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Legal news from Wednesday, August 15, 2012

[JURIST] Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] on Wednesday urged [press release] the government of Hungary to protect the nation's Roma communities [AI backgrounder] from attacks. On August 5, violence erupted in the Hungarian village of Devecser when more than a thousand people gathered in the village square in a demonstration … [read more]

[JURIST] Families of murdered Iranian nuclear scientists told reporters at a press conference on Wednesday that they have filed lawsuits against the US, UK and Israel for their governments' alleged involvements in the assassinations. The father of one of the scientists revealed that the families would ask Iran's judiciary to … [read more]

[JURIST] A court in Hong Kong has begun the hearing challenging the election of Hong Kong's new leader Leung Chun-ying [BBC profile]. Chairman of the Chinese Democratic Party [party website, in Chinese] Albert Ho filed two separate lawsuits last month seeking to overturn the election results [JURIST report], claiming that … [read more]

[JURIST] A judge in Brazil ruled on Tuesday that construction on the Belo Monte Dam must stop until local indigenous communities are allowed to voice their opinions on the environmental impact of the dam. The Brazilian government declared [BBC report] that the dam would help make Brazil more self-sufficient in … [read more]

[JURIST] A three-judge panel for the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit [official website] on Wednesday ordered [decision, PDF] a lower court to reconsider its decision ordering Florida's Dixie County Courthouse to remove a Ten Commandments monument [JPG] from its front steps. A federal judge last year ordered … [read more]

[JURIST] Former president of Argentina Fernando de la Rua [BBC profile] faced trial on Tuesday on bribery charges associated with his term as president from 1999-2001. De la Rua is accused of bribing Senators for votes [JURIST report], including the payment of $5 million to senators in order to reduce … [read more]

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] urged [press release] the government of Ethiopia on Wednesday to release 17 prominent Muslim leaders who were arrested last month in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. HRW asserted that the Ethiopian government has used its anti-terrorism law [Anti-Terrorism Proclamation of 2009, text] as … [read more]

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Central District of California [official website] on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit against the FBI [official website] alleging that it illegally directed its agents to spy on Muslim communities. Judge Cormac Carney dismissed the case after concluding that allowing the lawsuit … [read more]

[JURIST] The High Court of Australia [official website] on Wednesday rejected a request [order] by the nation of Hungary to extradite a Nazi war crimes suspect. The case concerned a man named Charles Zentai [The Australian backgrounder], an Australian citizen and Hungarian native who was accused, along with two other … [read more]

[JURIST] A judge for the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court [official website] on Wednesday declined to issue an injunction [order, PDF] to prevent the state's voter ID law [HB 943 materials] from taking effect. The plaintiffs in the case are Pennsylvania residents who lack photo ID. They argued that HB 943 will … [read more]

[JURIST] Syrian forces and their supporting Shabbiha fighters have committed "war crimes and gross violations of international human rights and humanitarian law," according to a report [text, DOC; press release, PDF] released Wednesday by the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry (COI). The report found that government and Shabbiha forces … [read more]

[JURIST] The High Court of Australia [official website] on Wednesday upheld [press release, PDF] a law that requires cigarette packages to display graphic images warning of the dangers of smoking and bans brand logos. The plaintiffs in the case were several tobacco companies which argued that the law in question, … [read more]

[JURIST] Executive Director of Greenpeace International [advocacy website], Kumi Naidoo, on Tuesday called on Russian President Vladimir Putin [official website, in Russian; JURIST news archive] to refrain from implementing a new law [materials, in Russian] that labels rights groups that receive overseas funding as "foreign agents," a term often associated … [read more]

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