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Legal news from Thursday, October 30, 2008
by Leslie Schulman

The Indonesian parliament on Thursday passed a controversial anti-pornography law criminalizing all "obscene" works and "bodily movements" that could violate public morality. Proponents of the law include President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his administration, who claim that the law will protect Islam and cultural art while eradicating pornography. Critics …

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by Leslie Schulman

The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on Wednesday upheld an injunction granted by a federal judge earlier this month ordering Michigan voting officials to reinstate on voter rolls the names of newly-registered voters whose voter registration cards were returned to the post office as undeliverable. The ACLU of Michigan …

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by Benjamin Klein

A court in military-ruled Myanmar on Wednesday sentenced nine activists to six months in prison after they complained that their trials were being held in secret, according to a statement by one of their lawyers speaking to Reuters. The presiding judge at the trial in Yangon's Insein Prison ruled that the activists …

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by Andrew Morgan

Croatia's recently appointed Justice Minister Ivan Simonovic on Wednesday proposed a set of legal reforms intended to combat the country's organized crime problem. In an address to the Croatian parliament, Simonovic suggested establishing special courts to try organized crime and corruption suspects in the cities of Zagreb, Split, Rijeka …

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by Benjamin Klein

The Constitutional Court of South Korea upheld a law criminalizing adultery on Thursday, rejecting complaints that the 55-year-old law is outdated and constitutes an invasion of privacy. The challenge was brought by the lawyers of popular South Korean actress Ok So Ri, who was charged under the law when her husband filed a criminal …

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by David Weber

A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia granted summary judgment Wednesday for the Department of Defense (DOD), holding that unredacted transcripts allegedly containing evidence of torture used against fourteen "high-value" detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay could be validly withheld from the American …

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by Devin Montgomery

The US Department of Justice Antitrust Division on Wednesday approved a merger of Delta Airlines and Northwest Airlines after determining the deal would not significantly decrease competition. The department said the merger would likely decrease operational costs for the carriers that would benefit customers, and was not likely to harm the industry:The two …

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by Andrew Gilmore

Ali Ahmad Kurd, the newly-elected president of the Pakistan Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), called ousted Pakistan Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry the "constitutional" chief justice of Pakistan Wednesday, and said Chaudhry would "soon be restored" to his former post. Chaudhry was removed from his position as Chief Justice of the …

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by Ximena Marinero

The UN General Assembly (UNGA) on Wednesday adopted by 185-3 a resolution urging the US to lift its longstanding embargo on Cuba. Only the US, Israel, and Palau voted No; Micronesia and the Marshall Islands abstained. This is the seventeenth consecutive year the Assembly has approved such a non-binding …

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by Jake Oresick

The US House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Wednesday issued a report revealing that top Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials opposed FDA regulations that preempt consumers’ ability to bring tort claims against drug manufacturers. The report said that career FDA officials objected to a 2006 regulation revising the …

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by Safiya Boucaud

Ecuador selected a new temporary Supreme Court on Wednesday via lottery, but the judges picked plan to reject their appointments. The previous Supreme Court was abolished under a new constitution that took effect last week. The temporary court that has now been set up in its place has designated 21 out of 31 former judges as …

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by Tarah Park

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Wednesday called for the addition of a clause to the pending US-Iraqi security agreement that would shield detainees from transfer to Iraqi custody in order to avoid risk of torture. The group wants a provision that would allow prisoners a "legitimate chance" to contest their transfer, along …

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by Eric Firkel

Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman announced Wednesday he is calling a special session of the state legislature on November 14 to amend Nebraska's so-called 'safe haven' law. The law, which went into effect in July, was intended to protect infants and prohibits prosecution of parents when a child is left in a licensed hospital. …

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