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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Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker [official website] signed Senate Bill 10 [materials], legalizing the medicinal use of a marijuana extract, into law Monday. The bill, which was passed by both houses of the Wisconsin legislature earlier this year, allows patients to receive Cannabidiol from a physician or pharmacy with a prescription. The oil, which contains THC common in marijuana, will be used to treat medical conditions and does not produce a high or psychoactive effect. Research shows that the oil has...
Russian authorities say [TASS report] they have detained, and obtained a confession from, a man linked to a terrorist metro bombing in St. Petersburg that killed 14 passengers. The Russian Federal Security Service [official website] says that Abror Azimov pled guilty to planning the attack. Officials say that, for his part, Azimov says that he does not object to being detained and does not deny his involvement in the attack, but says he was not involved in planning, and did...
[JURIST] Australia's Prime Minister, Malcom Turnbull, [official website] announced [video] Tuesday that the country will be introducing stricter visa requirements for skilled foreign workers. The Prime Minister said the focus is to ensure that Australian jobs are "given to Australians first." The current 4-year work visa program, 457 visa program [materials], which allows workers from overseas to live in Australia with their immediate family, will be abolished [BBC report] and will be replaced by two temporary visas that carry additional...
The Paris Criminal Court [official website], began a trial Tuesday over the alleged abuse of two minors by a French soldier in Burkina Faso in 2015. The French soldier, only recognized by the name Sebastian L., is alleged to film himself touching the young girls in a hotel pool. Sebastian was in Burkina Faso as part of a French strike force there to combat Islamic militants in the region. The charges were only brought after the mother of the victims...
UK Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday called for [statement, text] an early general election to take place on June 8th of this year as opposed to the scheduled 2020 general election. May's decision to call for the election is thought to have been spurred by political divisions in parliament as the talks on Brexit with the European Union (EU) [official website] are sent to begin soon. The May's motion for the election will need the support of 2/3 of...
Advocacy groups Legal Aid Justice Center and the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia [advocacy websites] announced Monday [press release] that the US Department of Education [official website] has launched a civil rights investigation of Richmond Public Schools. The probe comes at the request of advocacy groups who argue [Richmond Times-Dispatch report] the district's disciplinary policies discriminate against black students and students with disabilities. Legal Aid Justice Center and the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia [advocacy websites] argued that...
[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] declined to hear an appeal [order list] by a group of Central American asylum-seekers Monday who hoped the Court would overturn a lower court's ruling preventing them from having their removal orders reviewed by a federal judge. The lead plaintiff in the case, Rosa Castro, fled [memo, PDF] El Salvador in 2015 with her young son, seeking asylum [Reuters report] from what she said was ongoing physical and emotional abuse by her husband....
[JURIST] Over 1,000 Palestinian political prisoners in six Israeli prisons embarked on an indefinite hunger strike starting on Monday, in observance of Palestinian Prisoners Day. The strikers say they want [Al Jazeera report] better medical care, more humane transfers between prisons, and the end of "administrative detention" where Palestinians are arrested without knowing why. According to Addameer, a prisoners' rights advocacy group, 500 prisoners [advocacy website] in Israeli jails are administrative detainees. The strike is led by Marwan Barghouti, who...
[JURIST] Alphabet Inc. [official website], owner of Google, and the Russian Federal Anti-monopoly Service (FAS) [official website], reached [FAS press release] an out-of-court settlement with in a dispute over Google's requiring Android phone manufacturers to pre-install its own search tool on Monday. In 2015 the FAS ruled that this requirement was an abuse of Google's market dominance and its actions excluded competing Russian search engines such as Yandex [official website]. After the FAS imposed a $7.8 million US fine on...
The under-secretary-general for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) [official website] Stephen O'Brien on Sunday condemned [press release] attacks against people, including many civilians, who were fleeing the Syrian towns of Foah and Kefraya. In his statement, O'Brien said the "perpetrators of such a monstrous and cowardly attack displayed a shameless disregard for human life," adding, "International humanitarian law is very clear: warring parties must protect civilians and distinguish between military and civilian targets." O'Brien said...
