You may have read yesterday that the Massachusetts Supreme Court decided that a man who covertly took photographs and videos up the skirt of a woman sitting opposite him on a trolley did not violate the local peeping tom law. The court felt it was unable to subsume the accused’s behaviour under the particular, and admittedly awkward, wording of the statute. This is a creepy matter, a creepy subject, and I raise it here for no salacious reason but out of a sense of frustration that such behaviour “could not” be proscribed under Massachusetts law as currently written. And I . . . [more]
Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Foreign Law’
One of my correspondents is a law firm with three offices across the Ukraine.
They posted this open letter this morning:
Dear friends, colleagues and partners,
Herewith we would like to draw your attention to the current political crisis between Ukraine and Russian Federation and the current situation in the Crimea. Being a Ukrainian company we are concerned a lot about the future of our State. We kindly ask you to spare 5 minutes of your time for the issue, which is incredibly important to every person in the world, and read this message to the end.
All the politicians . . . [more]
It’s not often that I comment on a U.S. legal decision (mostly because I’m not an American attorney), but a recent decision from the US National Labour Relations Board (NLRB or the Board) is particularly interesting from an employment and labour law perspective and because it also highlights a significant area where US and Canada labour law differs.
In the decision Design Technology Group, LLC, 359 NLRB No 96, the Board ordered the employer to reinstate a number of employees who were terminated for critcizing their employer on a semi-public Facebook page. In the US, most employment is “at will” . . . [more]
The Internal Revenue Service of the United States has recently denied charitable status to an organization that promotes a knowledge of internet security to bloggers and civil society groups, notably those in foreign countries whose freedom of expression may be threatened by state bodies.
As one US commentator wrote:
The IRS denial, in short, hinges on the applicant’s activities looking too much like a for-profit trade or business and also the following not qualifying as “charitable” – (1) preserving the fundamental human rights set forth in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (b/c it is a declaration, not
. . . [more]
The 2008 Law via the Internet conference got things started; October 3, 2011 marked the first meeting specific to the EuroLII initiative. January 2014, the EuroLII Observatory site launched with the aim at answering the question of how European countried promote and improve free access to law.
The site provides a jumping off page to the European Law overview page at WorldLII which helps searchers determine data coverage as well as search.
Some of the new content added to WorldLII January 28, 2014 includes:
Portuguese Constitutional Court Summaries
Portuguese Constitution 2005
Vatican City Laws
Albanian Constitutional . . . [more]
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granted a new hearing this past Friday in Joffe v. Google, Inc., while affirming the decision in September that denied a motion to dismiss by Google.
Google had requested the class action be dismissed on the basis that their actions in collecting information for Google Street View was not illegal due to an exemption in the Wiretap Act, on the basis that they transmitted the data over a WiFi network. The Street View vans had used the service set identifier names and media access control address from routers . . . [more]
On November 27, 2013, the European Court of Human Rights held a Grand Chamber hearing (which was broadcast on the Internet) in the case of S.A.S v. France (Application no 43835/11). The case concerns a French Muslim woman’s complaint that French law prohibits her from wearing a full-face veil in public. As of April 2011, French Law no. 2010-1192 prohibits concealment of one’s face in all places open to the public in France. The penalty for breaking the law is a fine of up to €150 and/or compulsory citizenship classes. Separate penalties are provided for anyone forcing a woman to conceal her face in public. . . . [more]
UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, a three-year-old organization, has made available online a database of those provisions in nations’ constitutions that concern gender. The Constitutional Database covers 195 countries and provides relevant passages in both the original language and English translation. It is possible to download the entire database in PDF.
The database is searchable, of course, with filters available for country, region, or type of provision (e.g. reproductive rights, marriage family rights, equality…).
There is a new blog post over at In Custodia Legis, the blog of the Law Library of Congress in Washington, that discusses Christmas movies with a law-related theme.
Obviously, the post mentions Miracle on 34th Street.
Browsing History – Does Knowledge of Site Administrators’ Access Give Consent to Disclosure to Law Enforcement?
A recent US decision held that a person’s browsing history on web dating sites – not just his profiles, which were clearly intended for public use – could be disclosed to police because the person had authorized the administrators of the sites to know what he was looking at. The case, People v Holmes, involved a high-profile defendant in a criminal case (the person who shot up the Colorado movie theatre – allegedly), but these cases should not turn on whether the person claiming a privacy right is sympathetic.
It has been suggested to me, at a couple of levels of hearsay, that that “the US government had to implement a provision to require the financial institutions to accept electronic signatures on agreements of purchase and sale [of land] for the purposes of financing.”
Can anyone tell me what is behind this statement? I have several questions, besides this general one:
- ‘had to implement’ – meaning ‘as a condition of validity’? or ‘to make some particular policy effective’?
- ‘to require the financial institutions to accept e-signatures’ – really? Mandatory acceptance of e-signatures? *Any* e-signatures or only those with
. . . [more]
The Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. has published a new comparative report on the handling and adjudication of sexual offenses in the military.
The report examines how the military justice systems of Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Israel and the United Kingdom deal with alleged sexual offending by service members.
The Library occasionally publishes reports that compare the laws on a given theme in a number of countries.
Earlier comparative law reports from the Law Library of Congress have covered topics such as: