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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An Istanbul court on Wednesday sentenced [Anadolu news] 14 journalists from opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet Daily [media website] to various prison terms over terrorism-related charges. According to Turkish state news agency Anadolu, the CEO, editor-in-chief and several journalists received sentences between four and eight years "on charges of acting on behalf of a terrorist group without being members." "At the first hearing in the case in July 2016, the suspects were indicted for sponsoring the The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) [BBC...
UN high commissioner for human rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein [official profile] on Friday praised [press release] Ethiopia for its willingness to openly discuss human rights challenges after completing his second official visit within the year. Zeid's invitation to the country came after a recent transition of power from former prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn [BBC profile], who abruptly resigned in March, to the new leader Abiy Ahmed [BBC profile]. Throughout 2017, Ethiopia has experienced unrest in the Oromia region with...
Louisiana senators voted 31-1 Tuesday to approve a bill [SB181 materials] that would ban abortions at 15 weeks. Mississippi approved [JURIST report] a similar 15-week abortion ban in March, drawing an immediate legal challenge. An amendment to the Louisiana bill on the Senate floor means that the Louisiana bill would not go into law unless and until the Mississippi law is upheld by the courts. The Louisiana bill must still face approval in the House. Current Louisiana law prohibits abortions...
The US Supreme Court [official website] heard oral arguments [day call, PDF] Wednesday in Trump v. Hawaii [transcript, PDF; audio], challenging the latest version of President Donald Trump's ban on entry to the US from certain Muslim-majority countries. When granting certiorari [JURIST report] in January, the court agreed to consider the following questions presented [cert. petition, PDF] by the government:1. Whether respondents' challenge to the President's suspension of entry of aliens abroad is justiciable.2. Whether the Proclamation is a lawful...
Twenty-one humanitarian organizations issued a joint statement [text, PDF] on Tuesday condemning the Greek government's decision to reinstate a migrant "containment" policy after it was struck down by the nation's highest administrative court. Amnesty International, Oxfam, and Human Rights Watch [advocacy websites] were among the groups that called the action a challenge to the rule of law in Greece. The groups called on the Greek government to rapidly expand safe accommodation and access to services on the mainland and create...
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court [official website] on Tuesday dismissed [opinion, PDF] a complaint challenging that state's limits on charter schools. Massachusetts' charter school law [M.G.L. ch.71 § 89 text] sets a limit on the total number of charter schools operating in the state and a limit on local school district funds that may be diverted to charter schools in a given area. Several students from areas of Boston with underperforming public schools and the maximum number of charter options...
The UN Office of the High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the African Union [official websites] agreed on Tuesday to cooperate [communiqué, PDF] on numerous human rights goals in an effort "to explore and develop joint approaches to preventing and addressing human rights abuses and violations." The AU and OHCHR plan to "actively involve and coordinate their human rights-related initiatives," including finalizing and implementing the 10 Year Action Plan on the Human and Peoples Rights Decade in Africa, establishing...
The US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] on Tuesday vacated [ruling, PDF] the Trump administration's efforts to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) [official materials] program, which protects undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children from deportation and provides them with renewable work permits. Judge John D. Bates found that the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) [official website] decision to rescind DACA protections "was arbitrary and capricious because the Department failed...
The Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) [official website] heard oral arguments [press release] on Monday and Tuesday in former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic's [JURIST news archive] appeal of his 2016 conviction for crimes committed during the Bosnia conflict. Karardic, in support of his appeal [materials], argues that prosecutors and judges committed numerous legal and procedural errors [appeal brief, PDF], such as prohibiting him from testifying in his own defense. During Monday's hearing, Karadzic stated that the actions committed...
[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] heard oral arguments in two matters Tuesday: Abbott v. Perez and Animal Science Products v. Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co. [transcripts, PDF]. Abbott is two consolidated cases that concern allegations that Texas lawmakers drew the state's federal congressional and state legislative districts in such a way as to harm the rights of the state's black and Hispanic voters. Animal Science Products concerns how much deference US courts should give to a foreign government's interpretation...
