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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The African National Congress (ANC) [party website], the governing political party in South Africa, called [press release] Tuesday for South African President Jacob Zuma to step down. The call for resignation comes amidst corruption allegations against Zuma and social and economic issues [WP report] such as unemployment, economic stagnation and water shortages. The president had previously agreed to resign offering time frames ranging from three to six months, but the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ANC has called for...
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] on Monday unsealed an indictment [text, PDF] against five Venezuelan officials for allegedly participating in an international bribery and money laundering scheme involving Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA), a state-owned oil and natural gas company. The indictment alleges [press release] that the defendants, including the deputy energy minister, were known as a "management team" that exchanged bribe payments for contracts with an anonymous official from PDVSA. The five defendants were then suspected...
The US Department of Justice (DOJ), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) [official websites] said Monday they had reached a settlement [text, PDF] with Shell Chemicals LP [corporate website] over the alleged Clean Air Act (CAA), National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs) and Louisiana state law violations committed by failing to properly operate industrial flares at the company's Norco, Louisiana, plant. The settlement, lodged in the Eastern District Court of Louisiana as...
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) [official website] announced [press release] Monday that it has filed a complaint against the three biggest dental supply companies, "alleging that they violated U.S. antitrust laws by conspiring to refuse to provide discounts to or otherwise serve buying groups representing dental practitioners." The dental supply companies, Benco, Henry Schein and Patterson, are full-service dental distributors, supplying a range of equipment from gloves and cement to dental chairs and lights. The complaint accuses the companies...
[JURIST] Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] urged [press release] Liberia's new president George Weah [Britannica profile] in a letter [text] Monday to investigate and prosecute atrocities committed during Liberia's recent civil wars. Liberia experienced civil war from 1989-1996 and 1999-2003. HRW reports that during the civil wars, "Liberian citizens were subjected to horrific abuses including summary executions; numerous large-scale massacres; widespread and systematic rape and other forms of sexual violence; mutilation and torture; and large-scale forced conscription and use of...
A group of UN human rights experts said [press release] Monday that the detention of two Supreme Court judges in the Maldives is an attack on the independence of the judiciary and undermines the court's ability to work freely and effectively. The arrests follow the Supreme Court's decision to nullify the sentences against nine opposition figures, including former president Mohamed Nasheed [campaign profile], who were thrown into prison or forced into exile by President Abdulla Yameen [official profile]. Subsequent to...
A German consumer group said [press release, in German] Monday that the Berlin Regional Court [official website, in German] ruled [judgment, PDF, in German] that Facebook's use of personal data was illegal because it did not adequately secure the informed consent of its users. The Federation of German Consumers Organisation (vzbv) [advocacy website], which brought the suit, stated that Facebook's default settings and some of its terms of service were in breach of consumer law by denying consumers of a...
Australia and Peru signed a new trade agreement [materials] Monday that will allow for greater access to beef, sugar, almonds and dairy products being sold within Peru. The trade agreement was finalized last November and will go into affect 60 days it is ratified by the Congress of Peru and the Parliament of Australia. The trade agreement has laid out terms of agreement between the countries for tariffs, telecommunications, investments, electronic commerce, intellectual property and other aspects of commerce. The...
Asma Jahangir [Bloomberg profile], a leading human rights activist and lawyer in Pakistan, died Sunday after suffering from cardiac arrest in her hometown city of Lahore at the age of 66. Jahangir dedicated decades of her life towards the pursuit of bringing about human rights changes within the Pakistani government and military, co-founding the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan [advocacy website] and serving as the first female leader of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan [official website]. She had...
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein on Monday expressed concern [press release] over the continuing casualties in Yemen. According to Zeid, "The upsurge in fighting in the south-western Governorate of Taizz is of particular concern. Civilians are under fire on all sides, as Houthi and affiliated forces carry out sniper attacks and indiscriminate shelling, and the Saudi-led Coalition continues to conduct airstrikes [JURIST report]. Civilians in the city of Taizz, the conflict is not just escalating...
