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] Judge Neil Gorsuch [SCOTUSblog profile] was sworn in [press release] Monday, becoming the 113th person to serve on the US Supreme Court [official website]. Gorsuch's confirmation will return the court to a balance of four conservatives, four liberals and Justice Anthony Kennedy as the swing vote. In accepting the post, Gorsuch stated [ABC report], "To my new colleagues and the staff of the Supreme Court, thank you for the very warm welcome. I look forward to many happy years...
[JURIST] A Pakistani military court on Monday sentenced Kulbushan Jadhav [The Hindu backgrounder], an Indian naval officer who was detained in Pakistan for the past year, to death. The court handed down [Times of India report] the death sentence after finding Jadhav guilty of espionage and sabotage. The sentence was subsequently approved by Pakistan's army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa [official profile]. The Indian government has responded by saying that the execution of Jadhav would amount to the "premeditated murder"...
[JURIST] The anti-corruption group Global Witness (GW) [advocacy website] said [press release] Monday that recently leaked emails reveal that Shell [corporate website] knowingly briber Nigerian officials so the company could access a Nigerian offshore oilfield. GW alleges Shell and its Italian business parter Eni paid $1.1 billion to the Nigerian government, knowing that the money would go to former oil Minister Dan Etete for personal use instead of to the Nigerian people. Etete was previously convicted of money laundering. The...
[JURIST] Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi [BBC profile] announced a national state of emergency following two terror attacks on Coptic Christian churches on Sunday. The attacks killed at least 44 people [NPR report] and injured 100 others after suicide bombers in two different cities tried to enter the churches while services were underway. The Islamic State [BBC backgrounder] claimed responsibility for both attacks. In a televised address, President el-Sisi announced [BBC report] his intention to declare a state of emergency for...
[JURIST] Numerous African and international nongovernmental organizations urged [HRW report] Zambia to reaffirm its membership in the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] on Monday. The calls come in response to the African Union's (AU) [official website] decision to adopt an "ICC withdrawal strategy" [JURIST report] back in February. Zambia, as a member of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) [official website], was a vocal party during the weeks of negotiations which lead to the Rome Statute [text, PDF] and...
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions [official profile] will not renew the National Commission on Forensic Science (NCFS) [official website], according to a statement [press release] released Monday. The NCFS is a 30-member group of scientists, academics, law enforcement officials, prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges originally commissioned [press release] in 2013 by the Department of Justice (DOJ) during President Obama's administration. The commission is set to expire April 23, and continued efforts to "advance forensic science and combat violent crime" will...
Eugene Owusu [profile], the top United Nations humanitarian official in South Sudan, called on the government and opposition [report, PDF] of South Sudan on Saturday, to ensure the protection of civilians and aid workers in the country. The plea comes after a week that saw both armed opposition forces and state security officials detain and beat up aid workers. Reports also suggested the government forces had attacked a town, killing several dozen people, forcing more than 6,000 people to flee...
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley [profile] told CNN in an interview set to air Sunday that removing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad [Al Jazeera profile] from power in Syria is one of the top priorities of Donald Trump's administration. Haley said that it was hard to see a peaceful and stable Syria with Assad as president [CNN report], based on his action and the current situation in Syria. The sentiment was supported by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson,...
The Venezuelan government announced on Saturday that opposition leader Henrique Capriles [Twitter profile] has been banned from holding office for 15 years by the Venezuelan state comptroller. The ban, which was imposed [VOA report] for alleged "administrative irregularities" during his time as the governor of Miranda and misuse of donations from the British and Polish embassies, would bar Capriles from opposing current President Nicolas Maduro [Twitter profile] in the upcoming presidential election. In addition to the alleged misconduct during his...
Following the United States' missile launch in Syria earlier this week in response to a chemical weapons attack, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres [official website] on Friday called for restraint [statement] in handling the situation in Syria. Calling the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons "abhorrent," Guterres emphasized the need for accountability but said any resolution must be done within existing international law [UN News report] so as to avoid "deepen[ing] the suffering of the Syrian people." This statement...