[JURIST] The US Supreme Court heard [hearing list, PDF] oral arguments Monday on Perry v. Merit Systems Protection Board, Town of Chester v. Laroe Estates, Inc. and California Public Employees’ Retirement System v. ANZ Securities, Inc. [SCOTUSblog materials] In Perry, the Court will decide whether a decision disposing of a case which involved both state employment actions and a federal anti-discrimination law dismissed on jurisdictional grounds can be subject to judicial review in either district court or in the US...
[JURIST] Former South Korean president Guen-Hye Park [BBC profile] was indicted on numerous corruption charges including extortion, abuse of power, and bribery on Monday. Prosecutors from the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' officer [official website] also indicted Shin Dong-bin [Forbes profile], chairman of the Lotte Group [official website], on similar bribery charges but did not move to have Dong-bin detained. Prosecutors stated [Reuters report] that Lotte paid approximately $6 million US to Park for a wide variety of favors after experiencing...
[JURIST] Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan [official profile], announced a victory on Sunday after 51.5 percent of Turkish voters elected to expand presidential powers. However, his political opponents are demanding [Reuters report] a recount as some of the ballots did not contain an official stamp. The changes, which will not come into effect until 2019, would abolish the position of prime minister and give the president powers formerly granted to Parliament. Those who voted "yes" point to security concerns, while...
Aya Hijazi, a dual US-Egyptian citizen who has been in prison for three years in relation to her foundation dedicated to helping street children, was of acquitted all charges by a Cairo court on Sunday. Seven others, including HIzaji's husband, were found not guilty as well. The eight members of Hijzai's foundation were arrested in 2014 for allegations of child abuse, human trafficking, kidnapping, sexual exploitation, and torture. Human rights groups have been critical of the arrest, calling it "arbitrary"...
Lawyers for US President Donald Trump, in their answer [text, PDF] to a lawsuit Friday, contended the president was immune from being sued by protesters who were injured during a campaign rally in Louisville in 2016. The attorneys argued Trump was immune due to being the president. In addition, his attorney's argued the protesters waived any right to sue after buying a ticket to the rally and contended Trump had not urged the crowd to "get [the protesters] out of...
An Egyptian criminal court in Cairo sentenced Habib el-Adly, the former interior minister under former president Hosni Mubarak, to seven years in jail on Saturday, for embezzling more than $100m of public funds. Adly was the head of Egypt's feared international security forces until the uprising that overthrew the Government in 2011. Adly has faced several criminal charges [Al Jazeera report] in connection with his time in office, but had been acquitted of killing protesters in 2012 and of money...
US District Judge William Orrick from the Northern District of California [official website] heard arguments Friday over President Trump's executive order withholding federal funds from so-called "sanctuary cities". San Fransisco and Santa Clara both filed suit [complaint, PDF] asking for a nationwide preliminary injunction to the order. The cities allege [Bloomberg report] that the order would cause great harm to the American people and cause losses of billions of dollars in federal funding to the two cities, if they were...
[JURIST] US District Court Judge Kristine Baker [official profile] on Saturday issued a temporary injunction [text, PDF] blocking Arkansas' plan to execute seven inmates by the end of the month. Baker's order comes a day after Arkansas state judge Wendell Griffen issued a broad temporary restraining order [text] in favor of the prisoners. The plan was to begin executions on Monday, before the state's supply of midazolam, a drug used in the executions, expired at the end of the month....
[JURIST] The Third Circuit Court of Appeals [official website] on Friday ruled [opinion] that the family of a man who committed suicide while in solitary confinement can argue that he faced cruel and unusual punishment, even if they don't argue that the treatment lead to his suicide. In July 2012, Brandon Palakovic committed suicide [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report] while in solitary confinement at SCI Cresson serving a sentence for robbery. Palakovic's family brought an Eighth Amendment [LII, text] cruel and unusual...
Amnesty International [advocacy website] (AI) released a statement [press release] on Thursday calling for Arkansas to halt the execution of eight death row prisoners. Arkansas has scheduled these execution to take place within short time spans of each other in order to beat the expiration of their drug of choice, midazolam. According to Erika Guevara Rosas [official profile], Americas Director at AI, The close scheduling of these executions is unprecedented in modern US history. Just four months after the USA...

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