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Legal news from Wednesday, June 27, 2012
by Rebecca DiLeonardo

The Chicago City Council on Wednesday voted to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Under the new ordinance, police officers may issue tickets to individuals found to be in possession of 10 grams of marijuana or less. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel earlier this month expressed his support for …

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by Sung Un Kim

The Constitutional Court of Romania on Wednesday rejected a law that would have changed the country's electoral system, deeming it unconstitutional. The proposed system, which is based on first-past-the-post voting, would have replaced the mixed majority and proportional system currently in place. It was planned to be implemented for the upcoming November elections. The ruling …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

The Canada Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC) on Wednesday announced that it would make recommendations to improve military police investigations based on its four-year investigation into allegations of misconduct in handling Afghan detainees. The MPCC investigation was launched in response to a complaint filed in 2008 by several Canadian rights groups. The complaint …

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by Sung Un Kim

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has asked the US District Court for the District of Arizona to reject the request by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to dismiss the lawsuit pending against him that claims his office discriminated against Latinos and disregarded their constitutional rights. The DOJ had filed [JURIST …

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by Sung Un Kim

The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday ordered the country's new prime minister to reopen the investigation against President Asif Ali Zardari. With the order, the court gave Raja Pervez Ashraf, the new prime minister and former federal energy chief, until July 12 to respond to the order. Ashraf and his predecessor, Yousuf …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of Florida on Wednesday denied a request by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) to issue a temporary injunction barring Florida from continuing the practice of purging its voter rolls. The DOJ alleges that Florida's policy violates the Voting Rights Act (VRA) as …

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by Sung Un Kim

The Turkish ruling party plans to abolish the special courts used in coup and terrorism trials, Reuters reported Wednesday. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) plans to present a reform package including the proposed abolition of special courts to the country's parliament before the recess. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan [official …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

Lawyers for alleged 9/11 conspirator and Guantanamo Bay detainee Khalid Sheikh Mohammed on Tuesday revealed that they have asked a UN official to investigate allegations of torture. Mohammed reportedly confessed to planning the 2001 attacks after over seven days of sleep deprivation. The letter asks UN Special Rapporteur …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) alleging that they violated the rights of protesters. The lawsuit comes a week after the ACLU released a report alleging widespread abuses …

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by Sung Un Kim

The Ethiopian Federal High Court convicted 24 journalists, political opposition leaders and others under the country's Anti-Terrorism Proclamation of 2009, Human Rights Watch reported on Wednesday. The human rights group urged the country to drop all politically motivated charges against the convicted. Eskinder Nega, April's winner of the …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Tuesday announced the launching of its Torture Database, a collection of more than 100,000 Bush-era documents recording "rendition, detention, and interrogation policies and practices." The database was launched in recognition of the 25th anniversary of the UN Convention Against Torture, which the UN has designated as …

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by Sung Un Kim

The Rwandan government has helped to create armed groups including M23, which has been conducting a mutiny in North Kivu Province under the leadership of a particularly notorious group of human rights violators, and supplied them with weapons, armor and recruits including children, the Foreign Policy magazine reported on Tuesday. According to a leaked UN report …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Tuesday sent a letter to Bulgarian Justice Minister Diana Kovacheva urging her to denounce calls to violence by anti-gay groups in anticipation of a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pride parade in Sofia, Bulgaria, on June 30. HRW noted that religious leaders have called for violence and even …

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by Sung Un Kim

A European court on Wednesday upheld several fines imposed against Microsoft Inc. for noncompliance with an order of the EU Commission. Microsoft was initially requested by the Commission to provide competitors with interoperability information and to authorize the use of such information, allowing competitors' products to interface properly with Microsoft's server software between 1998 …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

A UN independent commission on Wednesday told the UN Human Rights Council that government forces in Syria "may have been responsible" for the deaths of more than 100 civilians, including women and children, in Al-Houla, Syria last month. In a report presented to the 20th Session of the council in Geneva, the panel of …

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by Sung Un Kim

A federal judge on Tuesday granted a request by Apple to issue an injunction against Samsung Electronics blocking the sale of the Galaxy 10.1 tablet computer while the patent infringement case is reviewed. Judge Lucy Koh for the US District Court for the Northern District of California stated that Apple has a strong case on …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

The European Court of Human Rights ruled Tuesday that a German law requiring landowners to allow hunting on their property is a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case was brought by Guenter Herrmann, who is morally opposed to hunting. He argued that the law intruded on his quiet …

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by Saheli Chakrabarty

The New York State Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday that New York City is not contractually obligated to carry on with the current rent subsidy program available for the formerly homeless. The Legal Aid Society sued the city on behalf of tenants, after the city terminated the Advantage program, which …

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by Saheli Chakrabarty

Investment research firm executive Tai Nguyen pleaded guilty to insider trading charges in connection with the investigation into Raj Rajaratnam's Galleon fund. Nguyen, an executive of the research firm Insight Research LLC, surrendered to the FBI Tuesday morning in compliance with the authorities' investigation of Galleon. Rajaratnam was convicted of 14 counts …

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