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Legal news from Thursday, June 7, 2012
by Rebecca DiLeonardo

Egyptian lawmakers reached an agreement on the composition of the constitutional council on Thursday after a controversy over the political balance threatened to halt drafting of a new constitution. Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court in April effectively suspended the work of the 100-member panel responsible for drafting the country's new constitution after ruling in favor of a lawsuit …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Thursday urged the Pakistani government to continue to work to improve its human rights situation. In particular, Pillay stressed that the government must work to eliminate institutionalized discrimination and to prevent torture and corruption. She also stressed the importance of emphasizing women's rights. In her …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

The Brazilian government on Monday issued an official apology to more than 120 former detainees of Brazil's military dictatorship, which ruled the country until 1985. It was made at a former holding facility in Rio De Janeiro during a reparation ceremony. The apology comes just after the Brazilian Access to Information Act took effect last month, increasing …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

The US House Committee on Foreign Affairs voted Thursday to approve a bill that would impose sanctions on Russian officials linked to the 2009 death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. If passed, the bill will bar the US State Department (DOS) from issuing visas to Russian officials connected …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

The Chinese Ministry of Information and Technology revealed its proposed changes to Chinese Internet law that seek to limit the ability of users to post anonymous comments on micro-blogs and forums. The law proposes that Internet users be required to register on certain sites using their real identity and that operators of …

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by Sung Un Kim

The Israeli parliament on Wednesday voted 69-22 against a bill that would have legalized the unauthorized settlements in the West Bank on privately held Palestinian land. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged lawmakers to vote against the bill in the face of the country's Supreme Court decision ordering the 30 …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

Denmark's Parliament on Thursday voted to approve a bill that legalizes same-sex marriages in the country's state Lutheran church ceremonies. Previously, same-sex unions were only permitted to be conducted in small ceremonies at the end of formal church services. Although Denmark became the first country in the world to recognize same-sex …

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by Sung Un Kim

UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation Catarina Albuquerque on Wednesday strongly urged nations to support the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation during the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) that will take place in Brazil later this month. Albuquerque stated in an open …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

The Iraqi government has executed Abid Hamid Mahmud, a former bodyguard and secretary of Saddam Hussein, an official from the Iraqi Justice Ministry said Thursday. Mahmud was sentenced to death by hanging in 2010 alongside former Iraqi foreign minister and deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz and one other official, …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

Mexican President Felipe Calderon has signed a climate change bill that will introduce sweeping environmental reform. The bill requires the country to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent by 2020, requires 35 percent of its energy come form renewable sources by 2024, requires mandatory emissions reporting, establishes a carbon-trading market and creates a commission …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

A federal judge in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled Wednesday that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional because it violates the principles of federalism. The ruling is the fourth federal decision finding that section 3, which denies federal …

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