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Legal news from Wednesday, September 26, 2012
by Jaimie Cremeans

A UN report released on Wednesday concludes that informal justice systems must be used as part of broader initiatives to ensure that human rights of people in developing countries are protected. The report shows that many groups of people, including women, children and minorities, benefit from informal justice systems because they empower them to make claims on …

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by Jerry Votava

The High Court of England and Wales on Tuesday ordered an injunction against the extradition of Egyptian-born Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri and Saudi-born Khaled Al-Fawwaz to the US until a formal hearing can be held. The pair were scheduled to be extradited to the US to face terrorism charges stemming from a plan …

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by Sung Un Kim

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Wednesday urged the government of Honduras to take measures to address the violence against human rights defenders. The call came amid two recent killings of lawyers working on human rights cases in the country. The lawyer who worked for defending peasant …

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by Jerry Votava

The Hulhumale Magistrate Court in the Maldives has issued an order preventing ex-president Mohamed Nasheed from leaving the capital of Male without official permission. Nasheed was also served with unnamed criminal proceedings. Nasheed supporters claimed that this move was politically motivated and will limit the ex-president's ability to campaign for the next election. This order comes after …

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by Sung Un Kim

Zainab al-Khawaja, the daughter of Bahraini human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, was sentenced Wednesday to two months in prison for tearing up a picture of the country's king, according to her lawyer. Mohammed al-Jishi condemned the sentence as being too harsh, stating that penalties for such offenses are usually mere fines. Zainab …

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by Keith Herting

A Brazilian state court on Wednesday gave YouTube 10 days to remove from its website a film deemed offensive to Muslims. The court order follows a recent lawsuit brought by Muslim group National Islamic Union against Youtube's parent company Google asserting that the movie violates their freedom of religion. In his …

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by Matthew Pomy

Uruguay's Chamber of Deputies voted on Tuesday to legalize abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, subject to several conditions, by a vote of 50-49. Cuba and Mexico are the only other countries in the region that have decriminalized abortion. A woman would have to go before a gynecologist, …

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by Keith Herting

The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) on Tuesday found three members of Sierra Leone's former Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) guilty of contempt. Santigie Borbor Kanu and Hassan Papa Bangura were convicted of two counts of "interfering with the administration of justice by offering a bribe to a witness" and for …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

The German Federal Ministry of Justice (BMJ) on Tuesday outlined a plan to legalize circumcisions of infant boys after a controversial ruling banning the practice was handed down earlier this year. The Cologne state court ruled in June that circumcising young boys based on religious traditions is prohibited …

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by Matthew Pomy

Independent UN human rights Rita Izsak called Wednesday for Bosnia and Herzgovina (BIH) to do more to promote minority rights and unity. Izsak emphasized the need to encourage integration among the minority groups at all levels of society, specifically when dealing with education. She discussed the potential linguistic restraints in educating the groups together, but …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Tuesday denied a request for a new injunction against a controversial provision of Arizona's immigration law requiring law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of persons they stop or arrest if there is a reasonable suspicion that the person is in the US …

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by Julia Zebley

The US Supreme Court added six cases to its docket on Monday, including a rare grant of certiorari in two pro se cases. In Levin v. United States, the court will consider whether 10 USC § 1089 properly immunizes government medical personnel against battery suits. The statute, also known as the Gonzalez …

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by Jerry Votava

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) on Tuesday asked [cert. petition, PDF; press release] the US Supreme Court to review the validity of patents on two genes associated with breast and ovarian cancers owned by a Utah company, Myriad Genetics. The patents at issue concern BRCA1 and …

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