Law & Order

Flynn’s Plea Raises New Questions About Whether Trump Obstructed Justice

Before firing then-FBI Director James Comey, the president reportedly asked him not to prosecute the former national-security adviser. Adam Serwer The Atlantic  Former National-Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s plea deal in the Russia investigation raises new questions about whether the president sought to obstruct justice when he fired former FBI Director James Comey. “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy,” President Trump told Comey in February, according ... Read More »

Why Victoria should rethink the abolition of defensive homicide

In 2005, a comprehensive package of “trendsetting feminist … reforms” was introduced in Victoria, including a new offence of defensive homicide. Asher Flynn Danielle Tyson  Madeleine Ulbrick  Sitting between murder and manslaughter in terms of legal and moral culpability, a person could be convicted of defensive homicide rather than murder if they killed with the genuine but unreasonable belief that they were acting in self-defence. The Conversation Defensive homicide was introduced for two reasons: to provide a “safety net” between ... Read More »

Cypriot fighters seek damages over torture under British rule

The 35 claimants are suing the UK government over alleged human rights abuses that took place in the 1950s Helena Smith The Guardian Greek Cypriots who claim they were tortured by colonial forces when they were members of a guerrilla group in the 1950s are seeking damages from the British government. More than 50 years after the alleged human rights abuses took place, a preliminary high court hearing on Tuesday will consider whether a case brought by 35 former fighters ... Read More »

Egypt jails 14 for homosexuality

An Egyptian court on Nov. 26 sentenced 14 men convicted of being homosexuals to three years in jail each for “abnormal” sexual relations, a defence lawyer said. Cairo – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Ishaq Wadie said the men were released on bail of 5,000 Egyptian pounds ($283, 230 euros) each until an appeals trial. The trial of three other suspects was delayed over procedural reasons, the lawyer said. Homosexuality is not expressly outlawed in Egypt, but gays have previously been charged ... Read More »

Man with intellectual disability jailed because NDIS couldn’t provide carer, released on bail

Judge says he’s ‘horrified’ by isolation conditions 20-year-old Victorian man, Francis, was held in after service provider pulled out of care contract Calla Wahlquist  The Guardian A Victorian man with a profound intellectual disability will be released from jail on Monday after spending two months in isolation because he did not have an accredited care provider. Announcing his decision to release 20-year-old Francis on bail on Thursday, supreme court judge Lex Lasry reportedly said he was “horrified” by the conditions ... Read More »

Mladic is convicted but jury is still out on Yugoslav tribunal

It is not clear if the war crimes tribunal has been a deterrent to other perpetrators Ray Murphy The Irish Times Gen Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb commander, has been found guilty of war crimes and other serious violations of international law. This was the last trial judgment to be delivered by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia before its closure at the end of this year. It is one of the most important trials conducted by ... Read More »

Prague appeals court to rule on Russian hacker extradition to US

A Prague appeals court is due to rule on an appeal by a Russian man who faces charges of hacking computers at American companies against a lower court decision allowing his extradition to the United States. PRAGUE – The Associated Press Hurriyet Czech authorities arrested Yevgeniy Nikulin in Prague in cooperation with the FBI in October, 2016. He is accused by U.S. prosecutors of penetrating computers at Silicon Valley firms including LinkedIn and Dropbox in 2012. Moscow also wants him ... Read More »

Kim Kardashian, Rihanna throw support behind jailed teen Cyntoia Brown

The story of a 16-year-old girl who in 2004 killed a man who picked her up for sex is spreading around the world, after a number of high-profile celebrities joined a campaign to free her. ABC Cyntoia Brown was sentenced to life in prison over the killing of 43-year-old Nashville real estate agent Johnny Allen. Allen picked her up off the street after she was forced into sex work by her boyfriend, a pimp who went by the name “Kutthroat” ... Read More »

