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.
Subscribe to JURIST Legal News feed
[JURIST] Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan [official profile] signed the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act into law on Monday, prompting condemnation throughout the international community. The law bans same-sex marriage and criminalizes [AP report] homosexual associations, societies and meetings and carries a punishment of up to 14 years imprisonment. Though sodomy is already a crime in Nigeria, the law marks a crackdown [Reuters report] on homosexuals in Nigeria. US Secretary of State John Kerry [official website] released a statement [text] condemning...
[JURIST] The Liberian Supreme Court on Friday barred Justice Minister Christiana Tah [official profile] from practicing law for six months, according to Liberia's state radio, after being found guilty of contempt. The ruling cited Tah's decision [AP report] to grant "compassionate release" to journalist Rodney Sieh, who was jailed last year in connection with a libel case, as the reason for its ruling and her suspension. In 2010, Sieh's newspaper printed allegations [AP report] that Agriculture Minister Chris Toe's ministry...
[JURIST] South African President Jacob Zuma [BBC profile] on Monday stated that the governing African National Congress (ANC) [party website] will not condone political violence. The statement came as 30 of his supporters [eNCA report], three minors and 27 adults, were expected to appear in the Nkandla Magistrate Court for throwing stones at members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) [party website] near Zuma's private home on Saturday. After appearing, the arrested supporters were granted bail of R500 each and...
[JURIST] Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) and the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) [advocacy websites] on Sunday filed a formal complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] alleging that UK government and military officials engaged in "systematic" war crimes during the war in Iraq. According to reports, the complaint primarily alleges [The Independent report] that UK service personnel, at the behest of their superiors within the UK government, abused and, in some instances, "willfully killed" Iraqi...
[JURIST] A Saudi Arabian court on Sunday sentenced to death a member of an extremist group convicted of producing explosives used in a May 2004 suicide attack on a western company operating in Saudi Arabia's northwestern port city of Yanbu. According to reports, the court also handed down sentences ranging from three to 12 years to 10 other co-defendants convicted of lesser offenses, including financing the attack and sheltering those involved. Reports indicate that the attack stemmed from a 2003...
[JURIST] UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos [official profile] spoke on behalf of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs [official website] and encouraged [press release] the world on Sunday to do more to aid the besieged communities in Syria [BBC backgrounder]. According to Amos, violence in the country has affected more than nine million of the country's 21 million population and many individuals face an immediate threat of starvation as humanitarian...
[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] agreed [order list, PDF] Friday to rule on seven cases. In Republic of Argentina v. NML Capital [docket materials], the court will consider whether a hedge fund could subpoena banks for information about Argentina's non-U.S. assets following the country's default on $100 billion in sovereign debt in 2002. The subpoenas were served in 2010 on Bank of America [corporate website] and Banco de la Nacion Argentina [corporate website, in Spanish], and sought documents...
[JURIST] Former Israeli Prime Minister and military leader, Ariel Sharon [BBC backgrounder], was pronounced dead [Guardian obituary] on Saturday at the age of 85. Sharon suffered a major stroke in January of 2006, which placed him in a coma for the remainder of his life and resulted in a declaration of official incapacitation [JURIST report] while he was serving as PM. He was elected to serve as PM in 2001 and he held the post until his health removed him...
[JURIST] Friday, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit [official website] ruled [text, PDF] that Apple Inc. did not infringe on any of Google Inc.'s [corporate profiles] Motorola Mobility patents in the creation of the iPhone. Motorola Mobility, newly acquired by Google in the attempt to gain their patents, claimed on appeal that Apple had infringed on several of their patents, particularly one involving data delivery. The arguments centered around the functionality of the devices and how data...
[JURIST] A federal appeals court ruled [opinion; pdf] on Friday to uphold a district court ruling approving BP's [corporate website] settlement with parties who claim to have suffered financial loss due to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill [JURIST news archive]. BP argued that the settlement should not be enforced as District Judge Carl Barbier for the Eastern District of Louisiana [official website], who gave the initial ruling [JURIST report], failed to determine if the claimants in the settlement included...
