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] International medical aid group Doctors Without Borders [advocacy website] on Tuesday condemned [report, PDF] the unsanitary detention conditions of migrants found in Greece without correct paperwork. The report expressed concern over detention facilities where migrants are kept in large numbers in cramped, unsanitary conditions without access to medical care or basic hygiene. "The consequences on these people's health are very serious," said Ioanna Kotsioni, an immigration official with Doctors Without Borders. The organization criticized Greece for causing "unnecessary suffering...
[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the District of Arizona [official website] refused Monday to block new abortion drug rules, allowing them to take effect Tuesday. Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) [advocacy websites] had initiated legal action [JURIST report] earlier in March against the Arizona Department of Health Services [official website] seeking to delay the implementation of the new rules, which restrict the distribution of the so-called "abortion bill" from nine weeks to...
[JURIST] Nepal has imposed increasingly harsh restrictions on Tibetan refugees under strong pressure from China, Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] claimed [press release] Tuesday. The statement cites a recent HRW report [text] detailing Nepali authorities' abuses of Tibetans who have come to the country fleeing persecution in China. The report claims that Nepal has blocked Tibetans trying to cross the border and regularly subjects refugee communities to "excessive use of force, arbitrary detention [and] ill-treatment in detention," among other...
[JURIST] A spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official profile; JURIST news archive] on Monday strongly condemned [press release] the violence against civilians and international forces working to aid the Central African Republic (CAR) [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. Reports estimate [AllAfrica report] that approximately 2.2 million citizens of CAR require humanitarian aid, with over 650,000 people internally displaced and over 290,000 seeking refuge in neighboring countries. However, international attempts to render humanitarian aid and stability by the African-led International...
[JURIST] The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] adjourned the trial of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta [ICC case materials] on Monday. Kenyatta was charged [summons, PDF] in March 2011 with five counts of crimes against humanity as an indirect co-perpetrator of the violence following Kenya's 2007 elections, which led to more than 1,100 deaths. The Trial Chamber stated [press release] that the purpose of the adjournment is to give the Kenyan government additional time to comply with prosecutors' requests for...
[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Monday granted certiorari [order list, PDF] in Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc. [docket] to determine how the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is to interpret claims in a patent appeal. Federal appeals courts traditionally review a district court's conclusion only to determine if their decision was "clearly erroneous." However, the Federal Circuit has a long-standing practice of reviewing patent appeals de novo by exercising its own independent...
[JURIST] Judge Myron Thompson of the US District Court for the Middle District of Alabama [official website] announced on Monday that he would hold a trial on Alabama's new law requiring abortion clinic to have approval to admit patients to nearby hospitals. The Women's Health and Safety Act [text], which was signed into law [JURIST report] last April, requires abortion clinics to meet unprecedented medical standards that supporters argue will protect women from unsanitary conditions. Last year Thompson delayed enforcement...
[JURIST] A Bahraini court on Monday sentenced 13 Bahrain citizens to life in prison and one man to 10 years in prison. The defendants, who range in age from 16 to 34, were convicted [Reuters report] of attempting to kill two police officers and participating in an illegal protest outside Bahrain's capital city in March 2012. Protests and other clashes have occurred in Bahrain since 2011, when Shi'ite Muslims began demanding more governmental influence in the Sunni-ruled constitutional monarchy of...
[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Monday denied review [order list, PDF] of two cases brought by Roman Catholic non-profit groups seeking an exemption from part of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) [materials; JURIST backgrounder] requiring employers to provide insurance coverage for contraception. Both cases, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington v. Sebelius and Priests for Life, v. Department of Health and Human Services [dockets], were seeking certiorari prior to decisions from the US Court of Appeals...
[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] heard oral arguments [transcript, PDF] on Monday in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International [SCOTUSblog backgrounder], which raises the issue of whether certain types of computer software are patent eligible under the Patent Act. Appearing on behalf of the government, US Solicitor General Donald Verrilli [official profile] argued that the software in question is too abstract to be patent eligible. Alternatively, the attorney for Alice Corp argued that the software constitutes system and...
