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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[JURIST] The French Court of Cassation [official website, in French] on Thursday blocked [decision, in French] plans to extradite three men to stand trial in Rwanda for alleged crimes committed during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide [UN backgrounder]. The court overturned a November decision [JURIST report] by the Court of Appeal of Paris to allow the extradition of Claude Muhayimana and Innocent Musabyimana. The court also rejected [decision, in French] an appeal of a September ruling blocking extradition of Laurent Serubuga,...
[JURIST] Cambodian officials on Wednesday said that the country has ended its ban on public demonstrations that was imposed last month after police opened fire on protesting textile workers. According to Interior Ministry [official website, in Khmer] spokesman Khieu Sopheak, those wishing to stage protests will still have to seek permission [AFP report] from local authorities despite the ban being lifted. In a statement on Tuesday, Prime Minister Hun Sen [NYT archive, JURIST news archive] warned [Phnom Penh Post report]...
[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] heard oral arguments [day call, PDF] Wednesday in two cases. In Octane Fitness v. Icon Health and Fitness [transcript, PDF], the court is considering whether the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit's [official website] promulgation of a rigid and exclusive two-part test for determining whether a case is "exceptional" under 35 USC § 285 [text] improperly appropriates a district court's discretionary authority to award attorney fees. Icon Health and Fitness sued...
[JURIST] The EU Parliament [official website] on Wednesday voted to approve [press release] an anti-tobacco law that requires cigarette makers to increase the size of health warnings on packets from 30 percent to 65 percent of the surface of the package. The law also regulates electronic cigarettes for the first time. Electronic cigarettes will have to comply with packaging and advertising rules, and makers of e-cigarettes will also have to notify EU member state governments prior to introducing new products....
[JURIST] Ukraine interim general prosecutor reported on Wednesday that an international arrest warrant has been requested for ousted president Viktor Yanukovich, implicating him in the "mass murder" of civilians during the recent Kiev protests. Oleg Makhnytsky reported [AFP report] that the former president was "the subject of an international arrest warrant." It is unknown at this time whether Ukrainian officials have additionally made a formal request to Interpol for Yanukovich's arrest. Meanwhile, the current interim government is expected to be...
[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official website] on Wednesday condemned [news release] attacks in Al Dhale Governorate by Yemeni armed forces, which are disproportionately affecting civilians. Pillay reported that since December, these attacks have killed more than 40 individuals, four of whom were children. Also of concern is the fact that buildings such as hospitals, clinics and schools have been shelled during some of these attacks. Although Yemeni forces have claimed that they have been attacked...
[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] unanimously on Wednesday in United States v. Apel [SCOTUSblog backgrounder] that 18 USC § 1382 [text], which prohibits a person from reentering a military installation after a commanding officer has ordered him not to reenter, may be enforced on a portion of an installation that is subject to a public roadway easement and that contains a designated protest area. A protester, John Apel, was barred from a military base in...
[JURIST] Arizona Governor Jan Brewer [official website] on Wednesday vetoed [veto letter, PDF] controversial Bill 1062 [materials], which would have permitted state business owners to refuse service to individuals for "religious reasons," and which has largely been denounced by critics as sanctioning discrimination against LGBT individuals. The bill was jointly written by the conservative Center for Arizona Policy and the Alliance Defending Freedom [advocacy websites], a Christian legal organization, and was approved [JURIST report] by Arizona state lawmakers last week....
[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Western District of Texas [official website] ruled [opinion] Wednesday that Article 1, Section 32 [text] of the Texas constitution, which defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman, violates the federal constitutional guarantee of equal protection and due process. The lawsuit includes two same-sex couples; one wishing to marry in the state of Texas and the other seeking to have Texas recognize their prior marriage, which took...
[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] 7-2 Wednesday in Chadbourne & Parke LLP v. Troice [SCOTUSblog backgrounder] that the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1998 (SLUSA) [text, PDF] does not bar the plaintiffs' state law class action suit. The lawsuit was brought by the victims of the multibillion dollar Ponzi scheme orchestrated by Allen Stanford [BBC profile; JURIST news archive]. In March 2012 the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [official website] overturned...
