Judgement

Facebook ruling: German court grants parents rights to dead daughter’s account

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Germany’s highest court has ruled that the parents of a dead daughter have the rights to her Facebook account under inheritance law. BBC The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) said online data should be treated the same as private diaries or letters, and pass to heirs. The case involves parents of a 15-year-old girl killed by a train in 2012. They sought access to her Facebook account to try to determine whether the death was suicide. Aside from emotional closure, ... Read More »

Rival parties clash over replacement for Justice Anthony Kennedy

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A political war over replacing Justice Anthony Kennedy roared to life on Thursday in Washington, the start of an election-season clash over a Supreme Court retirement that will reshape the country’s judicial… Michael D. Shear and Thomas Kaplan The Age Hours after Kennedy’s announcement that he will step down July 31, conservative organisations were mobilising to support the Republican-controlled Senate in a quick confirmation of a justice who would be expected to vote against the court’s liberal… One group, the ... Read More »

Irish court must decide if Polish judicial system allows a fair trial

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The ultimate decision could signal that Polish courts no longer function as a normal part of the EU’s justice system. Jan Cienski Politico A suspected drug dealer will have to prove that Poland’s judicial system is so flawed that he will not be able to get a fair trial if he is extradited from Ireland to his home country, an advocate general of the European Court of Justice said Thursday. The opinion was issued after the Irish High Court reacted to a ... Read More »

Federal judge halts family border separations, orders reunification

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New York:  A federal judge in California has ruled that US migration agents can no longer separate immigrant parents and children caught crossing the border from Mexico illegally, and must work to reunite those families that had been split up in… Jonathan Stempel Reuters, Agencies, The Canberra Times United States District Court Judge Dana Sabraw granted the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit filed over the family separations. He ordered all families already separated be reunited within 30 ... Read More »

Thailand: Resuming Death Penalty a Major Setback

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Government Executes a Prisoner After 9-Year Moratorium (New York) – The Thai government should halt further executions and publicly resume its de facto moratorium on the use of the death penalty, Human Rights Watch said today. HRW Thai authorities executed a 26-year-old man by lethal injection on June 18, 2018, the country’s first execution since August 2009. “Thailand’s resumed use of the death penalty marks a major setback for human rights,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “The Thai government’s many pledges ... Read More »

British Court Freezes Gazprom Assets For Payment To Ukraine

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The Commercial court in London today gave long-awaited orders to freeze assets of Gazprom in the UK for payment to Ukrainian gas company Naftogaz to settle a recent Stockholm Arbitration award. Tsarizm “Naftogaz today served Gazprom with an order to freeze assets in England and Wales. The order was issued by the Commercial Court in London on June 18, 2018 to enforce the Stockholm arbitration award, whereby Gazprom owes Naftogaz $2.6 bln. In addition to freezing assets, it requires Gazprom ... Read More »

How Native American food is tied to important sacred stories

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The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling, on June 11, that asked Washington state to remove culverts that block the migration of salmon. Rosalyn R. LaPier The Conversation The ruling has significant implications for Northwest Coast tribes, whose main source of food and livelihood is salmon. The legal decision stems from the 1855 Stevens treaties when Northwest Coast tribes retained the “right to take fish” from their traditional homelands. Fighting to protect salmon habitat, however, is more than ... Read More »

Israeli Parole Board Denies Palestinian Teen Ahed Tamimi Early Release

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Board says Tamimi, imprisoned for slapping an Israeli soldier, lacks remorse and remains dangerous Yotam Berger Haaretz A parole board has rejected a request by Ahed Tamimi, the Palestinian teenager who received an eight-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to assaulting an Israeli soldier, for an early release. The Shin Bet security service issued an opinion in the case opposing her release. “The statements she has made about the case indicate her radical ideology, [and] along with the security situation in the ... Read More »

