Legal news from Wednesday, June 13, 2012
16:06 EDT

[JURIST] Ontario lawmakers on Wednesday unanimously approved an amendment to the province's Human Rights Code [text] that prohibits discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression. All three parties of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario [official website] approved Toby's Act [Bill 33], making Ontario the first province to acknowledge the [read more]

16:06 EDT

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of California [official website] ruled on Tuesday that Apple [corporate website] must defend against lawsuits filed by the company's customers under two California consumer protection laws. Judge Lucy Koh dismissed the other defendants in the lawsuit including Google, [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] Ten US senators on Monday filed an amicus brief [text, PDF] urging the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] to uphold section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) [text], which denies federal recognition of state-sanctioned same-sex marriages. The brief argues that the federal [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] The UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs on Wednesday said [statement, PDF; press release] that Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip [BBC backgrounder] must be lifted to prevent further human rights violations. Israel maintains a fence along its border with the Gaza Strip, restricting the flow of goods and people [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) [official website; JURIST news archive] on Wednesday held the first hearing on its jurisdiction and the legality of its creation. The defense lawyer for Mustafa Badreddine [STL profile], one of the four men wanted by the court for the assassination of former Lebanese [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] Egypt's Ministry of Justice on Wednesday issued a decree restoring broad arrest powers to the Egyptian military to arrest civilians for non-military offenses. The decree restores some of the power previously granted to the military through the emergency law, which expired [JURIST report] in May after being in effect [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] on Wednesday initiated contempt of court proceedings against Malik Riaz Hussain. The court's action was a response [NYT report] to the accusation brought forth by Hussain who alleged a day earlier that the Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry [JURIST news archive] and [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] UN Independent Expert on the human rights situation in the Ivory Coast Doudou Diene on Wednesday called on all Ivorians and the international community to maintain their support [press release] in the wake of the recent killing of seven UN peacekeepers, eight civilians and one Ivorian soldier. The peacekeepers, [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] Three officials from the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] and the Australian ambassador to Libya were able to visit [press release] and assess the condition of the four detained ICC staff members on Tuesday, the Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs [official website] reported. Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Egyptian parliament on Tuesday elected another panel of 100 delegates to write a new constitution for the country. Parliamentary speaker Saad al-Katatni stated that unlike the first panel, the newly elected 100-member panel represents all Egyptian groups [Reuters report]. However, the list of panel members faced some criticism [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] on Wednesday filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF; press release] challenging North Carolina's law against second-parent adoptions, which effectively bans individuals in same-sex couples from adopting their partner's child. The ban is based on state adoption regulations [NCGS § 48] which provide [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] The government of the Falkland Islands [official website; JURIST news archive] announced [press release] on Tuesday that it will hold a referendum on its political status close to its 30-year anniversary of independence from Argentina's occupation in 1982. Gavin Short, chairman of the islands' legislative assembly, expressed the archipelago's [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] A Tunisian military court on Wednesday convicted former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] in absentia on charges of inciting violence and murder in connection with the death of four protesters in January 2011 and sentenced him to 20 years. Ben Ali has already [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] Iranian human rights lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani [JURIST news archive] has been sentenced to 13 years of imprisonment by a Tehran Revolutionary Court [official website, in Persian; GlobaLex backgrounder], his daughter said Tuesday. Maede Soltani, who lives in Germany, was notified on Monday [Guardian report] about last week's ruling. The [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] on Wednesday urged Bangladesh to open its borders [press release] to hundreds of refugees fleeing sectarian violence in neighboring Myanmar [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. Escalating violence between Buddhists and ethnic Rohingya Muslims in the Arakan State of Myanmar has put residents in [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] on Tuesday expressed its desire to start two Kenya trials simultaneously to avoid any appearance of bias in the March 2013 presidential election. Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo [official profile] stated in a news conference [AFP report] that the office of prosecution [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] announced on Tuesday that it has filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF; press release] seeking to halt Florida's ongoing purging of voter rolls. The DOJ alleges that Florida's policy violates the National Voter Registration Act (VRA) [text], which requires all voter roll [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] The office of prosecution of the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] asked the court on Wednesday to sentence the convicted Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] militia leader Thomas Lubanga Dyilo [case material] to 30 years of imprisonment. Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile] [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] A referendum [R-74 text] to overturn a new same-sex marriage law [SB 6239 text] in Washington will appear on the ballots in November, the Secretary of State's office announced [press release; certification, PDF] on Tuesday. Voters will have the option to accept or reject the new law, which legalizes [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for student organizations asked the Quebec Superior Court [official website, in French] on Tuesday to suspend parts of an emergency law that restrict spontaneous protests until the law's constitutionality is determined. The law, "An Act to enable students to receive instruction from the postsecondary institutions they attend" [Bill [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] Prominent Russian gay rights activist Nikolai Alekeyev on Wednesday filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] challenging a St. Petersburg city ordinance that prohibits the spreading "homosexual propaganda" to minors. Alekeyev alleges that the ordinance violates [RAPSI report] Article 10 and Article 14 [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP) [official website] held a hearing [materials] Tuesday on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) [S 811 materials], focusing on discrimination faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees across the country. Among the panel of witnesses attending the hearing was [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] called Tuesday for an end to the supply of arms [press release] to groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. The report [text, PDF] highlights the flaws in Congolese security, which AI says allow for violations towards civilians [read more]

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