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 US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] on Monday ruled against [opinion, PDF; case materials] the majority of President Donald Trump's revised executive order limiting travel from six Muslim-majority countries. The ruling affirmed the majority of a district court injunction [JURIST report] that blocked the order from being enforced. The judges affirmed the injunction on statutory grounds, finding the order in violation of federal Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) [text], rather than constitutional grounds. The judges...
In a non-binding referendum with only 23 percent turnout, 97 percent of Puerto Rico voters opted for statehood Sunday. Governor Ricardo Rosselló Nevares announced the results [press release, in Spanish] Sunday and said he will communicate the results with the US Congress. The other options, independence and free association received 1.5 percent of the votes, and the current territorial status received 1.3 percent. Rosselló Nevares said:Today Puerto Ricans are sending a strong and clear message to the world, claiming equal...
In a non-binding referendum with only 23 percent turnout, 97 percent of Puerto Rico voters opted for statehood Sunday. Governor Ricardo Rosselló Nevares announced the results [press release, in Spanish] Sunday and said he will communicate the results with the US Congress. The other options, independence and free association received 1.5 percent of the votes, and the current territorial status received 1.3 percent. Rosselló Nevares said:Today Puerto Ricans are sending a strong and clear message to the world, claiming equal...
In a non-binding referendum with only 23 percent turnout, 97 percent of Puerto Rico voters opted for statehood Sunday. Governor Ricardo Rosselló Nevares announced the results [press release, in Spanish] Sunday and said he will communicate the results with the US Congress. The other options, independence and free association received 1.5 percent of the votes, and the current territorial status received 1.3 percent. Rosselló Nevares said:Today Puerto Ricans are sending a strong and clear message to the world, claiming equal...
[JURIST] A Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court on Sunday awarded Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [BBC profile] and his wife, Sara Netanyahu, USD $32,500 in a libel case. The Netanyahus filed the suit against Igal Sarna [Facebook profile], who alleged in a Facebook post that the prime minister was kicked out of his car by his wife during an argument. Prime Minister Netanyahu testified at trial that the alleged incident never occurred and that "[Sarna] crossed the line." In his 55-page judgment,...
[JURIST] Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of late Libya leader Muammar Gaddafi, was released from prison Friday, according to the Abu Bakr al-Sideeq militia, which was held him for the past five years. Saif, 44, who was the most high-profile of Gaddafi's children, was expected to lead Libya after his father. Saif was released under a "General Amnesty Law" passed by the Libyan House of Representatives [official website]. Saif is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] for crimes...
Brazil's top electoral court, known as the TSE [official website], dismissed a case on Friday against President Michel Temer for alleged illegal campaign funding in the 2014 election when he was the running mate of impeached president Dilma Rousseff. The TSE voted 4-3 [Reuters report] to acquit both Temer and Rousseff, which avoided the annulment of their election and the removal of Temer from office. Though the acquittal gives Temer some breathing room, a separate investigation by prosecutors is underway...
Switzerland's highest administrative court [official website] on Friday ruled to suspend the provisions of the Dublin Convention [text] in relation to Hungary because of humanitarian and legal concerns over conditions. Hungary has continually been sharply criticized for its harsh treatment of refugees. The court stated [SWI report] that the situation in Hungary is too insecure and argued that the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) [official website] was the only organization able to evaluate the asylum cases in Switzerland. Under the...
Japan's House of Councillors [official website, in Japanese] passed a law on Friday permitting 83-year-old Tsugu Akihito [Britannica profile] to become the first emperor since Emperor Kokaku in 1817 to abdicate his throne, clearing the way for his son, the 57-year-old Crown Prince Hironomiya Naruhito [Britannica profile], to ascend to the throne. The upper house of parliament passed the bill [Reuters report] with a few lawmakers abstaining from the vote. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe [official website] noted the importance of...
The prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website], Fatou Bensouda [official profile], on Thursday renewed her calls [statement] to the UN Security Council [official website] and the international community to support her office's efforts in tackling impunity and pursuing justice for human rights violations in the Darfur region of Sudan. Bensouda particularly urged all UN member states, specifically ones that are party to the Rome Statute [text, PDF], to arrest and surrender suspects of alleged genocide, war crimes...
