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] A group of 130 African organizations on Monday published a letter [text] urging [press release] African members of the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website; JURIST backgrounder] to declare their support for the court at the upcoming African Union (AU) [official website] summit. Amid accusations that the ICC has unevenly targeted Africa, there have been recent rumors that some African members are considering withdrawal from the Rome Statute [text, PDF; JURIST backgrounder]. The letter points out that "while the...
[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] heard oral arguments [day call, PDF] in two cases Monday. In Madigan v. Levin [transcript, PDF; JURIST report] the court was asked to decide whether age discrimination claimants can circumvent the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) [materials] and bring claims directly under the Equal Protection clause [Cornell LII backgrounder] and 42 USC § 1983 [text]. The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, contrary to the holding of four other circuit...
[JURIST] Japan's Kyoto District Court on Monday ordered a group of activists to pay 12 million yen (USD $120,000) to a Korean elementary school for holding anti-Korean demonstrations that disrupted classes and frightened children. The rallies took place between December 2009 and March 2010 and were attended primarily by members of the ultranationalist Zaitokukai [advocacy website, in Japanese; NYT backgrounder] group, which protests ethnic and racial diversity. The judge held that the protests were illegal as racial discrimination under the...
[JURIST] Four Saudi Arabian women became the first female lawyers to receive legal licenses Sunday, permitting the women to practice law for five years. Women with law degrees had been able to work as legal consultants but were banned from practicing law in courtrooms or operating law firms. Female lawyers were not allowed to practice before the Saudi judiciary, which is composed solely of male religious clerics. Under the new policy [SMH report], both women and men seeking a legal...
[JURIST] Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] filed a lawsuit Monday appealing a court verdict [JURIST report] ordering the interim government to seize the group's assets. The decision by the Cairo Court for Urgent Matters handed down September 23 declared that its ruling would apply [Bloomberg report] to all organizations affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, including its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party [party website]. The appeal also challenges [Ahram report] the court's establishment of a panel...
[JURIST] The investigation into allegations that former French president Nicolas Sarkozy [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] exploited L'Oreal [corporate website] heiress Liliane Bettencourt [Forbes profile] into donating illicit election campaign funds has been dropped, according to Monday reports. Bettencourt's accountant had stated [BBC report] she had passed €150,000 to Sarkozy's UMP [party website, in French] party in the run-up to Sarkozy's 2007 presidential election victory. Under French law Individual campaign contributions are limited to €4,600 annually. The Court of Appeals...
[JURIST] The Nigerian Socio-Economic and Rights Accountability Project [advocacy website] announced Sunday that it has filed a petition with the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] urging it to investigate school attacks resulting in the deaths of teachers and students in northeast Nigeria as crimes against humanity. The petition came a week after Boko Haram [BBC backgrounder] allegedly attacked an agricultural college [AP report], killing 43 students while they slept and setting fire to classrooms. President Goodluck Jonathan [BBC profile]...
[JURIST] A Greek court on Monday found former defense minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos [NYT backgrounder] guilty of money laundering. The court also rendered guilty verdicts [AP report] against 16 of Tsochatzopoulos's co-defendants, including his wife, ex-wife and daughter. The charges against Tsochatzopoulos stem from his issuance of defense contracts in exchange for bribes [BBC report] during his tenure as defense minister from 1996 to 2001. Tsochatzopoulos has been serving prison time for nearly a year-and-a-half for falsifying his income taxes. The...
[JURIST] Voters in Ireland on Saturday rejected a constitutional amendment that would have abolished the country's Senate [official website], dealing a defeat to Prime Minister Enda Kenny [official website]. Kenny had personally campaigned for the amendment [AP report], saying that the Senate was toothless, undemocratic and unnecessary in light of recent budget woes. Irish voters defeated the referendum [Irish Times report] by a margin of 51.8 percent to 48.2 percent. After the referendum was defeated, several Irish politicians, including Senator...
[JURIST] A team of disarmament experts from the UN and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) [official website] on Sunday began overseeing the destruction [AFP report] by the Syrian government, and will verify that the process is correctly handled. The disarmament team will destroy the chemical weapons arsenal, its storage sites and the facilities which manufacture them in compliance with UN Security Council [official website] Resolution 2118 [PDF], which adopts and orders the Syrian government to comply...
[JURIST] California Governor Jerry Brown [official website] signed into law a collection of legislation centered on immigration [press release] on Saturday. AB 4, 35 and 1159 [materials] create limitations, restrictions, and obligations for those involved in immigration services and compliance intended to limit detention of undocumented immigrants and increase accessibility to applications for citizenship. AB 1024 allows applicants who are undocumented immigrants to be admitted to the California Bar as attorneys at law. SB 141 and 150 [materials] exempts undocumented...
[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] on Sunday alleged that the Algerian government has violated international and domestic law by impinging upon independent trade unions' rights to freely associate and collectively bargain. Algerian lawmakers adopted Law 90-14 in 1990, pursuant to which workers could establish independent unions after decades of restriction. The law requires new unions to send a declaration to the government announcing their establishment. The government is then required to deliver a notice of receipt 30 days...
[JURIST] US military special forces on Saturday captured Abu Anas al Libi, a suspected high-ranking operative of al Qaeda [JURIST news archive], during a raid conducted in Tripoli, Libya. US authorities allege [press release] that al Libi played a significant role in planning and executing the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which left more than 200 dead and 1000 injured. Al Libi is also suspected of working with al Qaeda to plot attacks on US forces...
[JURIST] On Friday, Judge Royce Lamberth for the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] ordered the release of Guantanamo Bay [JURIST backgrounder] prisoner Ibrahim Idris [DOD backgrounder], who suffers from a severe mental illness. Idris, originally from Sudan, was sent to Guantanamo more than 11 years ago after being captured with other Al Qaeda fighters trying to cross the Afghan border. Within weeks of his arrival, Idris was diagnosed with Disorganized Type Schizophrenia [USNLM backgrounder]. Since...
[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,...

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