Amici Curiae: The Gimme the “.Love”, Switzerland Visit, and (Yet Again) Questioning French Judges Edition
Lawsuit Follows Super Bowl Seating Fiasco
Although Super Bowl XLV has become the most watched television program in history, the seating fiasco at the stadium has prompted legal action from some ticket holders: a class-action lawsuit against the Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, the Dallas Cowboys , and the NFL seeking $5 million in damages. The suit is filed in federal court in Dallas, alleging breach of contract, fraud and deceptive sales practices.
The lawsuit is to cover 1,000 fans, 600 of whom were season-ticket holders who paid at least $100,000 per seat for a Founders Club personal seat license at Cowboys stadium, which would entitle them the right to buy Super Bowl XLV ticket at face value. However, while Jerry Jones promised the “best sightlines in the stadium” for the Super Bowl game, they were placed in seats with obstructed views and temporary metal fold-out chairs. Furthermore, the other 400 ticket holders were denied seats to the game due to incomplete installation of temporary bleachers.
All the fold-out chairs and temporary bleachers had been installed in an effort to meet Jerry Jones’ goal of breaking the Super Bowl attendance records. However, with a total of 103,219 people, it was 766 people shy of the all-time record set at the 1980 Super Bowl held at the Rose Bowl. After it failed to break any attendance records, a lawsuit seems a shabby consolation prize…
Sarkozy’s Meddling Irritates French Judges
Thousands of judges across France demonstrated and cancelled court hearings this week after President Nicolas Sarkozy blamed the judicial system for the murder of 18-year-old Laetita. The suspect in this case, Tony Meilhon, recently got out of prison and had 15 previous convictions. Sarkozy accused the judges as “irresponsible” and publicly branded the suspect “presumed guilty”.
“When we let an individual like that out of prison without making sure that he will be followed by a parole officer, the judiciary is at fault,” Mr Sarkozy said. “Our duty is to protect society from these monsters.”
Judges were furious that Sarkozy would condemn a suspect guilty before a fair trial. They accused him of using the case to boost his image for presidential re-election net year.
Who Wants .love?
In the future, the Internet will no longer be constrained by generic domains such as .com, .net, .edu, or .org. An evolution which allows subject-specific domain names, including .love, or .green, or even controversial ones like .abortion or .nazi, will populate into this open territory.
The nonprofit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is holding seminars at the first .nxt conference this week, educating hundreds of investors and entrepreneurs on application guidelines. The price tag to apply is currently set at $185,000, and the first custom domain is expected to go live in 2012.
Does this expansion of Web addresses make the Internet more intuitive to use, or does it simply create more confusion for Internet users?
Human Rights Commission Recommends Big Bucks in Case of Racial Profiling
The Quebec Human Rights Commission has recommended that the city of Montreal award $20,000 to a Laval couple for an alleged racial-profiling incident.
Felix Fini and Christy Coulibaly were leaving a gas station late at night when two police officers pulled them over. Fini, who was ineligible to receive a Quebec driver’s license as a foreign student at the Universite de Trois Rivieres, produced his Ivory Coast driver’s license instead.
Constable Marie-Claire Ouellette falsely told Fini that the license was no good in Quebec, eventually suggesting that if Fini didn’t like being stopped by the police, he should go back to his own country. Ouellette also refused Coulibaly’s request to keep their new-born baby in the police car while the couple waited 45 minutes in the cold for a tow truck, remarking that a police car is not a taxi.
The incident comes as but one of many allegations of racial profiling faced by the Montreal police force, including well-publicized incidents involving Alain Kashama and Fredy Villanueva.
According to the Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR), it is unlikely that Fini and Coulibaly will collect the $20,000 any time soon given the city’s habit of using legal manoeuvres to delay and stymie racial-profiling cases.
Bush Bails on Switzerland Visit
Former U.S. President George W. Bush cancelled a scheduled visit to Switzerland, where he was to address the United Israel Appeal, over concerns of potentially being charged and investigated in regard to allegations of torture. The trip would be Bush’s first to Europe since the release of his memoir Decision Points, in which he detailed his decision to allow the U.S. to use the controversial technique of waterboarding in the interrogation of enemy combatants at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
While, in light of the Pinochet affair, there seems to be some precedent for the potential prosecution of former heads of state, the legality is far from clear. In response, former U.S. Secretary of Defence under Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, criticized any attempts to turn what he termed purely policy issues into legal ones.
It will be interesting to see what happens going forward given the major implications such a challenge could have on international law.