The US Department of Labor (DOL) [official website] on Friday accused [Guardian report] Google [corporate website] of engaging in compensation discrimination against female employees. As part of an ongoing investigation, DOL Regional Director Janette Wipper stated, "we found systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce." Google denied the allegation, and the investigation will continue. These allegations came during a hearing in an ongoing lawsuit [press release] filed [complaint, PDF] by the DOL against Google in January...
The Nebraska Supreme Court [official website] on Friday upheld [opinion, PDF download] a lower court decision overruling the state of Nebraska's long-time ban on same sex partner foster parenting. In doing so, the court compared the ban to signs reading "'whites only' on the hiring office door." The 1995 ban was first challenged in this case in 2013, brought by three same-sex couples along with several interest groups. The trial court had ruled [opinion, PDF] in favor of the parents,...
A Tunisian Court [official website] sentenced British DJ Dax J [professional profile] to a year in prison on Thursday for public indecency and offending public morality after the artist played [guardian report] a remix of the Muslim call to prayer in a nightclub. The nightclub was subsequently shut down and charges were filed against the club's owner and the organizer of the event where Dax J was playing - these charges were subsequently dropped and the prosecution appealed the dropped...
The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) [official website] has expressed alarm at the deteriorating condition of South Sudan's security [official report] in light of the recent attacks carried out in the the town of Pajok. UNHCR said that homes have been looted by roving militia and the elderly and disabled who could not flee from the conflict were shot dead as ongoing fighting is also reported in the districts of Magwi and Oboo, which are close to the Ugandan border....
US Speaker of the House Paul Ryan on Friday called for President Donald Trump [official website] to consult Congress on potential further action following a military strike [WH press release] on Syria. While Ryan says [The Hill report] that it was within the President's to authorize the launch, he further stated that now is the appropriate time "for the administration to consult with Congress as it considers next steps to resolve the long-running crisis in Syria." Article I, Section 8...
Neil M. Gorsuch has been confirmed in a 54-45 vote [materials] by the Senate as the 113th justice of the US Supreme Court. Gorsuch was a judge [official profile] on the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit [government website] in Colorado before becoming President Donald Trump's nominee [JURIST report] to fill the seat left vacant following the death of Antonin Scalia. Gorsuch will be sworn in [press release] at a private ceremony in the Justice's Conference Room of the...
Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court [official website] in The Hague, Netherlands called on judges to hold South Africa accountable for failing to arrest Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir [government website] when he visited the country in 2015. Two arrest warrants [text, PDF; second warrant, PDF] have been issued for Al-Bashir involving numerous charges [materials] including "crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of genocide." Dire Tladi, a law professor and legal representative for South Africa, said [article, PDF] that...
Members of the Ohio Legislature [official website] on Thursday introduced Senate Bill 128 [text, PDF] which would give nuclear power plants in the state credits they could sell because they don't create air pollution. The program is set to last eight periods, that are each two years long. In order to qualify for the credits, it must be shown that if the plant closed, fine particulate levels, carbon dioxide emissions, and carbon monoxide levels would be negatively impacted. The bill...
[JURIST] The US Department of Justice [official website] said in a press release [official press release] on Thursday that it paid victims over $800 million from the U.S. Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund [official website]. The money has compensated the survivors and families of victims of the Iranian hostage crisis, the Kenyan bombings, the attack on the U.S.S. Cole, and other international terrorist events. Those compensated number in the thousands. Congress established the fund last May with the money...
[JURIST] TaiwaneseKing Maha Vajiralongkorn [BBC profile] signed a military-backed constitution [PDF, in Taiwanese] into law on Thursday. The new constitution installs an electoral system for selecting the 500 members of Thailand's parliament. In this system, the Thai people will vote for one of 350 candidates. Those votes are than added together to determine which political parties will gain the remaining 150 seats. The system was adopted in the hopes that it would increase the number of seats held by medium-size...

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