INDIA – Kerala High Court bans the use of flex and other non-biodegradable materials for election campaigning
The Kerala High Court has banned the use of flex and non-biodegradable materials for election campaigning throughout the state, ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice A K Jayasankaran made up the bench that passed the interim order that sought the prohibition of the use of ecologically harmful materials for the election. The petitioner, Shyaam Kumar, said the use of flex and non-biodegradable materials violated the Environment Protection Act as well as the Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016.
INDIA – Supreme Court bar hospital from admitting students after CBI inquiry finds ‘ghost patients’
In order to comply with the minimum requirements of the Medical Council of India, a college in Bhopal allegedly admitted fake patients, a CBI inquiry claims. On the basis of the CBI’s findings, the Supreme Court has barred RKDF Medical College Hospital from admitting any students for the next two years. The Secretary-General has been directed by the apex court to prosecute the Dean of the College. The court imposed a Rs 5 crore fine for fraud. The court also expressed concern after noticing a trend of medical colleges fabricating records in order to obtain permission to admit students.
INDIA – Animal welfare board still not in practice despite Supreme Court orders
After widely publicizing his ‘Karuna Abhiyaan’ for the welfare of birds and animals, Vijay Rupani has not shown any interest in making the State Animal Welfare Board functional since it was notified in 2013. According to a 2008 Supreme Court order, all states must have functional animal welfare boards. The aim of the Animal Welfare Board is to prevent cruelty, suffering, and pain of all animals. Despite issuing a government resolution to form it in 2013, the Gujarat government has done nothing to make the board functional since then.
AUSTRALIA – Attorney General defends ‘foreign agents’ law despite only a handful of declarations
On Monday Attorney General Christian Porter defended a register meant to track foreign agents’ roles in local politics, claiming it was already altering behavior despite only a few declarations. Last year Canberra passed a raft of new laws to curb meddling, after growing concerns of political influence from foreign countries, particularly China. The Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme register has been operational since December, but only nine institutions or individuals have declared their foreign links so far. Failure to register could result in penalties of up to five years’ imprisonment.
UNITED KINGDOM – Solicitors open first legal practice specializing in animal rights
Two solicitors have opened what they claim to be the first law firm in the UK that specializes in animal protection. Advocates for Animals will help charities “ensure the law relating to animal protection is complied with in the way Parliament intended and that the protection given to animals by legislation is honored”. David Thomas, a solicitor, and part-time judge, and Edie Bowles, a former director at Cruelty-Free International and Compassion in World Farming, are the Surrey-based firm’s co-founders and owners.
UNITED KINGDOM – DWF law firm gears up for £366m flotation on the main market
After pricing its shares with potential investors, law firm DWF is preparing for its flotation on the London stock exchange. The firm’s shares have been valued at 122p each, giving it a market capitalization of £366m. Roughly 25% of the company’s total shares will be sold off to the public. The remainder of the shares will be kept by DWF’s partners and qualifying staff. All those at the company who receive shares will be ‘locked in’, meaning they will have to wait for a few years before they could possibly sell their shares.
CANADA – Municipal documents to be accessible under reviewed N.W.T information act
Other than Yukon and Nunavat, the N.W.T is one of the last jurisdictions to include municipalities in the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (ATIPP). This marks the first review of the act in 20 years. The city, in a presentation to the government committee examining the proposed changes, questioned where the extra resources, needed to comply with the new regulations, would be found. The city’s statement argued that imposing the act could carry financial costs and could be an administrative burden to municipalities that are already under-resourced.
AMERICA – Man claims to possess a videotape of R. Kelly abusing underage girls
On Sunday a Pennsylvania man said that he turned a videotape, allegedly showing R. Kelly abusing underage girls, over to law enforcement. The man claimed to be “disgusted” and “horrified” by the contents of the tape, which he found while sorting through old VHS recordings at his house. Steve Greenberg, Kelly’s attorney, denied that his client was on any tape. The attorney went on to say that was “obviously now just open season on R. Kelly”. Kelly recently pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse involving four alleged victims, three of whom were younger than 17.
AFRICA – Georgetown law student among those killed in Ethiopia crash
A law student at Georgetown University was one of the 157 people who lost their lives in the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight this weekend. The university released a statement that revealed that Cedric Asiavugwa, a third-year law student, was on his way home to Nairobi after the passing of his fiancé’s mother. He was one of 32 Kenyans killed in the tragic crash, along with 18 Canadians, nine Ethiopians, and eight Americans. Cedric will be remembered as a “kind, compassionate and gentle soul” by his friends and university faculty.