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Legal news from Wednesday, February 8, 2017
by Gwenyth Gamble Jarvi

The Sri Lankan Foreign Minster said Wednesday that the country will petition the UN for more time to investigate the allegations of war crimes occurring during the country's 26-year-long civil war. Sri Lanka promised the UN in 2015 to investigate the estimated 65,000 missing peoples from the civil war with the Tamil Tigers. …

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by Gwenyth Gamble Jarvi

Peru's Attorney General Pablo Sanchez sought the arrest of former president Alejandro Toledo Tuesday on charges of laundering of assets and influence trafficking. Peruvian prosecutors opened a formal investigation earlier this week into allegations that Toledo took USD $20 million in bribes from Odebrecht, a Brazilian construction company. It is believed that Toledo received the funds in exchange …

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by Autumn Callan

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled 2-1 Tuesday that immigrants who are caught entering the US illegally have no right to legal representation in an expedited hearing. A law passed in 1996 allows Customs and Border Protection officers to use a process of "expedited removal" to remove immigrants who are caught within …

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by Erik Slobe

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Oklahoma and the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma Attorney General and nominee for head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), alleging that he has not complied with Oklahoma's Open Records Act regarding requests for …

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by Justin Cosgrove

The Maryland Court of Appeals adopted a rule on Tuesday ending the practice of holding criminal defendants in jail before trial when they cannot afford bail. The rule does not abolish the practice of required money for bail but instructs judges to seek other ways of ensuring a defendant appears for trial. The …

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by Justin Cosgrove

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a federal lawsuit on Tuesday challenging President Donald Trump's controversial executive order restricting immigration. The ACLU claims that the ban is unconstitutional under the First Amendment prohibition on government establishment of religion and the Fifth Amendment guarantee of equal treatment under the law. The …

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by Erik Slobe

Senators David Perdue (R-GA) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) on Tuesday announced the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act that would reduce overall legal immigration into the US. In 2015 a total of 1,051,031 immigrants entered the US. The RAISE Act would decrease the total number of immigrants entering the US per year to …

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by Akira Tomlinson

The New York Attorney General and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against RD Legal Funding, LLC and founder/owner Roni Dersovitz for allegedly scamming 9/11 first responders and NFL concussion victims out of money intended to cover medical costs, lost income and other critical personal needs. The complaint alleges …

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by Autumn Callan

A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio on Tuesday refused to lift a preliminary injunction that delays executions in Ohio. Last month Judge Michael Merz blocked Ohio's lethal injection protocol by deeming it unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment. Attorneys for Ohio's prison system argue that …

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by Akira Tomlinson

The UK Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that an unmarried woman is entitled to the pension of her long-term partner. Denise Brewster and William Leonard "Lenny" McMullan became engaged on Christmas Eve 2009, but two days later McMullan died. McMullan, a long-term employee of Translink, had paid into the Local Government Pension Scheme Northern Ireland …

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by Emelina Perez

Zimbabwe's Constitutional Court rejected a case on Wednesday alleging that President Robert Mugabe is unfit to hold office because of his age, holding that the applicant failed to follow proper court filing procedures. Mugabe, who has been in office since 1980, will turn 93 this month. Promise Mkwananzi, part of the Tajamuka movement, …

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by Emelina Perez

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was found guilty of embezzlement on Wednesday and suspended sentenced of five years and a 500,000-rouble (USD 8,500) fine by a court in Kirov, Russia. Navalny runs the Anti-Corruption Foundation, which investigates the Russian government, and announced he would run for president in 2018. Under Russian law, a prison term for …

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by Miracle Jones

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday signed a bill into law that decriminalizes domestic violence to make it an administrative offense. The bill allows for criminal prosecution for repeat offenders but allows first time offenders who assault relatives to avoid criminal prosecution. The move has garnered international condemnation, …

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by Miracle Jones

The Constitutional Court of Romania ruled unanimously Tuesday that a bill permitting the conversion of Swiss francs to Romanian currency was unconstitutional. The bill which was passed last year was meant to help mortgage holders who were behind on their payments due to the rise in value of the …

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by Justin Cosgrove

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments on Tuesday regarding the constitutionality of President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration. The government argued that the executive order was well within the president's power as delegated by Congress and therefore was constitutional. The government also provided previous risk assessments done …

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by Justin Cosgrove

The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will grant the final permit for the Dakota Access oil pipeline after an order from President Donald Trump to expedite the process, according to a court document filed Tuesday. The USACE stated that they would grant the final easement necessary to finish construction of the pipeline despite …

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