Legal news from Wednesday, August 1, 2012

[JURIST] Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] on Wednesday published a report holding the Syrian government responsible for human rights violations in Aleppo that AI claims amount to crimes against humanity. "All-out repression: Purging dissent in Aleppo, Syria" [report, PDF; press release] documents how security forces and militias routinely used live … [read more]

[JURIST] Three members of the Russian feminist activist group Pussy Riot went on trial on Monday for charges relating to their performance of a protest song in a Russian Orthodox church. The three women have been charged with "hooliganism" [RAPSI materials] for their performance of the song, which sparked public … [read more]

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] on Wednesday released a 56-page document [report, PDF; press release] accusing Myanmar security forces of human rights abuses against a minority religious community in June. "The Government Could Have Stopped This": Sectarian Violence and Ensuing Abuses in Burma's Arakan State alleges that government … [read more]

[JURIST] The US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia [official website] on Monday struck down [decision, PDF] a state law [text] that prohibited out-of-state residents from circulating petitions for third-party candidates. Virginia law requires that candidates from parties that did not receive at least ten percent of statewide … [read more]

[JURIST] The French National Assembly [official website, in French] on Tuesday unanimously adopted a new sexual harassment law [materials, in French] that criminalizes the act, imposing a punishment of up to three years in jail. The new law comes three months after the Constitutional Council of the French Republic [official … [read more]

[JURIST] Saif al-Islam Gaddafi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], the son of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive] has said that he believes he should be tried by the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website; JURIST backgrounder], according to a court document filed Tuesday. Saif al-Islam … [read more]

[JURIST] A judge for US District Court for the District of Connecticut [official website] on Tuesday ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) [text; JURIST news archive] is unconstitutional. Judge Vanessa Bryant granted summary judgment [memorandum of decision, PDF] for the plaintiffs, six married same-sex couples and one widower … [read more]

[JURIST] The Bahrain government's indiscriminate use of tear gas against protesters is resulting in severe injuries and civilian deaths, according to a report [text, PDF; press release] released Wednesday by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) [advocacy website]. According to PHR Deputy Director Richard Sollom, the report’s lead author, tear gas … [read more]

[JURIST] The Somalia [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] constituent assembly on Wednesday approved a new constitution for the country, which has been without a stable central government since former president Siad Barre was ousted in 1991. The draft constitution passed with over 96 percent of the 645 ballots cast [AFP … [read more]

[JURIST] Supporters of Proposition 8 [text, JURIST news archive], California's same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder] ban, asked the US Supreme Court [official website] on Tuesday to uphold the law after two federal courts found it unconstitutional. In their nearly 500-page petition [text, PDF], backers of the ban stressed the necessity for … [read more]

[JURIST] The High Court of Fiji [official website] on Tuesday found Laisenia Qarase [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], the country's last democratically-elected prime minister, guilty of nine counts of corruption under the Fiji Penal Code [text]. Suva Court Justice Priyantha Fernando's ruling [Fiji Sun report] upholds the findings of a … [read more]

[JURIST] The Court of Appeals in Kenya on Tuesday upheld a lower court's decision to set the date of the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections for March 4, 2013. Four of the five judges sitting for the Court of Appeals, Judges Erastus Githinji, Kalpana Rawal, Hannah Okwengu and David Maranga, … [read more]

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