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Legal news from Friday, June 15, 2012
by Max Slater

Former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta was convicted on Friday of three counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud. Gupta was also acquitted on two other counts of securities fraud. Gupta was arrested in October and charged with securities fraud relating to insider trading with hedge fund …

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by Max Slater

The Supreme Court of British Columbia ruled Friday that provisions of Canada's Criminal Code that forbid physician-assisted suicide unjustly violate the rights to life, liberty and equality. In her ruling, Justice Lynn Smith acknowledged that physician-assisted suicide is an issue that has sharply divided both the medical community and the general public. Nevertheless, she ruled …

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by Sung Un Kim

A judge for the UK Court of Protection ruled Friday that a 32-year-old woman who suffers from anorexia [womenshealth.gov backgrounder], a fear of gaining weight resulting in decreased consumption of food, can be fed against her will. Justice Peter Jackson found that, by assessing the balance between one's life and personal independence, it is lawful to feed …

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by Sung Un Kim

A federal judge on Thursday granted a request from Apple to hear its patent infringement case against Motorola. Apple is seeking an injunction against some of Motorola's phones alleging that the company infringed upon its patents. Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit last week tentatively dismissed Apple's patent infringement lawsuit against Motorola because allowing …

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by Max Slater

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled on Friday that a former defense contractor who alleged that he was tortured while detained by the US military in Iraq cannot sue former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The contractor, known only as "John Doe," asserted in his lawsuit [Reuters …

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by Sung Un Kim

UN Special Rapporteurs on summary executions, Christof Heyns, and on torture, Juan Mendez, on Friday condemned the violence against peaceful protesters, journalists and human rights defenders in Syria. Despite the government's promise of reform to end the prevalent violence in the country, the experts discovered that corruption, injustice and discrimination are still placing …

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by Sung Un Kim

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday urged the international community to provide better protection of the worldwide elderly population. He pointed out that four to six percent of this vulnerable group is subject to physical, mental or financial abuses and other types of violence such as neglect, abandonment, and serious loss of dignity and respect. The …

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by Max Slater

A federal judge in Virginia dismissed a lawsuit on Thursday challenging the constitutionality of the city of Lexington's 2011 ordinance banning the Confederate flag from being flown on city poles. The lawsuit, filed by the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), alleged that the ordinance violates the First Amendment of the US Constitution. Judge Samuel …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

A judge for the Albany County State Supreme Court in New York on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit challenging New York's membership in the multi-state climate pact, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The judge dismissed the case because it was filed too late and it failed to state specific damages. The lawsuit, which …

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by Max Slater

The Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR) urged the government of Oman on Tuesday to stop arresting protesters and other activists who are calling for political reform. According to the GCHR, many of the Omani citizens who have been arrested have advocated for political reforms, promoted human rights and called for the release of human …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

Lawyers for two Wyoming groups on Thursday filed a lawsuit challenging the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) rules governing advertising, arguing the restrictions are overly broad and confusing. The Wyoming Liberty Group (WyLiberty) and grassroots organization Free Speech filed the suit on behalf of the three members of Free Speech who wish …

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by Sung Un Kim

The Congress of Colombia on Thursday approved a new law to provide a "Legal Framework for Peace" by a vote of 63-3. It is expected that the proposed law, backed by President Juan Manuel Santos, will assist the government in engaging in peace negotiations with Leftist rebel groups …

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by Max Slater

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a directive on Friday saying that it will stop deporting many illegal immigrants under the age of 30 who were brought to the US as children. In the memorandum, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano declared that the DHS would exercise what it termed "prosecutorial …

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by Sung Un Kim

Justice Anthony Kennedy of the US Supreme Court on Thursday ordered a temporary stay on a lower court's ruling invalidating Arizona's 2004 Proposition 200, which requires voters to show proof of citizenship before registering to vote. The order effectively stayed the decision of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

The presidents of two UN-backed courts this week joined the International Criminal Court (ICC) in calling for the immediate release of four staff members who were detained in Libya earlier this month. The Presidents of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website; …

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by Max Slater

A coalition of news organizations asked the US Supreme Court on Thursday to allow live audio and video recording of the announcement of its decision regarding the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). In its letter, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP) urged …

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by Sung Un Kim

The Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) war crimes court on Friday sentenced four former Bosnian Serb soldiers for their involvement in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre. Franc Kos, Stanko Kojic, Vlastimir Golijan and Zoran Goronja were found guilty of crimes against humanity, and the court sentenced Kos and …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

Japanese police on Friday arrested the last major suspect accused of involvement in a nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway system in 1995. The attacks, allegedly orchestrated by a Japan-based cult known as Aum Shinrikyo, killed 13 people and sickened more than 5,500 more. Katsuya Takahashi, a former member of the cult, was arrested on Friday …

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by Max Slater

Syrian forces are sexually abusing men, women and children who have been detained during the ongoing conflict, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported Friday. HRW interviewed more than a dozen former Syrian detainees who were sexually assaulted by either the Syrian army or pro-government militias known as shabiha. Many detainees claimed that they were being imprisoned …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

Fifty aid groups and UN offices on Thursday signed a joint statement urging Israel to end its blockade of the Gaza Strip, calling it a violation of international law. Among the signatories are Amnesty International, the World Health Organization and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The joint …

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by Sung Un Kim

The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Friday swore in its new prosecutor, Gambian war crimes lawyer Fatou Bensouda, who will succeed Luis Moreno-Ocampo. ICC President, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, opened the ceremony with remarks on his confidence in Bensouda's ability to strengthen the ICC's influence for international criminal justice. The floor was …

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by Sarah Paulsworth

Cook County State Attorney Anita Alvarez argued Thursday that Illinois' ban on same-sex marriage contravenes the state's constitution. Her response, filed on behalf of Cook County Clerk David Orr, is part of ongoing proceedings in two lawsuits filed at the end of May against Illinois Governor Pat …

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