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Legal news from Friday, October 18, 2013
by Bethany Fisher

The Tennessee Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously rejected a movement to overturn the Tennessee Voter Identification Act, ruling that a requirement of government-issued photo ID for voters is constitutional. Chief Justice Gary Wade delivered the majority opinion and Justice William Koch Jr. delivered a concurring opinion concluding that the provisions of …

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by Jason Kellam

Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported Friday that Ethiopian police investigators routinely use torture and other coercive methods to obtain statements and confessions from detainees in Addis Ababa's Maekelawi detention center. The Maekelawi detention center is used to house the country's political prisoners, including "opposition politicians, journalists, protest organizers, alleged supporters of ethnic insurgencies and many …

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by Taylor Gillan

A UN independent rights expert on Friday joined with two other key international anti-trafficking expert mechanisms to call for global cooperation in the fight against the transnational trafficking of persons. Human rights experts from the UN, the Council of Europe (COE) and the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE) jointly stated that, "Partnership …

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by Neil Devlin

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit Thursday in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York to compel the federal government to disclose its policy for notifying criminal defendants that they have been surveilled under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) …

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by Stephen Adelgren

France's Constitutional Council ruled Friday that the country's mayors cannot refuse to officiate same-sex marriages even if participation would be against their moral and religious beliefs, rejecting the argument that the French Constitution requires the addition of a proposed "conscience clause." Seven French mayors argued unsuccessfully that the …

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by Kenneth Hall

A recent report made public by the UN Friday indicates that the US is under-reporting the number of civilian deaths resulting from anti-terrorism drone strikes. In his investigation, UN Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson discovered 33 drone attacks that have resulted in approximately 450 civilian deaths in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen. While more information …

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by Peter Snyder

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced on Friday that Canada and the EU have reached an agreement in principle on a comprehensive free trade agreement. The Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) has been in negotiations since 2009. The PM's press release states:The Agreement will provide Canada with preferential …

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by Peter Snyder

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said Friday that he will sign a law allowing former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko to travel abroad for medical treatment, if the bill is passed by the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament. In 2011 Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in prison [JURIST …

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