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Legal news from Tuesday, April 16, 2013
by Blake Lynch

UK-based rights group Privacy International said Tuesday that it is suing the British government for refusing to divulge information concerning surveillance equipment sold by Gamma International. Gamma International is a software company whose FinFinisher software has been used in 25 countries including Bahrain. FinFisher is a Trojan horse program that evades anti-virus utilities …

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by Daniel Mullen

US authorities have engaged in the torture of detainees, and the nation's "highest officials" bear some of the responsibility, according to a report released on Tuesday by the Constitution Project, a bi-partisan legal advocacy and watchdog group. The Task Force on Detainee Treatment was established after US President Barack Obama announced …

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by Samuel Franklin

A bipartisan group of US senators on Tuesday unveiled details of the long-awaited immigration reform bill that would remove the threat of deportation for millions of undocumented immigrants and provide a path to citizenship. Under the legislation, an undocumented immigrant would have the opportunity to become classified as a "Registered Provisional Immigrant" on the path to legal status …

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by Julie Deisher-Edwards

A three-member appellate tribunal on Tuesday disqualified former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf from running in the upcoming parliamentary election for the remote northern district of Chitral. Musharraf returned to Pakistan last month after years in exile for the purpose of running in the parliamentary elections. Earlier this month, a judge authorized Musharraf …

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by Peter Snyder

Kuwait opposition leader and former MP Mussallam Al Barrak was sentenced on Tuesday to five years in prison for criticizing leader Emir Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, which is a crime under Kuwait's constitution. Barrak was arrested in October after a public speech was found to contain remarks detrimental to the …

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by Lauren Laing

Kenya's Supreme Court on Tuesday released a 113-page judgment upholding the results of the March presidential election. The court unanimously upheld the results last month but just released its reasoning, finding that the process was flawed but not illegal. The results of the March 4 election, in which President Uhuru Kenyatta [BBC profile; JURIST …

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by Julie Deisher-Edwards

Ireland will hold a referendum on same-sex marriage after the Convention on the Constitution, voted Sunday to grant full marriage rights to same-sex couples. Article 46 of the Irish Constitution provides that any major constitutional change must be ratified by the electorate. Presently, civil partnerships are recognized and afforded some rights under the …

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by Peter Snyder

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad issued a decree Tuesday reducing prison terms by three quarters for some members of rebel forces. The decree, announced by the state news agency SANA, has been condemned by activists for doing nothing to free thousands of political prisoners arrested by the Syrian government both before and during the …

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by Samuel Franklin

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Tuesday blocked the extradition of Haroon Aswat, a former aide to radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, from the UK to the US. The court said that removing Aswat, a UK-based terror suspect whose nationality is unknown, to an …

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by Julia Zebley

The US Supreme Court granted certiorari in two new cases on Monday. In Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co. the court will hear arguments the deadline for filing a complaint to challenge a denial of disability under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The US …

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