Legal news from Friday, November 15, 2013

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania [official website] denied two motions Friday seeking to dismiss a lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage. The challenge was brought [WP report] by the secretaries of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Department of Revenue … [read more]

[JURIST] The Communist Party of China (CPC) will loosen the nations one-child population control policy, according to documents released following the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee [Xinhua materials] held in Beijing earlier this week. The policy will allow [BBC report] families where one parent is an … [read more]

[JURIST] UN Special Rapporteur Juan Mendez [official profile] on Thursday expressed concern [press release] over the conditions in Ghana [UN backgrounder] prisons. After visiting several prisons around the country, reviewing studies, and speaking with prison employees and inmates, Mendez concluded that the state of prisons in the country amounts to … [read more]

[JURIST] A Hawaii Circuit Court judge on Thursday upheld the state's recently enacted same-sex marriage law [text, PDF] despite a challenge from opponents who argue the state's Constitution [text] prohibits it. The new law, which will take effect December 2 and make Hawaii the fifteenth US state to legalize same-sex … [read more]

[JURIST] The Spanish National Court [official website, in Spanish] on Thursday ordered the release of 13 members of the Basque separatist group Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) [GlobalSecurity backgrounder; JURIST news archive] in compliance with a European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] ruling [judgment; press release, PDF] made last … [read more]

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court Eastern District of Virginia [official website] on Friday sentenced Somali pirates Abukar Osman Beyle and Shani Nurani Shiekh Abrar to 21 life sentences for their role in the killing of four Americans aboard a yacht off the Horn of Africa in February … [read more]

[JURIST] The Scottish Parliament [official website] unanimously approved a bill [legislative materials] on Thursday to hold a Scottish independence referendum. The bill outlines the referendum rules [text, PDF]. Both independence opponents and supporters in parliament supported the bill, which will permit a 16-week campaign period and impose financial limits on … [read more]

[JURIST] International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website; JURIST backgrounder] Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda [official profile] on Thursday urged [statement] the government of Libya to address serious crimes committed in the country and encouraged the international community to end the impunity gap in Libya. Bensouda welcomed gains in Libya's legal system … [read more]

[JURIST] Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] on Wednesday urged [press release] the UN Security Council not to defer the International Criminal Court (ICC) trial [materials] of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta despite mounting political pressure. A draft resolution seeking the deferral was circulated earlier this month by Rwanda, a Security Council … [read more]

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