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Today in legal history...

Friday, October 05, 2012

Thailand court dismissed charges against suspected Russia arms dealer
Katherine Bacher

On October 5, 2010, the Bangkok Criminal Court dismissed charges of money laundering and fraud that had been brought against suspected Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. The court stated that there was insufficient evidence, and other technicalities influenced the decision to drop the charges. The charges had been filed by Thai prosecutors in conjunction with US prosecutors. Bout could face charges in the US for conspiracy to kill US nationals and supporting terrorism.

Emblem of Thailand

Learn more about Viktor Bout from the JURIST news archive.

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Thursday, October 04, 2012

Jury selection began for accused plane bomber
Katherine Bacher

On October 4, 2011, jury selection began for suspected terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who was accused of attempting to bring down a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day 2009 with a bomb in his underwear. Abdulmutallab was charged with eight felonies and could face life in prison. Abdulmutallab will be representing himself, and a federal judge ruled that statements made by Abdulmutallab while in a hospital will be admitted during the trial.

Learn more about terrorism from the JURIST news archive.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Israel military tribunal convicted soldiers of using boy to search for explosives
Katherine Bacher

On October 3, 2010, two Israeli soldiers were convicted of using a 9-year-old boy to search bags for explosives during the 2008-2009 Gaza war. The boy made a statement to an advocacy group, Defense for Children International, stating that he feared the soldiers would kill him if he did not search their bags. The tribunal stated that Israel's Supreme Court had banned the use of human shields and similar tactics, including this situation. The UN Human Rights Council has been addressing reports of human rights concerns during the Gaza war.

Coat of arms of Israel

Learn more about the Gaza war from the JURIST news archive.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2012

California governor signed bill prohibiting circumcision bans
Garrett Eisenhour

On October 2, 2011, California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 768, a bill preventing local governments from banning male circumcision, into law. The law was created as a response to a San Francisco ballot measure called the Male Genital Mutilation Bill, which prohibited male circumcision. A San Francisco judge had ruled in July 2011 that the measure could not appear on the ballot because it served no legitimate purpose and was preempted by California's Business and Profession Code, prohibiting regulation of medical services.

Learn more about legal issues surrounding circumcision from the JURIST news archive.

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Monday, October 01, 2012

Obama reaffirmed support for DOMA repeal
Garrett Eisenhour

On October 1, 2011, US President Barack Obama gave a speech reaffirming his intent to fight for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Among measures discussed that his administration had undertaken for equal rights, President Obama cited the recent repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) on September 20, 2011. In February 2011, Congressional Democrats introduced the Respect for Marriage Act, following the Department of Justice (DOJ) statement that it would no longer defend the constitutionality of Section 3 of DOMA. In September 2012, the DOJ asked the Supreme Court to consider two new challenges to DOMA, bringing the total number pending to four.

US President Barack Obama

Learn more about DOMA from the JURIST news archive, and read an overview of Same-Sex Marriage in Features.

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Sunday, September 30, 2012

ICC announced prosecution of suspects for Kenya 2007 post-election violence
Kimberly Bennett

On September 30, 2009, International Criminal Court (ICC) chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo announced that the court would be prosecuting those responsible for 2007 post-election violence in Kenya because of the country's failure to establish its own tribunal. Because Kenya is a signatory to the Rome Statute, the ICC had jurisdiction over the case in the event that Kenya could not establish an appropriate tribunal. The trials against the four defendants are set to begin in April 2013. The combined charges include rape, murder, forcible transfer and persecution.

International Criminal Court

Learn more about Kenya from the JURIST news archive, and read an overview of the International Criminal Court in Features.

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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Rights groups filed Canadian indictment against Bush for torture
Kimberly Bennett

On September 29, 2011, two rights organizations filed an indictment [PDF] against former US president George W. Bush with the Canadian Department of Justice for allegations that he commissioned a torture program during his time in office. The indictment was the second of the year; the first was filed in Geneva, Switzerland. In October 2011, however, the Attorney General for British Columbia blocked the lawsuit, prompting outcry that failure to proceed with the lawsuit violated international law.

Signing of the Military Commissions Act

Learn more about George W. Bush from the JURIST news archive, and read commentary on the Canadian AG's decision from Guest Columnists Matt Eisenbrandt and Katherine Gallagher on JURIST Hotline.

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 Federal Judge declares DC gun law unconstitutional
July 27

 European Court exposes illegal detention facilities linked to CIA's extraordinary rendition program in Poland
July 27

 US appeals court sets date for oral arguments on same-sex marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin
July 26

 Congress passes legislation legalizing cell phone unlocking
July 26

 Gaza officials accuse Israel of war crimes at ICC
July 25


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