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] A judge of the New Hampshire Superior Court [official court] on Tuesday blocked [order, PDF] SB 3 [materials], a New Hampshire law that would have potentially imposed a fine or potential jail time if voters did not submit proof of residence within 10 days of registering to vote. The bill, which was signed into law on July 10, applied to first-time voters who sought to register to vote 30 days before a scheduled election. Failing to provide the requisite...
Last month marked a welcome trend in the Ukrainian conflict, with civilian deaths decreasing for the first time in three years, according to a report [text, PDF] released Tuesday by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website]. The report attributes the reduced violence to the "harvest ceasefire," which began in late June, while cautioning [press release] that "the ceasefire never fully took hold, with hostilities suddenly flaring and then easing." In addition to updated...
In a one-sentence order [text, PDF] issued Tuesday afternoon, the US Supreme Court [official website] blocked a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals [official website] ruling in the matter of Trump v. Hawaii [opinion, PDF], thereby allowing the administration's travel ban to go into effect. The unsigned order from the court grants a request from the Trump administration to stay the decision of the Ninth Circuit as the case proceeds. The justices are expected to hear arguments [docket, PDF] related to...
The council of Iraq [official web site] on Tuesday denied [official summary, Arabic] the referendum petition of Kurdistan to permit its independence. The council voted to keep Kurdistan in its region despite its ongoing tensions [JURIST op-ed] to maintain the region's stability.The Council decided the following: Rejection of the referendum to be held within the borders of the Kurdistan region and beyond the borders of the province and in all the disputed territories, including Kirkuk and oblige the competent authorities...
[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] reported [text] on Tuesday that five airstrikes launched by a Saudi-led coalition against Yemen in June amount to war crimes due to the indiscriminate killing of 26 children. In 2015, the coalition began unlawful airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen and violated numerous laws-of-war. More than 785 children were killed and 1,168 wounded in Yemen that year, and the UN had attributed 60 percent of those casualties to the coalition. The Saudi government...
The British Parliament [official site] on Monday approved a bill [press release] to continue the process of withdrawal from the EU. The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill [official summary] passed by 326 votes to 290 after a lengthy debate [official summary] and allows for the continuation of Brexit despite the recent election [JURIST report] change. Prime Minister Theresa May released a statement on Facebook [text] saying the measure will allow for a stabilized withdrawal from the EU as they enter into...
[JURIST] A Beijing intermediate court [backgrounder] sentenced two brothers to life in prison on Tuesday after ruling that the brothers' peer-to-peer lending company, Ezubao, was a Ponzi scheme. One of the brothers, Ding Ning, was founder [Reuters report] of the company and chairman of the Anhui Yucheng Holdings Group. His crimes included illegal fundraising and "smuggling precious metals." The Ponzi scheme collected the equivalent of over USD $9 billion from nearly one million investors, making it "close to one of...
[JURIST] Australia's Coalition Party on Tuesday released a proposed bill to add extra protections to a same-sex marriage postal survey mailed out to the general public. The survey asks the public to vote [Guardian report] on whether same-sex marriage should be legalized, and all completed surveys must be sent back to the Australian Bureau of Statistics [official website] by November. During that voting period, under the proposed bill, vilifying, intimidating or threatening voters based on their sex, religion or personal...
[JURIST] The Neubrandenburg state court announced on Tuesday that it is ending the trial of former SS medic Hubert Zafke after experts determined he is unfit to stand trial because of his dementia. Zafke, 96, was charged [AP report] with 3,621 counts of accessory to murder during his one month at Auschwitz. The trial, which was supposed to start in February 2016, was postponed [JURIST report] until the following September because the defendant had been determined unfit to stand trial...
The Congress of Guatemala [official website, in Spanish] voted Monday against lifting immunity for President Jimmy Morales over allegations of illegal campaign financing.This development comes just after a Guatemala congressional committee recommended [JURIST report] that Morales' immunity be voided to pave the way for an investigation into the matter by the country's attorney general and the UN. According to the attorney general and head of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala [official website], Morales misappropriated [JURIST report] over $800,000...
