Legal news from Wednesday, August 8, 2012

[JURIST] The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany [official website, in German] on Wednesday ruled that homosexual couples in a civil union [JURIST news archive] should receive the same tax benefits as heterosexual married couples. The court held [Deutsche Welle report] that with regard to land transfer tax, gay couples should … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] announced on Tuesday that private security contractors Blackwater [JURIST news archive], now known as Academi [corporate website], agreed to settle [agreement, PDF] several federal criminal charges dealing with export and firearm violations. Academi agreed to pay a $7.5 million fine. The … [read more]

[JURIST] Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych [official website] on Wednesday signed into law a bill that makes Russian the official language in parts of former Soviet republic within the country. Opponents of the bill heavily criticized the move, condemning [Reuters report] the bill as a crime against the state. Politicians opposing … [read more]

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] on Tuesday filed a lawsuit challenging a new Puerto Rican law that limits the rights of protesters in the commonwealth. The new law, approved by Puerto Rican Governor Luis Fortuno last week, bans certain kinds of protests and includes penalties of … [read more]

[JURIST] A federal judge on Monday issued a temporary injunction [order, PDF] barring enforcement of a Florida statute [text] that prevents minors from donating more than $100 to any political candidate or committee within an election period. Under the law, adults are allowed to contribute up to $500 per election. … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Tuesday denied [order, PDF] an application to stay the Texas execution of a man with in IQ of 61. Justice Antonin Scalia refused [Reuters report] the challenge brought by Marvin Wilson who claimed that his execution is unconstitutional under the 2002 ruling … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Court for the Ninth Circuit [official website] on Tuesday reversed [opinion, PDF] a lower court's decision in favor of an Oregon-based Islamic nonprofit corporation challenging the Bush administration's warrantless wiretap program. The US District Court for the Northern District of California [official website] held that the federal … [read more]

[JURIST] A Canadian federal court judge on Tuesday ordered a judicial review of the nation's prison grievance system. Justice Anne Mactavish for the Federal Court of Canada [official website] held [CBC report] that the backlog in the grievance system is contributing to the increased violence and tension in the nation's … [read more]

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] on Wednesday ordered Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf [BBC profile] to appear before the court by the end of this month to explain his refusal to reopen the investigation into corruption allegations against President Asif Ali Zardari [official website]. Ashraf may also … [read more]

[JURIST] A Russian court on Wednesday reduced the sentence of the former business partner of jailed Russian oil executive Mikhail Khodorkovsky [defense website; JURIST news archive]. Platon Lebedev [defense website; JURIST news archive] has been incarcerated since 2003 for various charges associated with his business partnership with Khodorkovsky. Khodorkovsky and … [read more]

[JURIST] The man charged with killing six people and wounding 13 others in the January 2011 Tucson shooting [USA Today backgrounder] pleaded guilty [DOJ press release] on Tuesday in the US District Court for the Southern District of California [official website] shortly after Judge Larry Alan Burns declared him mentally … [read more]

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