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.
Subscribe to JURIST Legal News feed
The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] ruled [decision, PDF] Thursday that South Africa violated its obligation by failing to arrest Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir [official 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." South Africa contended that because Al-Bashir has immunity from criminal proceedings under customary international law that had not been...
A judge for the US District Court for the District of Montana [official website] issued an injunction [order, PDF] on Wednesday to stop the construction of a $59 million dam that threatened the habitat of an ancient fish species in Montana's Yellowstone River, three months after he lifted a similar injunction on the order. A wood-and-rock irrigation dam currently blocks [AP report] the long-snouted pallid sturgeon [species profile], a species that has evolved very little since the Cretaceous period 70...
A Chinese court has ordered a mental hospital to issue a public apology and pay compensation to a 38-year-old man after forcing him to undergo conversion therapy. The man was committed to the institution by his wife in 2015. He was subjected to forced medication and injections for 19 days after being diagnosed with "sexual preference disorder." The court's ruling [AP report] turned on the fact that the man did not pose a danger to himself or others and did...
The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) [advocacy website] filed suit [complaint, PDF] Wednesday and has sought [text, PDF] temporary injunctive relief against the Trump administration's request for voter information. EPIC alleges that the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity (PACEI) failed to preform a Privacy Impact Assessment prior to the commencement of its conduct. EPIC also claims that the request has the potential to violate the constitutional right to privacy. According to the group, the website state officials are directed...
French judge Catherine Marchi-Uhel was appointed [press release] as Head of the International Impartial and Independent Mechanism on Monday to collect evidence concerning persons involved in Syrian war crimes over the last six years. Marchi-Uhel has experience in criminal law, transitional justice and human rights, and worked for the UN concerning various international affairs. Marchi-Uhel will gather evidence and prepare cases concerning suspected war crimes contributors, with the goal of taking the cases to trial. This past December, the General...
A Colorado-based watchdog group, the Coalition for Good Governance, and six Georgia voters filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] on Monday to throw out the most recent election results for the Georgia House of Representatives. The June 20 election was a race between Republican Karen Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff [campaign websites]. Handel won with 52 percent of the votes. Voters used electronic, touchscreen voting ballots, as opposed to paper ballots. The lawsuit calls out major security problems with the voting...
Poland's special prosecutors have requested the US extradite a Minnesota man accused of Nazi war crimes. Michael Karkoc, 98, is a former commander of an SS-led Nazi unit responsible for [AP report] burning Polish villages and killing civilians during World War II. The request for extradition was filed last month [Independent report] by the National Remembrance Institute (IPN) [official website]. Although records do not show that Karkoc had a direct hand in war crimes, documentation, including his own memoirs and...
Armed groups have been committing war crimes in the Central African Republic (CAR) [UN materials], according to a report [summary] released Wednesday by Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] detailing violence in three central provinces between November 2014 and April 2017. During that time period, HRW documented at least 566 civilian deaths at the hands of the Seleka and anti-balaka groups. Armed groups also destroyed no fewer than 4,207 homes, forcing people to flee the area and causing the deaths...
Two UN human rights experts have urged [UN report] Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe [official website] to halt the planned execution of a man with psychological disabilities. William 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. According to the experts, Morva...
The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [official website] on Monday ruled [opinion, PDF] 2-1 that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [official website] cannot suspend a rule requiring oil and gas companies to fix and reduce methane leaks in their equipment. In June the EPA proposed staying the rule [text, PDF] but acknowledged "that the environmental health or safety risk addressed by [the] action may have a disproportionate effect on children." The EPA intended to postpone...
The Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court of Florida [official website] ruled [Opinion, PDF] on Monday that amendments made to the state's "stand your ground" laws last month are unconstitutional. Specifically, Judge Milton Hirsch found that SB 128, the law in question, violated art. II § 3 of the Florida Constitution [text], which prohibits one branch of government from exercising powers confined to another branch. According to Hirsch, the legislative changes in question shifted the burden of persuasion concerning self-defense claims to...
The Advocate General of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) [official website], Maciej Szpunar, on Tuesday declared [press release] that EU member states were entitled to "prohibit and punish the illegal exercise of a transport activity such as UberPop without having to notify the [European] Commission [official website] of the draft law in advance." Uber France firmly argues that the France law [text] "constitutes a technical regulation which directly concerns an information society service within the meaning of the directive...
Florida Governor Rick Scott on Monday scheduled [npr report] the execution of Mark Asay which will be the state's first execution in nearly two years. The execution of death row inmates in Florida had been halted after their sentencing procedure was deemed unconstitutional [opinion, PDF] by the US Supreme Court. Initially the sentencing system involved a jury that recommended the sentence with a judge that was free to disregard the recommendation in finalizing the sentence. The procedure has since been...
The Peru Congress [official website] on Monday unanimously voted [press release] to remove the Comptroller, Edgar Alarcon, from office. The vote [Reuters report] to remove Alarcon was initiated over accusations that he gave public funds to the mother of his children, violated ethical rules by running a business while in office, and coerced an auditor to withhold information from Congress. Alarcon has denied any wrongdoing and claims that his removal was a tactic designed to distract the people from the...
A judge for the US District Court of Southern California [official website] issued a preliminary injunction [order, PDF] on Friday to stop California from implementing a ban against high capacity gun magazines. In 2016 California citizens approved Proposition 63 [text, PDF], which prohibits the possession of firearm magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. Citizens who were already in legal possession of the magazines had four options [WP report]: remove them to another state, surrender them to a law enforcement...
The US and Britain urged the Russian government on Friday to further the investigation into the assassination of Boris Nemtsov. Five Chechan men were convicted [Reuters report] on Thursday for the murder of the opposition politician. The US Department of State [official website] released a statement [press release] hailing Nemstov as a "champion of democracy" and stated:We welcome the news that five of the persons responsible for the murder of Boris Nemtsov have been convicted of the crime. We call...
The United Kingdom (UK) government on Sunday announced its withdrawal from a fishing arrangement made with other countries allowing them to fish within the UK waters. The London Fisheries Convention [text], originally signed in 1964, allowed Irish, Dutch, French, German, and Belgian ships to fish within six tothe twelve nautical miles of each other's coastlines. According to Environment Secretary Michael Gove [official profile], the withdrawal will allow [Guardian report] the UK to take back control of fishing waters, regulate future...
On Saturday the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) [official website] accused a recent cyber attack on Russia and the Kremlin. The SBU stated [BBC report] that the hackers behind the most recent attack are the same as those who conducted an attack [Reuters report] on the Ukrainian power grid in December 2016. Experts worldwide are still trying to decide who was behind the most recent attack which took out computers, disrupted shipping, and hit banks across the globe. Some experts...
In a narrow 4-3 decision [opinion, PDF], the Supreme Court of Iowa [official website] ruled on Friday that former Iowa Workers' Compensation Commissioner, and now chief judge of the board, Christopher Godfrey can sue high-ranking government officials, including Governor Kim Reynolds [official website] and former Governor Terry Branstad, for violating equal protection and due process rights granted by the Iowa Constitution [text, PDF]. Specifically, the decision allows Democrat Godfrey to seek damages against Republican Branstad for political retaliation. But more...
Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy [official website] signed [press release] a bill into law on Friday which takes aim at the state's ongoing opioid epidemic. Calling the widespread epidemic "a complex crisis that does not have one root cause, nor... a simple solution," Mallow had initially introduced [press release] the legislation, now codified as Public Act 17-131 [text, PDF], in January. After months of debate and amendment, the state House of Representatives [official website] unanimously passed [vote count] the legislation on...

Pages