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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A Turkish court on Tuesday sentenced Wall Street Journal (WSJ) [official website] reporter Ayla Albayrak in absentia to 25 months in prison for propaganda charges [Reuters report]. The conviction underlying the sentence comes as a result of Albayrak's 2015 story "Urban Warfare Escalates in Turkey's Kurdish-Majority Southeast" [WSJ report], which Turkish authorities claimed was a violation of Article 7(2) [text, PDF] of Turkey's Anti-Terror Law. The article described the continued conflict in Silopi, Turkey, "between Turkish security forces and militants...
[JURST] Palestinian political parties Hamas and Fatah [Al Jazeera backgrounders] on Thursday announded [Reuters report] a reconciliation deal in which Hamas has agreed to hand over administrative control of Gaza to Fatah in Cairo. While the agreement has not yet been published, reports [Al Jazeera report] indicate that Hamas has not agreed to relinquish any of its military power. The meetings between the two parties in Cairo focused on implementing the terms [text] reached between the parties in 2011. Exactly...
Turkish prisons are committing torture and disappearing citizens, Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] said in a report [press release] Thursday. The report, entitled In Custody: Police Torture and Abductions in Turkey [text], alleges that even though Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has ordered a moratorium on prisoner abuses, they still occur. In doing months of investigation by speaking to lawyers and survivors, HRW estimates thousands of individuals have undergone abuses while in police custody while the government cracks down on terrorism...
[JURIST] The Council of Europe [official website] published a letter [text] Wednesday in which Human Rights Commissioner Nils Muiznieks [official website] asked the government of Italy to explain why the Italian navy dispatched ships to the coast of Libya. In July the Italian government announced [ABC report] that it was sending ships to the Libyan coast to help the Libyan government prevent people from fleeing the country. The day before the letter, dated September 28, was sent, the Italian government...
[JURIST] US President Donald Trump signed an executive order [text] Thursday that makes it easier for people to buy more forms of health insurance at potentially cheaper costs. The order identified three main areas of priority: allowing small business access to association health plans (AHP), expanding use of short term, limited-duration insurance (STLDI), and expanding health reimbursement arrangements (HRA). Under AHPs, small business will be able to come together, even across state lines, to provide less regulated, cheaper health care...
[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] heard oral arguments Wednesday in National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense and Jesner v. Arab Bank, PLC [transcripts, PDF]. National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense [SCOTUSblog materials] is focused on the question of the Clean Water Act's [EPA backgrounder] judicial review provision. The government argues that the scope of 33 USC § 1369(b)(1) [ext] and its seven actions which are reviewable directly to the court of appeals do apply...
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro [official website] on Wednesday filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] against President Donald Trump and his administration over the issuance of new rules allowing employers to deny coverage for contraception. The complaint alleges that the rules issued by Trump last week violate federal law, which requires insurance carriers to cover preventive healthcare services including contraception without asking for co-pay. The complaint further alleges that the rules, titled Moral Exemptions and Accommodations for Coverage of Certain Preventive...
The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website], sitting en banc, ruled [opinion, PDF] Tuesday that "a textual and historical analysis of the Second Amendment [GPO backgrounder, PDF] demonstrates that the Constitution does not confer a freestanding right on commercial proprietors to sell firearms." The plaintiffs in the case were three individuals, John Teixeira, Steve Nobriga and Gary Gamaz, who were joined by Calguns Foundation Inc. (CGF), California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees (CALFFL) and the Second...
The Supreme Court of India [official website] ruled [judgment, PDF] Wednesday that sexual intercourse with a girl who is under the age of 18 is rape regardless of the marital status of the girl. Section 375 of the India Penal Code specifies that intercourse with someone under the age of 18 is considered rape. However, Exception 2 to section states that a husband can have intercourse with a girl between the ages of 15 and 18 if he is married...
The US Supreme Court [Official website] heard oral arguments [transcript, PDF] Tuesday in Hamer v. Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago [SCOTUSblog materials]. The case revolves around whether Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(a)(5)(C) [text] is a jurisdictional rule or a non-jurisdictional rule. The rule states that a motion to extend the time to file a notice of appeal cannot be granted to extend the time in excess of 30 days after the prescribed deadline, or 14 days after the date...
