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Legal news from Wednesday, June 6, 2012
by Saheli Chakrabarty

Preserve Marriage Washington presented over 200,000 referendum signatures on Wednesday seeking to overturn recently signed same-sex marriage legislation. The signatures have prevented Washington's gay marriage law from taking effect on Thursday. Earlier this year Washington Governor Chris Gregoire announced her plans to permit same-sex marriages to be performed in the state and signed the measure …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

The US National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) on Wednesday published its 2011 Report on Terrorism which concluded that the total number of worldwide terrorism attacks has dropped 12 percent from 2010 and 29 percent from 2007. The report is compiled based on data collected through the US Worldwide Incidents Tracking System (WITS), which uses specific guidelines …

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by Sung Un Kim

Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported on Wednesday that since July 2011 at least 40 people including women and children have been killed during cross-border attacks on Ivory Coast villages by armed militants in Liberia. The report stated that militants were using children to conduct those …

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by Sung Un Kim

A lawsuit filed against the state of Florida on Monday in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida alleges that the state's ban on local authorities hiring companies that do business in Cuba or Syria is unconstitutional. Odebrecht Construction, Inc., a Brazilian conglomerate in engineering, seeks declaratory and …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

A Muslim rights group filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the District of New Jersey on Wednesday seeking to end the New York Police Department (NYPD) controversial surveillance program, which allegedly targets individuals based on religious affiliation. The complaint, filed by the Muslim Advocates alleges that …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

Prominent Bahraini rights activist Nabeel Rajab was arrested and returned to prison on Wednesday after posting critical comments about the government on his social media page, according to his lawyer. This is not the first time Rajab has been arrested in connection with comments posted to his Twitter account. Rajab was released on bail last week after spending …

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by Sung Un Kim

A judge for the US District Court for the District of Idaho on Tuesday rejected a petition for full access to executions submitted by the Associated Press and 16 other newspaper agencies. The Idaho Department of Correction (IDOC) policy of having witnesses present during execution proceedings allows witnesses to view the …

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by Sung Un Kim

The Philippine Congress on Wednesday approved the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012 that criminalize the financing of terrorism. The bill penalizes an individual who organizes or directs the commission of the crime of financing terrorism with imprisonment of 40 years and a fine of not less than five hundred thousand pesos (USD $11,570.92) but …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

The bipartisan legal advisory group in charge of defending the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) filed its brief on Monday defending the act's provision denying federal benefits to lawfully married same-sex couples. The brief, filed in the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, argues that laws relating to …

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by Sung Un Kim

The European Commission on Wednesday announced a proposal that would address the problems of bailing out large banks with public funds during financial crises in the future. The proposal rests on Article 114 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU) which "allows the adoption of measures for the …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

North Korea's caste system leads to abuses and human rights violations in the country, the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) reported Wednesday. The report alleges that the caste system, known as Songbun, is used as justification for the systematic abuse and arbitrary detention of some North Korean citizens. Members of the lower …

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by Sung Un Kim

The Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt said Wednesday that it will rule on the constitutionality of the proposed amendments to the political isolation law on June 14. The Political isolation law was passed in 2011 and had the purpose of blocking high members of the regime of ousted former president Hosni Mubarak [Al Jazeera profile, JURIST news …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

The Interior Minister of Bahrain said that the government was not responsible for the use of excessive force by police officers last year, which resulted in the death of more than 30 protesters, a regional newspaper reported Wednesday. The Minister indicated that the officers acted of their own accord, and stated that they would held accountable in court [Reuters …

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by Sung Un Kim

Amnesty International (AI) on Tuesday urged Israel to release all prisoners of conscience and administrative detainees or immediately try them under international fair trial standards. AI revealed that Israel has been using a number of laws, such as the Military Order 1651 and the Emergency Powers (Detention) Law, against Palestinian citizens in the West Bank. …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

Both houses of the Russian parliament have passed a controversial bill that increases the maximum fine for protestors who violate demonstration regulations. The lower house, or State Duma, passed the bill late Tuesday night on its third reading amid protests that the law was too harsh. The Federation Council [official website, …

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by Saheli Chakrabarty

Judges from the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on Tuesday began a five-day visit to locations relevant to the indictment of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, founding member of the Serbian Democratic Party (SDS). The visiting delegation includes four Trial Chamber judges as well …

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