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Germany: New Law Allows Consumer Class Actions

(July 31, 2018) On July 17, 2018, a new law to allow consumer class actions (“model declaratory proceedings”) was published in Germany’s Federal Law Gazette. The Act will enter into force on November 1, 2018. (Gesetz zur Einführung einer zivilprozessualen Musterfeststellungsklage [Act to Introduce Civil Model Declaratory Proceedings], July 12, 2018, Bundesgesetzblatt [BGBl.] [FEDERAL LAW GAZETTE] […]

European Union: 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive Enters into Force

(July 16, 2018) On July 9, 2018, the amendment of the European Union (EU) Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5th AMLD) entered into force. The AMLD obligates certain entities to fulfill customer due diligence requirements when they conduct business transactions and have in place policies and procedures to detect, prevent, and report money laundering and terrorist financing. […]

Austria: Court Allows Intersex Individuals to Register Third Gender Other Than Male or Female

(July 6, 2018) On June 15, 2018, the Austrian Constitutional Court (Verfassungsgerichtshof Österreich, VfGH) held that intersex individuals have a right to register in the civil status register a gender other than male or female that conforms to their gender identity. It stated that forcing intersex persons to register a male or female gender but […]

Switzerland: Swiss Voters Reject Popular Initiative on Sovereign Money

(June 12, 2018) On June 10, 2018, Swiss voters rejected by a vote of 75.7% to 24.3% the “Sovereign Money Initiative.” Voter turnout was 33.8%. (Vorlage Nr. 618. Vorläufige amtliche Endergebnisse. Volksinitiative vom 01.12.2015 “Für krisensicheres Geld: Geldschöpfung allein durch die Nationalbank! (Vollgeld-Initiative)” [Proposal No. 618, Preliminary Official Results: Popular Initiative of Dec. 1, 2015 “For Crisis-Proof Money: […]

European Union: Provisional Agreement to Control Illicit Cash Flows in and out of the EU

(June 8, 2018) On May 23, 2018, the Council of the European Union (Council) and the European Parliament reached a provisional agreement on measures to control illicit cash flows in and out of the European Union (EU), in particular a revision of the Cash Controls Regulation (CRC). (European Commission Press Release IP/18/3867, Security Union: Commission […]

Germany: Companies May Exclude Spouses Who Are More than 15 Years Younger than the Deceased from Survivors’ Benefits

(Apr. 25, 2018) In a decision published on April 11, 2018, the German Federal Labor Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG) ruled that a clause in an occupational pension agreement that excludes from survivors’ benefits spouses who are more than 15 years younger than the deceased former employee does not constitute discrimination on the grounds of age. (BAG, […]

Germany / European Court of Human Rights: Caning of Children Justifies Withdrawal of Parental Authority

(Apr. 19, 2018) On March 22, 2018, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) unanimously held in the cases of Tlapak and Others v. Germany and Wetjen and Others v. Germany that the withdrawal of the applicants’ parental authority did not violate article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which grants the […]

European Union: Regulation on Cross-border Portability of Online Content Services in Effect

(Apr. 10, 2018) On April 1, 2018, the Regulation on Cross-border Portability of Online Content Services (Portability Regulation) became applicable across the European Union (EU). The Portability Regulation aims to accomplish seamless access for consumers throughout the EU to online content services, such as Netflix or Spotify, which they subscribe to in their home Member […]

Switzerland: Abolition of Marriage Tax Penalty Proposed

(Apr. 5, 2018) On March 21, 2018, the Swiss Federal Council (the Swiss government) adopted a legislative proposal to abolish the “marriage tax penalty” (marriage penalty). The proposal is designed to resolve the decades-long controversy surrounding the issue. (Swiss Federal Council, Botschaft zur Änderung des Bundesgesetzes über die direkte Bundessteuer (Ausgewogene Paar- und Familienbesteuerung) [Message […]