Legal news from Wednesday, January 29, 2014

[JURIST] Paulino Winawilla Unago, the minister of justice in South Sudan [JURIST backgrounder] announced that a group of political leaders, including former Vice President Riek Machar [BBC profile], could face treason charges for their role in an alleged coup in December. Speaking to a group of reporters on Tuesday [Al … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] on Wednesday denied [order, PDF] petitions for panel and en banc rehearing of its decision upholding California's law [text, PDF] prohibiting licensed therapists from utilizing sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE), also known as conversion therapy. The plaintiffs in … [read more]

[JURIST] The US State Department [official website], Amnesty International (AI) and Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy websites] joined Tuesday to condemn the Cuban government's detentions of dissidents to keep them away from a Havana summit of hemispheric leaders. According to rights activists in Havana, an estimated 100 pro-democracy activists have … [read more]

[JURIST] US President Barack Obama [official website] said Tuesday that 2014 should be the year to close the prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as the US shifts away from a "permanent war footing." Obama first pledged to close the detention center five years ago, despite political opposition, and urged congress … [read more]

[JURIST] UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, on Monday praised [statement] Rwandan authorities' accomplishments in developing infrastructure and ensuring stability and security since the nation's 1994 genocide [UN backgrounder]. The independent expert recently traveled to Rwanda to meet with government … [read more]

[JURIST] The UN Security Council [official website] on Tuesday unanimously adopted a resolution [press release] which extends the mandate of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA) and imposes travel bans and asset freezes on those suspected of war crimes in the CAR. The resolution authorizes … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] issued an order [text] Tuesday evening staying the execution of Missouri death row inmate Herbert Smulls. Smulls, who was convicted [AP report] and sentenced to death for killing a jewelry store owner and injuring his wife during a robbery in 1991, was scheduled … [read more]

[JURIST] The Verkhovna Rada [official website], the Parliament of Ukraine continued [press release] an extraordinary session Wednesday to discuss amnesty for protesters arrested during the weeks of unrest that have gripped the nation. One of the amnesty proposals being considered by lawmakers would grant amnesty [AP report] on the condition … [read more]

[JURIST] The Indiana House of Representatives [official website] on Tuesday approved a proposed state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. In a 57-40 vote [Reuters report], the Indiana House moved the joint resolution, which had been on the rolls since 2004, forward into the Senate chambers. However, because the current legislature … [read more]

[JURIST] The International Labour Organization (ILO) [official website], a branch of the UN devoted to promoting social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights, called for cooperation amongst all parties involved in escalating violence in Cambodia on Tuesday, demanding a release of detained union strikers and a government probe … [read more]

[JURIST] An international judge from the Mitrovica Basic Court [official website] on Tuesday ordered a one-month detention for a Kosovo Serb politician, Oliver Ivanovic, who is suspected of committing war crimes and aggravated murder during the 1998-1999 Kosovo conflict [BBC backgrounder]. The order was in response to a request by … [read more]

[JURIST] Ratko Mladic, former leader of the Bosnian Serb army during the Bosnian civil war, refused to testify on Tuesday at the trial of Radovan Karadzic [BBC profile], which is ongoing at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website]. The ICTY had granted Karadzic's motion … [read more]

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