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] Cambodia's National Assembly [official website, in Cambodian] on Monday passed a bill [official press release, in Cambodian] which prohibits political parties from being affiliated with convicted criminals. Commentators believe [WP report] the law is aimed at weakening the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) [party website]. The party's former leader, Sam Rainsy, recently resigned [BBC report] from the party after he was sentenced to two years in prison on defamation charges. As a result of the new law, Rainsy...
Two UN rights experts said Monday that Israel should reconsider the charges it is pursuing against Issa Armo, a Palestinian human rights defender. The Special Rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories, Michael Lynk, and the Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders, Michel Forst, made a joint statement in favor of Israel dropping charges [Protecting Defenders report] against Armo, stating: "on the information available to us, many of the charges against Mr. Amro appear to be directed squarely at his lawful...
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] on Monday against President Donald Trump's election commission for lack of accountability in violation of federal law. The Federal Advisory Committee Act [text, PDF] was created to ensure that all advisory committees were accountable to the public regarding procedure and operation. The ACLU's complaint accuses the administration of violating provisions of the Act in place to ensure that commissions are transparent to the public. Specifically, the complaint...
London's High Court of Justice [official website] ruled [judgment, PDF] Monday that the UK can continue to export arms to Saudi Arabia. The Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) [advocacy website] brought the suit on the grounds [AFP report] that the weapons have been used to violate International Humanitarian rights laws. For the last two years, Saudi Arabia has been waging attacks on Yemen causing the deaths of over ten thousand civilians. Several advocacy groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights...
The Permanent Court of Arbitration [official website] has published a decision [order, PDF] that Philip Morris must pay substantial legal fees to the Australian government for a failed suit the tobacco company brought concerning cigarette packaging laws. In 2011 Australia, the UK and other countries replaced [Guardian report] logos and distinctive coloring on cigarette packages with graphic health warnings. After a six-year legal battle fighting the new packaging regulations, Philip Morris lost its claim for damages. Philip Morris argued that...
[JURIST] Venezuelan political prisoner Leopoldo López [BBC profile] was released from a military prison Saturday on house arrest after the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice ordered his release [Twitter page, in Spanish] due to health concerns. López has been detained by the government since early 2014 on a 13-year sentence after being charged with inciting anti-government protests. Venezuela has been facing anti-government protests for 100 days [AP report], and the release of López has raised hopes for...
A judge for the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan [official website] on Thursday extended his ruling [order, PDF] that Iraqi nationals with orders to leave the US cannot be deported for another two weeks. The order temporarily blocks the deportation of more than 1,400 Iraqi nationals until July 24. The American Civil Liberties Union, representing the Iraqi nationals, cited [CNN report] "fears of persecution, torture or even death upon return to their country." The US attorney...
[JURIST] A wounded officer in a Baton Rouge shooting [TIME report] last year filed a lawsuit [complaint] in the US District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana [official website] Friday alleging that Black Lives Matter [advocacy website] and five of its leaders were responsible for inciting violence that led to the attack. The complaint lists a long timeline of events across the country connected to the Black Lives Matter movement and alleges damages greater than $75,000. According to the...
The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] on Friday dismissed [order, PDF] Hawaii's appeal to challenge the rules of the Trump administration's travel ban. The three-judge panel decided that the court did not have jurisdiction, clarifying that the question should be posed to the US Supreme Court. Hawaii was lodging an attempt to allow grandparents and certain other relatives to be classified as having a "bona fide" relationship, allowing them to come into the US. It...
The Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale [official profiles] issued a joint statement [text] on Friday apologizing to former Guantánamo detainee Omar Khadr for violating his rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Charter) [text]. Freeland and Goodale's statement read:Today, we are announcing that the Government of Canada has reached a settlement with Mr. Omar Khadr, bringing this civil case to a close. On behalf of the...
