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Legal news from Wednesday, June 27, 2012

[JURIST] The Chicago City Council [official website] on Wednesday voted to decriminalize [press release; materials] 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 [official … [read more]

[JURIST] The Constitutional Court of Romania [official website, in Romanian] 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 … [read more]

[JURIST] The Canada Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC) [official website] on Wednesday announced [press release] 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 [JURIST report] … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] has asked the US District Court for the District of Arizona [official website] to reject the request [JURIST report] by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio [official website] to dismiss the lawsuit pending against him that claims his office discriminated against Latinos … [read more]

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] on Wednesday ordered the country's new prime minister to reopen the investigation against President Asif Ali Zardari [official website]. With the order, the court gave [WP report] Raja Pervez Ashraf, the new prime minister and former federal energy chief, until July 12 … [read more]

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of Florida [official website] on Wednesday denied a request by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] to issue a temporary injunction barring Florida from continuing the practice of purging its voter rolls. The DOJ alleges that … [read more]

[JURIST] The Turkish ruling party plans to abolish the special courts [Reuters report] used in coup and terrorism trials, Reuters [media website] reported Wednesday. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) [party website] plans to present a reform package including the proposed abolition of special courts to the country's parliament … [read more]

[JURIST] Lawyers for alleged 9/11 conspirator and Guantanamo Bay [JURIST backgrounder] detainee Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] on Tuesday revealed [press release] 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 … [read more]

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP [websites] on Wednesday filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF; press release] against the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) [official website, in Spanish] alleging that they violated the rights of protesters. The lawsuit comes a week after … [read more]

[JURIST] The Ethiopian Federal High Court [official website, in Amharic] convicted 24 journalists, political opposition leaders and others under the country's Anti-Terrorism Proclamation of 2009 [text], Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] reported [press release] on Wednesday. The human rights group urged the country to drop all politically motivated charges against … [read more]

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] on Tuesday announced the launching of its Torture Database [materials; press release], 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 … [read more]

[JURIST] 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 [Foreign Policy report] … [read more]

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] on Tuesday sent a letter [text; press release] 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 … [read more]

[JURIST] A European court on Wednesday upheld [judgment] several fines imposed against Microsoft Inc. [corporate website] for noncompliance with an order of the EU Commission [official website]. Microsoft was initially requested by the Commission to provide competitors with interoperability information and to authorize the use of such information, allowing competitors' … [read more]

[JURIST] A UN independent commission on Wednesday told the UN Human Rights Council [official website] 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 [text, PDF] presented to the 20th … [read more]

[JURIST] A federal judge on Tuesday granted a request by Apple to issue an injunction against Samsung Electronics [corporate websites] 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 … [read more]

[JURIST] The European Court of Human Rights [official website] ruled [judgment; press release, PDF] Tuesday that a German law requiring landowners to allow hunting on their property is a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights [text]. The case was brought by Guenter Herrmann, who is morally opposed to … [read more]

[JURIST] The New York State Court of Appeals [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] 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 [advocacy website] sued the city [Reuters report] on behalf … [read more]

[JURIST] Investment research firm executive Tai Nguyen pleaded guilty [press release] to insider trading charges in connection with the investigation into Raj Rajaratnam's [JURIST news archive] Galleon fund. Nguyen, an executive of the research firm Insight Research LLC, surrendered to the FBI [Reuters report] Tuesday morning in compliance with the … [read more]

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