Criminal suspects. In a surprise ruling, the USSupreme Court has reaffirmed that the police must read suspects their four fundamental rights, including the “right to remain silent” – the so-called “Miranda rights” beloved of US detective series. One of two dissenting judges said the decision “converts Miranda from a milestone of overreaching” into one of “judicial arrogance”.
Australian consumers. Under amendments to copyright laws, software companies and book publishers will lose their monopolies on bringing products in Australia. Under the new rules, importers will be able to obtain their products as soon as they are released anywhere in the world without having to wait for local companies to release them in Australia. The move could drive prices down by up to a third.
Republican QCs in Northern Ireland. The Lord Chancellor has announced that QCs will not have to declare that they will “well and truly serve Queen Elizabeth II”. Instead they will “well and truly serve all whom I may lawfully be called upon to serve in the office of one of Her Majesty’s Counsel learned in the law”. Lord Irvine said that the change was taken “in the spirit of compromise”.
Women in Kuwait, who are launching a legal claim for political rights. A group of women is asking a court to decide whether the electoral law which prevents women from voting or standing for public office violates the constitution which says:”All people are equal in human dignity and in public rights.”