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Legal news from Wednesday, April 15, 2015
by Taylor Gillan

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Wednesday urged the EU to put into place a search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean following reports of 400 lives lost at sea. HRW acting deputy Europe and Central Asia director Judith Sutherland stated that if reports from a recent confirmed shipwreck, from which 11 bodies were recovered, are …

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by Julie Deisher-Edwards

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on Monday ordered the provisional release pursuant to an interlocutory appeal for Goran Hadžic, the former president of the Republic of Serbian Krajina during the Croatian War of Independence. Hadzic is accused of coordinating, supporting and instigating efforts to …

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by Ashley Hogan

The Prosecutor's Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina on Wednesday indicted 10 former Bosnian-Serb soldiers for war crimes committed during the Balkan conflict of the 1990s. The men are accused of imprisoning, torturing and killing 20 people abducted from a train in eastern Bosnia in February of 1993. Cooperation between the Prosecutor's Offices in Bosnia and …

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by Ashley Hogan

The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit that challenged the fairness of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) for allowing members of Congress and their staffs to receive subsidies for their health insurance. US Senator Ron Johnson and one of his aides …

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by Julie Deisher-Edwards

Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported Wednesday that asylum-seekers and migrants fleeing war-torn countries are suffering abuse at the hands of Serbian authorities. Most of the asylum-seekers are Syrian or Afghan, travelling through Serbia to seek shelter in western European states. Based on interviews with 81 asylum-seekers, HRW stated that there is widespread extortion and abuse, …

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by Taylor Gillan

A Cairo criminal court on Wednesday jailed the former chief of staff of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi following his conviction for abuse of power. Refaa al-Tahtawi was sentenced to a three-year jail term and ordered to pay a USD $9,000 fine after being convicted of appointing a lawyer who had been banned from public …

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by Sarah Boehme

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled unanimously Wednesday that elected officials do not have the right to open municipal council meetings with a prayer. The country's top court found that reciting a Catholic prayer at council meetings is unconstitutional and infringes on freedom of conscience and religion. Council meetings usually start with a …

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by Peter Snyder

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein on Tuesday urged combatants in the current conflict in Yemen to report attacks resulting in civilian casualties so that they can be investigated and international human rights law can be upheld. The High Commissioner expressed deep concern for Yemeni civilians, stating:such a heavy civilian death …

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by Peter Snyder

The Florida Senate voted Tuesday to repeal the State's ban on same-sex adoption [text, CS/HB 7013]. The Senate voted 27-11 to repeal the law, which has been on the books in Florida since 1977. The bill, which already passed the Florida House of Representatives in March, now heads to Governor Rick Scott [official …

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by William Helbling

The Attorney General of Guam on Wednesday directed officials to begin processing same-sex marriage applications. The action by Attorney General Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson comes two weeks after a same-sex couple brought a suit in the US territory challenging its marriage law upon being denied a license. The Department of Public Health and Social Services of …

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by William Helbling

The European Commission on Wednesday initiated antitrust proceedings against Google accusing the company of utilizing their dominant position in the search engine market to hurt competitors. The commission sent Google a Statement of Objections, which describe how the search engine company has negatively affected the European Economic Area (EEA) by favoring …

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by Bradley McAllister

Boko Haram has abducted at least 2,000 women and girls in Nigeria since the start of 2014, Amnesty International (AI) said Monday in a new report detailing the extreme violence and crimes against humanity committed by the group. The 90-page report is entitled: "'Our job is to Shoot, Slaughter and Kill': Boko Haram's …

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by Bradley McAllister

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled Tuesday that the national law requiring minimum sentences for gun crimes is unconstitutional because it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. The high court ruled 6-3 to affirm a 2013 ruling on the issue. Section 95 of the Canadian criminal code outlines the criminal punishment for …

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