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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A front-runner for the 2018 Mexican Presidential election, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador [profile, in Spanish], filed a complaint [press release, in Spanish] Wednesday with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights [official website] against US President Donald Trump's proposed border security wall. Lopez Obrador announced [press release, in Spanish] his intentions to file on Monday. The complaint alleges human rights abuses by the US government. In his press release, Lopez Obrador classifies the rhetoric of the US president and his proposed...
The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit [official website] on Wednesday granted a temporary restraining order to an Afghan man trying to enter the US on a Special Immigration Visa, which are granted to those who have assisted the US military in Afghanistan. Earlier in the week, Judge Linares [official website] of the US District Court for the District of New Jersey had ruled to allow the deportation [order, PDF], saying that the Afghan man "voluntarily withdrew his...
The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] on Wednesday denied an en banc rehearing [order, PDF] regarding US President Donald Trump's [official website] original immigration order. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] had previously withdrawn its appeal [JURIST report] regarding Trump's original immigration order [case materials], which was filed after the Ninth Circuit denied a request to stay the proceedings [JURIST reports]. A judge on the Ninth Circuit called for a vote to hear...
Thousands of people in Belarus [official website] on Wednesday gathered to protest [AP report] a labor law that fines people if they do not work enough days during the year. President Alexander Lukashenko [official website] enacted Ordinance No. 3 [materials] in April 2015, and it has been attacked since its proposal as a forced-labor law [FPIF report] and a reenactment of Soviet principles [Guardian report] against "social parasites." The law requires people who live in the country for more than...
[JURIST] UK House of Commons [official website] speaker John Bercow [official website] announced [video] Thursday that the EU withdrawal bill [materials] has received royal assent [backgrounder] and become law. UK Prime Minister Theresa May [official website] is now empowered to begin the Brexit process under Article 50 [text, PDF] of the EU's key treaty. Article 50 explains that the UK will cease to be a member of the bloc two years after the prime minister notifies the Union. The prime...
The UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia [official website] released a report [text, PDF] on Wednesday that accuses Israel of establishing "an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole." Apartheid is an international crime through the International Convention of the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (1973) [text, PDF]. The commission claims the apartheid is being committed through Israel's methods of administration that control Palestinian populations. This includes different policies for Palestinians within...
[JURIST] The Texas Senate [official website] on Tuesday approved the Texas Privacy Act [SB 6], which would require people to use the bathroom that corresponds to the gender listed on their birth certificate. Passed by a 21-10 vote along party lines, the bill would override city ordinances and other practices that permit people to use restrooms corresponding to their gender identities in public schools, universities and government facilities. Upon the bill's passage, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick [official profile] stated [press...
The UN Independent Expert on Minority Issues Rita Izsák-Ndiaye [official profile] called [press release] release for action to preserve the progress made in the protection of minority rights. Speaking in her final address before the Human Rights Council [official website], Izsák-Ndiaye stated that the world needs "unequivocal political will" as well as "strengthened legislative and institutional frameworks" in order to maintain unity in diversity. Izsák-Ndiaye specifically drew attention to efforts needed to integrate migrants into the social fabric of a...
[JURIST] Two federal judges—one in Maryland on Thursday and another in Hawaii [official websites] on Wednesday—issued temporary restraining orders [Hawaii order, PDF] on President Donald Trump's new 90-day travel ban [JURIST report]. Finding that the state had established a strong likelihood of success on the merits, Hawaii District Judge Derrick Watson issued an opinion permitting continued travel from six predominantly Muslim countries listed on Trump's order. Trump responded to the order, calling it "the bad, sad news," and "an unprecedented...
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] announced the indictments [press release] of four Russian individuals in connection with hacking e-mail accounts on Wednesday. The DOJ indicted two members of the Russian intelligence agency FSB as well as two conspirators who allegedly performed the hacks. The four indicted individuals are FSB officers Dmitry Dokuchaev and Igor Sushchin, as well as hired hackers Alexsey Blean and Karim Baratov. The indictment includes charges of hacking, wire fraud, trade secret theft and...
