Legal news from Friday, March 28, 2014

[JURIST] The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website] on Thursday voted [press release] to launch an investigation into alleged human rights violations during Sri Lanka's civil war. In a vote of 23-12, with 12 member states abstaining, the council resolved to "establish the facts and circumstances of such alleged … [read more]

[JURIST] Both the US Senate and the House of Representatives [official websites] on Thursday approved nearly identical bills [text] that would send a $1 billion aid package to Ukraine and place new sanctions on Russia. The bill passed [NYT report] by a vote of 98-2 in the Senate and 399-19 … [read more]

[JURIST] The California Attorney General's Office [official website] on Thursday appealed a federal judge's decision striking down two sentencing laws. Judge Lawrence Karlton held that the laws were unconstitutional [JURIST report] because they affected the punishment for crimes committed before the laws were enacted. Marsy's Law [text], otherwise known as … [read more]

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website] on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit brought by eight New Yorkers claiming that Chinese search engineBaidu's [website, in Chinese] algorithms illegally block political speech. The plaintiffs, writers and video producers, claimed [Reuters report] that … [read more]

[JURIST] A Pakistani judge on Thursday sentenced a Christian man to death for blasphemy. Sanitation worker Sawan Masih, whose argument with a friend set off a riot [NYT report] in which an angered Muslim crowd set fire to a Christian town last March, is to be hanged after being found … [read more]

[JURIST] The UN General Assembly (GA) [official website] called upon nations to ensure military drones are used in accordance with international law in a resolution passed on Friday. The resolution was presented by [Reuters report] Switzerland and Pakistan and expressed concern over global compliance with international law in the use … [read more]

[JURIST] The UN General Assembly [official website] approved a resolution [press release] on Thursday declaring the Crimean referendum to secede from Ukraine invalid. The resolution calls upon all UN states, international organizations and specialty agencies not to recognize any change in status of the Crimean region despite the referendum [JURIST … [read more]

[JURIST] US Attorney General Eric Holder [official website] announced on Friday that the federal government will recognize the same-sex marriages [statement] of Michigan couples. The statement is in accordance with Holder's initial statement [text] that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will be extending all federal benefits to same-sex couples legally … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [official website] on Thursday upheld [opinion, PDF] Texas abortion restrictions requiring physicians performing "surgical abortions" to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and certain compliance protocols relating to the administration of drugs inducing "medication abortions." Planned Parenthood [advocacy website] … [read more]

[JURIST] The Chicago office for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) [official website] on Wednesday ruled [report, pdf] that football players at Northwestern University qualify as employees, and therefore have the right to unionize. In its finding, the NLRB used the "right to control" test, which considers a variety of … [read more]

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