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Legal news from Wednesday, March 16, 2016
by Bradley McAllister

An independent UN human rights expert on Wednesday encouraged EU leaders to remain steadfast in their obligations to handle the recent influx of migrants to the EU and to avoid making Turkey the "gatekeeper." The remarks from the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, were delivered the day before the EU Migration …

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by Bradley McAllister

The Dutch parliament on Tuesday passed a bill that would ban weapon exports to Saudi Arabia. The Netherlands is now the first country to pass formal legislation banning exports to Riyadh, after a February decision by the European Parliament urged EU countries to impose a ban due to the ongoing conflict between Saudi Arabia and …

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by Alexis Wheeler

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) reached a settlement with the city of Biloxi, Mississippi, on Tuesday in a lawsuit alleging that the detention of defendants unable to pay fines for misdemeanor charges exhibited deliberate indifference to their constitutional rights. The settlement requires Biloxi to provide a public defender for people with qualifying circumstances like being …

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by Gwenyth Gamble Jarvi

Judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) issued a decision Wednesday rescinding the summons for Serbian national Vojislav Seselj to appear in court on March 31 for a verdict. The judges cited Seselj's medical treatments, which could not be carried out in The Hague. Seselj had previously refused …

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by Alexis Wheeler

The Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Central African Republic (CAR), Marie-Thérèse Keita-Bocoum, made her sixth visit to the nation on Wednesday and shared an update on the human rights situation with President Faustin Archange Touadéra. Touadera was elected in February. Keita-Bocoum noted improvements in the nation's human rights situation, but urged …

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by Gwenyth Gamble Jarvi

The US Senate unanimously passed an amendment to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Tuesday. The bill was introduced by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) early in 2015 and passed through the Senate legislative process with relative ease. Upon floor debate, Churck Grassley (R-IA) outlined that the improvements the amendment …

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by Miracle Jones

The Supreme Court of Pakistan affirmed the ruling of a lower court on Tuesday allowing former president Pervez Musharraf to travel abroad. The court held that the former president, who is still awaiting trial on a host of charges, may leave the country unless the government establishes a new ban on him from traveling. The …

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by Mark Casper

The Kentucky Senate on Tuesday approved a bill allowing businesses to refuse service to gays and lesbians based upon their religious beliefs. The amended bill, which will be a new section to KRS 446, was created with the intent to protect certain guaranteed rights. In particular, the bill stated that "the government shall not …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

US President Barack Obama on Wednesday nominated Chief Judge Merrick Garland of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the US Supreme Court. Speaking on the White House lawn, Obama said that Merrick is:widely recognized not only …

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by Taylor Gillan

A UN official said Wednesday that Qatari poet Mohammed al-Ajami received a royal pardon on Tuesday night and has been freed after more than four years in prison. The poet received a 15-year prison sentence in 2011 after a poem he wrote and recited in his home apparently offended Qatar's former ruler. He initially received a life sentence …

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by Miracle Jones

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon called Tuesday for the UN Human Rights Council to increase its impact in the next decade, citing the erosion of human rights around the world. In a speech marking the the tenth anniversary of the council, Ban said that because many state governments around the world are in conflict, there is …

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by Taylor Gillan

North Korea's high court on Wednesday sentenced an American student to 15 years of imprisonment and hard labor following his conviction for subversion. The University of Virginia student, Otto Warmbier, confessed in a press conference held last month by North Korean authorities that he had attempted to steal a propaganda sign from a Pyongyang hotel, calling his crime "very …

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