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Legal news from Wednesday, January 29, 2014
by Daniel Mullen

Paulino Winawilla Unago, the minister of justice in South Sudan announced that a group of political leaders, including former Vice President Riek Machar, could face treason charges for their role in an alleged coup in December. Speaking to a group of reporters on Tuesday, the justice minister said that "anybody who intends …

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by Daniel Mullen

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday denied petitions for panel and en banc rehearing of its decision upholding California's law prohibiting licensed therapists from utilizing sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE), also known as conversion therapy. The plaintiffs in the case, which include a group of SOCE practitioners, filed …

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by Elizabeth LaForgia

The US State Department, Amnesty International (AI) and Human Rights Watch (HRW) 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 been briefly detained or put under house …

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by Elizabeth LaForgia

US President Barack Obama 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 during his annual State of the Union address, for …

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by Benjamin Minegar

UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, on Monday praised Rwandan authorities' accomplishments in developing infrastructure and ensuring stability and security since the nation's 1994 genocide. The independent expert recently traveled to Rwanda to meet with government officials and to contribute to efforts taken toward democratization, better …

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by Benjamin Minegar

The UN Security Council on Tuesday unanimously adopted a resolution 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 the International Support Mission in the CAR (MISCA) and EU …

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by Peter Snyder

The US Supreme Court issued an order Tuesday evening staying the execution of Missouri death row inmate Herbert Smulls. Smulls, who was convicted and sentenced to death for killing a jewelry store owner and injuring his wife during a robbery in 1991, was scheduled to die at 12:01 AM Wednesday. Smulls' attorney filed a …

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by Peter Snyder

The Verkhovna Rada, the Parliament of Ukraine continued 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 on the condition that protesters disband street protests and vacate buildings seized. In …

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by Samuel Franklin

The Indiana House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a proposed state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. In a 57-40 vote, 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 removed language banning civil unions from the original proposal, the …

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by Samuel Franklin

The International Labour Organization (ILO), 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 into anti-protest police tactics. Recent demonstrations have been …

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by Theresa Donovan

An international judge from the Mitrovica Basic Court 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. The order was in response to a request by a European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) …

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by Theresa Donovan

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, which is ongoing at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The ICTY had granted Karadzic's motion in December to subpoena Mladic to testify at …

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