UN member states voted 122-1 Friday to adopt [UN News Centre report] the first ever multilateral legally binding treaty on nuclear disarmaments. The one vote against the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons [text, WORD] came from the Netherlands, while Singapore was absent at the conference. Among other things, the treaty prohibits 1) the developing, testing, production, manufacture, acquisition, possession, stockpiling, or transfer or receipt of nuclear weapons; 2) the use or threat to use nuclear...
The US Supreme Court [official website] issued an order [text, PDF] Friday allowing enforcement of Wisconsin's fetal protection law. The law gives courts jurisdiction over an "unborn child" and "expectant mother" when the mother "habitually lacks self-control" in the use of alcohol and drugs "to a severe degree," creating a substantial risk to the health of the child. The district court ruling [text, PDF] had found that the law was overly vague and issued an injunction. The Supreme Court will...
The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Friday that citizens have a First Amendment right to record police performing their duties. The court found that officers, "are public officials carrying out public functions, and the First Amendment requires them to bear bystanders recording their actions. This is vital to promote the access that fosters free discussion of governmental actions." The court was clear that this case was based on a First Amendment right...
A judge for the US District Court for the District of Hawaii [official website] on Thursday denied [opinion, PDF] the state's attempt to exempt grandparents from President Donald Trump's [official profile] travel ban. The state asked Judge Derrick Watson to interpret the scope of a ruling [JURIST report] from the Supreme Court [official website] last month and was further defined [JURIST report] by the administration a week later. The Supreme Court's order permits execution of the travel ban, but it...
William Morva was executed by lethal injection Thursday after supporters failed to convince Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe [official website] to grant him clemency because of a mental illness. Morva, a US Hungarian national, was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of a hospital security guard and a Sheriff's deputy in 2008. A court-appointed psychiatrist diagnosed Morva with delusional disorder and believes that he may have committed the murders due to delusions he was experiencing. Earlier this week two...
[JURIST] Italy's Chamber of Deputies [official website] approved a bill on Wednesday to outlaw certain forms of torture. The new law defines [press release, in Italian] torture as "acts, single or repeated, causing suffering and trauma such as to harm the dignity of a person, already deprived of their liberty" by a public official or anyone else responsible for the victim's well-being. The bill was passed [Reuters report] by a vote of 198 to 35, with many on the left...
[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] filed a brief [text, PDF] Thursday urging a judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas [official website] to dismiss a challenge to changes to Texas' 2011 voter ID law [materials], which was found to be discriminatory against minority voters [JURIST report]. The DOJ argued that Texas' Senate Bill 5 [materials] made changes to the 2011 law that remedied the original discrimination concerns. The brief states: As...
[JURIST] The Constitutional Court of Spain [official website, in Spanish] ruled [text, PDF, in Spanish] Wednesday that provisions of the Catallan budget that allocated funds to the upcoming independence referendum are illegal. The court held [Politico report] that any funds allocated to financing the October 1 referendum [JURIST report] are unconstitutional and therefore void. The ruling aligned with the Madrid government's strong opposition to Catalian independence. The Spanish government continues to argue that not only does the Spanish Constitution not...
The EU and Japan formally agreed upon an outline on Thursday for a free-trade deal between two of the world's largest economic powers. Although the deal still requires further negotiations, it is expected [AFP report] that 99 percent of trade deals between Japan and the EU will be liberalized. Additionally, the outline calls for [BBC report] the two entities to cooperate on other issues such as fighting climate change. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe [BBC profile] met with European Commission...
The New Zealand Parliament [official website] on Thursday formally apologized to the hundreds of men who were criminally convicted under antiquated anti-homosexuality laws. The country's House of Representatives stated [Twitter account] that it apologizes "to those homosexual New Zealanders who were convicted for consensual adult activity, and recognize[s] the tremendous hurt and suffering those men and their families have gone through, and the continued effects the convictions have had on them." Lawmakers also unanimously approved the first stage of a...

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