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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English family wins privacy case against TV channel which broadcast eviction against their wishes

Ali & Aslam v Channel 5 Broadcast Limited [2018] EWHC 298 (CH)

The English High Court has found an episode of a documentary-reality series broadcast by Channel 5, in which a family was shown being evicted from their home, breached the family’s right to privacy under article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.  This right was held to take precedence over Channel 5’s freedom of expression.

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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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Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory rejects claim for compensation under the Human Rights Act

Lewis v Australian Capital Territory [2018] ACTSC 19 (16 February 2018)

The Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory held that section 18(7) of the Human Rights Act 2004 (ACT) does not create a new right or new remedy for compensation for unlawful arrest or detention. The tort of false imprisonment provides adequate protection for that right.

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Protecting the right of journalists to cover demonstrations: a win for journalistic information gathering in Europe

Butkevich v Russia (European Court of Human Rights, Chamber, Application No. 5865/07, 13 February 2018)

The European Court of Human Rights unanimously held that journalistic newsgathering during a public demonstration is a protected aspect of press freedom under article 10 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Any attempt to remove journalists from a scene of demonstration must thus be subject to “strict scrutiny”.

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New Zealand High Court finds insulting cartoons did not breach hate speech legislation

Wall v Fairfax New Zealand Limited [2018] NZHC 104

The New Zealand High Court held that two cartoons published in New Zealand newspapers featuring negative depictions of Māori and Pasifika did not breach hate speech provisions in the Human Rights Act 1993 (NZ). The Court balanced the publisher’s right to freedom of speech under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 (NZ) against the government’s interest in protecting individuals from harmful speech and discrimination.

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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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