[JURIST] British police counter-terrorism forces announced on Tuesday the arrest of Moazzam Begg [Guardian backgrounder] in his hometown of Birmingham, England, along with three other individuals on suspicion of terrorism offenses related to the war in Syria [JURIST backgrounder]. Begg was a detainee at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST backgrounder], and he was one of the last detainees from the UK to be returned. British authorities have expressed concern [NYT report] about their citizens fighting in jihadist groups in Syria, and Begg...
[JURIST] Turkish President Abdullah Gul [BBC backgrounder] approved a law on Wednesday which increases government control over the appointment of judges and prosecutors in the country. The new law [Reuters report] grants the Ministry of Justice [official website] greater control over the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) [official website, in Turkish], an independent body responsible for appointing members of the judiciary. The bill was signed into law amidst rising controversy [Today's Zaman report] since the law was approved...
[JURIST] Apple [corporate website] filed a brief [text, PDF] Wednesday with the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [official website] asking the court to either overturn a ruling from last year that Apple violated anti-trust laws or grant a new trial in front of different judges. Apple argues that the case management order that brought the case together in the Southern District of New York only applied to pretrial activity. They suggest that the class action should be...
[JURIST] The trial of the first suspect to be transferred from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website] to the Rwandan national court system began Wednesday. The Tanzanian-based UN tribunal transferred [JURIST report] Jean Bosco Uwinkindi [ICTR indictment, PDF] in April 2012 to stand trial for his role in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide [UN backgrounder]. Uwinkindi, a former Pentecostal preacher is accused [DW report] of genocide and crimes against humanity having allegedly led a group of Hutu in...
[JURIST] A municipal court in Russia on Tuesday sentenced several prominent Russian opposition leaders, including Aleksei Navalny [personal website, in Russian; JURIST news archive], to jail sentences of up to 10 days for participating in a rally near the Kremlin on Monday. More than 400 protesters were detained [NYT report] Monday after demonstrators gathered on Manezh Square to protest prison sentences [JURIST report] given to eight individuals accused of attacking the police on Bolotnaya Square during a 2012 rally against...
[JURIST] US Attorney General Eric Holder [official website] announced [video; press release] Monday that he is urging Congress to create a "strong national standard" requiring businesses to immediately notify consumers and law enforcement agencies when significant consumer data breaches occur. This announcement comes in the wake of two massive data breaches at major retailers Target and Neiman Marcus late last year. Accusations [NPR report] that the companies reported their breaches with undue delay raised questions about how quickly businesses should...
[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] 6-3 Tuesday in Kaley v. United States [SCOTUSblog backgrounder] that a criminal defendant who has been indicted is not constitutionally entitled to contest a grand jury's finding of probable cause underlying a pre-trial seizure of assets. The US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled against [opinion] the availability of such hearings because "defendants are not entitled to try the entire case twice," before the trial and then again...
[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] heard oral arguments [day call, PDF] on Tuesday in Robers v. United States [transcript, PDF]. The case addresses the issue of whether a defendant who owes restitution for a fraudulently obtained loan returns a portion of the loan money by giving the lenders the collateral property that secures the money. Petitioner Benjamin Robers submitted fraudulent loan documents for two houses that materially misrepresented his income and ability to repay loans. Robers eventually defaulted...
[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] unanimously Tuesday in Walden v. Fiore [SCOTUSblog backgrounder] that when the conduct of the defendant, a Georgia police officer, occurred entirely in Georgia, the mere fact that his conduct affected plaintiffs with connections to Nevada does not authorize jurisdiction over him in Nevada. The decision overturns the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website], which concluded [opinion] that the Constitution permitted courts in Nevada to exercise jurisdiction...
[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] 6-3 Tuesday in Fernandez v. California [SCOTUSblog backgrounder] that police may search a home without a warrant over the objection of one occupant if that occupant has been removed from the premises. The Court of Appeals of California concluded [opinion] that Supreme Court precedent established in 2006 in Georgia v. Randolph [opinion; JURIST report] "does not require exclusion of the evidence obtained in the warrantless search of defendant's home." In...

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