The UN Security Council [official website] reached a unanimous decision on Monday to adopt a US-drafted resolution [press release] imposing a series of fresh new sanctions on North Korea. Among other things, these sanctions include a ban on the supply, sale or transfer of all natural gas liquids and condensates and exports of textiles, a preliminary three-month ban on direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer of all refined petroleum products beyond 500,000 barrels and a one-year ban beyond two...
Brizillian billionaire Joesley Batista, owner of JBS [corporate website], and executive Ricardo Saud surrendered to police on Sunday in Sao Paulo for allegedly withholding evidence [Reuters report] during their plea bargain negotiation in the corruption case against President Michel Temer [Britannica profile]. Batista is accused of making "a secret recording of Temer in May which the president apparently admitted paying bribes to influential Brazilian politicians" [BBC report]. Justice Fachin revoked immunity granted to Batista and Saud through the plea bargain,...
California filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] on Monday against the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) [official website], alleging the rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) [USCIS materials] program is unconstitutional. The complaint alleges that DACA's rescission violates the Fifth Amendment's Due Process and Equal Protection clauses, along with other allegations including violations of federal laws. The 37-page complaint emphasizes the benefits and purposes of DACA, stating in part:According to the DACA Memorandum, DACA's purpose was to...
US Supreme Court [official website] Justice Anthony Kennedy issued an order [text, PDF] Monday staying a lower court ruling, allowing enforcement of the Trump administration travel ban against refugees. The Justice Department had filed an emergency application [text, PDF] to block a Ninth Circuit decision [opinion, PDF] that would have exempted refugees from the ban. The Ninth Circuit weighed in on what constitutes a bona fide relationship, in accordance with a previous Supreme Court order in relation to the travel...
Google appealed its EU antitrust fine on Monday after Intel's partial victory [JURIST report] last week against a similar EU sanction. Google's appeal comes two months after the initial [JURIST report] antitrust fine by the European Commission [official website] for abusing its "dominance in general internet search" to unfairly promote its shopping service instead of promoting Google Shopping on its merits. Google gave its Google Shopping prominent placement in its own search results and subsequently demoted the placement of other...
A panel of legal experts for the Polish Parliament concluded [press release, in Polish]y Monda that Poland is entitled to seek reparations from Germany over any acts committed by the country during the Second World War. The report[text, PDF, in Polish] relies on various conventions, including the 1907 Hague Convention and the practice of reparations following WWII, to justify its claim. Polish Prime Minster Beata Szydło [official website] has publicly stated [Radio Poland] that Poland "has the right to seek"...
Maldives authorities suspended 56 lawyers on Monday for signing and trying to submit a petition to the Supreme Court calling to uphold the rule of law. The petition cited court violations primarily in cases against opposition politicians. The Department of Judicial Administration (DJA) deemed the petition to be an unlawful document because it interfered with the judicial system by overstepping the system's procedures and rulings. The suspension applies [AP report] to one-third of the lawyers in practice in Maldives, and...
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein called [press release] the situation in Myanmar "a textbook example of ethnic cleansing" at the opening of the UN Human Rights Council's 36th regular session [press release] Monday. During his oral presentation, Zeid addressed a lack of consistency in human rights policies, EU nonuniform voice in global human rights, and specifically addressed issues in several countries. According to Zeid, in Myanmar, there is another brutal security operation being conducted in...
A Guatemalan congressional committee on Sunday recommended that President Jimmy Morales' immunity should be voided so the attorney general and the UN can investigate illegal campaign financing allegations. According to the attorney general and head of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala [official website], Morales misappropriated [JURIST report] over $800,000 from his 2015 campaign The recommendation to void immunity will be forwarded to Congress, and a final vote is expected next week. At least a two-thirds majority is needed...
Here's the international legal news we covered this week: [JURIST] The US Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved [press release] $51.35 billion in funding on Thursday for state and foreign appropriations [text, PDF], including $10 million to help fund the UN agency that oversees the Paris Climate Agreement. [more] [JURIST] A Turkish court released a Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) [party website] parliamentarian Thursday, according to a HDP statement [press release]. [more] [JURIST] The Spanish Constitutional Court [official website] on Thursday suspended...

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