JURIST Legal News

JURIST's legal news service, powered by a team of over 40 law student reporters and editors led by Professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
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[JURIST] Argentinian Federal Judge Claudio Bonadio [CIJ backgrounder, in Spanish] on Thursday ordered [opinion, in Spanish] former President Cristina Kirchner [official website, in Spanish] to stand trail in a multi-billion dollar fraud case. Kirchner and 14 other government officials have been accused of collaborating in an attempt to to defraud the Argentinian government of $3.5 billion by selling the Central Bank of Argentina's [official website] dollar futures at below-market rates. Kirchner and her two children are also currently being investigated...
[JURIST] The US State Department [official website] granted [press release] a presidential permit to the TransCanada Keystone Pipeline [corporate website] on Friday allowing it to "construct, connect, operate, and maintain pipeline facilities at the U.S.-Canadian border in Phillips County, Montana for the importation of crude oil." According to the Department, the administration weighed the "foreign policy; energy security; environmental, cultural, and economic impacts; and compliance with applicable law and policy." The Keystone XL Pipeline [company website], which will be a...
A group of a dozen US Senators introduced the "Countering Iran's Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017" [text, PDF] Thursday to expand sanctions on Iran for ballistic missile development, support for terrorism, transfers of conventional weapons, and human rights violations. The bill was announced [JURIST report] last month and is being sponsored by seven Democrats and seven Republicans, including Bob Corker [official website], and former Republican presidential candidates Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz [official websites]. The bill's crucial provisions authorize the...
A contracting officer from the US General Services Administration [government website] sent a letter [text, PDF] to Donald Trump, Jr., on Thursday finding that the Trump Organization did not violate the lease it holds for the Trump International Hotel [website] in Washington, DC. According to the letter, the GSA began fielding questions regarding a potential violation of section 37.19 of the lease [text, PDF], which states that no "elected official of the Government of the United States... shall be admitted...
The Taiwanese Constitutional Court [official website, in Chinese] on Thursday heard argument [press release, in Chinese] in a case seeking recognition of marriage equality. The suit had been filed [Taipei Times report] more than two years ago by gay rights activist Chi Chia-wei and requests for clarification on the state of the law had also been filed by the Taipei government. The challenge hinges on Article 972 [Taiwan Sentinel report] of the Taiwanese Civil Code, which states that, "[a]n agreement...
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein [official website] issued a statement [text] Friday calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Yemen war and continued international support in ending the conflict. Zeid said over 13,000 civilians have been killed or wounded in the last two years, and that 21 Million Yemenis, which is more than 80% of the population, are in need of humanitarian assistance. Zeid notes that more than 105 civilians were killed in...
Lawyers for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl [BBC profile] filed a motion to dismiss on Thursday with the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces [official website]. The defense attorneys claim [The Hill report] that President Trump's statements during the campaign trail that Bergdahl is a traitor who should be executed has prevent Bergdahl from receiving a fair trial. The defense attorneys claim that the Commander-in-Chief repeatedly calling Bergdahl a traitor and calling for his execution constitute an apparent unlawful...
The United Nations Human Rights Council [official website] passed a resolution [materials] Friday to investigate potential human rights violations in Myanmar. The fact-finding mission will be appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council with the purpose of establishing the facts and circumstances of the alleged human rights violations [UN report] by military and security forces. The resolution calls for Myanmar to continue its efforts to eliminate the statelessness and discrimination of ethnic and religious minorities, such as the...
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak [BBC profile] was released from prison on Friday after six years in custody. The planned release [Al-Masry Al-Youm report, in Arabic] was announced [JURIST report] earlier this month after Mubarak was cleared of a conspiracy [JURIST report] to murder protesters during the 2011 uprising, for which he was sentenced to life in prison in 2012. According to a report [text] by Amnesty International [offical website], about 840 people were killed and more than 6,000 people...
The US House Committee on Ethics [official website] announced [statement, PDF] Thursday that the Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] has opened a criminal investigation into Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) [official profile] for potentially unlawful campaign spending [financials, 2016]. According to an earlier report [text, PDF] by the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) [official website], Hunter allegedly may have "converted tens of thousands of dollars of campaign funds from his congressional campaign committee to personal use to pay for family...
