Articles on US law

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Grounds of Hand Up Ministries in Oklahoma City houses sex offenders. AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

Are sex offender registries reinforcing inequality?

Beginning in the 1990s, all 50 US states and Washington, DC created public sex offender registries. Do they do more to help or hurt?
Pro-statehood supporters at the seaside Capitol in San Juan, Puerto Rico. AP Photo/Danica Coto

Are Puerto Ricans really American citizens?

Over the years, Puerto Ricans have in fact been granted three different types of U.S. citizenship, but questions about their rights and equal treatment as citizens still remain.
Australian David Hicks has had his conviction for providing material support to terrorist organisations overturned in the US. AAP/Nikki Short

Hicks conviction overturned – is he owed an apology or assistance?

Based on the Abbott government’s stance to date, there seems little chance of David Hicks receiving an effective remedy – at least not voluntarily
The US Supreme Court will consider whether state bans on same-sex marriage are constitutional. Flickr/vpickering

Court to rule on same-sex marriage and American freedom

The US Supreme Court agreed last Friday to hear four cases about same-sex marriage. Essentially, this means that, having previously avoided doing so, the court will finally consider whether or not same-sex…
A grand jury decision not to indict a police officer over the shooting death of Michael Brown has sparked protests and questions over the system’s efficacy. EPA/Michael Reynolds

Only in America: why Australia is right not to have grand juries

The idea of the grand jury is already familiar to many Australians through American television legal drama. But its profile just skyrocketed with a grand jury deciding not to indict policeman Darren Wilson…
Stand Your Ground laws, used as a defence in high-profile US murder trials, implicitly justify a new breed of vigilante who has little regard for human life. Fibonacci Blue

‘Stand Your Ground’: America’s violent culture written into law

Earlier this week, a Florida court began hearing arguments in the murder trial of an older, white man accused of murdering an African-American teenager. If you think this sounds familiar, you’re right…
Grubby, mean and out for your ideas. Patent trolls are on the prowl. kewl

Tinkering with the law won’t stop patent trolls

For a country that has long been a staunch defender of intellectual property rights, the US has struggled in recent years to get to grips with the menace of a new breed of patent holders, pejoratively…
A US Supreme Court decision last week damaged the legal options for holding corporations to account for human rights and environmental abuses. Philosophicalswag

Corporate accountability and gutting the US Alien Tort Statute

The US Supreme Court has handed down a landmark decision that will have drawn sighs of relief from corporate boardrooms in Australia and around the world. Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum was brought by…

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