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UK Supreme Court rules criminal suspect has reasonable expectation of privacy – JURIST

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The UK Supreme Court held on Wednesday that a person under criminal investigation has a “reasonable expectation of privacy” regarding information about that investigation before being charged. This ruling is expected to have a major impact on journalism. The defendant and the company for which he worked (identified anonymously as “ZXC” and “X Ltd.”, respectively) had been the subject of a criminal investigation by a law enforcement agency (identified in judgment as “UKLEB”) since 2013 for the actions of X Ltd. in a foreign country. ZXC was guilty of corruption and bribery. Bloomberg’s move defied national guidelines given the letter’s confidentiality flags. The letter was marked “confidential” and contained a confidentiality statement, with UKLEB warning of harm to the objectivity of the investigation. Alleging a tort of misuse of private information, ZXC sought damages and injunctive relief against Bloomberg. For such a claim, he had to show that he had a reasonable expectation of privacy under article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and that this expectation outweighed the publisher’s freedom of expression under article 10 of the ECHR. In 2019, the trial judge ruled in his favour, awarding £25,000 in damages. Bloomberg’s appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeals in 2020, but the Supreme Court agreed to hear the matter later that year. The Supreme Court limited itself to the question of whether, as a “general rule”, a person under criminal investigation had a reasonable expectation of privacy. It stated in the affirmative, clarifying such a “rule of thumb” would only serve as a “legitimate starting point” for deciding such cases and not as a legal presumption. Prospective plaintiffs would still have to set their expectations about the circumstances of their cases. Such circumstances would include the attributes of the complainants, the nature and location of the alleged activity, whether the complainant had consented to it, and the means by which the publisher obtained access to such information. The court also reviewed the College of Policing guidelines, which required exceptional circumstances and “legitimate policing purposes,” such as a threat to life, for violating a suspect’s right to privacy. While ruling in favor of ZXC, the court noted that this right does not extend once a person has been charged with a crime and not simply investigated for it.

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US Supreme Court Grants Review of Federal Bankruptcy Case – JURIST

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On Monday, the US Supreme Court agreed to hear MOAC Mall Holdings v. Transform Holdco, a case examining appellate court jurisdiction over sales orders in federal bankruptcy proceedings. The case revolves around the sale and transfer of a lease for a store in a shopping center. In 1991, Sears obtained a lease for a store in the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The lease only cost Sears $10 a year and was supposed to last 100 years. Sears, however, went bankrupt in 2018. As part of federal bankruptcy proceedings, Sears sold its assets and the Mall of America lease was transferred to Transform Holdco LLC, a corporation formed by Sears’ new owners. Mall of America sought to prevent the transfer because they claim that Transform Holdco LLC does not intend to occupy the leased facilities but to sublet them to other companies. Transform Holdco LLC argues that the long-term lease constitutes a substantial portion of the value Sears was sold for in the bankruptcy proceeding. The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit transferred the lease as it was deemed “integral” to a court-approved bankruptcy sale. Mall of America filed a petition with the US Supreme Court, arguing that a remedy is available that would not affect the validity of the sale. Therefore, according to Mall of America, the appellate court should be allowed to intervene. Transform Holdco LLC responds that no such remedy exists, and that the Second Circuit’s ruling should stand. The US Supreme Court must now determine whether federal bankruptcy law limits appeals on sales orders deemed “comprehensive,” even when a remedy is available that will not affect the validity of the sale. The court is set to hear oral arguments in the case next term.

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US appeals court to rehear challenge to Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine executive order – JURIST

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The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an order on Monday stating that the court will rehear Feds for Medical Freedom v. Biden, a challenge to President Joe Biden’s 2019 executive order that required federal employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or face termination. In late May and early June, America First Legal Foundation, America’s Frontline Doctors, Airline Employees For Freedom Health, and an additional group of vaccine plaintiffs filed four amicus briefs in favor of a new full hearing. The plaintiffs in Rodden v. Fauci also filed a class action lawsuit made up of federal employees who contracted COVID-19, developed COVID-19 antibodies, “but remain subject to the federal employee vaccination mandate.” The Rodden plaintiffs argue that Biden and the “agencies he directs have no power to direct the personal medical decisions of federal employees,” and therefore this executive order is like an illegal government mandate. In addition, the group asserts that the panel’s refusal to review executive employment decisions is unlawful and thus protects “the exercise of unlawful governmental power.” In January 2022, a Texas judge blocked Biden’s executive order. Other state judges have also blocked enforcement of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate. In December 2021, a Georgia judge blocked the COVID-19 vaccination mandate for government contractors after the Texas Governor ordered a statewide ban on all COVID-19 vaccination mandates in October 2021 .

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Ukraine’s richest man sues Russia for loss of property and profits – JURIST

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Ukraine’s richest man on Monday filed a lawsuit with the European Court of Human Rights against Russia for “serious violations of his property rights during Russia’s unprovoked aggression against Ukraine.” Rinat Akhmetov, a Ukrainian businessman who owns much of the country’s manufacturing infrastructure, says he has lost billions of dollars in business since the Russian invasion began. Akhmetov’s announcement highlighted both ongoing human rights violations and infrastructure destruction committed by Russia. He wrote: In addition to the untold human suffering he has caused, Russia’s invasion has resulted in massive destruction of Ukraine’s infrastructure. The shelling of the Azovstal steel complex in Mariupol by Russian artillery seeking to eliminate the last vestiges of Ukrainian resistance in that city has become an international symbol of Russia’s disregard for international law and human rights. As the owner of the Azovstal steel complex, Akhmetov has suffered estimated losses of billions of dollars in both property and profits as a direct result of the Russian invasion. This lawsuit is one of the first initiated by a private individual against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. Akhmetov stated several times throughout the announcement that he hopes the court will award him damages so that Ukraine can begin to rebuild.

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