[Radio Netherlands] The highest hurdle has gone: would-be immigrants who want to live with their partners or families in the Netherlands do not need to pass citizenship tests in their own country first. They no longer face a Dutch language test and difficult questions about society in the Netherlands. The change came about because of a ruling delivered by an Amsterdam court hearing a case brought by a Moroccan woman against the Dutch state.
[Boston Globe] Fourteen years ago, Henry K. Boateng was sentenced to life in prison without parole after a Worcester jury convicted him of beating his 5-week-old son to death and viciously attacking the baby’s mother.
Now, Boateng — who changed his name to Daniel Yeboah-Sefah and identifies himself as a Buddhist — has won a significant legal victory: A federal judge found that the state prison system violated his civil rights by denying him a vegan diet.
[AFP] A Canadian court has lifted a 12-year-old girl’s grounding, overturning her father’s punishment for disobeying his orders to stay off the Internet, his lawyer said Wednesday.
The girl had taken her father to Quebec Superior Court after he refused to allow her to go on a school trip for chatting on websites he tried to block, and then posting “inappropriate” pictures of herself online using a friend’s computer.
According to court documents, the girl’s Internet transgression was just the latest in a string of broken house rules. Even so, Justice Suzanne Tessier found her punishment too severe.
Two men face a hate-crime charge after a plastic skeleton was painted black and lynched from a flagpole flying the Confederate flag in Georgina.
York Regional Police announced the charges yesterday after almost seven months of investigating.
[Frank Brennan] Now is the time for all Australian jurisdictions to be considering the benefits of a bill of rights, whether it be constitutional or statutory, whether it include open textured rights such as freedom, equal protection, and due process or be confined to more restricted rights, and whether judges be required to interpret future statutes according to the usual principles of statutory interpretation or so far as possible in a way compatible with the defined rights. Law Week provides the opportunity for all citizens to engage in dialogue about the pros and cons of a bill of rights.
Posted in Australia, Bloggers, Bureaucrats, International, Your Money
Tagged Australia, Bloggers, Bureaucrats, Courts, Human Rights, Law, Politics
Lawsuit? That’s so 80′s.
These ski jumpers haven’t been paying attention in class. Don’t they know they could have had a slam dunk case and a free lawyer by going to the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal?
[Canadian Press] A group of 10 women ski jumpers are going to court in an attempt to have their sport included in the 2010 Winter Olympics.
A statement of claim will be filed in B.C. Supreme Court Wednesday against the Vancouver Olympic Games Organizing Committee, Deedee Corradini of the lobby group Women’s Ski Jumping USA told the Canadian Press.
The jumpers are frustrated the International Olympic Committee did not include women’s ski jumping on the program for the 2010 Games.
Legal Aid CEO Jacquie Schaffter says all areas of the law are affected, but that staff have the most trouble finding lawyers to take on family law files like custody disputes and divorces. And while the exodus has caused problems across the province, it is particularly bad in rural areas, where clients sometimes wait for weeks before Legal Aid appoints a lawyer.
Now, 26 years after the introduction of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, lawyers who want to contribute to their communities can choose from a “smorgasbord” of legal issues ranging from refugee claims to health care. International causes like human rights and the environment also draw heavily on Canadian legal talent.
A nice can of worms compliments of the other Common Law. The precedent is essentially this: cops didn’t do what you wanted? They violated your human rights.
Detective Constable David Ridley, of Hertfordshire Police, was later found guilty in a police disciplinary action of failing to perform his duties diligently with regard to the threats.
Mr Van Colle’s parents then launched a case against the police under article two of the Human Rights Act, which covers the right to life. They were awarded £50,000 by the High Court in 2006.
Hertfordshire Police’s appeal at the House of Lords will start today.
If unchallenged, the decision means the Minister for Accident Compensation Maryan Street will have to report to Parliament on how to address the inconsistency.
Chief human rights commissioner Rosslyn Noonan said: “This decision is a landmark in human rights law in that it shows how any New Zealander can challenge legislation they believe to be discriminatory and impacts upon them adversely”.
Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe is making a legal bid for freedom by claiming his human rights have been breached.
The 61-year-old will be represented by female lawyer Saimo Chahal, who will argue the Home Office disregarded his human rights because they failed to fix a tariff for his sentence.
Sutcliffe was jailed in 1981 after murdering 13 women and attempting to kill seven more across Yorkshire and in Manchester.
Wei Tang’s lawyers say she believed she had an employer relationship with the women. The Crown argues that it is not necessary for her to have knowingly enslaved, only that she knowingly set up the conditions that effectively made the women slaves.
The landmark case challenges the constitutionality of the laws. The federal Attorney-General and the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission are appearing to defend them.
Former Gettysburg Police Sgt. Sharon Gelwicks will receive $75,000 as part of the settlement to a gender-discrimination lawsuit she filed a year ago against Gettysburg Borough, its mayor and former police chief.
Without discussion, the Gettysburg Borough Council on Monday unanimously approved the settlement agreement – marking the end of a “sad and difficult chapter” for the borough and police department, borough Solicitor Harry Eastman read from a statement at Monday’s meeting.
Eastman said the agreement involves “no admission of liability or wrongdoing on the part of any party to the settlement,” and he called it a “fair resolution” for the borough.