Boochani arrest is an attack on press freedom

MEAA, the union for Australian media workers, stands in solidarity with Iranian-Kurdish journalist and regular contributor to Australian publications, Behrouz Boochani, who has reportedly been arrested today on Manus Island. MEAA Chief Executive Paul Murphy said Boochani appeared to have been deliberately targeted by Papua New Guinea police in today’s crackdown because of his high-profile as a journalist reporting from inside the detention centre. “Behrouz has been one of the main sources of factual information about conditions inside the Manus ... Read More »

Seattle’s income tax on the wealthy is illegal, judge rules

Seattle’s income tax on wealthy households failed its first legal test on Wednesday By Lewis Kamb and Sandi Doughton Seattle Times staff reporters Seattle’s income tax on wealthy households failed its first legal test Wednesday, with a King County Superior Court ruling that the measure is illegal. In a summary judgment, Judge John R. Ruhl agreed with multiple challengers that the city ordinance adopted in July is not authorized under state law. Opponents of Seattle’s so-called “wealth tax” immediately hailed the ruling as proof that the city long ... Read More »

Victoria poised to become first Australian state to legalise assisted dying after historic vote

Assisted dying bill passes upper house, paving the way for it to be confirmed by lower house and passed into law Gay Alcorn The Guardian Victoria is on the verge of becoming the first Australian state to legalise voluntary assisted dying, after the upper house finally approved the right of terminally ill people to request assistance to end their lives. The historic bill was passed by 22 votes to 18 after a gruelling and often bitter all-night debate. The chamber began ... Read More »

Do we need a new offence to protect victims of family violence from psychological harm?

The Liberal National Party has promised that if it wins the upcoming Queensland election it will introduce a “standalone” domestic violence offence for non-violent offenders who had shown a pattern of psychologically controlling behaviour. Marilyn McMahon Paul McGorrery  The new offence would also prohibit emotional and financial abuse. The Conversation The Queensland offence would be modelled on the English offence of “controlling or coercive behaviour”. A similar law is also being considered by the Scottish parliament. However, not all key ... Read More »

How a Native American tribe came to own one of the world’s most valuable patents

Allergan, the drugmaker behind Botox, is using an unprecedented tactic to protect its valuable patents – angering lawyers and politicians, and keeping the price of its medicines high. Luke McDonagh The Conversation There has long been a debate about patents and traditional knowledge in developing countries. Pharmaceutical companies in the West, like Allergan, are often accused of “bio-prospecting”. They collect raw samples of traditional medicines and plants, whose healing properties have been known to locals for centuries, and patent modified ... Read More »

5 Points On The Cleric Targeted In Mike Flynn’s Shady Dealings With Turkey

The focus of former national security adviser Mike Flynn’s tangle of business dealings with Turkey is one man: Fethullah Gulen, an ailing septuagenarian Muslim cleric who lives in a Pennsylvania compound. Allegra Kirkland Talking Points Memo Plenty of ink has been spilled about the hundreds of thousands of dollars Flynn received to produce negative PR materials about Gulen and about Flynn’s alleged discussions with Turkish officials about forcibly removing him from the U.S. What’s received less attention is why Turkey would ... Read More »

Erasing modern slavery is a slow process, but it catches on in Australia

An important part of any legislation would require businesses to report what goes on in their supply chains And already, the battle lines are drawn Richard Ackland The Guardian Quite smartly human rights are back on the front page, thanks to Wednesday’s outcome of the voluntary postal survey on marriage equality. It should pave the way to a bigger infusion of rights, with the next milestone a Human Rights Act for the entire nation. Possibly, there would have been no ... Read More »

Minimum alcohol pricing plans given green light after court battle

Scotland will become the first country in the world to introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol David Bol Supreme Court justices gave their backing to the controversial measure in what ministers in Edinburgh hailed as an “historic and far-reaching judgment”. The Scotsman Seven justices at the UK’s highest court dismissed a legal challenge that had been brought against minimum unit pricing by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA). The decision clears the way for the Scottish Government to bring in the ... Read More »