Library of Congress

Law Library of Congress

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

Philippines: Senate Sessions via Teleconference Approved

(May 11, 2020) On May 4, 2020, the Philippine Senate approved a resolution allowing for plenary sessions and committee hearings to be conducted via teleconference. Specifically, the resolution provides that when a majority of the members of the Senate determine that a national emergency or “force majeure” situation has occurred that prevents them from physically […]

Panama: Law on Congressional Virtual Sessions Enacted

(May 5, 2020) On April 11, 2020, Panama published a law allowing its legislative assembly to conduct virtual sessions in cases of a national emergency or other situations that prevent the assembly from meeting in regular fashion. The original bill of this law explained that, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, it became necessary […]

Philippines: President Granted Temporary Extraordinary Powers to Combat COVID-19

(Apr. 30, 2020) On March 25, 2020, the Philippine government announced the approval of Republic Act 11469, a law granting extraordinary powers to President Rodrigo Duterte aimed at combatting COVID-19. Specifically, section 4 of the law authorizes the president to execute a wide variety of financial and operational measures to address the pandemic, including the […]

Philippines: Supreme Court Holds First Virtual Session, Addresses Petition to Free Certain Prisoners due to COVID-19

(Apr. 30, 2020) On April 17, 2020, the Philippine Supreme Court held a virtual en banc session for the first time in its history in order to address an urgent petition requesting the release of elderly and sick inmates because of the risk they face in prison due to COVID-19, a government press release said. […]

Philippines: Hospitals Investigated for Denying Treatment During Pandemic

(Apr. 24, 2020) On April 16, 2020, the Philippine government announced that it is investigating allegations that a number of hospitals have denied emergency treatment to patients amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In one case, a senior patient who had difficulty breathing reportedly was refused admission by as many as six hospitals that claimed they did […]

Mexico: President Signs Law Granting Amnesty to Criminals Incarcerated for Certain Crimes

(Apr. 24, 2020) On April 22, 2020, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador signed into law a bill passed by Mexico’s Senate two days earlier granting amnesty to persons incarcerated for the commission of certain crimes provided that applicable requirements are met. These crimes include the possession of narcotics in small quantities under a number […]

Philippines: President Issues Executive Order Regulating Electronic Cigarettes, Vaping

(Mar. 27, 2020) On February 26, 2020, the president of the Philippines issued an executive order (EO) regulating the commercialization and use of electronic cigarettes. Background The EO states in its preamble that in 2016, the World Health Organization issued a report explaining that Electronic Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS/ENNDS) emit aerosol that commonly includes […]

Mexico: Constitutional Amendment on Tax Forgiveness Passed

(Mar. 26, 2020) On February 25, 2020, Mexico’s Congress passed a constitutional amendment generally prohibiting tax forgiveness except in a limited number of cases determined by statutory law. Background Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador proposed this amendment in 2019, arguing that tax forgiveness powers had been exercised excessively and baselessly by previous administrations. Specifically, […]

Mexico: Importation of Electronic Cigarettes Banned

(Mar. 19, 2020) On February 19, 2020, Mexico’s president issued an executive order (EO) banning the importation of electronic cigarettes, which have been brought into Mexico from abroad in large quantities. The preamble of the EO explains that it was issued in accordance with article 131 of the Mexican Constitution, which provides that the president […]

Mexico: OAS International Forum on Prisons Spurs Mexican Reform Bills

(Mar. 12, 2020) On February 6, 2020, the Organization of American States (OAS) released a statement summarizing the results of a Meeting of Officials Responsible for the Penitentiary and Prison Policies of the Americas, an OAS working group tasked with the formulation of measures aimed at improving prison systems. Mexico attended the meeting, along with […]