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] The Pakistan Supreme Court [official website] rejected calls [opinion, PDF] on Thursday to disqualify Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif [official website] from office stating that there was insufficient evidence concerning the corruption allegations against Sharif and his family to constitutionally compel his removal from office. The court presented a 549-page split judgment with two of the five justices dissenting. The dissenting justices stated that Sharif should be forced to resign for lying to the electorate and the legislative body of...
On Wednesday law firm Hagens Berman [corporate website] filed a class action lawsuit [text, PDF] in California's Northern District Court [official website] against car company Tesla [official website] over the self driving function in their vehicles. The lawsuit alleges that the autopilot function is "essentially unusable and demonstrably dangerous" and places the car users at risk. The new hardware system, AutoPilot2, is alleged to not live up to standard safety features and was rolled out with defects. Tesla responded in...
Turkey's Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ [official profile] said on Thursday that the Turkish Constitutional Court [official website] would reject any opposition challenge to a referendum that expanded President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's [official website] powers, and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] had no jurisdiction on the matter. The referendum was approved on Sunday after a 51 percent victory in favor of expanding President Tayyipp Erdogan's powers. The changes, which will not come into effect until 2019, would...
The Uruguayan House of Senators approved [press release] a bill [materials] on Tuesday that would make femicide an explicit criminal offense of its own. The legislation is being passed to the House of Representatives for further approval. The bill would codify femicide as a very special aggravating circumstance to homicide, which could increase the sentence imposed upon a conviction. The purpose of the bill is to be accomplished by amending articles 311 and 312 of the penal code [materials]. Violence...
[JURIST] Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] called for [press release] police restraint on Wednesday to protect protesters' rights in Venezuela. Protests continue in the country against President Nicolas Maduro [official profile, in Spanish], and hundreds of thousands of people held rival protests on Wednesday amid rising political tensions in the country. It was reported that Venezuelan police fired tear gas at the anti-government demonstrators who accused the President of moving towards a dictatorship and called for his resignation. On Tuesday...
Advocacy groups from around the world signed a joint statement [PDF] on Thursday that called for the release of all political prisoners in Myanmar. The release of the petition aligned with the third anniversary of U Win Tin's death, a political prisoner in Myanmar for close to 20 years. The 22 rights groups that signed the petition stated their goal is to create a mechanism in Myanmar that will review the detentions of prisoners and free those who have been,...
The International Court of Justice [official cite] on Wednesday rejected [document, PDF] Ukraine's request for measures to prevent rebels in the country from receiving supplies over its Russian boarder. The court granted measures designed to protect ethnic discrimination in the disputed Crimean peninsula, currently under Russian rule, but did not grant Ukraine's request to prevent the funding of terrorism by implementing a number of regulations. The request sought to force the Russian state to identify potential terrorist funders by requiring...
[JURIST] Eugene Owusu [official profile], the top United Nations humanitarian official in South Sudan on Wednesday warned [UN News Centre report] that without peace in South Sudan humanitarian conditions will continue to deteriorate. Speaking to reporters, Owusu urged that women in Sudan face a daily risk of sexual assault and rape. Owusu also warned of famine, homelessness and violence. He stated, "while humanitarians will continue to do all that is possible to alleviate suffering, the fact remains that unless the...
[JURIST] The Alabama Supreme Court [official website] on Wednesday upheld [order] the September 2016 Court of the Judiciary [official website] decision [JURIST report] to suspend Chief Justice Roy Moore for violation of the Canons of Judicial Ethics [text] by issuing orders contradicting the US Supreme Court's recognition of same-sex marriage. In January, 2015, federal judge Callie Garande issued an order [Constitution Center report] ruling that Alabama's statutory proscription on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. In response, Moore issued an administrative order...
The US Supreme Court [official website] heard oral arguments on Wednesday in Weaver v. Massachusetts and Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer [dockets]. In Weaver v. Massachusetts [SCOTUSblog materials], the court considered arguments [transcript, PDF] on whether a defendant who is claiming ineffective assistance of counsel due to a structural error must show the they were prejudiced by the ineffectiveness. Petitioner in this matter argued that it is an unreasonable standard for defendant's to prove actual prejudice as...
