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Australia/Nauru: High Court Rules Offshore Detention of Asylum Seekers Is Lawful

(Feb. 5, 2016) On February 3, 2016, the High Court of Australia, Australia’s highest court, held in a 6-1 decision that the government is legally able to participate in the detention of asylum seekers in the Pacific island country of Nauru; this means that a number of people who were brought to Australia to receive […]

Australia: Victorian Parliament Passes Law Establishing Protest Buffer Zone for Abortion Clinics

(Nov. 30, 2015) On November 27, 2015, the Legislative Council (upper house) of the parliament of the Australian state of Victoria passed legislation that prevents protesters from coming within 150 meters (164 yards) of an abortion clinic.  (Abortion Clinic Protest Buffer Zone Law Passes Victorian Upper House, ABC NEWS (Nov. 27, 2015).) A bill to […]

Vanuatu: Fourteen Politicians Sentenced to Prison for Corruption

(Oct. 26, 2015) On October 22, 2015, the Vanuatu Supreme Court sentenced 14 sitting members of parliament (MPs), including the Speaker of Parliament and the Deputy Prime Minister, to terms of imprisonment after their conviction on bribery and corruption charges.  (Vanuatu Court Sentences MPs, Including Former PMs Carasses and Vohor, to Jail for Corruption, ABC […]

New Zealand: Ocean Sanctuary Announced

(Sept. 30, 2015) On September 28, 2015, at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key announced that a new, fully-protected ocean sanctuary in the Kermadec region will be established by legislation to be enacted next year. The sanctuary will cover about 620,000 square kilometers (about 385,250 square miles) […]

New Zealand: New Rules on Drones Come into Effect

(July 31, 2015) On August 1, 2015, new and amended Civil Aviation Rules on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) came into effect in New Zealand. The rules, which were developed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) under the Civil Aviation Act 1990, were approved by the Associate Minister of Transport […]

Australia: National Library to Implement Digital Legal Deposit from January 2016

(July 13, 2015) As a result of changes to the legal deposit provisions in the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) made by the Civil Law and Justice Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 (Cth), the National Library of Australia will have the power to collect and preserve Australian works published in electronic format, beginning January 1, 2016. (Clarissa […]

New Zealand: Legislation Aimed at Preventing and Punishing Cyberbullying Passed

(July 6, 2015) On June 30, 2015, the New Zealand Parliament passed the Harmful Digital Communications Bill. (Harmful Digital Communications Bill Passes, PARLIAMENT TODAY (June 30, 2015); Harmful Digital Communications Bill, New Zealand Parliament website (last visited July 6, 2015).) The legislation, which was originally introduced in November 2013, will establish complaint mechanisms for victims […]

Indonesia: Court Rejects Two Challenges to Marriage Act

(June 25, 2015) On June 18, 2015, the Indonesian Constitutional Court (Mahkamah Konstitusi) released its decisions on two petitions for judicial review of Law No. 1 of 1974 on Marriage (Marriage Law). (Undang-undang Nomor 1 Tahun 1974 Tentang Perkawinan, Ministry of Religious Affairs website,(in Indonesian); Law of the Republic of Indonesia Number 1 of the […]

Australia: Law Allowing Blocking of Copyright-Infringing Websites Passed

(June 23, 2015) On June 22, 2015, the Australian Senate passed a bill that will allow copyright holders to request that overseas websites be blocked in Australia on the grounds that those websites have the “primary purpose” of facilitating copyright infringement. The Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2015 had previously been passed by the House […]