JURIST Daily Digest – 18 September 2016

JURIST Daily Digest

 In the 18 September 2016 edition:

Today’s Legal News

Latest Legal Commentary:

Wells Fargo customers file suit against bank for fraudulent accounts
By Mark Casper on Sep 17, 2016 04:06 pm
A class action lawsuit [CNN report] was filed on Friday in a US District Court in Utah against Wells Fargo [corporate website] by customers alleging invasion of privacy, fraud, negligence, and breach of contract. Over the past five years, Wells Fargo has opened millions of fake bank and credit card accounts for customers in hopes of earning extra fees from the customers and artificially inflating sales figures. The customers are seeking damages for identity theft, anxiety, emotional distress, and legal…   +read more

Video surfaces in DUI lawsuit showing officers planning fabricated charges
By Mark Casper on Sep 17, 2016 03:13 pm
The Connecticut ACLU [official website] filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] on Thursday against three officers on behalf of a DUI-checkpoint protester, Michael Picard. Video footage was soon after released showing the officers discussing bringing false charges against Picard. Picard had been approached by the officers during one of his protests. The officer noticed Picard had a pistol in his hip holster and checked to see if he had a valid pistol permit. The video shows Picard’s camera being taken…   +read more

UK PM denies EU report that Article 50 proceedings will begin in February
By Steven Wildberger on Sep 17, 2016 01:09 pm
[JURIST] UK Prime Minister Theresa May [official website] on Saturday denied [Mirror report] EU President Donald Tusk’s [EU profile] report that May intends to begin Article 50 [text] proceedings by February. Article 50 [Mirror backgrounder] is the portion of the EU Constitution governing procedures for nations seeking to leave the Union, and is the next step in UK’s withdrawal. Speaking at a summit in Bratislava, Slovakia, Tusk stated [press release], “Prime Minister May was very open and honest with me….   +read more

Three news outlets sue FBI over apple decryption case
By Steven Wildberger on Sep 17, 2016 12:37 pm
[JURIST] USA Today, the Associated Press and Vice Media on Friday filed a federal complaint [text] against the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) [official website] seeking to learn how the government was able to overcome Syed Farook’s [CNN backgrounder] iPhone’s encryption allegedly without Apple’s help. The Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] initially filed suit against Apple in an attempt to force them to unlock Farook’s iPhone after he was involved in the San Bernardino killings [CNN backgrounder]. In March,…   +read more

UN: South Sudan must address human rights violations
By Matthew Santiago on Sep 16, 2016 07:41 pm
[JURIST] The UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan [official website] concluded [press release] its first visit to South Sudan on Thursday and expressed concern regarding the ongoing pattern of human rights violations in South Sudan. The Commission was established [Reuters report] in March to monitor human rights issues in the city amidst an ongoing war between warring factions. Though the government has stated that it properly addressed rights abuses, Commission leader Yasmin Sooka has pointed to the government’s…   +read more

Former Brazil president denies corruption charges
By Alexis Wheeler on Sep 16, 2016 04:22 pm
Former president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva [BBC profile], on Thursday denounced charges filed against him in a corruption scandal [BBC backgrounder] involving more than 50 of the country’s politicians. The charges [WSJ report], including corruption and money laundering, were filed on Wednesday. The former president speculated that the charges may be a method used by prosecutors to tarnish the 13-year reign of his political party, the Worker’s Party. Brazilian authorities allege that da Silva and his wife…   +read more

US Senate amends drinking water act to grant money to Flint
By Alexis Wheeler on Sep 16, 2016 04:12 pm
The US Senate [official website] approved legislation [materials] Thursday amending the Safe Drinking Water Act [materials] to provide $100 million in emergency funding to repair pipes in cities suffering from lead contamination, such as Flint, Michigan [CNN backgrounder]. The amendment also makes grant money available so educational agencies may carry out testing for and remediation of lead contamination in their local schools. There are 29 projects supported by the measure, including those aimed to restore Florida’s Everglades and improve flood…   +read more

UN rights expert: debt bondage remains most prevalent form of slavery
By Gwenyth Gamble on Sep 16, 2016 04:08 pm
Debt bondage remains the world’s leading form of slavery [press release] despite being outlawed in many regions, according to a report [text, PDF] presented Thursday by a UN human rights expert. UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery Urmila Bhoola explained that many people do not understand the complexities of debt bondage. She also reported that the experts at the International Labor Organization [official website] estimate some 21 million people are currently in forced labor because of the practice,…   +read more

Senate committee advances WWII art recovery bill
By Matthew Santiago on Sep 16, 2016 04:07 pm
[JURIST] The US Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] on Thursday advanced a bill that would extend the statute of limitations for Holocaust families and heirs trying to retrieve artwork seized by Nazis during World War II. The Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act [materials] was introduced [Dallas Morning News report] in April and co-authored by Texas senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz [official profiles] with the intention of allowing rightful heirs to have their day in court. In support of the…   +read more

