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] US President Barack Obama [official website] on Friday signed into law a bill [H.R. 3233 text] that grants special immigration status to Iraqis who have aided US forces. The original bill allowing Iraqis to apply for this status expired last week, but passage of H.R. 3233 extends the time of application to the first three months of fiscal year 2014. It allows for 2,000 more Iraqis to be approved for the status in addition to all applicants who were...
[JURIST] The Netherlands filed a complaint against Russia on Friday in the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea [official website] alleging that the country has unlawfully detained Greenpeace [advocacy website] activists it apprehended from a Dutch-registered ship. Specifically, the Netherlands have challenged [Al Jazeera report] the manner in which the ship was apprehended and asked for the release of all of the 30 activists who were detained. Protesters gathered [Reuters report] in Russia on Saturday following the Netherlands'...
[JURIST] Provincial police in eastern Afghanistan reported that at least five civilians were killed Friday night in a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) [official website] airstrike near Jalalabad. NATO spokesman Lt. Col. William Griffin confirmed [AFP report] that Afghan and Coalition forces carried out a precision strike in Behsud district of Nangarhar province, but stated that it was a response to an attack by insurgents and that NATO's initial reports showed no civilian casualties. Afghan officials reported that the civilians...
[JURIST] A UN independent rights expert on Thursday expressed "deep concern" about the Sudanese government's detention of citizens [press release] and heavy media censorship. According to reports, at least 800 activists were arrested during a demonstration concerning the fuel subsidy cuts, which almost doubled the price [Guardian report] of gasoline in Sudan. The Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Sudan, Mashood Adebayo Baderin, reported that, "Civilians have a right to assembly and peaceful demonstrations under international...
[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the District of Arizona [official website] on Thursday dismissed [order, PDF] a lawsuit challenging an Arizona law [HB 2443, PDF] punishing doctors for knowingly performing abortions based on the race or sex of the fetus. Plaintiffs contended that their constituents have not been seeking the abortions they desire based on this law, which they claim targets people based on race. Judge David Campbell granted Arizona's motion to dismiss for lack of...
[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] called on Libya Friday to suspend the death sentences [press release] of Ahmed Ibrahim [JURIST report] and Walid Dabnoon, who were convicted of crimes related to the country's uprising [JURIST backgrounder] in June 2011. HRW contends that Ibrahim, a former official in the government of deposed president Muammar Gaddafi, and Dabnoon, a volunteer for pro-Gaddafi fighting forces during the clash with protesters, were denied the full benefits of due process during their trials,...
[JURIST] An Italian Senate [official website] panel on Friday voted in favor of expelling former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] from his seat in parliament. Berlusconi, who was was convicted [JURIST report] of tax fraud in 2012, chose not to appear to defend himself before the panel. The vote, which serves only as a recommendation to the Senate at large, was made by a cross-party committee of 23 Senators comprised heavily of Berlusconi's political opponents. The...
[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [official website] reversed [opinion, PDF] a lower court ruling on Thursday, upholding five provisions of the modified Texas Election Code Section 13 [official website] covering volunteer deputy registrars (VDR's). Voting for America and Project Vote [advocacy website] were two of the four appellees that originally filed the lawsuit against Texas Secretary of State John Steen. According to the Texas Secretary of State [official website], a VDR is entrusted with officially...
[JURIST] California Governor Jerry Brown [official website] signed a bill [text] Thursday allowing immigrants who are in the country illegally to obtain driver's licenses in California. The physical licenses will carry a distinction [press release] stating the license may be used for driving but not as federal identification. Brown predicted California's endorsement of driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants will encourage [AP report] other states to enact similar measures. Most states prohibit such immigrants from obtaining driver's licenses, but a growing...
[JURIST] The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] on Thursday ordered [judgment] Russia to compensate former chess master turned political activist, Garry Kasparov [personal website, in Russian; JURIST news archive], for his unjustified arrest following a planned anti-government demonstration in Moscow in April 2007. According to an ECHR press release [text, PDF], the court found that the detention of Kasparov and eight fellow demonstrators violated two articles of the European Convention on Human Rights [text, PDF] providing for...
