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The Global Legal Monitor is an online publication from the Law Library of Congress covering legal news and developments worldwide. It is updated frequently and draws on information from official national legal publications and reliable press sources. You can find previous news by searching the Global Legal Monitor.

Brazil: New Law Prohibits the Use of Handcuffs on Pregnant Inmates During Labor

(Apr. 24, 2017) On April 12, 2017, three laws related to the treatment of women during childbirth and its aftermath were adopted in Brazil. Law No. 13.434 amends article 292 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to prohibit the use of handcuffs on pregnant women inmates during medical and hospital preparatory procedures for delivery and during labor  or on such women during the immediate postpartum period. (Lei No. 13.434, de 12 de Abril de 2017, PLANALTO; Código De Processo Penal, Decreto-Lei No. 3.689, de 3 de Outubro de 1941, PLANALTO.)  The Law entered into force on April 13, 2017, the date of its publication. (Lei No. 13.434, art. 2.)

Law No. 13,435 establishes August as the national breastfeeding month, with the purpose of educating the public and bringing awareness of the importance of breastfeeding. (Lei No. 13.435, de 12 de Abril de 2017, PLANALTO. )

The third new law amends the Child and Adolescent Statute to guarantee mothers of newborns the right to follow-up consultation and orientation from medical professionals related to breastfeeding. (Lei No. 13,436, de 12 de Abril de 2017, PLANALTO; Estatuto da Criança e do Adolescente, Lei No. 8,069, de 13 de julho 1990 (as amended), PLANALTO.)

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Germany: New Rules for Operation of Drones and Model Aircraft

(Apr. 24, 2017) On April 7, 2017, an amendment to the Air Traffic Licensing Regulation and the Air Traffic Regulation entered into force in Germany.  The amendment introduced mores stringent rules for the operation of commercial drones.  In addition, the new rules will also be applicable to the operation of model aircraft.  (Verordnung zur Regelung von unbemannten Fluggeräten [Regulation to Regulate Unmanned Aerial Vehicles] (Drone Regulation), Mar. 30, 2017, BUNDESGESETZBLATT [BGBl.] [FEDERAL LAW GAZETTE] I at 683, BGBl. website; Luftverkehrs-Ordnung [LuftVO] [Air Traffic Regulation], Oct. 29, 2015, BGBl. I at 1894, GERMAN LAWS ONLINE; Luftverkehrs-Zulassungs-Ordnung [LuftVZO] [Air Traffic Licensing Regulation], June 19, 1964, BGBl. I at 370, as amended, GERMAN LAWS ONLINE.)

The Air Traffic Act defines unmanned aerial systems (UAS), commonly called “drones,” as “unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), including their control stations, which are not used for hobby or recreational purposes.” If, on the other hand, the UAVs are merely used for hobby or recreational purposes, they qualify as “model aircraft.”  (Luftverkehrsgesetz [LuftVG] [Air Traffic Act], May 10, 2007, BUNDESGESETZBLATT [BGBL.] [FEDERAL LAW GAZETTE] I at 698, § 1, ¶ 1, sentence 3, as amended, GERMAN LAWS ONLINE.) Until their amendment, the two sets of air traffic regulations were only applicable to the operation of drones and not to model aircraft.

New Labeling and Operator Requirements

All drones and model aircraft weighing more than 0.25 kilograms must be marked with a permanent and fireproof label indicating the name and address of the owner. (Drone Regulation, art. 1, no. 1.)  In addition, from October 1, 2017, onwards, operators of drones and model aircraft that weigh more than two kilograms will need certification to demonstrate that the operator has specialized knowledge of the operation of UAS and their legal framework.  This certification can be a pilot’s license or a similar certificate from an agency recognized by the Federal Aviation Office in the case of drones or a certificate from an aviation sports club in the case of model aircraft.  (Id. art. 2, no. 5, §§ 21d & 21e.)  The certificates are valid for five years.  A certificate will not be required if the UAS is only used on a model airplane airfield.  (Id. art. 2, no. 5, § 21a, ¶ 4, sentence 2.)

Authorization to Fly

Operation of the following drones and model aircraft requires an authorization to fly granted by the relevant state aviation authority and usually valid for two years:

  • drones or model aircraft weighing more than five kilograms;
  • rocket-powered drones and model aircrafts whose propellant mass exceeds 20 grams;
  • drones and model aircraft with a combustion engine, if they are flown within 1.5 kilometers of a residential area;
  • drones and model aircraft of all kinds if they are flown within 1.5 kilometers of an airport (flight at airports requires an additional clearance from German Aviation Control); and
  • drones and model aircraft of all kinds if flown at “night,” defined by the EU Implementing Regulation as the hours “between the end of evening civil twilight and the beginning of morning civil twilight.” (Id. art. 2, no. 5, § 21a, ¶ 1; Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 923/2012 of 26 September 2012 Laying Down the Common Rules of the Air and Operational Provisions Regarding Services and Procedures in Air Navigation and Amending Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1035/2011 and Regulations (EC) No 1265/2007, (EC) No 1794/2006, (EC) No 730/2006, (EC) No 1033/2006 and (EU) No 255/2010, 2012 O.J. (L 281) 1, art. 2, no. 97, EUR-LEX.) 