The Lublin District Court on Tuesday accepted the prosecutor's request for arrest [press release] from the Institute of National Remembrance [official website] for Michael Karkoc, a US citizen who is suspected of commanding a German-led Ukrainian military unit during the second World War to massacre the rural residents of Chłaniów, Kolonia Chłaniów and Kolonia Władysławin. The prosecutor requested the arrest and the Lublin District Court ordered provisional detention for a period of three months from the date of the arrest....
The escalation of hostilities in Eastern Ukraine between January and February has had a devastating impact on the lives of civilians, according to a UN report [text, PDF] released Wednesday. The unrest has reportedly caused several deaths and numerous injuries, deprived tens of thousands of basic needs, and caused damage to homes. Military presence continues to escalate the situation [press release] as citizens are locked in-between checkpoints and cut off from basic human needs, health rights, education, and stores. The...
Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] called Wednesday for an independent investigation [HRW report] into the violent deaths of more than 155 people, including children, that occurred in the Kasese region of Uganda in November. The killings were reportedly committed by Ugandan military and police against people loyal to a tribal king known as Omusinga. The government has also arrested and charged 180 people, including the tribal king, for murder, treason and terrorism. None of those who were arrested is...
The Arizona Supreme Court [official website] on Tuesday unanimously rejected a challenge to a voter approved minimum wage law. The court had agreed to consider the constitutionality of Proposition 206 [text, PDF] last month. The institution of this law raises minimum wage from $8.05 to $10 an hour. By 2020, the minimum wage will increase to $12 an hour as a voter-approved law. This law also requires employers to provide at least three days of paid leave for their workers...
A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] on Tuesday denied [order, PDF] a request by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe [official website] for an emergency injunction to stop oil from flowing through the part of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) that runs under Lake Oahe. Judge James Boasberg denied the request because of the tribe's "lack of likelihood of success on the merits." In his order, Boasberg also echoed his previous opinion [text,...
French presidential candidate and former prime minister François Fillon [official website, in French] was charged on Tuesday with misuse of public funds after being questioned about whether his relatives, who were on the public payroll as parliamentary aides, actually performed real work. Prosecutors say he was also charged [Bloomberg report] with complicity in the misusing company assets and failure to comply with transparency rules. Fillon denies any wrongdoing and has stated that he believes his opponents are attempting to destroy...
Brazil's top prosecutor has asked the country's Supreme Court to open 83 more investigations into politicians in connection to the Petrobras scandal [JURIST news archive]. The list of names has sent to the court not been released [BBC report]. However, anonymous reports made to Brazilian media claim that the list includes [AFP report], among others, at least five members of President Michel Temer's cabinet, as well as his predecessors, Dilma Rousseff and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Under law, Brazilian...
The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] rejected [opinion, PDF] a lawsuit by members of a California Native American tribe over land access on Tuesday. The court ruled that the federal Indian Civil Rights Act (ICRA) [text] does not give US courts jurisdiction in this circumstance. Members of the United Auburn Indian Community were excluded [AP report] from tribal lands by the tribe's Council. The members argued that such exclusion amounted to detention under the Indian...
The Chair of the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan [official website] said [text] Tuesday that there is a need to establish courts and bring prosecutions against those who have committed rights abuses. Yasmin Sooka stated [press release] that action must be taken or the international community would be "complicit in the bloodshed that is happening." The panel commissioned by the UN reported that the situation in South Sudan has deteriorated to the point where "unlawful arrests and...
Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] on Tuesday commended [press release] the government of Jordan for taking an important step to reform the country's justice system and urged swift implementation of the proposals. The reforms come from 49 suggestions [press release] made by the Royal Committee for Developing the Judiciary and Enhancing the Rule of Law to improve the judicial system [Jordan Times report]. Some of the proposed reforms include limiting pretrial detention, creating a right to a lawyer, establishing...

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