Judgement

Indian government introduces death penalty for child rapists

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Special order from Narendra Modi’s cabinet comes amid widespread outrage over levels of sexual violence Colin Drury Independent India is to introduce the death penalty for child rapists, in a move aimed at alleviating nationwide protests over a number of brutal and high-profile cases. Those found guilty of sexually assaulting youngsters under 12 will now face execution, under a special ordinance issued by the government and set to be rubber-stamped next week. The change comes amid widespread outrage over the… ... Read More »

Judge rules against Trump administration in teen pregnancy prevention case

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A federal judge in D.C. ruled Thursday that the Trump administration’s cuts to the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program were unlawful. The Hill Last summer, the administration notified 81 organizations that their five-year grants through the program would end in 2018, rather than in 2020, prompting multiple lawsuits. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson ruled in one of those cases Thursday, ordering the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to accept and… “We are disappointed… Judge rules against… Read More »

Canberra public servant’s sacking over asylum seeker policy tweets found to be ‘unlawful’

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A Canberra public servant sacked for expressing her views on asylum seeker policy, has won her case for compensation after the Administrative Appeals Tribunal of Australia found she was unlawfully dismissed. Elise Pianegonda ABC In September 2013, Michaela Banerji was fired from the Federal Department of Immigration after it was revealed she had been using the anonymous Twitter name @LaLegale to criticise the then-government, the minister and department policies — particularly over the handling of refugees. In one tweet Ms ... Read More »

Trial by judge alone may not be the answer to giving high-profile defendants a fair hearing

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In April 2013, Adrian Bayley pleaded guilty to Jill Meagher’s murder. As the case was the subject of heavy media coverage, there would have been few Australians who were not well aware of it. John Eldridge The Conversation It’s worth pondering, then, what might have happened had – as was possible – Bayley pleaded not guilty. Would it have been possible to empanel a jury that could bring a fair mind to the assessment of Bayley’s guilt? If not, what ... Read More »

Somaliland poet jailed for Somalia reunification poetry

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A court in the self-declared republic of Somaliland has sentenced a young poet to three years in jail. BBC Nacima Qorane was found guilty of bringing the state into contempt by advocating for Somaliland to reunite with Somalia. Pressure groups in Somaliland said Ms Qorane’s basic human rights have been violated. Somaliland self-declared independence in 1991, but is not recognised internationally. Ms Qorane was arrested in January after returning from the Somali capital Mogadishu, where prosecutors said she had recited ... Read More »

Mauritania court gives toughest sentence for slave owners

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Two slave owners in Mauritania have been jailed in a country where slavery remains widespread but convictions rare, activists say. BBC The sentences of 10 and 20 years are said to be the toughest-ever for the crime in the West African country. Slavery was outlawed in 1981 but 1% of the population are still living in bondage, human rights groups say. Black people of certain ethnic groups are often enslaved as domestic workers by lighter-skinned Mauritanians. The country has jailed ... Read More »

Everyday heroes compelled to break the law when government fails to protect us

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What does it say about the state of our democracy when it falls upon everyday people to stop a billionaire building the largest coal mine in the southern hemisphere? Julian Burnside * The Sydney Morning Herald And what does it say about our politicians that they will let Adani’s mine proceed when the vast majority of Australians don’t want it, and scientists are urging us to keep coal in the ground to avoid more dangerous climate change? This month, nine ... Read More »

Kenya payout for mother made to deliver on hospital floor

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A woman who was physically abused and left to deliver her baby on the floor of a county hospital in Kenya has been awarded $25,000 (£18,000). BBC In the landmark ruling, a Bungoma high court judge said Josephine Majani’s rights were violated as she gave birth. Mrs Majani said nurses had slapped and verbally abused her in 2013 and left her to deliver her baby in full view of the public. Her ordeal was secretly captured on camera by a ... Read More »

