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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Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday asked the Supreme Court [official websites] to dismiss [pleading, PDF] two election petitions challenging the validity of his repeat election win. Kenyatta strongly rejected the claims made by two challengers, saying that the petitions were "manifestly wanting in fact, gravely misconceived on the law and irredeemably lacking in merit." Kenyatta won reelection on October 26 in a second round of voting prompted by the Supreme Court's invalidation [JURIST report] of the previous election results...
The US Supreme Court [official website] granted certiorari in three cases [order list, PDF] Monday, including two First Amendment cases and a question of whether probable cause defeats a retaliatory-arrest claim. National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra [cert. petition, pdf] challenges California's Reproductive FACT Act [text], which requires pregnancy resource centers to post notices that encourage women to contact the state to receive information on free or low-cost abortions. NIFLA [advocacy website], a national network of non-profit pro-life pregnancy centers, argues...
Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] on Sunday urged [report] Guatemalan courts to end unjustifiable delays in high-profile criminal cases. For the past decade, the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) [official website], in partnership with the Attorney General's office, have helped in the arrest and prosecution of powerful criminals and corrupt officials who were once deemed untouchable. HRW alleges these proceedings have been stymied by procedural hurdles. A close examination of the judicial proceedings, as well as interviews...
Two women filed suit [complaint, PDF] on Sunday against the US Department of Education [official website] and the Navient Corporation [official website] seeking immediate relief from their student loans due to harm caused by fraudulent claims from their for-profit college. In a pleading filed with the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website], Tina Carr and Yvette Colon claim that they had previously submitted evidence that the Sanford-Brown Institute [corporate website] made fraudulent statements to...
The UK its outsourcing those who want assistance with dying to Switzerland, according to a study [text, PDF] released on Monday by the non-profit organization Dignity in Dying, but the price limits those who can afford to take such measures. The study found that more than half of citizens would consider traveling to Switzerland for assistance dying, but only a quarter could actually afford the average cost of 10,000 euros. In October the High Court of Justice rejected [JURIST report]...
The British Employment Appeal Tribunal [official website] on Friday rejected [press release] Uber Technologies' [corporate website] appeal [text, PDF] verifying the ruling that found Uber drivers should be classified as minimum-wage workers, entitling UK employees to minimum-wage rights, instead of self-contractors. Judge Eady QC wrote:The issue at the heart of the appeal can be simply put: when the drivers are working, who are they working for? The [Employment Tribunal]'s [(ET)] answer to this question was that there was a contract...
Here's the international legal news we covered this week: The legal world is a busy place. [more] [JURIST] The Philippines Office of the Ombudsman (OTO) [official website] has anti-graft and corruption charges [document images] Tuesday against former Philippines president Benigno Aquino III [Britannica backgrounder] in connection to the Mamasapano battle [Rappler backgrounder], which left 44 elite cops dead following a firefight with Islamic rebel groups. [more] Following an Associated Press (AP) article published [AP report] Wednesday, Sri Lanka wrote [text]...
Here's the domestic legal news we covered this week: The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] announced [press release] Thursday that it has begun distributing compensation to victims of Bernie L. [more] The legal world is a busy place. [more] A federal judge, on Thursday signed a settlement agreement [text] ending a land dispute between private citizens and Texas officials against the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) [official website] over territory on the Red River. [more] The US...
The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania [official website] issued a per curiam order [text, PDF] Thursday vacating a decision by the Commonwealth Court to stay a hearing in a gerrymandering case, League of Women Voters v. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania [docket]. The outcome of the case is virtually guaranteed to have a substantial impact on the results of the upcoming 2018 elections. Last month, the Commonwealth Court granted [order, PDF] a request by Respondents in the case -- Republican members of...
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] announced [press release] Thursday that it has begun distributing compensation to victims of Bernie L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC's (BLMIS) Ponzi scheme. The first set of distributions involve $722.5 million that will be distributed to 24,631 victims. The distribution is the largest distribution of forfeited funds in the DOJ's history. The funds will be distributed through the Madoff Victim Fund (MVF). In total, $4.05 billion will be distributed to victims of BLMIS....
