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Legal news from Wednesday, April 1, 2015
by Jacqueline Jones

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha announced Wednesday that the country's military government will lift martial law in place since May and replace it with a new security order. The new order has garnered significant criticism to the almost unlimited power granted to the already powerful Thai military. Article 44 of the interim constitution, which …

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by Taylor Gillan

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in two bankruptcy cases. In Harris v. Viegelahn the court must decide "whether, when a debtor in good faith converts a bankruptcy case to Chapter 7 after confirmation of a Chapter 13 plan, undistributed funds held by the former Chapter 13 trustee are refunded to the debtor …

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by Julie Deisher-Edwards

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women on Wednesday urged Tanzania to enforce its international obligations to prevent discrimination against women. The call comes after two women brought suit arguing that customary laws enforced in their communities contravened Tanzania's constitution and its obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of …

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by Ashley Hogan

The Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of deaf and hard-of-hearing prisoners alleging that the state and prison officials had failed to adequately accommodate the prisoners' heightened communication needs. The complaint, filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, identifies problems …

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by Sarah Boehme

There was an "alarming rise" in death sentences around the world in 2014, Amnesty International (AI) reported Tuesday. AI said there has been a 28 percent rise in death sentences from 2013—at least 2,466 compared to 1,925— and that an increased number of countries used capital punishment to deter crime, terrorism and domestic instability. AI reports that …

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by Ashley Hogan

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein expressed concern Tuesday over the rising civilian death toll in Yemen as Saudi-led airstrikes continue. Almasirah TV reported on the latest Saudi airstrike, which attempted to protect the port city of Aden from Shiite rebel forces Wednesday. Doctors Without Borders reported …

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by Peter Snyder

A military court in Thailand Tuesday sentenced a businessman to 25 years in prison for posting messages critical of the Thai royal family on Facebook. Theinsutham Suthijittaseranee was found guilty of five counts of of lèse majesté, with each count garnering a 10-year sentence. The sentence was reduced by half as a result of Thiensutham …

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by William Helbling

The Arkansas House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a controversial bill intended to protect religious freedoms of businesses.Those supporting the Republican-backed bill say it will protect religious freedoms for businesses, and those opposed say that businesses may be allowed to go too far with the law and refuse service to homosexuals. The bill states …

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by William Helbling

Palestine became the 123rd state party to the Rome Statute Wednesday, officially joining the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Rome Statute of the ICC was signed and submitted by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in January. A ceremony Wednesday included many ICC officials, judges, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Palestine, …

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by Peter Snyder

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad al-Hussein reported Wednesday that retreating Boko Haram militants in Nigeria have been murdering woman and girls previously taken captive by the group. Before a special session of the UN Human Rights Council, the commissioner relayed reports "that Boko Haram fighters who were …

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