27

While ohwilleke gave a good answer on the limits of citing treaties in US courts, there's a more fundamental issue: the UDHR is not a treaty. It's a resolution of the UN General Assembly, and like virtually all General Assembly resolutions it has no binding effect under international law (the only General Assembly resolutions that are binding are about ...


26

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is not self-executing and may not be applied in U.S. courts as binding law. See, e.g., Barbara Macgrady, Note, Resort to International Human Rights Law in Challenging Conditions in U.S. Immigration Detention Centers, 23 BROOK. J. INT'L L. 271, 300 (1997) ("Since Congress has made its intent clear [by adopting ...


14

The main relevant bit of constitutional law is Employment Division v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872, where it was held that a general law against use of peyote does not violate the Free Exercise clause, though in Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. City of Hialeah, 508 U.S. 520 a law specifically designed to restrict Santeria animal sacrifices is an undue burden on ...


11

The author of the passage is telling you where the quotation comes from, using a formal case citation. Lawyers usually don't use footnotes, endnotes, or parentheses to set off these citations. Case citations are a sort of shorthand developed by lawyers and judges over the past few centuries. The goal is generally to identify the name of the case, where to ...


8

Your lawyer friend is misguided Casual conversation and writing are not subject to any maxims of interpretation - the words mean what the speaker/writer says and what the listener/reader understands and these may be different things. In a conversation about restaurants, there is no implication that the places not mentioned are not restaurants or don't exist. ...


7

On an issue of pure law, an appellate court decides if the trial judge got it right or wrong from scratch, and if there is a case that is a better match than the one that the judge used that leads to a different outcome in the case, then an appellate court is likely to find that the trial court's ruling is a reversible error. On an issue of mixed fact and ...


7

Generally speaking, courts take whatever time they need to write their decision and then release it close to immediately. In cases where a judge believes she has the information she needs, she may rule "from the bench," announcing a decision and entering an order for the parties to comply, and then follow up with a written order later. The research process ...


7

In the geographic domain overseen by 5th Circuit Court of Appeals the answer is (likely) yes. They have just temporarily upheld the abortion provisions of the Texas Governor's COVID order (In re Abbott). In doing so, they noted in their decision that in a public health crisis such as COVID the government can prohibit religious assembly: “[U]nder the ...


6

Congratulations, intrepid legal enthusiast or learner! What you'll need A legal dictionary, especially if you're just getting started. If you don't own one, you can try Black's Law Dictionary A little bit of patience and time. Or maybe a lot, depending on the particular case and the particular question you're trying to answer. Maybe a normal dictionary, ...


6

Congress cannot be sued for enacting a law. Period. The courts do not have the power to punish Congress for passing a law, they cannot forbid Congress from passing a law, they have no say over what the wording of a law can be. Only Congress has the power to determine what laws they pass. The courts do, of course, have the power to interpret and even strike ...


5

This would establish a new precedent (I assume) You assume correctly. However, a precedent is only binding on lower courts and persuasive on courts at the same level so a trial judge precedent is not very far-reaching. Does this statute takes precedence over (overrules) the previous court precedent? Not exactly. The precedent was good for the old (common) ...


5

The quickest way to get the text of Australian judgements is through AustLII. Reading the citation Parties: Tame v New South Wales In this case, the parties are (Clare Janet) Tame and (the State of) New South Wales. Year: [2002] or (2002) There is a subtle distinction between the above years: in brackets [] is generally (but not always) the ...


5

Any precedent can be overturned by any court at the same or higher level in the hierarchy So, for your example of a High Court precedent, it can be overturned at Supreme Court, Court of Appeal or High Court levels. However, the longer a precedent is in place, the less likely it is to be overturned because one of the objectives of the legal system is to ...


4

A blog post tracked this to Fiore v. White, a 1999 case in which Breyer wrote an opinion certifying a question to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, after which SCOTUS reversed the Third Circuit per curiam. The Third Circuit opinion in question was written by Circuit Judge Samuel Alito.


