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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Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland [official website], said [press release] Monday that she will seek a referendum to allow Scottish citizen to vote on independence from the UK ahead of the British exit from the EU [JURIST report], also referred to as Brexit. This would be the first referendum on independence for Scotland since September 2014, when citizens voted 55-45 to remain in the UK [JURIST report]. Sturgeon said she will request approval from UK Prime Minister Theresa...
[JURIST] The EU said [report, PDF] Monday that Moldova needs to do more to encourage an independent judiciary and investigate bank fraud in a released Monday. The report follows the EU-Moldova Association Agreement [text, PDF], which fully entered force in July and aims to strengthen the political and economic integration of Moldova and the EU. According to the joint report, Moldova has adopted a number of reforms to encourage an independent judiciary. However, further reforms are needed due to continued...
German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere confirmed on Sunday that a Tunisian man responsible for a deadly museum attack in Tunisia in 2015 will be deported. Maiziere said, "I can confirm that the talks between us and the Tunisian side have been successful...and I expect that he will soon be deported." In addition to the 2015 museum attack, the man is also suspected of having connections with the Islamic State (IS) in Germany. The Italian interior ministry also announced [DW...
A federal judge for the US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin [official website] granted [PDF] a temporary restraining order against President Donald Trump's revised immigration ban on Friday to a Syrian asylum seeker and his family. The order is limited to the one man and his family, and will remain in effect only until the asylum request for his wife and child can be resolved. The judge found that returning to Aleppo while waiting for the outcome...
Volkswagen [VW] (corporate website) plead guilty [press release] to fraud, obstruction of justice, and falsifying statements on Friday as required by the $4.3 billion settlement agreement [PDF] between the German auto manufacturer and the US Department of Justice Department (DOJ) [official website]. The guilty plea [PDF] was accepted by US District Judge Sean Cox. In addition to various reforms and oversight the company must undergo under the pending plea agreement, the DOJ has levied charges against seven current and former...
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) [official website] on Friday announced its decision to reject an application [text] to create an exchange-traded fund (ETF) [investopedia backgrounder] tied to the value of Bitcoin [website], a virtually currency. The fund, proposed by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss [Winklevoss capital], would have tracked an index of assets, but would have traded like a stock. The markets where Bitcoin is currently traded are largely unregulated, prompting the SEC to deny a Bitcoin ETF due to...
Attorney General Jeff Sessions [official profile] on Friday requested the resignation of 46 Obama-era federal prosecutors, including Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara [official website], who had been asked to stay on by then president-elect Donald Trump in November. Although federal prosecutors are political appointees, the sudden turnover announced by the Department of Justice [official website] came as a surprise. Most prosecutors were not informed of the impending cuts, with some finding out about their requested resignations through social media reports,...
[JURIST] Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey [official profile] declared on Thursday that Massachusetts will be joining fellow states in suing President Donald Trump to block his new travel ban executed on Monday. Trump's new executive order [text] has removed Iraq from the former list of travel-restricted countries and suspended the refugee program for 120 days. Healey stated [Boston report] that the second ban, despite such changes, remains discriminatory and unconstitutional. Massachusetts will join Washington, Hawaii, Oregon, and New York in...
[JURIST] The UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) [official website] published a report [JURIST report] on Friday describing a plethora of human rights violations committed by the Turkish government between July 2015 and December 2016. Satellite imagery analysis has revealed [OHCHR report] that Turkey has systematically bombed over 30 southeastern towns, forcing civilians to either be killed or trapped for days in their own basements. Between 335,000 and 500,000 civilians have been displaced as a result of shelling, and the destruction...
South Korea's Constitutional Court [official website] on Friday upheld parliament's [official website] decision to impeach [JURIST report] President Park Geun-hye over a scandal related to government bribes paid by Samsung. The Court unanimously upheld the decision to impeach, the first time in South Korea's history. Park now loses her political immunity, which leaves her open to criminal charges in the coming months. After the court decision, law requires that a new election take place in the country within 60 days....
