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Legal news from Monday, August 20, 2012
by Max Slater

The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Monday dismissed a challenge by former Ivory Coast president and alleged war criminal Laurent Gbagbo that the court lacks jurisdiction to try him. Gbagbo is being charged with crimes against humanity relating to violence following the 2010 elections in which Gbagbo lost but refused to cede power. …

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by Dan Taglioli

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activists filed a lawsuit against Russian authorities Monday in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The founders of Pride House in Sochi filed the lawsuit seeking €200,000 over the Russian Justice Ministry's refusal to register Pride House for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games. Justice Svetlana …

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by Max Slater

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled on Friday that a state law [Arizona Code section 38-201(c) requiring all public officials to be proficient in English is constitutional. The defendant in the case, Alejandrina Cabrera, was a city council candidate in the largely Spanish-speaking Arizona town of San Luis. Cabrera argued that her English was good …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

Spokespersons for the UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) and the UN High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR) [official websites on Monday expressed concern about a recently passed law in Australia that will reopen offshore detention centers used to process migrants and asylum-seekers who arrive in the country by sea. A spokesperson for …

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by Dan Taglioli

A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of California on Friday rejected a settlement proposed by Facebook in a class action lawsuit over the social networking company's "Sponsored Stories" program. The lawsuit accuses Facebook of appropriating the names, photographs and identities of users through the …

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by Max Slater

The government of Japan announced on Saturday that it will file a lawsuit with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague over an ongoing territorial dispute with South Korea concerning a group of islands. The disputed islands, known as Takeshima in Japan and Dokdo in South Korea, are believed to contain valuable natural …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari said Monday that the country's blasphemy laws would not be misused to persecute religious beliefs. Zardari's comments came after an 11-year-old Christian was arrested last week for allegedly desecrating pages of a religious text. Police said after the girl's arrest that she may have Down syndrome. Zardari has ordered an investigation [UPI …

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by Max Slater

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled on Friday that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) acted lawfully when it approved a plan to increase the amount of ethanol in gasoline. The EPA approved the introduction of a fuel blend known as E15 which consists of 15 percent ethanol, …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

The government of Myanmar announced Monday that it has abolished the country's strict press censorship practices. While laws governing the content of published material will remain, the government abolished its practice of reviewing material before publication. A review board may still review publications after they are published and remove any illegal content. The new practice overturns …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism Ben Emmerson told reporters on Sunday that the US government must allow an independent investigation of the legality of its drone strike policy. The US has received heavy criticism recently for its use of drone strikes to attack targets in the War on Terror. Emmerson criticized the US …

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by Max Slater

A Ukrainian opposition group filed a lawsuit on Monday that seeks to charge President Viktor Yanukovych with crimes against the Ukrainian people. The lawsuit was filed by Batkivshchyna, the political party of ex-Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko. The lawsuit specifically alleges [RFE/RL report] …

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