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World Legal News Round Up for Saturday, 31 March 2018
World Legal News Round Up for Saturday, 31 March 2018

Here’s the international legal news we covered this week:

[JURIST] Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy [BBC profile] must stand for trial [BBC report] for charges of corruption and influence the 2007 French presidential election.
A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website] on Wednesday denied [order, PDF] Saudi Arabia’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit for involvement in the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Victims and families of victims originally brought suit against Saudi Arabia and the Saudi High Commission for Relief in Bosnia and Herzegovina (SHC).

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday issued a memorandum [text] announcing his decision not to extend the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) [materials] protection for Liberians that had been in place since the 1990s.

In the memo, Trump justified this action by explaining that the situations in Liberia, namely the civil war that had prompted the protected status in the 1990s and the Ebola outbreak in 2014, have improved and an extension of the DED status is no longer necessary.

A Brazilian appeals court unanimously upheld the corruption conviction of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Monday.
The Neumünster District Court (Amtsgericht Neumünster) [official website, German] ruled [press release, in German] Monday to detain exiled Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont [profile, in Catalan], pending a decision by the Higher Regional Court.

Puigdemont had declared Catalonia’s independence from Spain in October and after facing charges [JURIST Report] including rebellion, fled to Belgium.

The Malaysian Parliament [government website] proposed a bill [text, PDF] Monday meant to combat “fake news,” drawing sharp criticism from rights groups such as Amnesty International [advocacy website].
Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Monday released a report [HRW website] alleging that former Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa [BBC profile] abused the criminal justice system to target indigenous leaders and environmentalists who protested mining and oil exploration in the Amazon.
Government watchdog group Common Cause [advocacy website] filed a pair of legal complaints [complaints, PDF] on Monday accusing Cambridge Analytica LTD and its affiliates of violating federal election laws that prohibit foreigners from participating in the decision-making process of US political campaigns.

Filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the Department of Justice [official websites], Common Cause names multiple other defendants including parent company SCL Group Limited [corporate website], former CEO Alexander Nix, SCL co-founder Nigel Oakes, acting CEO Alexander Tayler and former employee Christopher Wylie.

Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] said [AI report] Monday that the Australian government must discard two new proposed bills that they claim have the ability to infringe on civil work and whistleblower rights and limit scrutiny of the government.

AI says the Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform Bill [text, PDF] would impose arbitrary restrictions on nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), impeding their ability report issues that are caused or affected by government policies.