[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website] on Thursday struck down [opinion, PDF] a state law that criminalizes retailers for imposing surcharges on customers who pay by credit card. Under Section 518 [text], a retailer may give a "discount" to customers paying with cash but cannot tell customers that a surcharge will be added to credit card purchases. The court held that this "virtually incomprehensible distinction between what a vendor...
[JURIST] The Spanish Provincial Court of Malaga convicted 53 people on Friday for money laundering, bribery and fraud, while 42 people were acquitted. The convicted [Diario ABC report, in Spanish] include town hall officials, lawyers and business representatives conducting business in the resort town Marbella. Former urban planning adviser Juan Antonio Roca received the harshest sentence of 11 years and a fine of €240 million (USD $320 million) for his alleged involvement in masterminding the widespread real estate and fraud...
[JURIST] The US Department of Justice [official website] filed papers Wednesday dropping opposition to the release of Guantanamo Bay [JURIST backgrounder] prisoner Ibrahim Idris [DOD backgrounder]. The DOJ will not object to a judge issuing a release for Idris who has severe mental and physical illnesses and whose lawyers argue is not fit [JURIST report] to remain in Guantanamo. Idris served as both a fighter and doctor for al Qaeda in Afghanistan, and has been held for over 11 years....
[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit [official website] on Thursday held [opinion, PDF] that the International Trade Commission (ITC) [official website] erred in finding that Motorola Mobility, a branch of Google did not infringe a Microsoft [corporate websites] graphical interface patent. Microsoft originally filed a complaint in 2010 with the ITC against Motorola. Microsoft alleged that Motorola had violated section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, 19 USC § 1337 [text], by importing mobile phones...
[JURIST] Amnesty International [advocacy website] released a report [text, PDF] on Wednesday accusing Turkish authorities of committing human rights violations during the government's attempt to quell protests in Gezi Park in Istanbul this summer. According to the advocacy group, the authorities repeatedly showed total intolerance for any form of protest, however passive. Witness testimony and photographic evidence provide documentation of protestor beatings and sexual assault at the hands of police, as well as the misuse of chemical irritants, such as...
[JURIST] The UK spy agency GCHQ [official website] is facing a legal challenge [press release] in the European Human Rights Court (ECHR) [official websites] to its online surveillance programs. Claims [text, PDF] filed in the ECHR on Thursday allege that the massive programs, which are able to read the content of e-mails and social media messages, have breached the privacy of tens of millions of people [Guardian report] across the UK and Europe. The claims stem from revelations by Edward...
[JURIST] The government of Pakistan [official website] decided on Thursday not to reinstate the death penalty. There had been a moratorium on the death penalty since 2008, but the ban ended on June 30. More than 8,000 prisoners are on death row, and two militants were scheduled to be executed [Reuters report] in August. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif [BBC profile] had planned to reinstate the death penalty [Death Penalty Worldwide backgrounder] in an attempt to crack down on militants and...
[JURIST] California Governor Jerry Brown [official website] on Tuesday signed into law a bill [text] that prohibits state employees and agencies, as well as law enforcement and the California National Guard, from providing support for the indefinite detention of a person within California. Specifically, the law states that those individuals or bodies shall not participate in any investigation or detainment authorized by either the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA) [text, PDF] or Authorization for Use of Military Force...
[JURIST] Malaysia's proposed amendments to the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 [text, PDF], which would reinstate detention without trial for certain individuals with criminal histories, are a "huge step backwards," Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] said [press release] Wednesday. HRW said that the amendments would allow detention for up to two years without trial if authorities find that the person has committed at least two serious offenses, regardless of whether he or she was actually ever convicted, so long...
[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Thursday began a campaign [advocacy websites] for the tens of thousands of political activists that they claim are being detained in Syria for their peaceful activity. "Lost in Syria's Black Hole" tells the story of Syrian individuals who have been detained since the start of the Syrian Civil War [JURIST backgrounder] in 2011. Each individual has reportedly either been detained for exercising a right [news release] to free expression and peaceful assembly, or for...

Pages