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Illinois appeals court rules pharmacists can refuse to dispense birth control drugs

[JURIST] The Appellate Court of Illinois [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] on Thursday that the state cannot force pharmacists to fill prescriptions for emergency contraceptives if they have religious objections to these drugs. The appeals court held that an Illinois law known as the Current Rule [text], which requires pharmacists to...

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France Constitutional Council rejects national ban on bullfighting

[JURIST] The Constitutional Council of France on Friday rejected [decision, in French] a challenge to the bullfighting exception contained in the animal cruelty provisions of the country's criminal code. Article 521-1 of the Criminal Code [text, PDF] provides for two years in prison and a 30,000 euro fine for the serious maltreatment or commission...

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Turkish court sentences former military officers for coup plot

[JURIST] A Turkish court on Friday delivered the first of more than 300 verdicts expected in the trial examining the 2003 Balyoz Security Operation Plan [Taraf report, in Turkish; Al Jazeera backgrounder], or "Sledgehammer" plot [JURIST news archive], which included plans to bomb Istanbul mosques and provoke Greece into shooting down a Turkish...

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UN rights chief urges Georgia to investigate prison torture

[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official profile] on Friday called on authorities in Georgia to investigate prisoner mistreatment after video footage earlier this week allegedly depicted the torture and rape of prisoners in the country's capital of Tbilisi. A spokesperson for Pillay told reporters in Geneva on Friday...

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Trinidad and Tobago Justice Minister fired over judicial procedure law

[JURIST] Trinidad and Tobago Justice Minister Herbert Philip Volney [official profile] was removed from office Thursday on allegations that he had deceived the country's government regarding a controversial law that established a new system of pre-trial proceedings relating to indictable offenses. Created by Volney's Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and...

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