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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UK consumer activist group Google You Owe Us [advocacy website] initiated [press release] representative legal action Thursday against tech giant Google, alleging that Google illegally mined private information from consumers. According to Google You Owe Us, the tech giant unlawfully harvested personal information from nearly 5.4 million Apple iPhone users in England and Wales between June 2011 and February 2012 through the consumers' use of Safari. Google supposedly mined the data by bypassing Safari privacy search settings, known as the...
African and European leaders, gathered in Abidjan for the 5th AU/EU Summit [official website], condemned in a joint statement [text, PDF] the inhuman treatment of African migrants and refugees by criminal groups. The statement is seen as an response to the recent documentation [CNN report] of human traffickers in Libya selling migrants as slaves in open air markets. The leaders resolved to work together for an immediate end of these criminal practices and to ensure the well-being of the migrants...
Qualcomm [corporate website] filed three lawsuits [complaint, PDF; complaint, PDF; complaint, PDF] against Apple [corporate website] Thursday, seeking compensation for alleged patent infringement. According to Qualcomm, Apple uses technologies that Qualcomm first marketed in the 1990s. Qualcomm claims that they have offered to license their patents to Apple, but it has been refused every time. Ultimately, Qualcomm's suits seek compensation for a variety of these technologies that "drive consumer demand" such asinstinctive instant messaging responses, multi- purpose power buttons, cameras...
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] announced [press release] that it has initiated an independent expert review on internal operations after the death of Slobodan Praljak, who consumed poison [JURIST report] in the courtroom on Wednesday after the court reaffirmed his 20 year prison sentence. The review will be completed along with a Dutch investigation into Praljak's death. A report on the review is to be provided before December 31, 2017, which is the closing...
People and municipalities in Lebanon have resorted to burning garbage as a result of government mismanagement, causing detrimental health effects, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported [HRW report] Friday. Lebanon's waste crisis erupted in 2015 when authorities closed the main landfill site near Beirut without arranging an alternative. Garbage began piling up in the streets, and people began burning the garbage. HRW said in their report that the open burning of waste "may have serious consequences for the health of people...
The US House of Representatives [official website] on Thursday approved a bill [vote summary] that would allow mining in the Superior National Forest [official website] in Minnesota. The Minnesota's Economic Rights in the Superior National Forest Act (MINER act) [materials] is a response to legislation [press release] passed under the Obama administration [JURIST report] to protect the environment and promote green energy. The bill, which passed 216-204 along party lines, would allow for mining in the Superior National Forest and...
The Danish parliament on Thursday approved a bill [materials] giving new powers to the Energy, Supply and Climate ministry related to the Nord Stream-2 [official website] pipeline. The pipeline, built by Russian petroleum giant Gazprom [official website], will carry natural gas from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea. The proposed route passes through Danish territorial waters. Previously, Danish law provided for pipeline denials only on grounds related to energy needs or environmental impacts. The new law adds foreign policy,...
International Criminal Court (ICC) chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda [official websites] confirmed Thursday that her office will not investigate [press release] a 2010 Israeli attack against a Gaza bound Turkish flotilla. After a presentation of new facts and information, Bensouda concluded that there was not "sufficient gravity" to support a legal action under the Rome statute [text]. Bensouda stated:In particular, on the basis of the information available, there was no reasonable basis to believe that the identified crimes were committed on...
The Higher Regional Court in Celle, Germany, on Wednesday ruled [press release, in German] that Oskar Groening, a former Auschwitz guard known as the "bookkeeper of Auschwitz," is not too elderly to serve a four-year prison sentence. The now 96-year-old former Nazi SS guard was convicted and sentenced [JURIST report] as an accessory to the murder of more than 300,000 people in Auschwitz. Groening's lawyer had argued that the sentence violated his constitutional rights and cited old age as a...
Recently, professors at Carnegie Mellon University [official website] have proposed a method to reform redistricting and avoid partisan gerrymandering. The plan [abstract] proposed by the CMU professors would seek to take advantage of each party’s self-interest to create fairer and less partisan maps. In the abstract, the professors call their method “I-cut-you-freeze.” The abstract compares this method to “classical cake-cutting problems" and draws on game theory to prove their redistricting method—where the cake-cutter knows the other “player” is going to...