Prohibitions and Restrictions

Drones or model aircraft must always yield the right of way to manned aircraft. (Drone Regulation, art. 2, no. 5, § 21f, ¶ 1.)  The operation of drones and model aircraft weighing more than 25 kilograms is prohibited.  (Id. art. 2, no. 5, § 21b, ¶ 2.)

Drones or model aircraft weighing less than five kilograms must be kept within the operator’s visual line of sight at all times. (Id. art. 2, no. 5, § 21b, ¶ 1, sentence 1, no. 1.)  They are not within the visual line of sight if the operator cannot see them without vision-enhancing devices or if he/she is not able to have an unobstructed view of the aircraft.  The operation of drones or model aircraft with visual output devices like video glasses is not considered to be outside the visual line of sight if the aircraft is flown below 30 meters and weighs less than 0.25 kilograms. (Id. art. 2, no. 5, § 21b, ¶ 1, sentence 2.)

Drones and model aircrafts cannot be operated:

  • within 100 meters of or above people and public gatherings, the scene of an accident, disaster zones, other sites of operation of police or other organizations with security-related duties, and military drill sites;
  • within 100 meters of or above correctional facilities, military complexes, industrial complexes, power plants, and power generation and distribution facilities;
  • within 100 meters of or above the property of federal or state governments, diplomatic or consular missions, international organizations, and law enforcement and security agencies;
  • within 100 meters of or above federal highways, federal waterways, and railway systems;
  • above nature reserves;
  • above 100 meters;
  • above residential property if the drone or model aircraft weighs more than 0.25 kilograms or if it is able to receive, transmit, or record optical, acoustic, or radio signals;
  • in controlled airspace;
  • to transport explosives, pyrotechnic articles, radioactive materials, or hazardous materials; or
  • within 100 meters of or above hospitals. (Id. art. 2, no. 5, § 21b, ¶ 1, sentence 1, no. 2-11.)

The aviation authority may grant an exception to the general prohibitions in justified cases. (Id. art. 2, no. 5, § 21b, ¶ 3.)

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Brazil: Federal Supreme Court Reaffirms Rule that Civil Police Cannot Go on Strike

(Apr. 24, 2017) On April 5, 2017, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court reaffirmed by a majority vote an understanding that it is unconstitutional for the civil police (polícia civil) and other public servants who act directly in the area of public security to exercise the right to strike.  (Plenário Reafirma Inconstitucionalidade de Greve de Policias Civis, NOTÍCIAS STF (Apr. 5, 2017).) The decision was taken during the judgment of an extraordinary appeal with recognized general repercussions, which had been filed by the State of Goiás against a decision of the local Justice Tribunal (Tribunal de Justiça de Goiás).  (Id.) In that case the Tribunal’s decision on  the action filed by the State of Goiás against the Goiás Civil Police Union (Sindicato dos Policiais Civis de Goiás) guaranteed the right to strike because, in the understanding of the local Justice Tribunal, the complete prohibition of the police’s right to strike had not been imposed as it was not adopted by the legislature and it is not proper for the judiciary, acting as if it were the original legislature, to restrict that right.  (Id.)

In its decision, the Supreme Court stated that for purposes of general repercussions, the exercise of the right to strike, in any form or modality, is forbidden to civil police officers and all civil servants who act directly in the area of public security; the government is required to participate in mediation for these officers under the terms of article 165 of the Code of Civil Procedure, in order to give the officers a chance to give voice to their interests. (Id.)

Extraordinary Appeal (recurso extraordinário)

An extraordinary appeal is an appeal filed with the Federal Supreme Court contesting the decision (acórdão) of a lower tribunal that contradicts a constitutional norm, declares unconstitutional a federal law or treaty, or considers valid a law or act of a local government contested under the Constitution.  Its main purpose is to preserve the constitutional command violated.  (4 MARIA HELENA DINIZ, DICIONÁRIO JURÍDICO 77 (2005).)

General Repercussions (Repercussão Geral)

Constitutional Amendment No. 45 of December 30, 2004, included as a prerequisite for the admission of an extraordinary appeal the requirement that the constitutional question being raised present an issue with general repercussions. (Emenda Constitucional No. 45, de 30 de Dezembro de 2004, PLANALTO.)

In order for the Federal Supreme Court to examine the admissibility of an extraordinary appeal, which may be rejected only by agreement of two-thirds of its members, the appellant must now demonstrate the general repercussions of the constitutional questions argued in the case, as provided by law.  (Constituição Federal, art. 102 § 3, PLANALTO.)