Here's the international legal news we covered this week: [JURIST] The Supreme Court of Ireland [official website] formally ruled in a unanimous decision on Friday that the complete employment ban [statute] on asylum seekers was unconstitutional. [more] UN Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein [official website] urged [press release] the government of Papua New Guinea on Friday to provide greater enforcement of their laws and to combat corruption. The high commissioner stated that Papua New Guinea has "exemplary...
Here's the domestic legal news we covered this week: Dozens of attorneys with the Legal Aid Society and Bronx Defenders [official websites] on Thursday held a protest [Tweet] outside of the Bronx Criminal Court after one of their clients were arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents outside of the state courthouse. [more] Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine [official website] filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] in the Washington County Common Pleas Court [official website] against DuPont [corporate website] alleging...
Dozens of attorneys with the Legal Aid Society and Bronx Defenders [official websites] on Thursday held a protest [Tweet] outside of the Bronx Criminal Court after one of their clients were arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents outside of the state courthouse. The defendant, Aboubacar Dembele, 27, had showed up at the Bronx Criminal Court House for a court appearance on a misdemeanor assault charge, however, as Dembele left the building, ICE agents were waiting for him. The...
[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Ireland [official website] formally ruled in a unanimous decision on Friday that the complete employment ban [statute] on asylum seekers was unconstitutional. Chief Justice Frank Clark [official profile] said [Irish Times report] the ban is no longer a part of the law. The legislature has four months to create a work permit for asylum seekers. The plaintiff was a Rohingya asylum seeker. The decision follows a May 2017 opinion, where the court unanimously ruled [opinion]...
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine [official website] filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] in the Washington County Common Pleas Court [official website] against DuPont [corporate website] alleging that the company intentionally released perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) into the Ohio River. The discharges are accused of occurring from the company's Washington Works facility near Parkersburg, West Virginia. Exposure to PFOA has been linked to kidney and testicular cancer, thyroid disease, pregnancy-induced hypertension and low birth weight, high cholesterol, and ulcerative colitis. The releases...
UN Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein [official website] urged [press release] the government of Papua New Guinea on Friday to provide greater enforcement of their laws and to combat corruption. The high commissioner stated that Papua New Guinea has "exemplary laws and policies in place to protect human rights, but they are reportedly often not enforced." Human rights defenders have claimed that "the laws were often not translated into practice, and law enforcement officials and communities were...
The governor of Bermuda on Wednesday signed [press release] a bill into law that repeals same-sex marriage, reversing a Supreme Court ruling. The Domestic Partnership Act gives [text, PDF] domestic partners rights that are similar to married couples, but not the legal title. The governor said that "[t]he Act is intended to strike a fair balance between two currently irreconcilable groups in Bermuda," noting that a majority of Bermudians do not agree with same-sex marriage. The Act states that "a...
Bangladesh's Fifth Special Judge's Court of Dhaka found former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia guilty of corruption and sentenced her to five years in prison on Thursday. She was convicted [Independent report] of embezzling close to USD $250,000 in donations for a trust that was established for orphanages during her 2001-2006 term. The court gave [BDNews24 report] Zia's son, Tarique Rahman, and four associates longer sentences of 10 years each and ordered them to pay a $2.5 million fine for their...
A court in Amsterdam on Thursday referred [judgment, PDF] to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) [official website] the question of whether British nationals lose their EU citizenship after UK's departure from the EU becomes official in March 2019, and if not, under what conditions these individuals will retain their EU citizenship. The plaintiffs in the case are five British expatriates living in the Netherlands and two private organizations—Brexpats and the Commercial Anglo Dutch Society [advocacy websites]—who claim that the...
India's antitrust watchdog, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) [official website] on Thursday imposed [order, PDF] a USD $21.17 million fine (1.36 billion rupees) on Google for "search bias" and abuse of its dominant position. The order was passed in response to filings by Matrimony.com Limited and Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS) in 2012. In a press release [text, PDF], the CCI noted that Google, "being the gateway to the internet for a vast majority of internet users due...

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