The US Supreme Court [official website] on Tuesday added [order list, PDF] to its docket two original jurisdiction cases concerning water rights. In Texas v. New Mexico [docket], the court will determine [SCOTUSblog materials] whether New Mexico is in violation of the Rio Grande Compact and the Rio Grande Project Act [texts, PDF] by reducing Texas' water supplies and apportionment of water. The complaint [text, PDF] arises after New Mexico officials intercepted Texas water and used as their own causing...
[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] alleged [report] Tuesday that Rwanda's military routinely tortures unlawfully detained individuals through various different methods. The report alleges that Rwandan judges and prosecutors have been ignoring complaints from both current and former detainees in which they claimed they were tortured through beatings, electrical shocks, strangulation, and mock executions. Their actions, HRW argues, has created a sense of impunity among those carrying these acts out. In the report, HRW confirms a total of 104...
[JURIST] The State of Washington [official website] filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] against the Trump administration Monday over the decision to let employers deny insurance coverage for contraception [NYT report] on religious and moral grounds. Attorney General Bob Ferguson [official website] argues that the administration's action violates both the First and Fifth Amendment. According to the complaint, the Establishment Clause [materials] of the First Amendment bars an individual from imposing their religion on those who do not hold the same...
In a brief order Tuesday evening, the US Supreme Court vacated the judgment [order, PDF] in one of two pending challenges to President Donald Trump's executive order limiting entry to the US from certain countries. The court remanded Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project [SCOTUSblog materials] to the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit with instructions to dismiss the case as moot. The court did not act in the other pending travel ban case, Trump v. Hawaii [SCOTUSblog...
The US Supreme Court [official website] on Tuesday denied certiorari [order list, PDF] in two cases concerning who can give permission to access a computer—an issue crucial to the determination of the meaning of the term "hacking." One of these cases involved a Facebook [corporate website] suit against Cayman Islands-based Power Ventures, Inc. under the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act [text, PDF], after Power Ventures began offering its users the ability to access Facebook through its own portal. Power...
The US Supreme Court [official website] on Tuesday, denied certiorari [orders, PDF] to consider the last remaining conviction of Ali Hamza Ahmad Suliman Al Bahlul, a Yemeni Guantanamo Bay detainee and former personal assistant to Osama bin Laden, who was tried and convicted by a military commission created after September 11, 2001. Al Bahlul is reported to have taped recruitment videos and the wills [Reuters report] of some of the hijackers who were responsible for the September 11 attacks. Al...
California Governor Jerry Brown [official profile] signed a bill [text] on Monday aimed at making drug prices for both public and private health plans more transparent. Beginning October 1, 2018, the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development [official website] will be required to collect data from manufacturers and report to the California Research Bureau [official website] specified changes in manufacturing and distribution, including increased drug prices. For all prescription drugs, Senate Bill No. 17 requires all qualified pharmacies...
José Miguel Vivanco [profile], director of Human Rights Watch's Americas division, sent a letter [press release] to several heads of the Colombian government Sunday, urging them to implement legislative proposals of a peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas. A peace agreement [text, PDF] between the two sides was signed on November 12, 2016. The letter is in regard to the Statutory bill on the Special Jurisdiction for Peace [text, PDF], which is considered to be...
Canada reached a major settlement on Friday with indigenous victims of the so-called Sixties Scoop [class-action website], agreeing to pay [BBC report] C$800 million ($635m; £488m) to some 20,000 victims, $50 million of which will be used for reconciliation initiatives. "Sixties Scoop" refers to the practice in Canada of "scooping up" children of Aboriginal peoples from their families to place them in foster homes or to adoption facilities. An estimated 16,000 indigenous children were taken from their families and communities....
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [official website] announced on Monday its intention to repeal [text, PDF] the Clean Power Plan [JURIST backgrounder], an Obama-era policy that worked to curb greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants. EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt [official website], will produce a formal order on Tuesday, which is expected [AP report] to declare that plan exceeded federal law by setting emissions standards that power plants could not reasonably meet. The Obama Administration's Carbon Emissions plan was the...

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