Library of Congress

Law Library of Congress

The Library of Congress > Law Library > News & Events > Global Legal Monitor

Austria: Administrative Courts Reformed

(Jan. 6, 2014) On January 1, 2014, a major reform of the Austrian system of administrative justice went into effect. It is based on the Administrative Justice Reform Act of 2012 (Verwaltungsgerichtsbarkeit-Novelle 2012, BUNDESGESETZBLATT I 2012/51), and on numerous implementation laws and regulations of the Federation and the Austrian states (Länder). It also involved a […]

Switzerland: Referendum Rejects Limits on Executive Pay

(Dec. 12, 2013) On November 24, 2012, the Swiss people voted on a popular initiative that would have amended the Swiss Constitution by adding a new article 110a to limit executive pay to 12 times the pay of the lowest-paid worker in the company. (Eidgenössische Volksinitiative ÆÂ?:12 – Für gerechte Löhne,’ Federal Chancellery website (Dec. […]

Switzerland; United States: Agreement on Tax Dispute

(Oct. 17, 2013) Switzerland and the United States signed an Executive Agreement on August 29, 2013, that was designed to end a dispute between the two countries on issues relating to the conduct of Swiss banks in allegedly having assisted U.S. taxpayers in the commission of tax evasion. (Press Release, Swiss Federal Department of Finance, […]

Austria: Reform of Citizenship Law

(Aug. 13, 2013) On July 30, 2013, Austria amended its Citizenship Act (Bundesgesetz mit dem das Staatsbürgerschaftsgesetz geändert wird [Amending Act to the Citizenship Act] (July 30, 2013), BUNDESGESETZBLATT I 136/2013), RIS [Rechtsinformationssystem, The Legal Information System of the Republic of Austria]). The reform improves the rights of children born out of wedlock to acquire […]

Germany: Disclosure of Sperm Donor

(Aug. 13, 2013) On February 6, 2013, the Higher Regional Court of Hamm held that a child has the right to obtain information on the identity of the anonymous sperm donor through whom the child was conceived (Oberlandesgericht Hamm, Feb. 6, 2013, docket no. I-14 U 7/12, JUSTIZ-ONLINE). The case concerned an in vitro fertilization […]

France: Parliament Passes Legislation to Strike the Word “Race” from All French Laws

(Aug. 6, 2013) On May 16, 2013, the French legislature passed a draft law to strike the word “race” from all of its legislation. (No Such Thing as ‘Race,’ Say French Lawmakers, FRANCE 24 (May 17, 2013).) According to a report issued by the Commission des Lois Constitutionnelles, de la Législation et de l’Administration Générale […]

Germany: Constitutional Court Rejects Petition for Declaratory Judgment Brought by the National Democratic Party

(Apr. 25, 2013) On February 20,2013, the Federal Constitutional Court rejected a petition of the National Democratic Party of Germany (Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands, NPD) for a declaratory judgment on the NPD’s conformity with the Federal Constitution (docket no. 2 be 11/12; Press Release, No. 15/2013, Federal Constitutional Court, Application Made by the NPD Against Bundestag, […]

Germany: Minor Constitutional Flaws in Anti-Terrorist Database

(Apr. 25, 2013) On April 24, 2013, the Federal Constitutional Court issued a judgment in which it largely upheld the constitutionality of a German anti-terrorist database, while requiring the legislature to change a few provisions of the enabling legislation to remedy constitutional flaws in the system (docket no.1 BvR 1215/07, Federal Constitutional Court website, Press […]

Germany: Patients’ Rights

(Apr. 23, 2013) On February 25, 2013, Germany promulgated an Act Improving the Rights of Patients [hereinafter Patients’ Rights Act]. (Gesetz zur Verbesserung der Rechte von Patientinnen und Patienten,Bundesgesetzblatt [BGBl] I at 277.) The Act creates the “treatment contract,” a special contract that by law now governs every relationship between a person administering medical treatment […]

Switzerland: Referendum on Executive Pay

(Mar. 27, 2013) On Sunday, March 3, 2013, the Swiss people voted for a popular initiative to limit executive pay. Voter participation was over 45%, and 68% of those voting supported the measure. (Volksabstimmung vom 3. März, 2013:08.080 «Gegen die Abzockerei» Volksinitiative [Popular Vote of March 2013, Popular Initiative Against Being “Ripped Off”], Die Bundesversammlung […]