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Legal news from Wednesday, January 15, 2014
by Daniel Mullen

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released findings on Tuesday that a wave of human rights violations took place in the Central African Republic (CAR) last month. According to the UN report, there has been a recent spike in extrajudicial killings, sexual violence, mutilations, enforced …

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by Elizabeth LaForgia

Two advocacy groups on Wednesday condemned the slow pace of the criminal case against former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier. "A lack of political will and unacceptable court delays are allowing Haiti's former 'president-for-life," Jean-Claude Duvalier to escape justice for human rights violations," Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International (AI) …

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by Daniel Mullen

Google announced on Wednesday that it filed an appeal of a USD $205,000 fine imposed by the French National Commission on Computing and Liberty (CNIL) for violating French data protection laws. The CNIL imposed the fine on Google last week after the company failed to act on the Commission's order to bring its methods of …

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by Elizabeth LaForgia

Romania's Constitutional Court on Wednesday rejected legislation that would make it more difficult to prosecute elected government officials and make libel a criminal offense after criticism from abroad. The draft law would have provided lawmakers and government officials immunity from prosecution in corruption cases while in office. The legislation was passed by Romanian lawmakers on …

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by Benjamin Minegar

The US Supreme Court ruled Wednesday in Ray Haluch Gravel Co. v. Central Pension Fund that, whether a claim for attorney's fees is based upon a statute, a private contract, or both, the pendency of a ruling on an award for fees and costs does not prevent a merits judgment from becoming "final" …

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by Benjamin Minegar

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Monday announced that a legal instrument, which grants children access to international human rights protections, will go into effect in April. The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communications Procedure permits children or their representatives …

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by Peter Snyder

The trial of four individuals accused of aiding the terrorists who perpetrated the September attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, commenced Wednesday. The Somali Islamist group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack, in which at least 62 people died and 175 were injured. The four …

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by Peter Snyder

A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma ruled Tuesday that the state's ban on same-sex marriage violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution. Article II section 35 of the Oklahoma Constitution enacted in 2004 by State Question No. 711 …

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by Theresa Donovan

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in three cases Tuesday, including a case on the General Railroad Right-of-Way Act of 1875 and a case on whether certain employee severance payments are taxable. In Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Arkison the court heard arguments on: (1) whether Article III permits …

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by Samuel Franklin

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Tuesday criticized Nigeria's new law on the prohibition of same-sex marriage, calling the legislation a direct violation of basic, universal human rights. Earlier this month Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathon signed the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill into law, placing a 14-year prison sentence upon anyone who …

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by Samuel Franklin

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday struck down Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules that required broadband providers to employ nondiscriminatory practices in the treatment of Internet content. In a 63-page opinion, Judge David Tatel explained how the regulations impermissibly required providers to serve the public indiscriminately, …

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