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World Legal News Round Up for Saturday, 9 June 2018

[JURIST] Here's the international legal news we covered this week:

The Canadian Senate passed a bill [text] Friday to legalize the recreational use of marijuana with a vote of 56 to 30 (with one abstaining).
The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] Appeals Chamber acquitted [judgment, PDF] former vice president of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and military leader Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo Friday on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The UK Supreme Court [official website] on Thursday indicated disapproval [judgment, PDF] of Northern Ireland's strict abortion law [text, PDF], though ultimately dismissed the appeal brought by challengers of the legislation.

The legal proceedings were initiated by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) [advocacy website], who argue that the existing law—which lists having an abortion as a criminal offense punishable with up to 14 years in prison—contradicts the European Convention on Human Rights [text, PDF].

Amnesty International (AI) [press release] called on Mozambican authorities Thursday to take immediate steps to end what they called a "killing spree" in the Cabo Delgado Province of the country.
The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea [official website], Tomás Ojea Quintana, urged [UN News Centre report] North Korea Thursday to begin to release its political prisoners in anticipation of the proposed June 12 denuclearization talks with the US.

"It might be a gradual process, it's not that I'm saying you should open up all these prisons and release the prisoners, because I am a reasonable expert," said Quintana.

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees [official website] and the UN Development Programme [official website] signed [press release] a Memorandum of Understanding with the government of Myanmar on Wednesday that will give the UN agencies access to the Rakhine state.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] submitted an amicus brief [text] to the Colombian Constitutional Court [official website, in Spanish] on Tuesday [press release] calling for changes to the Special Jurisdiction of Peace bill—a peace accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
A Bahrain court on Tuesday upheld the conviction of prominent human rights activist Nabeel Rajab, who was sentenced to five years [JURIST report] in February over Tweets critical of the Bahraini government.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) [official website] ruled [judgment] Tuesday that even if an EU country's government has not authorized same-sex marriage, same-sex couples must still be offered the same residency rights as heterosexual couples.

The issue arose because EU law [materials] permits the spouse of an EU citizen to obtain a residence permit for any member state where the spouse resides.

There is evidence to suggest that coalition airstrikes in Syria are potential war crimes, according to an Amnesty International [advocacy website] report [text, PDF] released Tuesday detailing the effects on civilians of the US airstrike in Raqqa, Syria, which occurred from June to October of 2017.

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