JURIST Legal News

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A Bahrain court on Wednesday dissolved a major political party that has opposed the current government, an act that Amnesty International [advocacy wbsite] said [press release] is a step towards total suppression of human rights. The National Democratic Action Society (Wa'ad) was dissolved after the Ministry of Justice of Bahrain accused the group of "advocating violence, supporting terrorism and incitement to encourage crimes and lawlessness." Amnesty has called the allegations against Wa'ad baseless and absurd. Wa'ad had previously criticized the...
Lawyers from ClientEarth [advocacy website] filed [press release] a lawsuit against the UK government on Wednesday stating that the country's proposed plan for reducing the UK's air pollution is inadequate. On May 5, the UK Department of Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) [official website] released a draft of the UK Air Quality Plan for tackling nitrogen dioxide [report, PDF], which details steps to be taken to improve the air quality in the UK. ClientEarth alleges that the plan does...
[JURIST] An Austrian man was extradited Tuesday from Poland to Austria to face war crimes charges for allegedly killing civilians and surrendering troops while fighting for the Kiev junta of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The 25-year-old man allegedly killed Russian separatists while they were injured or surrendering in eastern Ukraine [BBC backgrounder] last year. State prosecution spokesman Erich Habitzl stated that Benjamin F., as he is being identified by authorities, is being held in police custody [AP report] until they...
[JURIST] A new report [text, PDF] released Tuesday by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website] claims that human rights violations within the Central African Republic (CAR)[BBC profile] may amount to war crimes. The report maps 13 years of violence in the country dating from 2003-2015. The 13-year period examined by the report was marked by major political crises, conflict between the government and armed groups, and between rival armed groups. According to the...
Dutch lawmakers agreed to create a free-trade area with Ukraine on Tuesday, completing lengthy and contentious negotiations between the EU and Russia. The ongoing geopolitical battle between Moscow and Brussels over the future of Ukraine, which President Vladimir Putin considers an integral part of historical Russia, centered on this agreement. All 28 EU members had to approve the pact before it could take effect. The Dutch were the final members to approve of the deal after rejecting [JURIST report] the...
The Illinois House of Representatives [official website] approved a bill [text] in a vote of 61-53 on Tuesday to raise the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour. The bill proposes a series of increases over the next five years to raise the wage from its current $8.25, which is more than the federally mandated $7.25. To help small businesses cover the costs, tax credits will be issued to those with 50 employees or fewer. Those opposing the legislation [State...
The UK Home Office [official website] wrongly denied residency to the Algerian husband of a dual British-Spanish citizen, according to the initial opinion [opinion, PDF] of European Court of Justice Advocate General [official website] on Tuesday. The Home Office argued that when Perla Nerea García Ormazábal became a British citizen in 2009, her right to live with her family in any state within the EU fell away as she was no longer an European Economic Area (EEA) national and is...
The US Supreme Court on Tuesday granted certiorari [order list, PDF] in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute [SCOTUSblog case page], an Ohio voting case. The suit centers on Ohio's voter registration list maintenance process, which sends confirmation notices to inactive voters and removes them after failure to confirm and failure to vote the following two general federal elections. The case turns on whether the maintenance policies violate the National Voter Registration Act or the Help America Vote Act [materials]....
The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit [official website] on Tuesday to affirmed [opinion, PDF] an order allowing a transgender male student to use the boy's restroom. The Kenosha Unified School District in Wisconsin would not allow Ash Whitaker into the male restroom, claiming his presence would violate the privacy of other students. Whitaker brought claims alleging violations of the Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause. The denial...
[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Tuesday ruled [opinion, PDF] 8-0 to strike down [transcript, PDF] the "provocation rule" created by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] which allows law enforcement officers to be held liable for an otherwise defensive use of deadly force if the officer provoked the violent encounter. Justice Samuel Alito [official profile], in writing for the court, stated that officers cannot be held liable for excessive force under the...
