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Legal news from Friday, March 1, 2013

[JURIST] Germany's lower house of Parliament, the Bundestag [official website], on Friday approved a bill to broaden copyright protections for online material, especially news articles. The new law would not charge royalties to search engines, including Google [official website; JURIST news archive], for displaying short passages of text from articles. … [read more]

[JURIST] The Maryland Senate [official website] on Thursday approved a gun control bill [SB 281 materials] that imposes tougher restrictions on obtaining a license to buy a firearm. The Senate voted 28-19 [materials] in favor of the bill that would require residents to submit to fingerprinting, training and background checks … [read more]

[JURIST] The Washington Supreme Court [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] 6-3 Thursday that a voter approved measure requiring a super-majority vote by the state legislature in order to raise taxes is unconstitutional. The initiative [I-1053, PDF] was approved by voters on multiple occasions, but the majority ruled that the language … [read more]

[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official profile] on Thursday presented an annual report [official report, PDF] detailing her office's efforts in 2012 and urging further action to confront global human rights challenges. The report identifies and elaborates on advances and challenges within six human rights "thematic … [read more]

[JURIST] A court of appeals in Bahrain overturned the acquittal [BNA report] of Zainab al-Khawaja, who is accused of insulting a government employee, and sentenced her to three months of imprisonment on Friday, according to the Bahrain State New Agency (BNA). Al-Khawaja is the daughter of prominent Bahraini human rights … [read more]

[JURIST] A Dutch court on Friday convicted Yvonne Basebya [AllAfrica backgrounder], a Dutch citizen born in Rwanda, of inciting genocide in Rwanda in 1994. The District Court of The Hague [official website] sentenced Basebya to six years and eight months in prison for her role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide … [read more]

[JURIST] Former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier [CBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] appeared before a Haitian court on Thursday, after previously rebuffing summonses for alleged human rights abuses from 1971-1986. Thursday's hearing marked the first time that the plaintiffs confronted [AP report] Duvalier. Duvalier had ignored three previous summonses before his appearance … [read more]

[JURIST] The Obama administration urged [brief, PDF] the US Supreme Court [official website] Thursday to strike down California's ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional in the case of Hollingsworth v. Perry [docket; cert. petition, PDF]. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme … [read more]

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