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Legal news from Friday, April 15, 2016
by Alonso Diaz

Ge Yongxi, a civil rights defense lawyer, was detained and released late Friday by Chinese authorities for posts on social media that "poked fun" at President Xi Jinping in relation to the Panama Papers. Ge posted an image of the president on WeChat, a messaging service, along with Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin in a body of water with the …

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by Alexis Wheeler

UN experts commended Tunisia Friday on the implementation of the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM), a torture prevention body, and recommended that officials ensure that the delegates are "well-resourced and able to function in the shortest time possible." The experts visited the country from April 12-14. Tunisia has been taking steps toward creating the commission since 2011 when the …

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by Alonso Diaz

A delegation from the UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture (SPT) called on the Chilean government Thursday to establish a national independent body to monitor "places of detention." The SPT monitors how states are meeting their treaty obligations under the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT) and was in Chile between April 4 …

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by Alexis Wheeler

Two independent human rights experts called upon the UN Friday to put into motion a plan to redress damages suffered by internationally displaced persons who were exposed to lead poisoning at camps settled by the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) in 1998 and 1999. Special Rapporteurs Rita Izsák-Ndiaye and Chaloka Beyani also urged …

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by Ram Eachambadi

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) expressed concerns on Wednesday over the fighting between Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) army and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebel forces, which has caused tens of thousands of people in the eastern DRC region to become intentionally displaced. Between late March and late last …

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by Kasey Tuttle

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam vetoed a controversial bill on Friday that would have made the Bible the state's official book. Haslam stated that the bill violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution as well as Article 1, Section 3 of the Tennessee Constitution which states that no preference shall be given by law to any religious …

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by Ram Eachambadi

A long-awaited bill legalizing physician-assisted suicide was introduced before the Parliament of Canada on Thursday and is now awaiting passage through the House of Commons and the Senate. This development comes over a year after the Supreme Court of Canada struck down a ban on the practice, and after emotional advocacy …

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by Matthew Santiago

The Supreme Federal Court of Brazil on Friday denied President Dilma Rousseff's injunction request to suspend an upcoming lower house vote regarding her looming impeachment. A lower house committee voted earlier this week to recommend her impeachment, and a two-thirds majority vote will be required on Sunday to approve the action. …

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by Kasey Tuttle

The Second District Court of Appeal for the state of California upheld the state's teacher tenure law on Thursday, overturning a lower court's 2014 decision. Those opposing the law claimed that providing teachers strong job security after 18 months affected students' fundamental right to education. The appeals court determined that their judicial responsibility was …

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by Matthew Santiago

Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis on Thursday denied a motion to dismiss raised by three gun companies who are being sued by families affected by the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre. The ten families filed the civil action against the companies for manufacturing, distributing, and selling Bushmaster semi-automatic AR-15 rifles, the weapon used …

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by Justin Cosgrove

Microsoft sued the US Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday regarding the privacy of their customers' emails. Microsoft filed the lawsuit in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington in an attempt to block authorities from taking customer emails without Microsoft's knowledge. Microsoft claims that the 1986 …

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by Justin Cosgrove

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Thursday asked a federal judge to issue an injunction pending the outcome of a lawsuit filed in February. The ACLU is attempting to block a Kansas state law that requires individuals to prove American citizenship when they are registering to vote while applying for a …

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by Kasey Tuttle

The US Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit denied creditors seeking to keep in place court-ordered protections following Argentina's 2001 default of $100 billion in bonds. Investors who had paid full price for their bonds urged the court to leave the order in place, as they were reluctant to receive a reduced …

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