This week’s Justice Beat looks at Harvard, spy cops and immigration enforcement. Enjoy!
1. Is Harvard’s admissions policy a trade secret? In defending a lawsuit that alleges discrimination against Asian American students, Harvard has also had to battle disclosure of sensitive admissions policies. Marketwatch reports that the arguments the elite university is advancing to keep policies under seal are very similar to those one would use for business trade secrets. It remains to be seen what the courts will decide.
2. Victims of undercover police officers have started legal action against the home secretary over the troubled public inquiry into the conduct of police spies, writes the Guardian. At stake – the potential “whitewashing” of an inquiry where the only adjudicator is a retired white male judge. Three victims, including a woman who was only 19 when an undercover police officer initiated a sexual relationship with her, are crowdfunding to ensure there is accountability and effective truth-seeking in the inquiry, through the appointment of a more diverse panel.
3. If the government has its way, low-tech spying will soon give way to high tech “recognition”. But the Indy reported this week that a one-day trial by the Met Police of controversial facial recognition technology to match faces to an “alert list” resulted in no arrests. Human rights campaigners have expressed concerns around privacy and false positives. Ed Bridges, represented by Human Rights group Liberty, is crowdfunding after being given permission to challenge the use of facial recognition software by the South Wales police.
Immigration enforcement at its worst
4. In the US, an ICE attorney who made almost $200,000 stealing the identities of immigrants has been sentenced to four years in prison, writes the WashPo. Raphael A. Sanchez, a high-ranking government lawyer making a six figure salary, represented ICE in all deportation proceedings and asylum hearings throughout Alaska, Oregon and Washington.
5. And in Wales, a 23-year-old Sudanese migrant died after falling from a building during an immigration raid. The Independent writes that the man had been working at a car wash in Newport when immigration officers arrived on the scene and reportedly started chasing workers.
But it’s Friday! And we don’t want to end on a low note. So – congratulations once again to Louise Whitfield of DPG who won in the Supreme Court last week, to establish the principle that heterosexual couples ought to have the right to enter into civil partnerships. Congrats!
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This week on CrowdJustice, the family of Elsie Frost are funding to persuade the Attorney General to hold a new inquest into her death, the victims of the undercover policing scandal are funding to challenge the Home Secretary’s refusal to appoint a diverse panel to the Inquiry, and Angela Lewis is seeking justice for Jennifer, who died as a result of starvation while under the care of psychiatric and the bariatric teams.
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Have a legal case that could benefit from crowdfunding? Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org