4

Let's roll back a couple of conceptual steps: before deciding how to interpret a judgement you should know what a judgement is. What is law? I quote from Australian Business Law 2002: The law is a body of generally accepted principles, established by Parliament (i.e. by our representatives) and by the courts. Law is therefore made by us (the men and ...


4

Yes. In some common law jurisdictions, such as Canada, the United Kingdom and even some U.S. states, the government may under some circumstances refer a legal question to the appropriate Supreme Court (Privy Council in the U.K.) for an advisory opinion. These opinions are non-binding, but have large influence because they are often made by the same judges ...


4

The decision of a court consists of several things: The orders made A summary of the evidence The judge's reasoning from the evidence to their conclusions of what the facts of the case are The judge's reasoning from the evidence to their conclusions of what the law applying to those facts is The judge's reasoning from those findings of facts and law to the ...


4

Probably not The judge is required to decide the case on the basis of the law the parties argue. If neither party draws the judge’s attention to a relevant case it would not be an error of law for the judge to not consider it. Indeed, it would likely be an error of law (denial of natural justice or breach of procedural fairness) if the judge did consider it ...


4

Canada's local court systems and procedural rules vary, especially at the lowest level, by province. So, I'm just stating some general principals. General speaking legal arguments are limited to closing arguments of the parties after all of the evidence has been presented by both sides (because this limits legal arguments to those with evidentiary support ...


4

All precedents are made in court judgements Courts exist in a hierarchy which means there are two kinds of precedent: binding and persuasive. A binding precedent is one set in the same hierarchy by a higher level court. A persuasive precedent is one set at the same or lower level in the hierarchy or in a completely different hierarchy. For example, a ...


4

Well, there was another recent case: In Maryville Baptist Church, Inc. v. Beshear, (WD KY, April 18, 2020), a Kentucky federal district court refused a request by a church and its pastor to issue a temporary restraining order against enforcing Governor Andy Beshear’s ban on mass gatherings. The ban includes in-person religious services. The court said in ...


4

The Brandenburg Test This is not a "general test" - it's the test that applies. The prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that: The speech is “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action,” AND The speech is “likely to incite or produce such action.” The first goes to mens rea; that the person intended by their speech to ...


4

"Expressio Unius Est Exclusio Alterius" is the Latin version of a general rule of communicative interpretation to the effect that when people give a list of things, the list is presumed to be complete (the more detailed the list, the stronger the presumption). This is not a hard and fast rule anywhere, but it is harder and faster in the context of ...


3

She's supposed to get her own copy of the warrant. Ohio Criminal Rule 41(D)(1): Search warrant. The officer taking property under the warrant shall give to the person from whom or from whose premises the property was taken a copy of the warrant and a receipt for the property taken, or shall leave the copy and ...


3

I think we're talking about In re Hennen, which dealt with the removal of the clerk of the district court in Louisiana: It all these departments power is given to the secretary, to appoint all necessary clerks; 1 Story, 48; and although no power to remove is expressly given, yet there can be no doubt, that these clerks hold their office at the will ...


3

Let's look at what they say: Pennsylvania does not have any statutory laws governing assisted reproductive technology. True Pennsylvania’s laws regarding sperm donors come only from case law that are specific to the facts of the case being considered by the court. True and trivial given the previous sentence. Pennsylvania courts have found sperm ...


3

The reason this section exists is pretty well stated in an English case: Holmes v. Governor of Brixton Prison and Another. In paragraph 12, they discuss the law of theft in England, and note that under the law there as it stood in 2004 (and reaching back to principles of common law, which are often but not always shared with the US), deception required ...


3

Yes, the correct forum is the Local Court in the relevant state (in some states these are called Magistrate's Courts). The amount is too large ($10,000) to qualify as a small claim . If you want to do it yourself the court websites are very informative and in NSW, at least, the process can be initiated online including your paying for the Sheriff to serve ...


3

Is it true that there has never been a single case It is tough to prove a negative. I am not going to completely parse the quote but please notice that the quote states "we couldn't find" and concludes that "it doesn't happen." Given these two pieces of information I do not conclude that there has never been a single case. Rather I conclude that the speaker ...


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