Legal news from Thursday, January 24, 2013

[JURIST] US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta [official profile; WP backgrounder] on Thursday announced [transcript] plans to permit women in the US military to serve in front-line combat units. This is a significant change to the Department of Defense (DOD) [official website] 1994 direct ground combat definition and assignment rule … [read more]

[JURIST] Judge Harry Leinenweber of the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois [official website] on Thursday issued a 35-year prison sentence [DOJ press release] to David Coleman Headley for his role in the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, India [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. Headley, a US … [read more]

[JURIST] UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism Ben Emmerson announced [press release, PDF] on Thursday that he will begin investigating the legality of the use of drone strikes. Emmerson said that after asking the US to allow an independent investigation [JURIST report] of its use of targeted killings … [read more]

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] on Thursday released a report [press release] accusing the Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) [official website] of failing to effectively respond to, document and investigate claims of sexual assault. The report [text], titled "Capitol Offense: Police Mishandling of Sexual Assault Cases in … [read more]

[JURIST] Police abuse and torture continue to be ongoing issues two years after the start of the Egyptian Revolution [JURIST backgrounder], an Egyptian rights group reported [text] this week. In its report, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) [advocacy website] said that police conduct has not improved since the … [read more]

[JURIST] A French court on Thursday ordered Twitter [social media website] to allow for the identification of authors responsible for recent anti-Semitic messages, as well as to establish a mechanism to alert authorities of illegal hate messages. The lawsuit was brought [RFI report] by the Jewish Students' Union of France … [read more]

[JURIST] UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association Maina Kiai on Wednesday urged [press release] the UK to review certain legal and policing policies that negatively affect the right to peaceably assemble. The statement came at the end of a 10-day visit to … [read more]

[JURIST] The Congress of the Philippines on Thursday approved a bill on its second reading allocating 10 billion pesos (USD $246 million) for the victims of human rights abuses committed by the regime of former president Ferdinand Marcos [JURIST news archive]. Approximately 10,000 people can claim compensation [Reuters report] based … [read more]

[JURIST] The Moroccan government plans to change Article 475 of the Moroccan Penal Code [text, French], which allows rapists to avoid charges if they marry their victims, Justice Minister Mustapha Ramid announced Tuesday. This practice is encouraged in countries such as Morocco and India, where the loss of a woman's … [read more]

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website] on Tuesday lifted an order [opinion, PDF] that previously required the New York Police Department (NYPD) [official website] to stop using a "stop-and-frisk" practice outside of apartment buildings in the Bronx. Though she … [read more]

[JURIST] The Honduras National Congress [official website, in Spanish] on Tuesday approved constitutional reforms to set up an impeachment process [press release, in Spanish]. The amendments [El Heraldo report, in Spanish] follow a 2009 coup [JURIST report] that removed former president Manuel Zelaya from office. There would be two steps … [read more]

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