Legal news from Monday, May 23, 2011

[JURIST] Violent crime is down 5.5 percent from 2009 to 2010, according to preliminary data released Monday but the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) [official website]. The Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report, January-December 2010 [text] also showed a decrease in murder by 4.4 percent and in rape by 4.2 … [read more]

[JURIST] Continued ethnic violence in Myanmar presents "serious limitations" to the government's transition to democracy, according to Tomas Ojea Quintana [official profile; JURIST news archive], a UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in Myanmar. Quintana made a statement [text] Monday in conclusion to his mission to Thailand to study the … [read more]

[JURIST] Ousted Honduran president Manuel Zelaya [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] signed an agreement [text, in Spanish] Sunday allowing his return to the country after nearly two years in exile. The agreement, brokered by the Venezuelan and Colombian governments, was signed [Heraldo report, in Spanish] in Cartagena, Colombia, by Zelaya … [read more]

[JURIST] As many as 300 people died and 700 were injured during the month-long uprising in Tunisia earlier this year, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Mendez said Saturday. The death toll is much higher than originally thought. Mendez is in Tunisia to assess the transition [LAT report] of the … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] ruled [opinion, PDF] Monday in General Dynamics Corp v. United States [Cornell LII backgrounder] that when the court dismisses a valid prima facie affirmative defense to the government's breach of contract claim under the state secrets privilege [JURIST news archive], … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Monday ruled [opinion, PDF] in Brown v. Plata [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report] to uphold the order requiring California to release up to 46,000 prisoners to remedy the state's overcrowded prisons [JURIST news archive]. In the 5-4 decision written … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] granted certiorari [order list, PDF] Monday in Kawashima v. Holder [docket; cert. petition, PDF] to clarify what counts as an aggravated felony for purposes of removing an immigrant from the country. Petitioners Akio and Fusako Kawashima are natives and citizens of Japan who … [read more]

[JURIST] An Amsterdam court on Monday rejected claims by Dutch politician Geert Wilders [personal website; JURIST news archive] that the hate speech charges [prosecution materials, in Dutch] against him should be dropped over claims of bias. Wilder, a right-wing politician, is on trial for making anti-Islamic statements. The charges against … [read more]

[JURIST] Four alleged Somali pirates [JURIST news archive] captured from a hijacked ship are being put on trial in South Korea, but lawyers for the pirates argue the court does not have jurisdiction to try them. South Korean forces captured five alleged pirates in a raid on a hijacked South … [read more]

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