Family Court of Australia rules transgender young people no longer need to apply to the Court for surgery

Re: Matthew [2018] FamCA 161 (16 March 2018)

The Family Court of Australia has declared that transgender young people diagnosed with gender dysphoria no longer need to apply to the Court for Stage 3 treatment where the transgender teenager has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, the transgender teenager's treating practitioners agree that the child is Gillick competent and there is no controversy regarding the application.

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Ahead of abortion referendum, Irish Supreme Court finds only right unborn children enjoy is right to life

M v Minister for Justice and Equality [2018] IESC 14

The Supreme Court of Ireland has held that unborn children have no rights under the Irish Constitution beyond the right to life. The decision is significant in light of the upcoming "abortion referendum" as it confirms that only Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution needs to be changed in order to legalise abortion in Ireland.

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Federal Court orders Australian Government to remove refugee children from Nauru to receive appropriate mental health treatment

FRX17 as litigation representative for FRM17 v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection [2018] FCA 63 (9 February 2018)

AYX18 v Minister for Home Affairs [2018] FCA 283 (6 March 2018)

In two recent interlocutory matters, the Federal Court has ordered the Australian Government to remove refugee children from Nauru to Australia in order to receive appropriate mental health treatment.

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UK Supreme Court rules that police violated victims’ rights by failing to properly investigate sexual assaults

Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis v DSD and Another [2018] UKSC 11 (21 February 2018)

The United Kingdom Supreme Court has awarded damages to two victims of crime who brought proceedings against the Metropolitan Police Service for substantial failures to conduct an effective investigation into a number of sexual assaults. The decision aligns with a consistent line of authorities from the European Court of Human Rights regarding the nature and scope of the State's duty under article 3 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights 

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UK Court of Appeal finds metadata retention regime inconsistent with EU law

Secretary of State for the Home Department v Watson [2018] EWCA Civ 70

The United Kingdom Court of Appeal has decided that aspects of the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014, which has now been repealed, were unlawful.  The Court found that allowing public bodies access to the phone records and internet activity of individuals in the United Kingdom, in circumstances where there is an absence of suspicion of serious crime and independent sign off allowing access, is illegal.   

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European Court of Justice finds asylum seeker may not be subjected to a psychological test to determine sexual orientation

F v Bevándorlási és Állampolgársági Hivatal (Court of Justice of the European Union, C473/16, 28 January 2018)

The Court of Justice of the European Union has held that subjecting an asylum seeker to psychological tests, designed to provide an indication of their sexual orientation, breaches their right to respect for private and family life under Article 7 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

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Swiss NGO sued for labelling politician's speech "racism" denied freedom of expression, European Court of Human Rights finds

GRA Stiftung gegen Rassismus und Antisemitismus v. Switzerland (application no. 18597/13) [2018] ECHR

The European Court of Human Rights unanimously held that the prosecution of a Swiss non-governmental organisation which had labelled a Swiss politician's speech as "verbal racism" breached the organisation's right to freedom of expression, as protected by Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

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Victorian Supreme Court accepts vaccination of children can be ordered, even against parents’ wishes

ZD v Secretary to the Department of Health and Human Services [2017] VSC 806 (22 December 2017)

The Supreme Court of Victoria held that the Children's Court Magistrate had the power to authorise the vaccination of three young children as a condition of interim accommodation orders under the Children Youth and Families Act 2005, contrary to the wishes of both parents. Justice Osborn held that s 263(7) of the CYFA is only capable of one interpretation and therefore the rights under the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (VIC) were not relevant to the construction of the subsection.

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New Zealand court finds risk of indefinite detention is a "compelling or extraordinary circumstance" in decision whether to extradite accused people smuggler to Australia

Maythem Kamil Radhi (Appellant) v The District Court of Manukau (The First Respondent) and The Commonwealth of Australia (The Second Respondent) [2017] NZSC 198

The Australian Federal Police sought the extradition of a New Zealand resident, alleging that he was involved in helping asylum seekers travel from Indonesia to Australia. The New Zealand Supreme Court found that although the man was eligible for surrender, there was a "real risk" that he would be subjected to indefinite administrative detention once in Australia and that this risk constituted a compelling or extraordinary circumstance warranting referral to the Minister.

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