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European Union: Commission Adopts Rules on Operating Drones

(June 14, 2019) On May 24, 2019, the European Commission adopted an implementing regulation that regulates the operation of commercial and recreational unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), commonly referred to as drones. Among other things, the implementing regulation requires operational authorizations and registration of UASs and their operators. (Commission Implementing Regulation on the Rules and Procedures […]

Austria: Ban on Riding E-Scooters on Sidewalks Enacted

(May 31, 2019) On May 22, 2019, an amendment to the Austrian Traffic Ordinance was published in the Federal Law Gazette that generally prohibits riding electric scooters (e-scooters) on sidewalks, unless otherwise permitted. E-Scooter riders must use bike lanes. The amendment will enter into force on June 1, 2019. (Änderung der Straßenverkehrsordnung 1960 (31. StVO-Novelle) [Amendment […]

Germany: Prescription Drugs Cannot Be Sold Via Video Chat and Vending Machines

(May 24, 2019) In a decision published on May 11, 2019, the Administrative Court of Karlsruhe (Verwaltungsgericht Karlsruhe, VG Karlsruhe) held that the Dutch mail order pharmacy DocMorris cannot use vending machines in Germany to sell drugs that are authorized for sale only through pharmacies. The Court stated that vending-machine sales were not covered by […]

Germany: Government Proposes Loss of German Citizenship for Foreign Fighters with Dual Citizenship

(May 20, 2019) On May 3, 2019, the press services of the German Bundestag (parliament) reported that the German government had submitted a draft act to amend the rules on German citizenship so that foreign fighters with dual citizenship would automatically lose their German citizenship. (Press Release, German Bundestag, Loss of German Citizenship (May 3, 2019), […]

Germany: De Facto Complete Exclusion of Stepchild Adoption for Unmarried Couples Held Unconstitutional

(May 15, 2019) In a decision published on May 2, 2019, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) held that the fact that an unmarried stepparent cannot adopt his or her partner’s child without terminating the child’s legal relationship to the latter, thereby de facto excluding stepchild adoption in such cases, violates the equal treatment […]

Germany: First Agreement to Implement “Good Day Care Act” Concluded

(Apr. 30, 2019) On April 25, 2019, the German federal government and the state of Bremen signed an agreement to implement what has been called the “Good Day Care Act.” The agreement is the first of sixteen agreements that the federal government will conclude with the German states over the course of the next several […]

Germany: Federal Court of Justice Rules on Legal Motherhood of Surrogate

(Apr. 29, 2019) In a decision published on April 23, 2019, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH), Germany’s supreme court for civil and criminal cases, held that German law must be used to determine the parentage of a child born to a surrogate in Ukraine and brought to Germany immediately after birth to […]

Switzerland: Federal Supreme Court Holds Access Providers Not Obligated to Block Websites to Stop Copyright Infringements

(Apr. 24, 2019) On February 8, 2019, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgericht, BG) held that access providers are not obligated to block websites to stop copyright infringements, because the Court deemed their contributions to the infringements to be not legally relevant. (BG, Feb. 8, 2019, Docket No. 4A_433/2018, BG website (in German).) Facts of the Case […]

Germany: Criminal Law Amendment Allows Doctors to Inform Public of Abortion Services

(Apr. 22, 2019) On March 29, 2019, an amendment to the German Criminal Code entered into force, clarifying in a new paragraph 4 that doctors, hospitals, and other institutions may, without fear of criminal prosecution, provide objective information that they perform abortions in cases allowed under the Criminal Code. In addition, they may refer to information […]

Switzerland: Rules on Accelerated Asylum Procedures Enter into Force

(Apr. 19, 2019) On March 1, 2019, new rules on accelerated asylum procedures entered into force in Switzerland. (Press Release, Bundesrat [Federal Council], Starting on March 1, 2019: New, Accelerated Asylum Procedures (Feb. 28, 2019), Federal Council website (in German); Asylum Act, June 26, 1998, SYSTEMATIC COLLECTION OF LAWS 142.31, art. 24, arts. 26b–26d, Federal Council website (in German).) The […]