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Legal System

Apache Stronghold Asks 29-Judge Appeals Court To Save Oak Flat

Washington - A coalition of Western Apaches and allies today asked all 29 judges on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to protect their sacred site at Oak Flat from destruction by a mining project. In Apache Stronghold v. United States, a special “en banc” panel of eleven judges split 6-5 earlier this year, refusing to stop the federal government from transferring Oak Flat to Resolution Copper, a foreign-owned mining company that plans to turn Oak Flat into a massive mining crater, ending Apache religious practices forever.

The European Court of Human Right’s First Climate Ruling

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has today ruled that insufficient action to tackle climate change is a violation of human rights. In a historic judgement, the court ruled that Switzerland’s failure to do enough to cut its greenhouse gas emissions breached the rights to respect for family and private life of some of its most vulnerable citizens. It is the first time this court, which is responsible for interpreting the European Convention on Human Rights, a treaty signed by all members of the Council of Europe (including the UK), has ruled on a climate change-related matter.

Climate: ECHR Judges Side With Swiss Group In Rights Ruling

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Tuesday delivered rulings in a group of landmark climate change cases aimed at making national governments meet treaty obligations to cut greenhouse emissions. In one of the three cases, it upheld a complaint by a group of elderly Swiss women that government failures to properly oversee emissions did violate their human rights. While activists have enjoyed past success in domestic proceedings, the verdict marks the first time an international court made such a ruling on climate change.

South African Solidarity Groups Demand Arrest Of Israeli Colonel

The Palestine Solidarity Alliance, the Media Review Network and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign are gravely concerned that, despite public warnings to South African citizens serving in Israel's Occupation Army (IDF) issued by DIRCO Minister Naledi Pandor, recruitment for it may still be underway in South Africa. Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshaveni recently confirmed that individuals participating in the Middle East war are a threat to the interests of the republic and will be prosecuted. According to these solidarity groups, the man at the centre of this recent wave of recruitments is Colonel Golan Vach, described as a 35-year veteran in the IDF.

Shell In Court Over Its ‘Dire’ Exacerbation Of The Climate Crisis

Shell squared off against seven environmental groups in a Dutch appeals court on Tuesday 2 April, with climate activists accusing the multinational oil giant of failing to implement a landmark 2021 judgement – worsening the climate crisis. Judges at the Hague District Court ruled three years ago that Shell must reduce its carbon emissions by 45% by 2030. They said it was contributing to the “dire” effects of climate change. That ruling was a historic victory for climate change campaigners. It was the first time a company had been made to align its policy with the 2015 Paris climate change accords.

First City-Wide Rent Reduction In The History Of New York Upheld

New York State’s Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 1974 permits the regulation of residential rents (“rent stabilization”) on the declaration of a housing emergency in New York City when the vacancy rate falls below 5%, or by similar declarations in municipalities in the suburban New York City counties of Nassau, Westchester and Rockland. A “Rent Guidelines Board” then has the power to set guidelines for rent adjustments. Today about half of all apartments in New York City are rent stabilized.

Survivors Of Sexual Assault In Juvenile Detention Are Speaking Out

The prevalence of sexual violence in the US prison system is so widespread and accepted that it’s often made the butt of jokes in popular culture. Yet the reality is that countless survivors of the prison system carry the scars and traumas of sexual abuse—and for many, the perpetrators of these crimes were the very prison staff charged with their protection. Juvenile victims of the prison system are no exception. In Maryland, several adult survivors of sexual abuse as juveniles in state custody have filed a class action lawsuit demanding justice.

Delay Tactics On First Day Of Genocide Trial In Guatemala

Guatemala City, Guatemala - On March 25, 2024, the first hearing of the Oral and Public Debate was held against former General Benedicto Lucas García, for the crimes of genocide, sexual violence and crimes against humanity, committed during the dictatorship of his brother Romeo Lucas García (1978-1982). Ancestral Indigenous Authorities of the Ixil people of Nebaj and Chajul, representatives of the National Platform of Victims, CONAVIGUA, along with members of other religious, social and human rights organizations, were present to support the plaintiffs, the Association for Justice and Reconciliation, and their legal team.