According to the Federal Supreme Court, the purpose of the requirement for the admissibility of an extraordinary appeal being based on a constitutional issue of general repercussions is to define the jurisdiction of the Federal Supreme Court in trials of extraordinary appeals that have social, political, economic, or legal relevance that transcends the subjective interests of the case and, as a practical matter, to standardize the constitutional interpretation without requiring the Court to decide multiple identical cases on the same constitutional issue.  (“Finalidades,” Apresentação do Instituto, Supremo Tribunal Federal website (last updated Dec. 5, 2016).)

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Egypt: House of Representatives to Vote to Amend Anti-Protest Law

(Apr. 21, 2017) Members of the Egyptian House of Representatives announced on March 29, 2017, that they are planning to cast the final votes on the amendments to Law No. 107 of 2013, known as the Anti-Protest Law. (Law No. 107 of 2013, 47 AL-JARIDAH AL-RASMIYAH (duplicate) (Nov. 24, 2013, at 2 (in Arabic).) The procedural rules of the House require that a quorum of two-thirds of the members be present at the final voting session on the amendments, because the Law is considered one of the laws complementary to the Constitution.  Article 73 of the 2014 Constitution states that citizens have the right to organize public meetings, marches, demonstrations, and all forms of peaceful protest while not carrying weapons of any type, upon providing notification as regulated by law.  (Parliament to Vote on Protest Law Amendments Amid Dissatisfaction of Some MPs, DAILY NEWS EGYPT (Mar. 29, 2017); Constitution of the Arab Republic of Egypt, 2014, State Information Service website (unofficial translation).)

Members of the House will focus on debating the modification of article 10 of the Law.  Article 10 grants the Ministry of Interior the right to ban protests.  It allows the Minister of Interior or the security director concerned to cancel, postpone, or modify the route of a protest if the official has acquired “serious information or evidence that the assembly would threaten national peace and security.”  (Id.)

On December 3, 2016, the Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court held that article 10 of Law No. 107 was in direct violation of article 73 of the Constitution.  (George Sadek, Egypt: Supreme Constitutional Court Rules Law Regulating Public Gatherings to Be Unconstitutional, GLOBAL LEGAL MONITOR (Dec. 19, 2016).)

According to news reports, there is sharp division among members of the House over whether or not the provisions of the Law must include the penalty of imprisonment for the act of protesting without permission.  Some members voiced their opposition by stating that the debate is supposed to focus only on the amendment of article 10 of the Law and not extend to the Law’s other provisions.  (Parliament to Vote on Protest Law Amendments Amid Dissatisfaction of Some MPs, supra.)

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Italy: Amendment to Law on Employment Contracts

(Apr. 21, 2017) On March 17, 2017, new employment legislation entered into effect in Italy. (Decree-Law No. 25 of March 17, 2017, Urgent Provisions for the Repeal of Provisions on Accessory Work as well as for the Amendment of Provisions on Joint Liability in Government Procurement (D. L. No. 25), GAZZETTA UFFICIALE (G.U.) (Mar. 17, 2017), NORMATTIVA (in Italian).) The new Decree-Law amends a 2015 decree-law on employment contracts and a 2003 legislative decree on employment.

The Decree-Law repeals articles 48 to 50 of Legislative Decree No. 81 of June 15, 2015, the Organic Law on Employment Contracts and Review of the Regulations on the Issue of Tasks, Pursuant to Article 1, Paragraph 7, of Law No. 183 of December 10, 2014 (G.U. (June 24, 2015), NORMATTIVA (in Italian)).  The repealed provisions contained a definition of “accessory work” applicable to both the public and private sectors, which referred to additional work activities that entitled workers or employees to a maximum extra compensation of €2,000 (about US$2,119) during a calendar year.  (D.L. No. 25, art. 1(1).) Other repealed provisions referred to the obligations of employers and employees for the implementation of accessory work and to employers’ obligations with respect to social security regulations in the case of accessory work.  (Id.) However, accessory work benefits already accruing at the time of entry into effect of the new legislation will be valid and payable until December 31, 2017. (Id. art. 1(2).)

L. No. 25 also amends a legislative decree on employment and the job market, with reference to the liability of employers and entrepreneurs. (Legislative Decree No. 276 of September 10, 2003, Implementation of Delegated Legislation on Employment and the Job Market Referred to in Law No. 30 of February 14, 2003, G.U. (Oct. 9, 2003), NORMATTIVA (in Italian).) The amendment eliminates the exception established in article 29 on the joint and several liability of employers and entrepreneurs, along with the contractor and any eventual sub-contractors, for compensation and other benefits owed to workers under the terms of contracts for labor or services. (D.L. No. 25, art. 2(1).)  The exception to the joint and several liability of employers and entrepreneurs consisted of provisions contrary to those set forth in national collective bargaining agreements between nationally representative employers’ and workers’ associations provided that such agreements included methods and procedures to control and verify compliance with existing contracts. (D.L. No. 25, art. 2(1).) D.L. No. 25 also repeals paragraphs two, three, and four of article 29, which dealt with the hiring of new contractors and with the judicial recourses available to contractors arising from infraction of contractual provisions outlined in the other repealed provisions.  (Id.)

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