Court orders that boy, 10, at risk of suicide on Nauru be treated in Australia

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Exclusive: Home affairs department argued against move but judge cites ‘significant risk’ he would die if left on island Ben Doherty The Guardian A 10-year-old refugee boy who has made repeated attempts to kill himself while held on Nauru has been ordered moved to Australia for acute psychological care, with a judge saying the boy would be at imminent risk of dying if left in the regional processing centre. In the federal court this month, lawyers representing the boy – known in court documents ... Read More »

Somalia clans secure peace with death sentences and hefty fines

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Two rival Somali clans have signed up to a groundbreaking peace deal which aims to end the cycle of revenge killings. Will Ross BBC Following three weeks of mediation, the rival Sa’ad Yoonis and Ba’iido clans in the disputed Sanaag region reached an agreement on harsh new rules. Now, anyone found guilty of carrying out a revenge killing or vendetta will face a death sentence. The family of the perpetrator will also have to pay fine a $100,000 (£72,000). There ... Read More »

Men fined $17,000 after dead green turtles, dugong found in boat

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Two men have been fined $17,000 after park rangers found two dead green turtles and a dead dugong in their boat off Hervey Bay last year. Amy Mitchell-Whittington Brisbane Times Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers found the dead turtles and dugong, both protected species, in a boat in the Great Sandy Marine Park in October. The men told rangers they had been given permission by Aboriginal elders to hunt and kill the animals for ... Read More »

Slovenian PM resigns over court ruling on referendum

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Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar tendered his resignation March 14 after a court annulled the result of a referendum in the latest blow to his crisis-hit government, months ahead of planned elections. Hurriyet LJUBLJANA – Agence France-Presse “The forces of the past do not allow us to work for future generations,” Cerar told a press conference. “I am tendering my resignation.” Earlier March 14 the constitutional court invalidated the result of a referendum which approved a flagship government infrastructure project ... Read More »

German court backs city bans on diesel cars

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A top German court ruled on Feb. 27 in favor of allowing major cities to ban the most heavily polluting diesel cars, a move set to hit the value of 12 million vehicles in Europe’s largest car market and probably force carmakers to pay for costly modifications. LEIPZIG – Reuters Hurriyet There has been a global backlash against diesel-engine cars since Volkswagen admitted in 2015 to cheating U.S. exhaust tests, meant to limit emissions of particulate matter and nitrogen oxide ... Read More »

Malaysian court jails artist for clown caricature of PM

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A Malaysian artist and prominent opposition activist was jailed for a month yesterday for publishing a caricature of Prime Minister Najib Razak looking like a clown, a ruling likely to exacerbate concern about free speech. KUALA LUMPUR – Reuters Hurriyet Southeast Asia’s third-largest economy recently announced plans to amend a law to stamp out fake news, the latest step to broaden enforcement powers and penalties against online posts or content deemed detrimental to public order and security. Artist Fahmi Reza ... Read More »

Mitsutoki Shigeta: ‘Baby factory’ dad wins paternity rights

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A Bangkok court has awarded paternity rights to a Japanese man over 13 babies he fathered through Thai surrogate mothers. BBC The ruling allows Mitsutoki Shigeta, 28, to pursue custody of the children. The son of a wealthy entrepreneur, he caused controversy in 2014 when he was revealed to have fathered 16 babies via surrogates in Thailand. His so-called “baby factory” case and others led to Thailand banning commercial surrogacy for foreigners. Mr Shigeta, who was not present at the ... Read More »

Turkey sentences journalists to life in jail over coup attempt

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Sentencing over alleged role in failed putsch condemned as showing disregard for rule of law A Turkish court has sentenced six defendants, including three prominent journalists, to life in prison over allegations of involvement in a 2016 coup attempt, drawing fierce condemnation from the UN and press freedom advocates. Kareem Shaheen in Istanbul The Guardian The convictions followed a months-long trial during which the prosecution alleged that the journalists sent “subliminal messages” via TV appearances and newspaper columns urging the overthrow ... Read More »