A federal judge on Thursday denied bail to Reality Leigh Winner, the Georgia woman who is accused of leaking classified information to the media. Prosecutors successfully argued [AP report] that she remains a flight risk and a threat to the public after presenting a notebook in which she wrote, "I want to burn the White House Down ... find somewhere in Kurdistan to live. Ha-ha!" Winner, who operated under Pluribus International Corporation in Georgia at the time she is alleged...
The Republican-led US House of Representatives [official website] voted on Thursday to lift many of the constraints that were put into place following the 2008 financial crisis. This vote is likely the beginning of a debate over deregulation of the powerful banking industry. This bill [text], supported by the Trump administration, would amend the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to spur economic growth by easing banking regulations. The bill is likely to face resistance in the Senate....
[JURIST] Japan's lower legislative house [official website] approved changes to Japan's century-old rape laws on Thursday that would expand the definition of rape, lengthen prison sentences to five years and allow prosecutions to occur in instances where a victim did not press charges. The amendments would redefine [Reuters report] rape to include more forms of forced sexual penetration, which would acknowledge male victims. The amendment would also eliminate the requirement for "violence or intimidation" in cases where parents or guardians...
[JURIST] Attorneys for Guantanamo detainee Abu Zubaydah have filed a lawsuit against the two psychologists, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, who developed the harsh interrogation techniques used by the CIA, including waterboarding and sleep deprivation. The UK human rights group Reprieve [advocacy website] announced the case on Wednesday. The attorneys are seeking to subpoena [advocacy website] the psychologists in order to uncover evidence about the American-led torture that allegedly went on in Poland. According to US law, a federal district...
The US Supreme Court [official website] on Wednesday refused to block [docket] a finding that a Texas county's bail system discriminates against the poor. Officials of Harris County petitioned the court on Tuesday [AP report] for an emergency order to block the ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [official website] which called for the release of inmates who were incarcerated for not being able to afford bail. District Judge Lee Rosenthal of the Southern District...
Former FBI [official website] director James Comey testified on Thursday in front of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence [official website]. During more than two hours of testimony, Comey recounted [prepared remarks] nine encounters with President Donald Trump. Comey had documented each time he met with the president in private. While he did not make any new revelations about links between the Trump administration and Russia, he did tell the committee that he believed Trump had directed him to drop...
The Connecticut General Assembly [official website] on Tuesday passed HB 5743 [text, PDF], an anti-hate crime bill that could be the strongest in the country. The legislation makes any hate crime an automatic felony rather than a misdemeanor. The bill is also more inclusive as to what constitutes a hate crime by adding violence or threats based on someone's gender. Additionally, the bill increases penalties for threats against certain facilities such as religious institutions and day cares. A provision for...
Agnes Callamard, the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, presented a report [text, DOC] to the UN Human Rights Council [official website] on Wednesday calling for governments to do more to reduce violence against women and LGBTQI individuals. The report called [press release] gender-related killings a type of arbitrary execution. While roughly 5 percent of male homicide victims across the globe are killed by family members or intimate partners, this number increases to almost 50 percent for...
The US Supreme Court [official website] lifted the stay of execution [order, PDF] granted last week by the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit [official website] for Robert Melson late Tuesday. The brief order was issued by [AL report] Justice Clarence Thomas and noted that Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Stephen Breyer opposed the decision. Melson challenged the use of midazolam in the three-drug cocktail used in Alabama executions, arguing that it does not properly insensate...
Germany's Federal Constitutional Court [official website, in German] ruled [judgment, in German] on Wednesday that a tax on nuclear fuel was illegal. The tax, implemented in January 2011, charged [World Nuclear News report] nuclear power plants €145 per gram of fissile nuclear fuel loaded in a power plant. The court ruled that the tax did not fit within the types of excise duty allowed by the Basic Law. When the tax was initially enacted, in included a provision that allowed...

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