47-member body voted 41-3 [AP report] to approve a resolution blaming "pro-regime elements" and government troops for the … [read more]

[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official profile] on Thursday urged [press release] the government of Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] to ensure justice for the victims of the recently increasing violence. It has been reported that more than 100,000 people … [read more]

[JURIST] The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] on Thursday ended its investigation [press release, PDF] into the health care conditions of incarcerated former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko [personal website; JURIST news archive], finding that the Ukrainian government provided her with adequate care. Tymoshenko is currently facing … [read more]

[JURIST] A New York state court ruled [decision] Wednesday that the family of a Holocaust survivor must return a gold tablet to a museum in Germany. The Supreme Court of the State of New York Appellate Division Second Judicial Department [official website] ordered the family of Holocaust survivor Riven Flamenbaum, … [read more]

[JURIST] The Center for Constitutional Rights [advocacy website] filed [complaint, PDF] a lawsuit Thursday on behalf of several inmates over solitary confinement policies at a California prison Security Housing Unit (SHU). The defendants are California Governor Jerry Brown, the Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), the … [read more]

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of California [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] on Thursday in favor of Google [corporate website] in the case of Oracle America, Inc. v. Google Inc. [case materials]. Judge William Alsup held that Google did not infringe patents and … [read more]

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of Florida on Thursday [official website] blocked [opinion, PDF] part of a new Florida election law that plaintiffs claim restrict voter registration efforts. Judge Robert Hinkle struck down a provision of Florida's election law that required any group … [read more]

[JURIST] A lawyer for the US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] on Thursday defended the warrantless use of global positioning system (GPS) [JURIST news archive] devices on suspects' vehicles despite a January Supreme Court [official website] ruling declaring GPS tracking to be a "search" under the Fourth Amendment [text]. … [read more]

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website] on Thursday granted [opinion, PDF] class action status to numerous authors suing Google [corporate website] over its book-scanning initiative [Google Book Search website]. Judge Denny Chin reasoned that the numerosity, commonality and typicality … [read more]

[JURIST] Laws legalizing marriage and adoption for same-sex couples will soon be introduced in France, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told a French television station on Friday. Same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder] is currently banned by law in France. The prime minister's announcement comes nearly a year after the French National Assembly … [read more]

[JURIST] Incidents of hate-based murders against LGBT individuals in the US increased in 2011, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) [advocacy website] reported [text, PDF] Thursday. The annual report, entitled "Hate Violence Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-affected Communities in the U.S. in 2011," found that 30 … [read more]

[JURIST] Ecuadorian plaintiffs seeking to collect on a judgment against Chevron Corp [corporate website; JURIST news archive] over Amazon pollution on Wednesday filed a collection action [complaint, PDF] in Ontario's Superior Court of Justice [official website]. The pollution was originally caused by Texaco in the 1980s. Chevron acquired the company … [read more]

[JURIST] The Syrian government has released more than 500 prisoners [SANA report] detained during pro-democracy demonstrations in the last month, Syria's official news agency reported Thursday. The report indicated that the government released 265 prisoners on May 5 and another 250 on May 17, adding that only those prisoners who … [read more]

[JURIST] Libya will begin the prosecution of senior officials who served under former leader Muammar Gaddafi [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive] in June, Prosecutor-General Abdul Azizi al-Hassadi told reporters on Thursday. The trials will begin with the prosecution of former spy chief Buzeid Dorda. The Prosecutor-General's announcement comes after the … [read more]

[JURIST] SunTrust Mortgage, Inc. [corporate website] agreed [press release] on Thursday to a $21 million settlement with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] for discrimination in the pricing of mortgage loans. DOJ had filed a suit against the company for discriminating against borrowers based on race and national … [read more]

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