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Legal news from Friday, March 21, 2014

[JURIST] The Illinois Supreme Court [official website] on Thursday declared one of the nation's harshest eavesdropping laws unconstitutional, stating the law was severely broad and violated basic free speech rights. The court ruled Thursday in People v. Clark and People v. Melongo [opinions, PDF], which both dealt with audio recording, … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [official website] on Friday overturned [text, PDF] a lower court that struck down the Federal Reserve's cap on how much banks are permitted to charge businesses for debit card transactions. The lawsuit was initiated by a coalition of … [read more]

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] issued a report [text, PDF] on Friday stating that illegal armed groups have caused hundreds of people to flee Colombia's main Pacific port of Buenaventura in the past two years. Historically, illegal guerrilla groups within Colombia have been concentrated within the rural areas … [read more]

[JURIST] Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan [BBC profile] attempted to block Twitter [social media website] on Friday but users quickly found ways to circumvent the ban. The ban came after audio recordings [recordings, in Turkish] of a voice, resembling Erdogan's, instructed his son to dispose of large amounts of … [read more]

[JURIST] The Taipei District Court [official website, in Chinese] on Friday sentenced Taiwanese Prosecutor-general Huang Shih-ming to 14 months in prison for passing confidential information to the country's president regarding investigations into corruption charges. The investigation referred to allegations of "influence-peddling" in the country, and the evidence against Huang was … [read more]

[JURIST] Uruguayan President Jose Mujica [official website, in Spanish] announced on Thursday that his country has agreed with US President Barack Obama to take five inmates at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST backgrounder], reportedly stating that they would be "welcome to work and stay with their families in Uruguay." Obama is attempting … [read more]

[JURIST] Thailand's Constitutional Court [official website] on Friday declared the country's recent general election to be be invalid, adding further complication to the current political crisis in which protesters have demanded the yielding of governmental power to an interim appointed council. In a 6-3 decision, the court nullified the February … [read more]

[JURIST] The Ivory Coast's government on Thursday announced plans to hand over Charles Ble Goude [Trial Watch backgrounder], the former Ivory Coast Minister for Sports and Youth, to the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website]. Ble Goude is accused of working with former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo [BBC profile; … [read more]

[JURIST] The Georgia State Senate [official website] on Thursday approved a bill [text, PDF] legalizing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The bill carves our narrow acceptable uses and is careful to make clear it is not meant to be a step towards outright legalization. Specifically, the bill legalizes … [read more]

[JURIST] Russian President Vladimir Putin [official website; JURIST news archive] on Friday signed legislation making Crimea officially part of Russia. The bills passed the House almost unanimously despite significant international criticism. Others have called the measure necessary [Reuters report] to protect the ethnic Russians within Crimea, with Foreign Minister Sergei … [read more]

[JURIST] Chevron Corporation [official website] on Tuesday filed [text, PDF] for reimbursement of attorneys' fees against Attorney Steven Donziger [official website] and others in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website]. Chevron prevailed earlier this month in its lawsuit against Donziger for fraud and … [read more]

[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights [official website] Navi Pillay [official profile] on Thursday urged [statement] the international community to step up its human rights efforts in the Central African Republic (CAR) during opening remarks at a press conference during a visit to the country. Expressing the urgent need … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] on Thursday ruled [opinion, PDF] that California's controversial voter-approved DNA collection law [text, PDF] likely passes constitutional scrutiny. This is the second time that the court has looked at the case. The law allows police to collect a … [read more]

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