Seattle’s Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were back in the news several weeks ago with word that the Corte di Cassazione (court of last resort in Italy) ordered a new trial for both defendants in the case of the murder trial for British student Meredith Kercher. Questions were raised in the media about the Italy – United States extradition treaty as well as a suggestion that this new trial may constitute double jeopardy. These subjects were discussed in a recent blog post by Julian Ku in Opinio Juris.
Archive for the 'legal news' Category
Tags: Amanda Knox, Corte di Cassazione, Italy, law
Tags: art, law, US court of appeals
On 4/25/2013 the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit mostly overturned a lower court opinion on the nature of appropriation, the importance of transformative use and the protection of works of art under the federal copyright statutes. The 2011 federal district court case had found that artist Richard Prince’s appropriation of photographs by Patrick Cariou were not sufficiently transformative to warrant an exception to the fair use provisions. The Second Circuit mostly reversed this position in an opinion that is reverberating around the art world. Get a link to the opinion and a good dose of commentary from the Art Law Blog.
Tags: human rights, Kiobel, supreme court
In what may be a landmark opinion in U.S. human rights practice, the Supreme Court held that conduct occurring on foreign territory will not be the subject of litigation under the Alien Tort Claims Statute. The court invoked the “presumption against extraterritoriality” in arriving at its opinion. Read an analysis by Prof. Curtis A. Bradley in this ASIL Insight.
Tags: law, same-sex marriage, US Supreme Court
The U.S. Supreme Court website has posted an audio recording of the arguments in Hollingsworth v. Perry. The site also includes links to case briefs.
Tags: icc, international law, united states
Jen Trahan blogged recently on Opinio Juris that three statements made by the former U.S. Department of State Legal Advisor Harold Koh, prior to leaving office in December, 2012, could signal a return to signatory status for the United States with respect to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. At separate appearances at NYU, the University of Leiden, and the New York City Bar Association, Koh clearly stated that the U.S. respected the “object and purpose” of the treaty. Under normal circumstances this would place the United States in conformance with article 18 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties on the obligations of treaty signatories. Whether Koh’s oral statements would trump the written note sent by John Bolton to the UN in 2002, withdrawing U.S. intent to become a party, is still in question.
Tags: immunity, law, pope
It is reported that as Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI will discontinue sporting his red shoes by Adriano Stefanelli and the mozetta or elbow-length white cape. Also on the list of discontinued items will be his Head of State immunity. In the future, the Pope Emeritus might have a harder time fighting off claims that he assisted priests and other clergy in covering up allegations of child sexual abuse while head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith under his pre-papal moniker, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. See the reasoning used by the court in Doe v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Galveston-Houston, 408 F.Supp 2d 272 as to immunity. Could he be extradited? No, the Vatican does not have an extradition treaty with any other state including Italy.
Tags: law, Washington Product Liability Act, Washington Supreme Court
Because the Washington Product Liability Act does not provide for damages for emotional distress in the absence of physical injury, a federal judge dismissed a case against Burger King for negligence, product liability and vicarious liability that had been filed by a Clark County deputy sheriff, Edward Bylsma. In March 2009, the sheriff drove his marked police car through a Burger King drive-through and had an uneasy feeling after he received his burger. He stopped in a parking lot to remove the top bun and found “slimy, clear and white phlegm glob” on the meat patty. DNA testing later confirmed that the saliva matched that of one of the Burger King employees. Although he did not eat the burger, the incident caused Bylsma sleeplessness, vomiting and food aversion.
Bylsma appealed to the 9th Circuit, which asked the Washington Supreme Court for guidance. In an opinion issued February 7, 2013 the state’s highest court concluded Thursday that Bylsma could take his case to trial. “Common sense tells us that food consumption is a personal matter, and contaminated food is closely associated with disgust and other kinds of emotional turmoil,” Justice Steven Gonzalez wrote for the court. “Thus, when a food manufacturer served a contaminated food product, it is well within the scope of foreseeable harm consequences that the individual will suffer emotional damages.” The Supreme Court held that at trial, Bylsma may be successful “if the emotional distress is a reasonable response and manifest by objective symptomatology”.