Assange’s Fate Awaits US ‘Assurances’

The High Court in London on Tuesday gave the United States an opportunity to rebuff Julian Assange’s plea that he be allowed to appeal the Home Office’s order to extradite him to the U.S. to face espionage charges.  In a complex ruling at the Royal Courts of Justice, the court agreed with Assange that he had grounds to ask for an appeal, but invited the United States to give the court assurances by April 16 that could negate Assange’s arguments.  Specifically, the two-judge panel ruled that Assange had grounds to appeal because his extradition was incompatible with his rights of expression in the European Convention on Human Rights.

Community Calls On Governor/AG To ‘Stay Out Of County Prosecutions’

Minneapolis, Minnesota – Police associations and pro-police members of Congress are pressuring Minnesota’s governor to wrest prosecuting power away from Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty over her decision to charge State Trooper Ryan Londregan with murder for the July 2023 fatal shooting of Ricky Cobb II. Minneapolis community groups and leaders have since crafted statements and an op-ed, published below, in support of Moriarty, formerly a public defender whom residents elected in 2022 after her campaign focused on police accountability.

Plaintiff In Biden Gaza Genocide Lawsuit States Their Case

Israel has killed more than 30,000 Palestinians over the past five months of its genocide in Gaza, including more than 13,000 children. The Israeli bombing campaign has wiped hospitals, universities, primary schools, and other critical infrastructure off the map, not even sparing tent cities in Rafah where over a million displaced people have fled to. Through it all, the Biden administration has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel, supplying the funds and arms required for Israel’s extermination campaign to continue.

Native American Lawsuit Sheds Light On Dark Aspect Of US History

“The doctrine of discovery refers to a principle in public international law under which, when a nation ‘discovers’ land, it directly acquires rights on that land,” according to a definition offered by Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute. “This doctrine arose when the European nations discovered non-European lands, and therefore acquired special rights.” “​​More broadly, the doctrine of discovery can be described as an international law doctrine giving authorization to explorers to claim terra nullius [‘uninhabited’ land]… in the name of their sovereign when the land was not populated by Christians.”

40 Years After The Ixil Genocide, Case Against General Lucas García Opens

After 36 years, Guatemala put an end to the Internal Armed Conflict –IAC-, with the definitive ceasefire and the signing of the firm and lasting Peace Agreement on December 29th of 1996. Previously, through the Oslo Accords (1994), the parties agreed to the creation of the Commission for Historical Clarification (CEH) with the purpose of “clarifying with complete objectivity, fairness and impartiality the violations of Human Rights and the acts of violence that caused suffering to the Guatemalan population, linked to the armed conflict,” however the Commission would have an extendable term of 6 months of work from its installation, which would occur between 1997 and 1998.

Unequal Before The Law

Federal charges ordinarily cover matters of national reach: immigration, voting rights, racketeering. Not in Indian Country. Tribal members frequently find themselves in federal court for all sorts of allegations— not just serious crimes, such as murder, but lesser offenses, like burglary. Once in federal court, they face sentencing guidelines that are stiffer than if they were tried in state court, where non-Native cases are generally heard. Diversion, probation and other mitigation actions, typical of state courts, are also less common, as is a jury that includes their peers, which is to say, other Natives.

Former Honduran President Convicted Of Drug Trafficking

The former president of Honduras Juan Orlando Hernández was found, this Friday, guilty of international drug trafficking by a jury in New York. His tax process, considered historic, concluded in his guilt of three crimes imposed by the US prosecutor, the former president may even face life imprisonment for their charges. According to the prosecutor’s office, Hernández created a narco-state during his eight-year presidency, 2014-2022. He was also convicted of arms trafficking and weapons possession.
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