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 spokesperson for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [JURIST report] called [press release] on Libya Tuesday to ensure human rights abuses are not occurring in the current conflict in the oil crescent area of Eastern Libya. According to the UN, tensions have increased since the Libyan National Army (LNA) and the Benghazi Defence Brigade (BDB) clashed earlier this month. The fighting has led to accusations of targeting civilians, extrajudicial killings, torture and other crimes....
[JURIST] The European Court of Justice [official website] on Tuesday rejected [judgment] an argument by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam requesting that their activities be not classified as "terrorist acts." The arguments were proffered as support for four individuals who had their assets frozen due to the accusation that they were financing acts of terror by financing the Tamil Tigers. The court ruled that the freezing of assets was acceptable holding that the acts of the Tamil Tigers were...
[JURIST] The Supreme Prosecutors' Office of the Republic of Korea [official website] on Tuesday announced plans to question ousted president Park Geun-hye about her involvement in the corruption scandal that led to her removal as the nation's leader. While Park maintains her innocence, the prosecutors' office has indicated [Al Jazeera report] that they will make a final decision on whether they would question her on Wednesday. If a questioning is to take place, it is also unclear whether it will...
[JURIST] The European Court of Justice (ECJ) [official website] ruled [judgment; press release, PDF] on Tuesday that EU companies, under permitted conditions, may ban employees from displaying political or religious symbols, including Islamic headscarves. In a related case, the ECJ determined [judgment] that Belgium security company G4S [corporate website], which dismissed a Muslim receptionist for wearing a hijab, was not discriminatory and properly applied a broad dress code to maintain a politically and religiously neutral work environment. The ECJ stated...
[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein [official profile] called Tuesday for measures to release detainees in Syria in his address [text] to the UN Human Rights Council [official website]. The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic also released [press release] a report Tuesday finding that civilians are still suffering severe abuses from all parties to the Syrian conflict. The report is based on 326 interviews conducted from July 2016 to through...
The Colombian Senate [official website, in Spanish] Monday approved [press release, in Spanish] a transitional justice structure that will attempt to bring reparations to the more than 8 million victims of the decades-long conflict between the Colombia government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The new system will include a Transitional Justice Tribunal, a Truth Commission and a Missing Persons section, all aimed at punishing war crimes and gaining reparations for victims. The vote was 60-2 in the...
[JURIST] Seven convicted felons on Monday filed suit [complaint, PDF] alleging Florida's process of restoring voting rights to felons is unconstitutionally arbitrary. The complaint, filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Florida by the Fair Elections Legal Network [advocacy website] and the Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC [firmwebsite] on behalf of the seven plaintiffs, seeks to restore voting rights for ex-felons and eliminate the current process. Florida, Kentucky, Iowa and Virginia are the only states...
[JURIST] Taiwanese prosecutors indicted former president Ma Ying-jeou on Tuesday on charges of leaking classified information and state secrets. The Taipei District Public Prosecutor's Office [official website] indicted [BBC report] Ma after a six-month investigation and now alleges that Ma ordered the contents of wire-tapped phone calls between the parliamentary Speaker and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) [Facebook page] lawmaker Ker Chien-ming [official profile] be disclosed to other governmental officials. Ma claims that the contents of the phone call related to...
Five states joined a Washington suit [complaint, PDF] on Monday challenging the revised Trump administration executive order [text] restricting immigration from six majority Muslim nations. The states are seeking an injunction to stop the ban before it goes into effect on Thursday. In the complaint the states argue that the order "will cause severe and immediate harms to the States, including our residents, our colleges and universities, our healthcare providers, and our businesses." The new order shows differences from the...
[JURIST] Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif [official website] stated [Twitter post] on Tuesday that blasphemy is an "unpardonable offense" and ordered the state to remove such content from social media. In a Twitter post through the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz [official website; Twitter] account, Sharif directed Interior Minister Ch. Nisar Ali Khanthat [official website] to bring to justice all those who have posted blasphemous comments. Because the issue is before the Pakistan courts, he stated that all steps should be taken...
