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Legal news from Thursday, June 28, 2012
by Sung Un Kim

Three UN Special Rapporteurs on Thursday condemned Iran for recently executing four members of the Ahwazi Arab minority. Three brothers, Abd al-Rahman Heidarian, Taha Heidarian and Jamshid Heidarian, along with Ali Sharifi, were executed on or around June 19 in the Southwestern province of Khuzestan. The Special Rapporteurs criticized the alleged unfair trials [AI …

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by Sung Un Kim

The Quebec Superior Court on Wednesday rejected a request to suspend parts of an emergency law that restricts spontaneous protests until the law's constitutionality is determined later this summer. Judge Francois Rolland refused to grant the application for stay by student organizations reasoning that plaintiffs did not demonstrate irreparable harm would occur …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

The US Supreme Court on Thursday ruled 6-3 that a law criminalizing the making of false claims of military honors violates the First Amendment. In United States v. Alvarez, the Court struck down the Stolen Valor Act (SVA), which makes it a federal crime to lie about having received a military …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

An abortion clinic in Mississippi on Wednesday filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi challenging a new abortion regulation that is scheduled to go into effect on July 1. The new law requires that all physicians performing abortions at a clinic to be a licensed …

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by Sung Un Kim

UN Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, Patricia O'Brien said Wednesday at the 55th Annual meeting of the Russian Association of International Law that "rule of law is key to the implementation of R2P and hence, to the prevention of atrocities." The concept R2P, Responsibility to Protect, was initiated in 2005 in response to the events in …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

A judge for the US District Court for the District of South Dakota on Thursday upheld an injunction against most of a controversial South Dakota abortion law but allowed one section, requiring doctors to certify that a woman has not been "coerced" into making her decision, to go into effect. The most controversial parts …

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by Sung Un Kim

The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories Richard Falk on Wednesday demanded Israel cease its demolition of Palestinian buildings in the West Bank settlements. Falk reported that the demolition of Palestinian structures such as houses, animal shelters, water cisterns and roads have risen by 87 percent …

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by Sung Un Kim

Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza on Thursday announced that the government will release prisoners in order to address the overcrowding in national prisons. At the end of May the number of prisoners was around 10,000 detained in 11 prisons that had a total capacity of only 3,500, according to a human rights group. The pardon, announced …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

The US Supreme Court on Thursday ruled 5-4 that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) does not violate the constitution. The case centered on the "individual mandate" provision of the act, which requires every person, with some exceptions for religious and other reasons, to purchase some form of health …

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by Sung Un Kim

The New Hampshire legislature on Wednesday passed a bill that bans "partial-birth" abortions, overriding last Friday's veto by Governor John Lynch. The House of Representatives voted 240-118 and the Senate 18-5 to override the governor's veto. The bill would require a physician to determine whether the mother is …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on Thursday convicted Serb nationalist politician and war crimes suspect Vojislav Seselj of contempt of court and sentenced him to two years in prison. Seselj had been accused of contempt of court for refusing to comply with …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on Thursday denied a motion by former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic to dismiss 10 charges against him, while acquitting him on one charge of genocide for lack of evidence. In a statement, the court said that: "the evidence …

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by Saheli Chakrabarty

A judge in Rome, Italy, dropped a fraud charge against former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi on Wednesday after finding that the statute of limitations had expired. Last week Italian prosecutors had asked to sentence Berlusconi to three years and eight months in prison on the fraud charges. Berlusconi resigned as prime minister …

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by Saheli Chakrabarty

Prominent Bahraini rights activist Nabeel Rajab was released on Wednesday after spending three weeks in prison. Rajab was arrested on June 6 for posting critical comments about Bahrain's government on his social media page. Prior to this last arrest, Rajab was arrested and released on bail weeks later for posting messages on …

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