The legal world is a busy place. Here are a few stories we didn't get to this week that we thought you might be interested in. The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website] agreed Monday to an en banc review of the most recent version of the Trump administration's travel ban [text]. Oral arguments are scheduled for December 8 in the appeal from a district court decision [text, PDF] blocking the ban before it went into...
A federal judge, on Thursday signed a settlement agreement [text] ending a land dispute between private citizens and Texas officials against the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) [official website] over territory on the Red River. The landowners and state officials sued the BLM over the agency's plan to redraw boundary lines along 116 miles of the Red River. They had argued that the agency's plan would illegally seize 90,000 acres of privately owned land. The agreement recognized the shifting...
[JURIST] The Philippines Office of the Ombudsman (OTO) [official website] has anti-graft and corruption charges [document images] Tuesday against former Philippines president Benigno Aquino III [Britannica backgrounder] in connection to the Mamasapano battle [Rappler backgrounder], which left 44 elite cops dead following a firefight with Islamic rebel groups. Earlier this year, the OTO dropped the homicide charges [Inquirer report] brought against Aquino after the battle. However, the prosecution informed Aquino they still intend to hold him liable for the deaths...
The US State Department announced [press release] Wednesday that it will end the Central American Minors (CAM) refugee program, an Obama-era immigration initiative that sought to resettle "children and eligible family members who are nationals of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras." CAM was established as a response to the thousands of unaccompanied minors fleeing violence in Central American countries in order to seek asylum in the US. The program came under review [Reuters report] once President Donald Trump signed an...
Texas officials on Wednesday executed Rubén Cárdenas Ramírez, a Mexican national who was convicted in 1998 for the kidnap, rape and murder of his 16-year-old cousin, despite international pressure. The US Supreme Court [official website] had denied a writ of certiorari [text, PDF] as well as an appeal to stay [text, PDF] the execution on Wednesday. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto condemned the execution [Debate report, in Spanish] for violating a 2004 decision [text] by the International Court of Justice...
Saudi authorities have detained more than 200 individuals in connection with an investigation into corruption that has cost more than USD $100 billion over the past several decades, Attorney General Sheikh Saud Al Mojeb said [press release] Thursday. Of these 208 individuals called in for questioning, seven have been released without charge. The governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority [official website] agreed Tuesday to suspend personal bank accounts of persons of interest in this investigation, assuring "only personal bank...
Following an Associated Press (AP) article published [AP report] Wednesday, Sri Lanka wrote [text] Thursday in a letter to the New York Times that it will investigate allegations of torture and rape of 50 Tamil individuals by police offices and military officials. The AP report contains interviews and photographs with 20 Tamil men who claim they were raped, tortured and branded while in custody of Sri Lankan law enforcement. The report does not identify any of the individuals as they...
International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on Wednesday reported to the statement to the UN Security Council (UNSC) [official websites] on the efforts to arrest Libyan special forces commander Mahmoud Mustafa Busayf Al-Werfalli. The warrant for his arrest was issued in August 2015 following the release of video evidence of Al-Werfalli performing seven different executions, resulting in 33 deaths of civilians and former military member. Although Bensouda had previously expressed concerns about receiving full cooperation and support from Libya,...
The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] on Thursday authorized [order] prosecutor Fatou Bensouda [official profile] to investigate potential crimes against humanity and war crimes in Burundi. The decision of Pre-Trial Chamber III was the result of a preliminary examination [JURIST report] launched in Spring 2016. Welcoming the decision, Bensouda noted [press release] that the opening of an investigation does not presume an outcome. My decision to open an investigation does not make any determinative findings on the guilt or...
Residents of Maine on Tuesday voted to expand access to Medicaid [text] to an additional 70,000 low-income individuals under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) [text, PDF], making it the first state to implement this expansion by referendum. Maine was one of the remaining 19 states that refused to expand Medicaid under the ACA, and the referendum passed with 60% of the vote [Ballotpedia materials]. Maine Governor Paul LePage vetoed the previous five attempts by the State Legislature to expand the...

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