Legal news from Thursday, March 22, 2012

[JURIST] The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) [official website] on Tuesday ruled [judgment, PDF, in Spanish] that the Supreme Court of Chile [official website] violated a Chilean woman's right to equality and non-discrimination when it took away her children on the basis of her sexual orientation. Karen Atala, a … [read more]

[JURIST] The president of Mali was removed from office on Wednesday after Malian soldiers took control of the government and suspended the constitution. After removing President Amadou Toumani Toure [Al Jazeera profile], the soldiers announced the suspension of the constitution and a national curfew. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon [official … [read more]

[JURIST] The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) [official website] Board of Pharmacy on Wednesday appealed [DOH press release] a February ruling on access to emergency contraception. The appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit argued that the US District Court for the Western District Court … [read more]

[JURIST] A Brazilian federal prosecutor on Thursday filed criminal charges against Chevron, Transocean Limited [corporate websites] and 17 executives in relation to an oil spill that occurred late last year. The indictment charges the companies and a number of their executive officers with environmental crimes, as well as charges of … [read more]

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania (ACLU-PA) [advocacy website] on Wednesday sued [complaint, PDF] the Solanco School District [school website] in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania on behalf of an 11-year-old girl who is required to submit to a drug test. The new school policy requires that students who participate … [read more]

[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon [official profile] urged Malaysian lawmakers on Thursday to observe international human rights standards when devising the country's new security act. Malaysia's Internal Security Act of 1960 (ISA) [text], which allowed the imprisonment of individuals deemed to be national security threats for up to two years … [read more]

[JURIST] The European Commission [official website] on Thursday referred Hungary [press release] to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) [official website] for violations of EU rules related to the taxation of telecommunications operators. Article 12 of the EU's Authorisation Directive [text, PDF] contains specific rules for member nations regarding the … [read more]

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri [official website] declared a state statute banning the burning of the American and Missourian flags unconstitutional [opinion, PDF] on Wednesday. Judge Carol Jackson heard a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] heard oral arguments [day call, PDF] Wednesday in Vasquez v. United States [transcript; JURIST report] on whether the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit violated the Supreme Court's precedent on harmless error. Alexander Vasquez was convicted on drug-related charges on a … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Wednesday that an ordinance [text, PDF] passed in 2008 by the Texas city of Farmers Branch, prohibiting illegal immigrants [JURIST news archive] from renting housing in the city, is unconstitutional. The law required prospective renters … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Wednesday ruled unanimously [opinion, PDF] in Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency [SCOTUSblog backgrounder] that landowners can bring a suit directly against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [official website] challenging the agency's order not to build on residential property that is protected wetlands. … [read more]

[JURIST] Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) [official website] on Monday signed the Drug-Free Workplace Act [text], which allows state employers to randomly test up to 10% of their workforce. The act does not create a "duty" to test, but allows state employers to dismiss or discipline employees the first time … [read more]

[JURIST] The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] last week ruled [decision, PDF, in French] that the right of a person in a same-sex partnership to adopt his or her partner's child is not protected by the European Convention on Human Rights [text, PDF]. The case involved a … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled 5-4 [opinion, PDF] Wednesday in Missouri v. Frye [SCOTUSblog backgrounder] that the Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel applies during "all 'critical' stages of the criminal proceedings," including considerations of plea offers that lapse or are rejected. Respondent Galin Frye … [read more]

[JURIST announcement] Over the past couple weeks, several people have asked why JURIST needs to raise funds. You can read all the details on these pages, but the most direct answer is that it all comes back to budget cuts. Due to general economic circumstances completely outside of our control, … [read more]

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