Federal appeals court: mental health prohibtion on gun ownership may be unconstitutional
By Ram Eachambadi on Sep 16, 2016 01:42 pm
The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Thursday that a decades-old federal prohibition against gun ownership by people committed to mental health institutions could violate the Second Amendment, reviving a challenge to the law. The case was brought [WSJ report] by 74-year-old Clifford Tyler, who was committed to a mental health institution 25 years ago but has since been discharged on a clean bill of health. Writing for the majority, Judge Julia Gibbons…   +read more

Sweden court upholds arrest warrant for Julian Assange
By Ram Eachambadi on Sep 16, 2016 01:05 pm
A Swedis appellate court in Stockholm on Friday upheld the arrest warrant [order, PDF; press release] and detention order issued six years ago against Julian Assange [BBC profile]. The warrant, which Assange has challenged multiple times, was issued in 2010 in connection with sexual assault charges involving two women he met in Sweden at the time. Assange has consistently maintained his position [Guardian report] that any and all sexual relations with the two women were consensual and that these charges…   +read more

EU court upholds financial sanctions against former Ukraine president
By Brittany Felder on Sep 16, 2016 12:20 pm
[JURIST] The EU General Court [official website] on Thursday upheld sanctions [judgment] against former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych [BBC profile]. Following an uprising in 2014, Yanukovych fled to Russia, and the EU imposed sanctions for embezzlement and wrongdoing. Yanukovych successfully challenged the sanctions from March 2014 to March 2015 due to lack of evidence, but the court upheld the sanctions from March 2015 to March 2016. The EU has extended the sanctions to 2017, and Yanukovych’s lawyer says he plans…   +read more

ICC to focus on environmental crimes
By Brittany Felder on Sep 16, 2016 11:42 am
[JURIST] The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] will work to prosecute environmental crimes, according to a policy paper [text, PDF] published [press release] Thursday detailing how the court will select and prioritize cases. The court made the paper available to the public in order to increase “transparency” but clarified that the paper is an “internal document” that gives rise to no “legal rights” and is “subject to revision” as experience mandates. The court noted that it will begin prosecuting…   +read more

House approves bill blocking transfer of Guantanamo detainees
By Justin Cosgrove on Sep 16, 2016 11:35 am
The US House of Representatives [official website] on Thursday approved [HR5351 actions] a bill [text, PDF] that would temporarily block the transfer of detainees from the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. The bill, which passed with a 244-174 vote, would prevent [CNN report] transfers until a 2017 military budget is passed or until President Barack Obama leaves office. The Obama administration has cleared 20 of the remaining 61 detainees for transfer. The bill is not expected to survive as the White…   +read more

UN report finds worsening rights situation in Ukraine
By Justin Cosgrove on Sep 16, 2016 11:02 am
A new UN report [text, PDF] released Thursday found a dismal situation in eastern Ukraine [BBC profile] with regards to human rights. As a result of escalating hostilities the past few months, the report cites an increasingly disturbing disregard for the protection of civilians by both sides during the conflict. The report found [OHCHR press release] a 66 percent increase in conflict-related civilian casualties from May through August. The UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) [official…   +read more

Latest Legal Commentary

Land as the Center of Social and Ethnic Conflict in Ethiopia
By Anonymous on Aug 30, 2016 01:49 am
JURIST Guest Columnist Henok G. Gabisa of the Bekele Gerba et al International Legal Defense Project discusses the motivation behind Olympic marathoner Feyisa Lilesa’s arm-crossed protest at the finish line at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janiero, Brazil… +read more

Protecting Abortion Rights after Whole Woman’s Health
By Maya Manian on Aug 19, 2016 09:50 am
JURIST Guest Columnist Maya Manian of the University of San Francisco School of Law discusses the history of abortion laws, and how Whole Woman’s Health has impacted women’s constitutional right to access abortion care… +read more

American Bar Association Attacks Attorney Speech Rights
By Brad Abramson on Aug 17, 2016 09:08 pm
JURIST Guest Columnist Brad Abramson discusses the new ABA amendment… +read more

What Next on Terror and Guns?
By Fredrick Vars on Aug 17, 2016 01:47 pm
JURIST Guest Columnist Fredrick Vars [PDF] of the University of Alabama School of Law, proposes a compromise federal approach to the problem of guns and terrorism… +read more

The DAPA Non-Decision: The Meaning of Missed Opportunities
By Glenn C. Smith on Aug 16, 2016 06:18 pm
JURIST Guest Columnist Glenn C. Smith of the California Western School of Law discusses what a four-four Supreme Court split means for the future of President Obama’s immigration policy… +read more

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