The US House Judiciary Committee [official website] on Wednesday approved a bill [text, PDF] that would allow gun owners with state-issued concealed carry permits to carry their guns into other states that also allow concealed carrying. The bill would amend chapter 44 of Title 18 [text] of the federal criminal code and require individuals be eligible to possess and transport a firearm under federal law, obtain a valid concealed carry permit from one's state of residence, and carry a valid...
A group of UN human rights experts issued [statement] an urgent call for action Thursday in order to realize the right to development. The Declaration on the Right to Development was originally adopted [declaration] on December 4, 1986. The document establishes development as a human right and establishes that all people are entitled to "participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized." It further...
An Argentine judicial panel [official site] on Wednesday sentenced [ruling, PDF, in Spanish] 29 former officials to life in prison, and 19 to between 8-25 years for murder and torture during the junta's 1976-1983 "Dirty War" [GlobalSecurity backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. The sentencing concluded a five-year trial and represented Argentina's largest verdict to date [La Nación report, in Spanish] for crimes against humanity. Collectively, the 48 defendants were charged with the deaths of 789 victims. The prosecution called more than...
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) [official website] extradited [press release] 75-year-old Inocente Orlando Montano, a former El Salvador colonel, to Spain to face charges for his alleged involvement in the 1989 murder of eight individuals [CJA backgrounder] that included six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper, and the housekeeper's 16-year-old daughter during the country's decade-long civil war strife. The murders occurred in the early morning hours of November 16, 1989, at the Universidad Centroamericana at the behest of the El Salvador...
Saudi Arabian authorities released Prince Miteb bin Abdullah from custody on Tuesday after reaching an estimated $1 billion settlement agreement concerning corruption allegations, according to a Saudi official [Reuters report]. Miteb, "along with 200 other royals, ministers and business tycoons," was arrested and detained in the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh earlier this month for alleged participation in the so-called "anti-graft campaign." Accusations against him include "embezzlement, hiring ghost employees and awarding contracts to his own firms, including a deal for...
The US Supreme Court [official website] on Wednesday heard oral arguments in Carpenter v. United States [docket], a case concerning law enforcement officers' authority to collect an individual's cell phone records to track his movements over an extended period of time. This case arose from petitioner Timothy Carpenter's conviction for armed robbery, for which he was sentenced [SCOTUSblog report] to 116 days in prison. At trial, the prosecution offered evidence of Carpenter's location during the 127 days surrounding the robberies...
Bolivia's Plurinational Constitutional Tribunal (TCP) on Wednesday ruled [judgment, in Spanish] that President Evo Morales [BBC profile] may seek a fourth consecutive term as the country's president in the 2019 election. This decision comes almost two years after Morales campaigned for and lost a closely contested referendum [JURIST report] to amend the Bolivian Constitution [text, PDF, Spanish] to allow for indefinite term-limits. Morales is the first indigenous president to be elected in Bolivia and has been in power since 2006....
Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Penal Forum [advocacy websites released a joint-report [text] on Wednesday that revealed human rights and humanitarian crises in Venezuela, as the government continues to arbitrarily arrest, prosecute, and, in some cases, torture critics of the government. Since early April 2017, more than 5,400 people have reportedly been detained after participating in anti-government protests. According to the rights groups, detainees are often exposed to excessive force, torture and inhuman treatment. The report revealed 88 documented...
Bosnian Croat war crimes defendant Slobodan Praljak died [press release] Wednesday after drinking what he said was poison after judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] affirmed [judgment summary, PDF, Volume I Part 1, Volume I Part 2, Volume II, Volume III], his 20-year prison sentence. The appeals concerned charges against six individuals who were accused of being members of a joint criminal enterprise that sought to create a Croatian entity through the ethnic...
The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday rejected [opinion, PDF] a challenge to a campaign finance law that set limits on federal donations to primary and general elections. The law placed a per-election donation cap: $2,600 for primary elections and $2,600 for general elections. A Florida couple, Laura Holmes and Paul Jost, brought an action against the Federal Election Commission (FEC) [official website] in 2014, arguing that they should be able to donate $5,200...

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