European Court of Human Rights finds Russia breached human rights of Pussy Riot members

Case of Mariya Alekhina and Others v Russia (ECHR, Third Section, Application no. 38004/12, 17 July 2018)

The European Court of Human Rights has found that Russia breached human rights conventions in the prosecution and imprisonment of feminist protest band Pussy Riot.

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Victorian Supreme Court finds Charter does not protect right to wear nikab in Court

The Queen v Chaarani (Ruling 1) [2018] VSC 387 (16 July 2018)

Justice Beale of the Victorian Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to an earlier order prohibiting the wearing of a nikab by a spectator during the trial of three men accused of plotting a Christmas bombing of Federation Square in Melbourne's CBD. Ms Aisha Al Qattan, the wife of one of the accused, submitted that a prohibition against wearing the nikab while in the public gallery of the court breached Ms Al Qattan's right of religious freedom and right to participate in public life. Both rights are enshrined in the Victorian Charter of Human Rights (Charter).

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Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal finds immigration policy unlawfully discriminatory against same-sex couples

QT v Director of Immigration [2018] HKCFA 28 (4 July 2018)

A landmark decision of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal has found that the Director of Immigration acted unlawfully by administering an immigration policy in a manner that discriminated against same-sex couples. The policy had prevented dependant visas from being granted to the same-sex spouse of a person resident in Hong Kong on an employment visa.

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US Supreme Court holds warrant is required for accessing location data

Carpenter v United States, S. Ct.  (22 June 2018)

The US Supreme Court held that a warrant is required for police to access cell site location information (CSLI) from a cell phone company under the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution. Chief Justice Roberts for the majority stated that the Court would "decline to grant the state unrestricted access to a wireless carrier's database of physical location information".

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Victorian Supreme Court finds owners corporations must modify apartments for owners with a disability

Owners Corporation OC1-POS539033E v Black [2018] VSC 337 (21 June 2018)

The Supreme Court of Victoria has handed down a decision that owners corporations must undertake modification works to apartment buildings for owners and occupiers with a disability. The decision has been hailed as a significant win for people with a disability.

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Interception of communications is consistent with human rights, European Court of Human Rights rules

Centrum för Rättvisa v Sweden (Application no 35252/08) (19 June 2018)

In June this year, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that a scheme providing for the bulk interception of electronic signals in Sweden for foreign surveillance purposes, was consistent with the rights set out in the European Convention of Human Rights (Convention). The decision cements the high threshold required for the protection of the right to respect for private and family life, the home and correspondence under article 8 of the Convention.

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Canadian Supreme Court upholds refusal of law school accreditation due to discriminatory policy

Law Society of British Columbia v Trinity Western University 2018 SCC 32 (15 June 2018); and Trinity Western University v Law Society of Upper Canada 2018 SCC 33 (15 June 2018)

In two recent decisions, the Supreme Court of Canada (“Court”) held that the law societies of British Columbia and Ontario were entitled to deny accreditation to a law school which required its students, on religious grounds, to adhere to a covenant allowing sexual intimacy only between a married man and woman.

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