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Top Turkey court annuls parts of controversial judiciary law

Turkey's constitutional court on Friday overturned sections of a controversial reform tightening the government's grip on the judiciary, local media said. The court declared parts of the new law giving the justice ministry greater control over the appointment of prosecutors and judges as unconstitutional, private NTV television reported. dg/jmm

Taking of Crimea legal: Russian Constitutional Court

Russia's Constitutional Court unanimously ruled Wednesday that President Vladimir Putin acted legally by signing a treaty to make Crimea part of Russia, in an essential step in the Russian legal process towards ratifying the treaty. "The Constitutional Court recognised that this treaty complies with the Russian Constitution," court chairman Valery Zorkin told journalists, cited by Interfax news agency. The move allows Putin to hand the treaty to parliament for ratification. am/sjw/txw

German deputy finance minister greets court ruling on ESM bailout fund

KARLSRUHE, Germany (Reuters) - Germany's deputy finance minister welcomed a ruling on Tuesday by the Constitutional Court which upheld the legality of the euro zone's bailout fund, saying the decision backed up the government's own arguments. "I am very happy with the outcome because what the German government has put forward here has been reflected in the ruling and the Constitutional Court has confirmed (our views)," said Werner Gatzer, one of the finance ministry's deputy ministers, after the ruling was read out in Karlsruhe.

Turkey's president approves law tightening grip on judiciary

By Humeyra Pamuk ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Wednesday approved a law boosting government control over the appointment of judges and prosecutors, even though he deferred some elements in the legislation to the Constitutional Court. The law, along with a regulation tightening control of the Internet already approved by Gul, is seen by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's critics as part of a backlash against a corruption inquiry shaking his government.

Cabinet approves bill to ratify arms trade treaty

The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a bill to ratify the Arms Trade Treaty, the first international pact to regulate trade in conventional arms, as Japan seeks to have the bill approved before the end of the current Diet session in June. The treaty, adopted at the U.N. General Assembly in April, will regulate trade in weapons such as tanks, attack helicopters, combat aircraft and small arms.

Govt to create longer wait to become Canadian, strip citizenship from terrorists

TORONTO - The Conservative government has proposed sweeping changes to the Citizenship Act that include beefing up eligibility requirements for immigrants who want to become Canadians and stripping citizenship from terrorists and those who take up arms against Canada. The changes are aimed at strengthening the value of Canadian citizenship and improving the efficiency of the process required to attain it, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander told a news conference on Thursday.

Supreme Court casts skeptical eye on Obama's appointment power

By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court signaled a willingness on Monday to rein in President Barack Obama's power to temporarily fill senior government posts without the Senate's approval, a move that would curb his ability to bypass a gridlocked Congress. Most of the nine justices expressed skepticism, during 90 minutes of oral arguments, about so-called recess appointments Obama made to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in 2012.

Supreme Court casts doubt on President Obama's use of recess appointments

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court cast doubt Monday on President Barack Obama's use of a provision of the Constitution to make temporary appointments to high-level positions over the objection of Senate Republicans. The court is writing on a blank slate as it considers for the first time the Constitution's recess appointments clause. That clause allows the president to fill vacancies temporarily, but only when the Senate is in recess.

Punches fly as Turkish MPs debate judicial reform

By Gulsen Solaker ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish parliamentarians threw punches and water bottles during a debate on Saturday about government control over the appointment of judges and prosecutors, as a feud over the ruling party's handling of a corruption scandal intensified. One MP leapt on a table and launched a flying kick as others wrestled and punched at each other, with document folders, plastic water bottles and even an iPad flying through the air, a Reuters correspondent in the room said.

Turkey's judiciary hits back at govt plans to curb powers

Turkey's top judicial body hit back Friday at the government's plans to curb its powers, adding fuel to a bitter row over a vast corruption probe engulfing Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The proposed reforms, to be debated in parliament later Friday, would give the justice ministry more powers to decide who makes up the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) and strip the legal body of its powers to pass decrees.
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