Legal news from Thursday, June 7, 2012

[JURIST] 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 [JURIST report] the work of the 100-member panel responsible for drafting the … [read more]

[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official profile] on Thursday urged [statement; press release] 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 … [read more]

[JURIST] 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 … [read more]

[JURIST] The US House Committee on Foreign Affairs [official website] voted Thursday to approve a bill [HR 4405 text, PDF] that would impose sanctions on Russian officials linked to the 2009 death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky [JURIST news archive]. If passed, the bill will bar the US State Department … [read more]

[JURIST] The Chinese Ministry of Information and Technology [official website, in Chinese] revealed its proposed changes [text, in Chinese] 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 … [read more]

[JURIST] 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 [official website] urged lawmakers to vote against the bill [WP report] in the face of the country's Supreme Court … [read more]

[JURIST] Denmark's Parliament [official website, in Danish] on Thursday voted to approve a bill that legalizes same-sex marriages [JURIST backgrounder] in the country's state Lutheran church ceremonies. Previously, same-sex unions were only permitted to be conducted in small ceremonies [AP report] at the end of formal church services. Although Denmark … [read more]

[JURIST] UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation Catarina Albuquerque [official profile] on Wednesday strongly urged [news release] nations to support the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation during the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) [official website] that will take place … [read more]

[JURIST] The Iraqi government has executed Abid Hamid Mahmud, a former bodyguard and secretary of Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive], an official from the Iraqi Justice Ministry said Thursday. Mahmud was sentenced to death [JURIST report] by hanging in 2010 alongside former Iraqi foreign minister and deputy prime minister Tariq … [read more]

[JURIST] Mexican President Felipe Calderon [official website, in Spanish] 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 … [read more]

[JURIST] A federal judge in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Wednesday that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) [text, PDF; JURIST news archive] is unconstitutional because it violates the principles of federalism. The ruling is the … [read more]

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