World Legal News Round Up for Saturday,  2 December 2017
World Legal News Round Up for Saturday, 2 December 2017

Here’s the international legal news we covered this week:

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled [judgment, PDF] Friday in favor of the Yukon First Nations in their action to fight the Yukon government’s proposed plan to allow further economic development of the Peel Watershed.

The court declared that the government’s plan did not act in accordance with guidelines authorized in the Umbrella Final Agreement [text, PDF], which established a collaborative regional land use planning process that was adopted in modern land claims agreements between Yukon, Canada and the First Nations.

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Georgia [official website, in Georgian] on Thursday decriminalized [press release, in Georgian] marijuana usage.
UK consumer activist group Google You Owe Us [advocacy website] initiated [press release] representative legal action Thursday against tech giant Google, alleging that Google illegally mined private information from consumers.
African and European leaders, gathered in Abidjan for the 5th AU/EU Summit [official website], condemned in a joint statement [text, PDF] the inhuman treatment of African migrants and refugees by criminal groups.

The statement is seen as an response to the recent documentation [CNN report] of human traffickers in Libya selling migrants as slaves in open air markets.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] announced [press release] that it has initiated an independent expert review on internal operations after the death of Slobodan Praljak, who consumed poison [JURIST report] in the courtroom on Wednesday after the court reaffirmed his 20 year prison sentence.

The review will be completed along with a Dutch investigation into Praljak’s death.

People and municipalities in Lebanon have resorted to burning garbage as a result of government mismanagement, causing detrimental health effects, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported [HRW report] Friday.

Lebanon’s waste crisis erupted in 2015 when authorities closed the main landfill site near Beirut without arranging an alternative.

The Danish parliament on Thursday approved a bill [materials] giving new powers to the Energy, Supply and Climate ministry related to the Nord Stream-2 [official website] pipeline.
International Criminal Court (ICC) chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda [official websites] confirmed Thursday that her office will not investigate [press release] a 2010 Israeli attack against a Gaza bound Turkish flotilla.
The Higher Regional Court in Celle, Germany, on Wednesday ruled [press release, in German] that Oskar Groening, a former Auschwitz guard known as the “bookkeeper of Auschwitz,” is not too elderly to serve a four-year prison sentence.

The now 96-year-old former Nazi SS guard was convicted and sentenced [JURIST report] as an accessory to the murder of more than 300,000 people in Auschwitz.

Groening’s lawyer had argued that the sentence violated his constitutional rights and cited old age as a reason not to serve the sentence.

A group of UN human rights experts issued [statement] an urgent call for action Thursday in order to realize the right to development.
An Argentine judicial panel [official site] on Wednesday sentenced [ruling, PDF, in Spanish] 29 former officials to life in prison, and 19 to between 8-25 years for murder and torture during the junta’s 1976-1983 “Dirty War” [GlobalSecurity backgrounder; JURIST news archive].

The sentencing concluded a five-year trial and represented Argentina’s largest verdict to date [La Nación report, in Spanish] for crimes against humanity.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) [official website] extradited [press release] 75-year-old Inocente Orlando Montano, a former El Salvador colonel, to Spain to face charges for his alleged involvement in the 1989 murder of eight individuals [CJA backgrounder] that included six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper, and the housekeeper’s 16-year-old daughter during the country’s decade-long civil war strife.

The murders occurred in the early morning hours of November 16, 1989, at the Universidad Centroamericana at the behest of the El Salvador military.

Saudi Arabian authorities released Prince Miteb bin Abdullah from custody on Tuesday after reaching an estimated $1 billion settlement agreement concerning corruption allegations, according to a Saudi official [Reuters report].

Miteb, “along with 200 other royals, ministers and business tycoons,” was arrested and detained in the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh earlier this month for alleged participation in the so-called “anti-graft campaign.” Accusations against him include “embezzlement, hiring ghost employees and awarding contracts to his own firms, including a deal for walkie talkies and bulletproof military gear.”

The Saudi official who detailed Miteb’s release, told Reuters that the prosecutor is negotiating many other settlements in the case, but at least five will face trial.

Bolivia’s Plurinational Constitutional Tribunal (TCP) on Wednesday ruled [judgment, in Spanish] that President Evo Morales [BBC profile] may seek a fourth consecutive term as the country’s president in the 2019 election.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Penal Forum [advocacy websites released a joint-report [text] on Wednesday that revealed human rights and humanitarian crises in Venezuela, as the government continues to arbitrarily arrest, prosecute, and, in some cases, torture critics of the government.

Since early April 2017, more than 5,400 people have reportedly been detained after participating in anti-government protests.

Bosnian Croat war crimes defendant Slobodan Praljak died [press release] Wednesday after drinking what he said was poison after judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] affirmed [judgment summary, PDF, Volume I Part 1, Volume I Part 2, Volume II, Volume III], his 20-year prison sentence.

The appeals concerned charges against six individuals who were accused of being members of a joint criminal enterprise that sought to create a Croatian entity through the ethnic cleansing of the Muslim population during the Bosnia-Herzegovina war in 1992-1995.

A jury in Washington, DC, acquitted [press release] Ahmed Abu Khatallah, the ringleader of the 2012 Benghazi attacks, of murder on Tuesday, but convicted him on terrorism charges.
The European Court of Justice ruled [judgment] Wednesday that EU workers are entitled to paid annual leave.

The case was brought by a UK worker who had requested pay from his former employer for leave not taken from 1999-2012 in his sales job.

The Australian Senate on Wednesday passed [text] a same-sex marriage bill, by a 43 to 12 vote.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau [official website] issued a formal apology Tuesday for the historic suppression of and discrimination against the country’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community as well as mentioning economic compensation efforts and new legislation.
Japan’s Supreme Court [Official website] ruled [judgment, PDF, in Japanese] Wednesday that the crime of indecent assault does not require a sexual intention.
The Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) [advocacy website] on Tuesday called [press release] for the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] to investigate allegations of war crimes in Yemen by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) recruiting foreign nationals to serve in an army of mercenaries.
A three-judge panel of the Bangladesh High Court [official website] on Monday upheld 139 death sentences and 146 life imprisonments relating to the 2009 mutiny [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] that resulted in the death of 74 people including 54 senior government or military officials.
The US Supreme Court stated on Monday that it would not review [order list, PDF] a lawsuit over a drone strike in Yemen that killed five people.
The High Court [official site] of Zimbabwe ruled [Tweet of judgment] Saturday that the military takeover that ousted ex-president Robert Mugabe [BBC profile] was constitutional and not considered a coup.