[JURIST] Extremists and security forces are committing war crimes in northeastern Nigeria's Islamic uprising, resulting in at least 1,500 deaths this year alone, according to a report [text, PDF] published Friday by Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website]. This number equals the total death count [AP report] recorded between 2010 and June 2013, and the report estimated that approximately half of these deaths were civilians. The text details the conflict, elaborating on recent attacks and unlawful killings by the Boko Haram...
[JURIST] A court in Pakistan on Monday charged former president Pervez Musharraf [JURIST news archive] with high treason. If convicted, the former leader could face the death penalty. Musharraf pleaded not guilty [BBC report] to each of the charges against him, including unlawfully suspending the constitution, firing Pakistan's chief justice and instituting emergency rule in 2007. Musharraf called the charges politically motivated, maintained that the country had prospered [CNN report] under his 2001-2008 rule and insisting that his declaring a...
[JURIST] The International Court of Justice (ICJ) [official website] ruled [judgment, PDF] Monday that Japan cannot continue its annual whale hunt, finding that it is not being carried out for the scientific purposes the Japanese government had claimed. This 12-4 decision was the result of a suit brought against Japan by Australia, which hoped to end [AP report] the country's Antarctic whaling program. Australia argued that Japan is in violation of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling [text,...
[JURIST] An Egyptian court on Monday sentenced 33 supporters of deposed president Mohammed Morsi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] to six years in prison for protesting without government permission in December. The court also fined [AP report] each defendant 50,000 Egyptian pounds (approximately USD $7,100). The prison sentences are the latest in a series of crackdowns on Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood [JURIST news archive] supporters following the president's removal in a military coup last July. In addition to these sentences, another...
[JURIST] Israel's Tel Aviv District Court on Monday convicted former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert [official profile; JURIST news archive] of accepting bribes relating to the construction of a luxury apartment complex called the Holyland towers. As Jerusalem's mayor from 1993 to 2003, Olmert, along with other city officials, allegedly accepted nearly 560,000 shekels (USD $150,000) in bribes [NYT report] from developers to assure the approval of plans for Holyland, which dominates a Jerusalem hilltop and has attracted unrelenting criticism...
[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] reported Friday that significant progress as been made [press release] in national and international courts to bring to justice those responsible for the 1994 Rwandan genocide [BBC backgrounder]. The announcement was made in a briefing paper [text, PDF] published to mark the twentieth anniversary of the genocide. HRW also urged the Rwandan government and the international community to pursue efforts to prosecute, "in fair and credible trials," other perpetrators who are still at...
[JURIST] The Dutch public prosecutor announced on Friday that police have arrested a man suspected of war crimes during the 1990s Yugoslav wars [JURIST news archive] after a request for his extradition from Croatia. Milutin Graic, 41, was living in Roosendaal, near the Netherlands' border with Belgium. Graic is accused [Reuters report] of being a member of a militia that ethnically cleansed Croats by deporting them from the statelet of Serbian Krajina in the early 1990s. According to prosecutors, a...
[JURIST] Cuba's National Assembly [official website] approved a law on Saturday that provides tax breaks and other incentives to attract foreign investors to grow business in the communist economy of Cuba. The Assembly voted unanimously in a special session to approve the law, which becomes valid within the next 90 days. The new law [Reuters report] reduces the profits tax from 30 to 15 percent and exempts investors from paying that tax for eight years. Many of the incentives are...
[JURIST] The Giza Misdemeanour Court on Sunday sentenced Mohammed Morsi's former manpower minister Khaled al-Azhari [Washington Institute profile] to two years in prison for hiding a wanted Muslim Brotherhood [JURIST news archive] official. Al-Azhari served as deputy chairman of the parliamentary Manpower Committee in 2012, and he was named Minister of Manpower and Immigration in August of that year. In the trial, al-Azhari was sentenced alongside a fellow parliamentary member for harboring Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) [party website] Secretary...
[JURIST] West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin [official website] on Friday vetoed [statement] an abortion bill [text] that would have prohibited abortions later than 20 weeks after conception. The House passed the bill [AP report] by a vote of 85-15 with two delegates not participating. The bill passed the West Virginia Senate a few days earlier. West Virginia would have been the first Democrat-controlled state [WP report] to approve a 20-week ban on abortion. Tomblin noted in his statement that...

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