Legal news from Friday, February 21, 2014

[JURIST] Arizona state lawmakers gave final approval on Thursday to a bill [materials] that will allow state business owners to refuse service to individuals for "religious reasons," a law that has been denounced by critics as sanctioning discrimination against LGBT individuals. The bill was jointly written [Arizona Republic report] by … [read more]

[JURIST] German officials on Thursday raided the homes of three men and arrested them for their suspected roles as guards at the Auschwitz [USHMM backgrounder] death camp during World War II. The men, aged 88, 92 and 94, are currently being detained [BBC report] in the Hohenasperg prison hospital. They … [read more]

[JURIST] Moscow's Zamoskvoretksy District Court convicted eight anti-Kremlin protesters on Friday of rioting and violence against police at a protest in 2012. The protestors were arrested [UK Guardian report] the night before Vladimir Putin's inauguration to his third term as president. At the protest in 2012, police cut off access … [read more]

[JURIST] A Haitian appellate court ruled on Thursday that former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier [CBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] can be charged under international law with crimes against humanity committed during his rule. Haitian authorities reopened a criminal case against Duvalier three years ago after he returned to the country … [read more]

[JURIST] Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum [official website] said in a filing on Thursday that her office will not defend Oregon's ban on same-sex marriage. Rosenblum said [WP report] that the ban cannot survive a federal constitutional challenge under any standard of review. Rosenblum went on to say [Reuters report] … [read more]

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the District of New Jersey [official website] ruled Friday that the New York Police Department's (NYPD) [official website] surveillance on Muslims is a lawful effort for national security, and does not constitute harm or violation of civil rights. The controversial surveillance … [read more]

[JURIST] The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website] called [statement] for changes to the way Australia deals with asylum seekers. As of August 2013, Australia transfers all individuals seeking asylum to a holding camp in Papua New Guinea. From here, they are processed and … [read more]

[JURIST] Saudi Guantanamo Bay [JURIST backgrounder] prisoner Ahmed Muhammed Haza al Darbi [JURIST news archive] on Thursday pleaded guilty [pretrial agreement, PDF] to involvement in terrorism-related activities, including the 2002 al Qaeda plot to blow up oil tankers near Yemen. Had al Darbi gone to trial, he faced a potential … [read more]

[JURIST] New York has agreed to reforms that would reduce the use of solitary confinement and ban solitary confinement for prisoners under 18 years old, according to court documents [opinion, PDF] released on Wednesday. Under the agreement, the state will immediately halt the use of solitary confinement for youth, pregnant … [read more]

[JURIST] The European Commission [official website] on Thursday commenced legal proceedings [press release] against the UK for failing to maintain air level standards. According to air pollution legislation [materials], nitrogen dioxide limits should have been met by January 1, 2010, unless given an extension until January 1, 2015. The directive … [read more]

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