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson [official website] on Thursday requested [text, pdf] that federal judge James L. Robart [official profile] block President Trump's new travel ban, arguing that the suspension of the first ban should apply to the second. The March 6 executive order from the Trump administration is similar to the the original travel ban executive order [texts], which has been subject to significant legal challenges. The State of Washington cites that the new ban imposes the same economic...
[JURIST] Five Samsung executives, including the head of Samsung Group [corporate website], Jay Y. Lee, on Thursday denied [press release, in Korean] all bribery, embezzlement and corruption charges levied against them. During a preliminary hearing at the Seoul Central District Court [official website, in Korean], the Samsung defense team argued that the evidence gathered by the special prosecutor includes numerous conversations and other various testimonies that were not gathered in accordance with Korean evidence rules. Additionally, Samsung attorneys argued that...
UN experts said [press release] on Thursday that the new recommendation from the European Commission [official website] is a "slippery slope" to solve migration problems. According to the UN the recommendation is focused on more rapid return rates and is disregarding the human rights of the migrants. The recommendation also encourages the use of increased detention, even for children, as a deterrence to future migrants. The report states that there is no empirical evidence that shows the use of detention...
[JURIST] A UN rights expert on Thursday urged [press release] the international community to help protect civilians in the northern and central regions of the country amid growing violence and crime sprees. Suliman Baldo [official profile], the UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Mali, reported increasing attacks and incidences of theft targeting humanitarian workers in the region following a recent eight-day stay in the country. Baldo says the increase in violence came after several violent extremists...
The European Court of Justice [official website] ruled [judgment] Thursday that individuals cannot demand that their personal data be erased from company records. The court said the ruling came from the public need for legal certainty to protect third party interests. The registers hold very little personal data and do not infringe on privacy. The court reserved its right to assess specific circumstances under which company registers should be limited on an individual basis. The case was brought by Italy...
[JURIST] The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association [official website] said [press release] Thursday that the "fundamental right to strike must be preserved." Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai's [official profile] remarks were in response to a Human Rights Council [official website] event about freedoms of association and assembly in the workplace in addition to an important meeting of the International Labor Organization (ILO) [official website]. Kiai said that the right to strike is...
[JURIST] The Colorado House of Representatives [official website] approved a bill [text, PDF] on Thursday that would ban sexual orientation conversion therapy for people under 18. The bill would also make licensed physicians and mental health providers "subject to disciplinary action" for performing conversion therapy. The bill defines conversion therapy as "any practice by a licensee or registrant that seeks to change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity, including efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions or to eliminate...
A Texas Senate [official website] committee on Wednesday approved legislation [SB 6 text] that would limit access to public restrooms to those corresponding to a person's gender as marked on their birth certificate. The bill, promoted as advocating for women's privacy, would deny the majority of public restroom accommodations to transgender citizens in the state. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick [official website] and others in support of the bill have explained that their preference is to keep potential sexual predators [BI...
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] ruled [decision; press release] Thursday against a Sudanese man who was challenging the deprivation of his UK citizenship. The man was born in Sudan and had become a naturalized citizen of the UK in 2000. Beginning between 2009-2010, he is suspected to have made affiliations with Al-Shabaab and to have engaged in "terror related activities" after he traveled to Somalia from the UK with the aid of known extremists. The deprivation...
More than 170 organizations urged acting Federal Communications Commission (FCC) [official website] Commissioner Ajit Pai [official profile] Tuesday to preserve net neutrality [JURIST backgrounder]. The letter [text, PDF], signed by organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union, Greenpeace and the American Library Association [advocacy websites], asks Pai to "oppose legislation and regulatory actions that would threaten net neutrality," in the interest of competition, innovation, free speech, and equality of access. The signatories seek to preserve the Internet protections of...

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