[JURIST] A French administrative appeals court ruled [text, PDF, in French] on Thursday, upholding a ban on performance by French comedian Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala that was deemed anti-semitic. Dieudonne was appealing the prohibition order issued by courts in Nantes and eight other cities. The court refused to lift the prohibition order after it had originally been lifted [Guardian report] just hours before the state council decision. In a statement of the decision, the State Council noted the ruling was:Based on...
[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Friday granted review [order, PDF] for ABC, Inc. v. Aereo, Inc. [docket materials], to decide the legality of Aereo's [corporate website] online service that streams and records publicly broadcast television programming without paying the broadcasters. Aereo charges users a monthly fee to view broadcast TV channels on the users' computers or mobile devices. The plaintiffs, including the networks ABC, 20th Century Fox, CBS, and NBCUniversal [corporate websites], filed the petition [text, PDF]...
[JURIST] UN independent human rights expert Francois Crepeau on Friday urged the Spanish government to reverse its decision to extradite Alexsandr Pavlov to Kazakhstan. Pavlov, an associate of opposition figure Mukhtar Ablyazov, whose extradition was ordered [JURIST report] Thursday by a French court, has been detained by Spanish authorities since 2012 on charges of financial and terrorism-related crimes. According to Crepeau, the human rights of a foreigner [press release] should be dealt with no differently than those of a citizen,...
[JURIST] US Attorney General Eric Holder [official website] announced [press release] Friday that the federal government will recognize the marriages that took place while same-sex marriage was briefly allowed in the state of Utah. In the 18 days that same-sex marriage was legal in Utah, approximately 1,300 couples were wed. Holder confirmed that these couples will be entitled to federal benefits, stating that "these families should not be asked to endure uncertainty regarding their status as the litigation unfolds." This...
[JURIST] The Philippines and Vietnam on Friday issued statements [Philippines DFA press release] condemning a new Chinese law that will require foreign fisherman to obtain approval from China before fishing in large portions of the South China Sea. Both nations expressed anger over the law, claiming that it unnecessarily complicates relations between the countries and creates new tensions over territorial disputes. The Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs statement claimed the move "unnecessarily complicates the situation in the South China Sea,...
[JURIST] The Justice and Human Rights Commission of Morocco's parliament on Thursday announced a proposal to amend Article 475 of the penal code [text, in French], which allows rapists to avoid charges if they marry their victims. This practice is currently encouraged in countries such as Morocco and India, where the loss of a woman's virginity out of wedlock is said to bring shame upon the family. Article 475, translated from French, reads, "When a minor removed or diverted married...
[JURIST] The European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] ruled on Thursday that Russia must pay 1.9 million euros, or $2.6 million, to the families of 36 Chechen men who disappeared between 2000 and 2006. The court found that Russia was in violation of Articles 2, 3, 5 and 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights [text, PDF]. These violations concern the right to life, prohibition of inhuman treatment, right to liberty and security and right to an...
[JURIST] A spokesperson for Afghan President Hamid Karzai [official website] on Thursday said that the administration would be releasing seventy-two prisoners the United States considers dangerous militants from Bagram prison, stating that there was not enough evidence to continue to hold them. The government said [BBC report] that there was no evidence against forty-five of the detainees and that there was insufficient evidence against the other twenty-seven to bring them to trial. Karzai's spokesperson stated that the continued detention of...
[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] on Thursday asked a federal judge in Kansas to return a challenge [text, PDF] requiring voters to provide proof-of-citizenship to state court. The challenge focuses on Kansas's two-tiered voter registration system, which requires voters to show proof of citizenship to register to vote in local and state elections, but not federal elections. The ACLU charges that eligible voters are being divided into separate and unequal classes in violation of the Kansas...
[JURIST] The Obama Administration's [official website] panel charged with reviewing the cases of detainees at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST backgrounder] concluded its review [DOD press release] of detainee Mahmud Abd Al Aziz Al Mujahid on Thursday, unanimously finding him eligible for transfer to Yemen. The periodic review board (PRB) was established by Executive Order 13567 [text]. Mujahid was never charged by the military commission, but was originally believed too dangerous to release. However, the PRB ruled that Mujahid no longer posed...

Pages