DWE is finds it amusing that Canadians are often called idiots and bigots under the guise of “education lacking.” Here’s a good one, about the Sikh man who didn’t want to wear a helmet on his motorcycle. The court told him tough luck.
“This is just a show of ignorance,” said Mr. Badesha supporter, Mangat Manjit. “We have to educate this community more. The government and decision makers don’t know about our culture and religion.”
That would be the Canadian culture. Right?
The Ontario Human Rights Commission took Badesha’s side.
“For [Canadians], the death penalty is a fundamental human rights issue,” said Richard Dieter, executive director of the U.S. national Death Penalty Information Center.
Under the charter, which came into effect in courts on January 1, defence lawyers can make arguments based on human rights issues, including the right to trial “by a competent, independent and impartial court”.
Montana’s governor told a top Canadian consular official last year that he was willing to consider commuting the death sentence of Alberta-born killer Ronald Smith – the only Canadian on death row in the U.S. – and transfer him to a Canadian prison if Canada would guarantee he’d be kept behind bars for at least five years.
Blencoe v. British Columbia (Human Rights Commission) 
Supreme Court decision:
Following the allegations against the respondent, media attention was intense. He suffered from severe depression. He did not stand for re-election in 1996. Considering himself “unemployable” in British Columbia due to the outstanding human rights complaints against him, the respondent commenced judicial review proceedings in November 1997 to have the complaints stayed. He claimed that the Commission had lost jurisdiction due to unreasonable delay in processing the complaints. The respondent alleged that the unreasonable delay caused serious prejudice to him and his family which amounted to an abuse of process and a denial of natural justice. His petition was dismissed by the Supreme Court of British Columbia. A majority of the Court of Appeal allowed the respondent’s appeal and directed that the human rights proceedings against him be stayed. The majority found that the respondent had been deprived of his right under s. 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to security of the person in a manner which was not in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.
177 It is true that administrative delay was not the only cause of the prejudice suffered by the respondent. Nevertheless, it contributed significantly to its aggravation. It must be added, though, that this delay also frustrated the complainants in their desire for a quick disposition of their complaints. Finally, the inefficient and delay-filled process at the Commission linked with the specific blunders made in the management of those particular complaints harmed all parties involved in this sorry process. Its flaws were such that it may rightly be termed to have been abusive in respect of the respondent. In this connection, I note that my colleague, Bastarache J., despite coming to the conclusion that the conduct of the Commission did not amount to an abuse of process, nevertheless found it necessary to award costs against the Commission in light of the “lack of diligence [it] displayed” (para. 136). In my view, this further demonstrates the tension in this appeal and the fact that the conduct of the Commission in dealing with this matter was less than acceptable.
Paruk, who wanted to see her face during testimony so he could assess her credibility, gave her a choice: remove the veil and testify or the case would be dismissed.
Muhammad offered to testify before a female judge, but Paruk is the only district judge in Hamtramck.
In the end, Paruk dismissed her case. The car rental company countersued her and won a $2,083 judgment.
Ayad took the case to federal court before the rental company could collect. Ayad says Paruk violated her constitutional right to practice her religion and denied her access to the court system.
Posted in USA
Tagged Courts, Law, USA, Veils
Celebrating the anniversary of a Canadian custom. When religion and sex clash, sex wins hands down.
This month marks the 10 year anniversary of the historic Supreme Court decisionVriend v. Alberta,  1.S.C.R. 493; a defining moment in the rights of gays and lesbians in Canada. It was also a proud occasion in the history of the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), an intervener in the case.
One such case involved Delvin Vriend, an openly gay man, who, in 1991, was fired from his position as a laboratory coordinator at Kings College, a private catholic university. The college defended the dismissal, claiming that Vriend’s homosexuality was in conflict with their board of governors’ newly adopted position statement on religious practices.
Case dismissed, but yeah, we’re bigots. Sorry.
A Canadian court has dismissed a Sikh’s plea challenging the mandatory wearing of helmet while riding a motorcycle but admitted that the law did violate his constitutional right to religious freedom.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission has decided not to proceed with complaints filed against Maclean’s magazine related to its publication of an article “The future belongs to Islam.”
While freedom of expression must be recognized as a cornerstone of a functioning democracy, the Commission strongly condemns the Islamophobic portrayal of Muslims, Arabs, South Asians and indeed any racialized community in the media, such as the Maclean’s article and others like them, as being inconsistent with the values enshrined in our human rights codes. Media has a responsibility to engage in fair and unbiased journalism.
|CANADIANS AS CITIZENS OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
||Applying International Law in Domestic Courts
Associate Chief Justice Michael MacDonald, Nova Scotia Supreme Court, Halifax, NS Speakers:
Professor Hugh Kindred, Faculty of Law, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS
Professor Stephen Toope, Faculty of Law, McGill University, Montreal, QC
||Applying International Law in Administrative Boards, Tribunals and Agencies
Ms. Anne L. Mactavish, Chair, Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, Ottawa, ON Speakers:
Professor Audrey Macklin, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
Professor William A. Schabas, Director, Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland, Galway (Ireland)
||Closing Luncheon Address
Justice Constance D. Hunt, Alberta Court of Appeal, Calgary, AB Speaker:
Mr. Mark Kingwell, Author of “The World We Want: Virtue, Vice and the Good Citizen”, Professor of Philosophy, University of Toronto, Scarborough, ON