A Belgian court on Monday sentenced Salah Abdeslam, the sole surviving suspect in the 2015 Paris attacks, to 20 years in prison for attempted murder of three police officers during a 2016 shootout. After the Paris attacks, Salah had fled to Brussels where he was later captured in a shootout. One of his accomplices was also sentenced to 20 years, the other killed. He was also convicted of possessing firearms and fined 12,000 euros. The 2015 Paris attacks were committed...
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals [official website] on Monday vacated [order, PDF] a decision by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) [official website] to delay increases of fines paid by automakers under the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) [materials] program. Under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act [text], the penalties paid by car and truck manufacturers for exceeding designated fuel economy standards were set to rise from $5.50 per tenth of a mile per gallon...
The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] 7-2 Tuesday in Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene's Energy Group, LLC [SCOTUSblog materials] that inter partes review, which authorizes the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) [official website] to reconsider and cancel an already-issued patent claim, under 35 USC §§ 311-319, does not violate Article III or the Seventh Amendment [text] of the Constitution. This review system was created by Congress in the 2011 Leahy-Smith America Invents Act. It...
The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] 5-4 Tuesday in Jesner v. Arab Bank, PLC [SCOTUSblog materials] that foreign corporations cannot be used in the US under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) [Cornell LII backgrounder]. The plaintiffs in the case are victims of terrorist attacks in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. They allege that the bank and its offices in New York should be held liable for knowingly financing terrorism. The US Court of Appeals for the...
The US Supreme Court [official website] heard oral arguments [day call, PDF] in three cases Monday. In Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission [transcript, PDF] the court heard arguments on whether administrative law judges of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) [official website] are officers of the United States within the meaning of the Appointments Clause [art. II, § 2, cl. 2]. If so, then they would have to be appointed by the commission rather than by SEC staff as...
[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] granted certiorari [order list, PDF] Monday in two cases dealing with the question of whether breaking into a mobile home or other "nonpermanent or mobile structure" constitutes a burglary under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) [text], consolidating them for oral argument. The ACCA provides that people who have been convicted of "violent felonies" (including burglary) or serious drug offenses at least three times will be sentenced to a mandatory minimum of 15...
The EU and Mexico on Saturday signed a free trade agreement [text]. The agreement reduces tariffs on food and drink while allowing for the EU Geographical Indications [USPTO backgrounder] to be maintained. Irish Whiskey and French Champagne will be distinguished when sold from domestically produced products. In addition to reducing tariffs and non-trade barriers by harmonizing regulations, the agreement will also open up service trade. The EU expects that telecom and financial service industries will increase as well. This new...
Indian President Ram Nath Kovind signed an ordinance [text] Saturday that modifies the Indian Penal Code to allow for the death penalty to be imposed on anyone who rapes a child under 12 years of age. Allowing the death penalty to be imposed is not the only change to the penal code. The ordinance also increases the minimum punishment awarded to those who raped a girl under 12 years old from 10 years to 20 years, which can then be...
Here's the international legal news we covered this week: A US federal judge on Thursday sentenced [press release] a former Liberian commander known as "Jungle Jabbah" to 30 years in prison for defrauding the US immigration authorities and lying about his role during the Liberian civil war. [more] A federal judge on Thursday enjoined [text, PDF] the US government from sending a US citizen who has been detained in Iraq for almost a year to another country. [more] The Supreme...
Here's the domestic legal news we covered this week: [JURIST] The Democratic National Committee (DNC) [political website] filed a lawsuit [complaint] Friday against Donald Trump, Russia, Julian Assange, Wikileaks, and several Trump aids including Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort. [more] A Texas appeals court ruled [opinion] Thursday that the Relationship Privacy Act [text], which prescribes criminal and civil penalties for defendants who disseminate pornographic visual material featuring former significant others without consent, is overly broad and it...

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