A lawsuit was filed against Bose Corp. [corporate website] Tuesday claiming that the sound system manufacturer was illegally mining and distributing [complaint, text] headphone users' personal data. The complaint alleges that Bose secretly collected, transmitted, and disclosed its customers' private music and audio selections to third parties and demands restitution in excess of $5,000,000. The suit centers around the app "Bose Connect" through which users of Bose headphones may pair their devices to a smartphone and access and control the...
Philippine Senator Sherwin Gatchalian called for an investigation Wednesday into allegations made by senior officials in the Philippine National Police that officers have been offered cash rewards to execute individuals who are suspected of illegal drug activity. More than 9,000 people have died since President Duterte took office last June and the two anonymous officials claim [Reuters report] that more than a third of those deaths can be traced to police-sanctioned assassins and vigilantes. The report goes on to detail...
The US Supreme Court held [opinion] on Wednesday that a defendant wishing to appeal a restitution order must file a separate motion from the notice of appeal for the judgment. The ruling came from Manrique v. United States [SCOTUSBlog materials]. In June 2014 Manrique was sentenced to 72 months imprisonment and a life term of supervised release. Although the trial court acknowledge that restitution was necessary, they deferred determining the victim's damages until they could be properly ascertained. In the...
US President Donald Trump [official website] signed the Presidential Executive Order on Buy American and Hire American [text] on Tuesday. The order requires executive agencies to monitor and enforce Buy American Laws, which are defined as all laws that "require, or provide a preference for, the purchase or acquisition of goods, products, or materials produced in the United States, including iron, steel, and manufactured goods." Agencies also have 150 days to develop policies ensuring that federal awards and purchases are...
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced [press release] plans on Tuesday to implement a series of actions that will support the public safety on Native American lands. The initiative is hoped to improve relations between federal authorities and "Native America." Under the Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety three actions will be implemented to support public safety within the Indian community. The following actions to be taken are: the Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] will deploy the...
The US Supreme Court [official website] held [opinion, PDF] in Nelson v. Colorado [SCOTUSBlog materials] on Wednesday that Colorado's Exoneration Act [text, PDF] is not in accord with the Fourteenth Amendment's [LII, text] guarantee of due process. The Act permits Colorado to retain the fees paid in conviction-related assessments unless the exonerated defendant can prove their innocence by clear and convincing evidence in a civil suit. Colorado argued that the Act provided sufficient means for a defendant to seek compensation...
The UK parliament [official website] voted [transcript] Wednesday to move the date of the next parliamentary general election up from May 7, 2020 to June 8, 2017. The motion was approved [press release] by a vote of 522 to 13, which exceeded the necessary two-thirds vote to hold an early election. The conservative party currently [CNN report] has a small majority in the Parliament's lower house. Prime Minister Theresa May has stated that the general election will "secure the strong...
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions [official profile] said [press release] Tuesday that the Trump administration will have "zero tolerance for gang violence" from transnational criminal organizations such as MS-13, in remarks made to the Organized Crime Council and the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The gang Mara Salvatrucha [InSight Crime backgrounder], or MS-13, was formed in the 1980's in Los Angeles neighborhoods, and now has a prominent presence throughout many Central American countries. According to Sessions, there are...
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] against the founder of the website The Daily Stormer. SPLC filed the suit on behalf of a Montana woman who claims [SPLC press release] to have been targeted by the website with an anti-Semitic harassment campaign. According to the suit, the founder Andrew Anglin published [Chicago Tribune report] over 30 articles encouraging his followings to launch a "troll storm" against the woman and her family, who claim to have...
A new plaintiff joined [press release] a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] in the Southern District of New York [official site] Tuesday accusing the current administration of unfair business practices by violating the Emoluments Clauses of the Constitution. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a non profit organization who is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit [JURIST report] that alleges foreign payments made to business associated with the current executive branch are in violation of the Constitution [text]. Restaurant...

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