The UN expert on human rights in North Korea, Tomas Ojea Quintana [official profile] called [video] Monday for a inquiry by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website] into the death of the estranged brother of North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un [BBC profile]. Kim Jong-nam was assassinated last month in Kuala Lumpur. Quintana urged [press release] that the investigation be transparent, independent and impartial. In recent weeks there has been a growing trend of insinuation that the North Korean...
[JURIST] Florida Governor Rick Scott [official website] signed a new bill [SB 280, materials] on Monday declaring that the death penalty may only be imposed by a judge upon unanimous recommendation from the jury. Florida's executions have been on hold [Reuters report] since January 2016, when the US Supreme Court [official website] held [opinion, PDF] that the state's death penalty law violated the Sixth Amendment by allowing judges to override jury recommendations. In October the Florida Supreme Court [official website]...
The UK Parliament [official website] passed the Brexit bill [text] on Monday after the House of Commons [official website] voted [BBC report] 273 to 135 to overturn suggested amendments to the bill and sent the bill back to the House of Lords [official website]. In response to the vote overturning the Lords' suggested amendments, those opposed to the bill over EU residency rights backed down. The House of Lords then proceeded to vote [BBC report] not to challenge the House...
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] on Monday outlined [memorandum, PDF] its legal defense in support of President Donald Trump's revised executive order restricting travel and immigration. This came after Hawaii filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] in February arguing [WP report] that the revised order would cause serious business and constitutional concerns if implemented. The DOJ is arguing [ABA Journal report] that Hawaii is not entitled to a restraining order citing that Hawaii's claims are "mere speculation." Furthermore,...
[JURIST] Yanghee Lee [official profile], the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, called [press release] Monday for an international investigation into the crimes against humanity allegedly committed by the Myanmar government towards the Rohingya Muslim population. Lee said, "[t]he truth about whether all, or some, or any of these allegations are correct needs to be established. There is a need for a new set of investigations which are 'prompt, thorough, independent and impartial,' and this...
[JURIST] People who lack the capacity to consent are being detained without appropriate checks and balances, according to a report [text, PDF] released by the UK Law Commission [official website] Monday. According to the report, people with dementia and learning disabilities are not being given Article 5 [text, PDF] safeguards before being deprived of their rights to liberty and security. Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights [text, PDF] provides that a person may be deprived of liberty...
[JURIST] Gustavo Gallon [official profile], the independent expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti, called Monday for increased aid to victims of Hurricane Matthew. In his initial report [press release], Gallon recounted visiting High School Nord Alexis, a school where 525 affected families have sought refuge. Gallon said [UN News Centre report] that these families and others similarly situated required additional shelter and humanitarian aid. Gallon also commented on numerous other human rights issues in the country, including...
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra [official profile] announced [press release] Monday that his state would be joining Washington and Minnesota in their lawsuit [complaint, PDF] against President Donald Trump's revised executive order [JURIST report] banning citizens from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the US. In an announcement [press release] Monday, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said California is the latest state to join in opposition to the order, with Maryland, Massachusetts and New York also seeking permission to join the...
[JURIST] An Egyptian public prosecutor announced on Monday that former president Hosni Mubarak [BBC profile] will be released from detention in a military hospital. During a retrial this month, Mubarak, who was overthrown in 2011, was cleared [JURIST report] of conspiracy to murder protesters during the 2011 uprising, for which he had been sentenced to life in prison. Mubarak had also been convicted [Reuters report] of embezzlement, but the public prosecutor found that he had already served his sentence. According...
[JURIST] A three-judge panel of the US District Court for the Western District of Texas [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Friday that the boundaries of three voting districts violated the Voting Rights Act and the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution [texts]. The court held that the districts were intentionally drawn to either splitting Latino communities into different districts or concentrating minority communities into single areas to minimize the impact of their votes. The court concluded that in the...

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