Teenager held in solitary confinement sues state government

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A young Aboriginal man is suing the state government for placing him in solitary confinement in an adult prison for three months when he was 16 years old. Tammy Mills The Age Wonyarna Edwards and two other teenagers were transferred to the Charlotte Unit of Port Phillip Prison in 2012 after a staff member was stabbed in the neck and injured when the inmates tried to escape from the Parkville youth detention centre. Mr Edwards was in solitary confinement in ... Read More »

Why the Supreme Court’s ‘gay wedding cake’ ruling won’t resolve religious freedom issues

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The U.S. Supreme Court has issued its long-anticipated ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. In a 7-2 decision, the justices sided with a Denver bakery owner who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. David Mislin The Conversation The couple took the case to court in 2012 after the Christian baker turned down their business. A lower court ruled the baker violated Colorado’s public accommodations law, which forbids discrimination by businesses serving the ... Read More »

Defence lawyer calls Puneet Puneet’s hit-and-run ‘just an accident’

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“Just an accident”, is how the defence lawyer for hit-and-run driver Puneet Puneet described the death of Queensland student Dean Hofstee, aged 19, in 2008 when Puneet smashed into him after drinking and driving at high speed in Melbourne. Amrit Dhillon The Age Speaking in a Delhi court hearing the Puneet extradition case, Kanhaiya Kumar Singhal said Puneet’s crime was “not heinous in nature”. He went on: “Yes a life was taken but it was not intentional. Accidents happen. It’s ... Read More »

Judges ‘overwhelmingly’ get it right, Vic Chief Judge says

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The Herald Sun has been corrected by Peter Kidd, Chief Judge of the Victorian County Court, for inaccurate and sensationalised reporting that suggested sentencing decisions by so-called “lenient judges” were… Melissa Coade LawyersWeekly Victoria’s Chief Judge has admonished News Corp for an article which suggested that prosecutors have increasingly succeeded in appeals for tougher jail terms. In a letter penned to the Herald Sun, Peter Kidd (pictured) rejected assertions made by journalist Aleks Devic that successful appeals brought by the Director of Public Prosecutions ... Read More »

Andargachew Tsige pardoned by Ethiopia

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Attorney general says decision for Andargachew Tsige’s pardon was part of moves intended to ‘widen political space’. Al Jazeera and News Agencies Ethiopia has pardoned an opposition leader with British citizenship who had been sentenced to death. Andargachew Tsige was found guilty of “terrorism” and sentenced in absentia in 2009 over his role in the opposition group Ginbot 7. He was the organisation’s secretary-general. The father of three was arrested during a stopover at a… Berhanu Tsegaye, Ethiopia’s… Andargachew Tsige pardoned… Read More »

Balancing mental illness and crime a job for judges not politicians

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In 1843 on a cold winter’s day in London, Daniel McNaughten, suffering intense paranoid delusions, went out to shoot the British prime minister, Sir Robert Peel. Duncan Fine The Age He missed and killed Peel’s private secretary. So, half a century before Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis, the courts were dealing with issues of crime and mental illness. The court found McNaughten not guilty by reason of insanity. There was a massive public outcry. Today in Melbourne, we’re still uneasily grappling ... Read More »

Achtung, it’s official: Beer is not beneficial, German court rules

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Beer cannot be marketed as beneficial, a German top court ruled on Thursday after a consumer rights group sued a brewery on the basis that its advertisement falsely suggested the beer had health benefits. Reuters The Age The standoff with the Haerle brewery in the southern German town of Leutkirch began when a Berlin consumer protection group protested at use of the German word “bekoemmlich”, carries connotations of health as well as of tastiness. The German Federal Court of Justice ... Read More »

EU court upholds insecticide ban to protect bees

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An EU court upheld on May 17 a partial ban on three insecticides known as neonicotinoids, saying that the European Commission had been right in 2013 to restrict their use to protect bees. LUXEMBOURG – Reuters Hurriyet The ruling covers three active substances – imidacloprid developed by Bayer CropScience, clothianidin developed by Takeda Chemical Industries and Bayer CropScience, as well as Syngenta’s thiamethoxam. The court said the European Union’s “precautionary principle” meant that the EU could take measures if there was scientific ... Read More »