The Supreme Court ruled [opinion, PDF] on Tuesday that restrictions placed on a patented product could not be enforced through an infringement suit because an authorized sale exhausts all rights under the Patent Act [LII materials]. In Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International, Inc. [SCOTUSBlog materials], the court found that although the Patent Act allows patentees to stop others from making, using or selling their inventions, when a patentee chooses to sell an item, "that product 'is no longer within...
[JURIST] Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi [BBC backgrounder] signed [Mada Masr report] a controversial NGO law that was approved by the Parliament in November. The law was published in the Official Gazette [official website, Arabic] on Monday went into effect Tuesday. The legislation will create a new government agency, the National Authority for the Regulation of Non-Governmental Foreign Organizations, which will monitor all organizations receiving foreign aid to ensure that the funds are being spent in an approved manner. Non-compliance...
The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Tuesday in BNSF Railway Co. v. Tyrrell [SCOTUSblog materials] that the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) does not apply to out-of-state corporations. FELA holds railroads liable in money damages to their employees for injuries that occurred on the job. The case was filed in Montana state court, but the injuries did not occur in the state. Writing for the majority, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg explained "that the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process...
The UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday appointed [press release] an Indian human rights lawyer and two fact-finding experts to investigate Myanmar security forces' alleged crimes against Rohingya Muslims. Indira Jaising, an advocate of the Supreme Court of India [official website], will be the lead investigator [Reuters report]. The other two members are Sri Lankan lawyer Radhika Coomaraswamy and Australian consultant Christopher Dominic. In February [JURIST report], the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights [official website] said...
The US Supreme Court ruled [opinion, PDF] Tuesday that in cases of statutory rape where sexual intercourse is criminalized based solely on the ages of the participants, the federal definition requires the age of the victim to be less than 16. In Esquivel-Quintana v. Sessions [SCOTUSBlog materials] the court's definition of what age constitutes "sexual abuse of a minor" was the deciding factor on whether the petitioner, a citizen of Mexico and a permanent resident of the US, would face...
[JURIST] The Nevada Senate [official website] on Monday approved a bill requiring Internet providers to disclose what types of personal information they collect from users. Senate Bill 538 [text, PDF] is sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford [official website] and Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson [official website]. According to Ford, "It's important that Nevada's privacy laws reflect that we are all conducting more of our lives online." Senate Bill 538 also requires Internet providers to publish information on any third-party...
Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega [BBC profile] died late Monday night at the age of 83. President Juan Carlos Varela announced his death [Twitter post] saying, "The death of Manuel A. Noriega closes a chapter in our history; his daughters and his relatives deserve to bury him in peace." Noriega spent the last 27 years of his life [TIMES report] serving prison sentences in France, the US and Panama for embezzlement, corruption and murder during his reign in the 1980s....
An Australian official announced plans Tuesday to introduce new legislation [statement] that will prevent registered sex offenders from traveling overseas in an effort to prevent pedophiles from taking part in child sex trafficking. Registered sex offenders would not be able to obtain passports or leave the country, a step which will make the Australian government a "world leader in protecting vulnerable children from child sex tourism." Pedophiles from Australia are known to take inexpensive trips [AP report] to Southeast Asian...
[JURIST] The India Supreme Court [official webite] on Monday granted [Times of India report] a two-month extension to liquor companies currently holding alcohol in the state of Bihar [official website], directing them to transport all alcohol out of the state by July 31. Originally, the Court ordered the companies to dispose of all their inventory by May 31 but had failed to meet that deadline due to bureaucratic hindrances. Kapil Sibal [official website], lawyer for the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic...
[JURIST] The Ireland High Court [official website] on Monday struck down [Irish Times reports] a legal challenge [complaint, PDF] to Brexit [BBC backgrounder] on consent. Mr Justice Peter Kelly, president of the High Court, was told by parties on both sides that they consented to strike out the challenge without an order. The case was initially brought by Jolyon Maugham QC, a British barrister, and members of the Green party through crowdfunding [Independent reports]. The plaintiffs sought to establish that...

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