Law & Order

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 »

Should sexual harassment be a criminal offence?

It started with Harvey Weinstein, one of the biggest names in cinema, then went global with the #metoo Twitter hashtag before engulfing the UK’s members of Parliament. Marie Jackson Flipboard The sex scandal spanning Hollywood, Parliament and beyond has exposed a possible gap in UK legislation – sexual harassment is not actually a criminal offence in its own right. The Equality Act currently covers sexual harassment in the workplace – but outside work, prosecutors must use different pieces of legislation, ... Read More »

60% of organisations suffer ‘inefficient’ legal spend: Report

New research has found that the majority of large organisations around the world allocate their legal spend inefficiently. Tom Lodewyke Lawyers Weekly Legal research firm Acritas produced the recent Patterns in Legal Spend Report – Part 2 using data from the 2016 Sharplegal Global Elite survey, which questioned over 2,000 senior in-house counsel around the world. Their responses revealed a delicate balance between internal and external legal spending that delivers maximum efficiency. According to the Acritas report, optimum efficiency is ... Read More »

India Rules Sex With a Child Bride Is Always Rape in a Massive Win for Girls’ Rights

It’s a landmark change to India’s marital rape laws Imogen Calderwood India’s top court has ruled that sex with a child is always rape, quashing a clause that allowed men to have sex with underage girls if they were married to them. Global Citizen The Supreme Court’s landmark decision on Wednesday closed a legal loophole that has historically allowed perpetrators of rape to escape punishment. While the age of consent in India is 18, there was a clause in India’s ... Read More »

WSJ: Mueller probes Flynn role in plot to deliver cleric to Turkey

Washington (CNN) – Former White House national security adviser Mike Flynn and his son are alleged to have been offered as much as $15 million to forcibly remove from the US a Muslim cleric wanted by Turkey, The Wall Street Journal… Miranda Green CNN The Journal reported the FBI questioned at least four people in regards to a mid-December meeting in New York at the “21” Club. Discussions between Flynn and Turkish representatives supposedly took place there, according to the… The ... Read More »

Sexual violence and harassment going up, according to ABS survey

Sexual violence against women is on the rise, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) By social affairs correspondent Norman Hermant and Catherine Hanrahan  ABC The latest Personal Safety Survey shows the proportion of women experiencing sexual violence in the past year increased from 1.2 per cent to 1.8 per cent since the last survey conducted in 2012. But very few sexual assaults are being reported to police. In 2012, an estimated 17 per cent of women reported their ... Read More »

Coincidence or coordination?

Russians approached at least nine people in Trump’s orbit during the campaign and presidential transition Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger The Washington Post Through family, business and campaign operatives, Russian nationals repeatedly sought contact with Donald Trump’s world, starting only a few months after his presidential bid was announced in 2015. They forwarded proposals to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, brought a Trump adviser to Russia to speak and repeatedly sought meetings with Trump and his aides. Special ... Read More »

China to Create Its Own International Courts for Maritime Claims

China is continuing with its plan announced earlier this year to create two Chinese-controlled international maritime courts that would be used to provide China’s interpretation of maritime law. Paul Huang The Epoch Times  The continuation of the plan is the latest signal that China has not given up on pushing forward its maritime claims in the South China Sea, which have been decisively ruled as unlawful by the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague in a high profile case ... Read More »

Lira crashes as Erdogan, Turkish gov’t implicated in Iran money-laundering scheme

Case of Reza Zarrab seen as flash point in US-Turkey relations Asia Times The Turkish lira plummeted Friday after reports surfaced that a trader accused of helping Iran evade sanctions invoked the name of Turkish President Recep Erdogan as part of a money-laundering scheme. Bloomberg reports, citing court documents, that US prosecutors say the scheme was supported by Turkey’s… The lira dropped to its weakest point since January, hovering around an all-time low for the currency. From Bloomberg: ”US prosecutors in ... Read More »

Cyprus gave Manafort bank records to Mueller: report

Authorities in Cyprus reportedly gave documents about former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s financial activities to special counsel Robert Mueller. Avery Anapol TheHill Citing people familiar with Mueller’s investigation, Bloomberg  reports that Cyprus gave Mueller’s team documents relating to Manafort and his associate Richard Gates just dates before they were indicted Monday. The 12-count indictment, stemming from Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the presidential election, charges Manafort and Gates with money laundering and conspiracy against the United States, among… Cyprus gave Manafort… Read More »

Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a criminal. Our foreign policy should treat him as such.

Earlier this year, former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega died quietly in Panama City ending a life marked by fantastic highs and lows. Michael Rubin Washington Examiner Noriega was Panamanian military officer and CIA informant who let greed get the best of him. He cast his lot with Colombian drug lords flooding their cocaine into the United States. The George H.W. Bush administration had enough of their former partner and client and ordered an invasion of Panama to snatch Noriega. He ... Read More »

Ex-Argentine Vice President detained on laundering charge

Former Argentine Vice President Amado Boudou has been detained on charges of illicit enrichment and money laundering, joining other members of the administration of former President Cristina Fernandez who are under arrest. BUENOS AIRES – The Associated Press Hurriyet Boudou also served as economy minister during the 2007-2015 administration of Fernandez. A woman who works in the court of federal Judge Ariel Lijo says Boudou was detained in his Buenos Aires apartment Friday by coast guards and will be brought ... Read More »