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Legal news from Tuesday, July 3, 2012
by Sung Un Kim

The Constitutional Court of Romania on Tuesday accused Prime Minister Victor Ponta and his leftist party, the Social Liberal Union (SLU), of attempting to seize control over the judiciary system. The court announced that it has alerted the European authorities of the situation. The prime minister had ignored last week's decision …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

Two Illinois county clerks, represented by the Thomas More Society, on Friday filed a motion in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois seeking permission to defend the state's law banning same-sex marriage in two combined lawsuits challenging its constitutionality. Effingham County Clerk Kerry Hirtzel and Tazewell …

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by Sung Un Kim

US computer chip maker Intel on Tuesday argued before the EU General Court that the European Commission used flawed and inadequate evidence when it imposed a fine against the company in 2009. Intel had brought the challenge two months after the Commission's decision to fine the company, claiming that the antitrust …

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by Sung Un Kim

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday called on member states to abolish capital punishment. He welcomed the trend of abolishing the death penalty since the UN General Assembly endorsed a call for a moratorium on capital punishment in 2007. He noted that more than 150 states have either abolished or …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday called on the UN member states to establish a comprehensive arms treaty to limit the flow of conventional arms to terrorists and criminal networks. Speaking at the UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty, the first-ever meeting of UN member states to negotiate a treaty for the trade of …

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by Sung Un Kim

Prosecutors at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on Tuesday appealed last week's decision acquitting former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic on one of 11 charges for lack of evidence. Last week the court rejected Karadzic's motion to dismiss 10 charges against him while acquitting …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Tuesday urged the government of Sri Lanka to end arrests and office raids of journalists who publish content critical of the government. HRW noted two recent instances where police raided offices and arrested journalists at two news agencies, charging them under a law that bans "excit or attempt …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Tuesday expressed concern about a proposed media law in Afghanistan that would increase government authority to regulate the press. According to HRW, the new law would place greater oversight authority in the director of the High Media Council, which would also be able to influence the budgets and composition of …

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by Sung Un Kim

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled unanimously that the arrest and detention of Ukraine's former interior minister Yuriy Lutsenko violated several articles of the European Convention on Human Rights. The court found two violations of Article 5 Section 1 (right to liberty and security), one violation of Section …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

Bahraini authorities have brought charges against 15 police officers for alleged "mistreatment of inmates in custody," according to a press release by the Bahrain Information Affairs Authority (IAA). The charges were brought after the government received 11 complaints about police activity. In the statement, Nawaf Hamza, head of the Public Prosecution's Special Investigation Unit, said that …

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by Sung Un Kim

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday praised the work of human rights activists for the right of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people while calling for an end to discrimination based on sexual orientation. The secretary-general's message was delivered during a Human Rights Film Festival Screening by Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan …

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by Sung Un Kim

A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida on Friday permanently enjoined a Florida law that barred doctors from discussing the dangers of gun ownership with patients. Judge Marcia Cooke held that the Firearm Owners' Privacy Act (FOPA) violates doctors' First Amendment rights because it is so vague that …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has upheld a South Carolina program allowing public high school students to earn credit for religious courses taken off campus during the school day. The program was challenged by students and parents at a school that offers the credit. They argued that giving students credit for …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

Greek police exhibit a pattern of using excessive force and violence against demonstrators and administrative detainees, including migrants, Amnesty International (AI) reported Tuesday. AI criticized Greek authorities for referring to instances of police violence as "isolated incidents" and called on the government to take further steps to ensure police accountability for unnecessary violence. The report …

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by Sung Un Kim

French authorities said Tuesday that they have arrested a suspected terrorist alleged to have ties to al-Qaeda. Little information has been revealed about the suspect except that he was born in Tunisia in 1977 and resided in the French city of Toulon. The nation's prosecution office arrested him last Friday …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

Syrian authorities have been maintaining secret detention facilities to hold and torture prisoners, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported Tuesday. The report, compiled based on accounts from victims and former military and intelligence officials, concludes that Syria has maintained at least 27 secret facilities run by Syrian military or security forces. HRW reported that …

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by Jamie Reese

The UN Working Group on discrimination against women in law and practice released a report Monday calling for a focus on advancing women's rights during political transitions. The group's priorities are discrimination against women in political and public life and discrimination in the economic and social setting. The report includes suggestions such as routine country …

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by Jamie Reese

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay renewed her call Monday to the Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC). She stressed the need to address the serious human rights violations committed by both sides in the ongoing …

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