The US Senate [official website] voted 50-48 [vote record] Thursday to repeal [text, PDF; S.J.Res. 34] current privacy rules for Internet service providers (ISPs). In a vote meant to further deregulation goals, the Senate passed a resolution to undo privacy rules adopted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) [official website] during the Obama administration. The privacy rules, which had yet to go into effect, would require [NPR report] ISPs to inform consumers what information is being collected and how that...
Germany Justice Minister Heiko Maas [official profile] announced Wednesday that the country's cabinet has approved a measure to pardon and provide compensation to approximately 50,000 men convicted under a Nazi-era law against homosexuality. The law, paragraph 175[text] of Germany's criminal code, was put in place in 1871, broadened under the Nazi regime, and was used to convict men as recently as 1967. Living men wrongfully convicted are expected to receive [DW report] €3,000 for each conviction and €1,500 for each...
[JURIST] The North Carolina legislature [official website] on Thursday overrode [vote count] Governor Roy Cooper's [official website] veto [text, PDF] of a bill that makes state judicial elections partisan. House Bill 100 (HB100) [text, PDF; materials] will make all judicial elections partisan beginning in 2018, marking a return to partisan judicial elections unseen in North Carolina for nearly 20 years. Party primaries will now elect judicial nominees, and their party designations will appear next to the candidates' names on the...
[JURIST] The Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] on Thursday held a new round of hearings on the nomination of Neil Gorsuch [Politico profile] to the Supreme Court. Thursday's hearings involved testimony from 28 outside witnesses [Committee agenda]. This list included retired judges from the US Courts of Appeal, law professors at top universities, leaders of advocacy groups and several of his former law clerks. These witnesses testified both for and against Gorsuch. Also on Thursday, three leading Democrats - Senate...
[JURIST] The US Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) [official website] on Thursday released a report [text, PDF] finding that a significant portion of federal law enforcement resources were directed to immigration-related offenses. The analysis showed that half of all federal arrests in 2014 [summary, PDF] were related to immigration, with 61 percent of them occurring in five districts along US-Mexico border. BJS also found that 17 percent of offenders released in 2012 went back to federal prison within three years,...
The Court of Appeal for Ontario [official website] on Wednesday affirmed [decision] a ruling requiring a Vice Media [official website] reporter to turn over materials and communications used to write three stories regarding an accused terrorist in 2014. Ben Makuch communicated with and wrote three published stories regarding Farah Shirdon, who was believed to have moved to the Middle East in March 2014 to join the Islamic State (IS) [JURIST archives]. Shirdon confirmed this and threatened attacks on Canada in...
The Scottish parliament on Thursday rescheduled [official report] a vote on a new independence referendum for next week following Wednesday's terror attack [press release] at the United Kingdom parliament in London. The proposed referendum was under debate when the attack occurred, and Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh [official profile] chose to halt the proceedings [official report] after receiving news [BBC timeline] of a "serious incident at Westminster" and an increase in security at Holyrood. The debate is to take place only...
Members of the US House Oversight Committee questioned FBI [official websites] officials Wednesday on facial recognition technology during a hearing [materials]. The criticism was based on a report [resources] that 117 million Americans can be found on the governmental facial recognition database. Members expressed concern over how the technology would be implemented to affect American lives. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) [official website] expressed concern about how the technology was less effective with African American faces and that, "If you are...
A judge for the US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana [website] blocked [opinion, PDF] a law [text, PDF] Wednesday that would prevent foreign-born US citizens from marrying. The legislation at issue required a birth certificate to obtain a marriage license. The law had barred [AP report] 32-year-old Viet Anh Vo from marrying his fiancee in 2016. Vo was thee months old when he came to the US after being born in a refugee camp in Indonesia. Both...
A New York judge on Wednesday ordered ExxonMobil [corporate website] to cooperate with a New York investigation into whether the company misled others about the effects of climate change. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman [official profile] had issued previous subpoenas to both ExxonMobil and their outside auditing servicers, and a New York state court in October 2016 ordered [text, PDF] compliance. However, Schneiderman submitted a letter [text, PDF] to the court earlier this month stating that ExxonMobil "has failed...

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