Legal news from Friday, February 25, 2011

[JURIST] The standing committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC) [official website] on Friday amended the national criminal law to remove 13 offenses from the list of crimes subject to the death penalty [JURIST news archive]. Those removed are non-violent economic crimes [Xinhua report] and include smuggling cultural relics, precious … [read more]

[JURIST] The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website] on Friday adopted a resolution [text, DOC] condemning the recent violence in Libya and ordering an international inquiry into alleged abuses. During a special session, the 47-member council unanimously adopted the resolution, which also calls upon the Libyan government to protect … [read more]

[JURIST] South Korean prosecutor Jeong Jeom-Shik announced Friday that five Somali pirates [JURIST news archive] captured in January have been charged with six offenses, including attempted murder, maritime robbery and kidnapping. The attempted murder charge carries with it a possible life sentence. The pirates were captured during the Samho Jewelry … [read more]

[JURIST] The Maryland Senate [official website] approved legislation [text, PDF] Thursday to legalize same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive]. The bill, entitled Civil Marriage Protection Act, would alter existing legislation that validates only heterosexual marriage. Approval of the Act will give gay couples the same full rights of marriage as straight, … [read more]

[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official profile] on Friday called on the Libyan government to stop the violence directed at protesters [statement, text] within that nation. Pillay's statement, directed at Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi [BBC profile], reminded the UN Human Rights Council of the repeated calls … [read more]

[JURIST] The New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division, First Department [official website] on Thursday upheld [opinion, PDF] a lower court decision [JURIST report] allowing the surviving spouse of a same-sex marriage to inherit the deceased spouse's estate. Kenneth Ranftle and Craig Leiby were married legally in Canada in 2008 … [read more]

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois [official website] on Thursday granted federal prosecutors' motion to dismiss three charges against former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich [JURIST news archive] in an apparent effort to simply their case before the April 20 retrial. Judge James … [read more]

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