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Brazil: New Code of Civil Procedure Approved by Federal Senate

(Dec. 19, 2014) On December 17, 2014, the Brazilian Federal Senate approved a new Code of Civil Procedure that will enter into force one year after it is signed by President Dilma Roussef. The current Code of Civil Procedure was enacted in 1973. (Código de Processo Civil, Lei No. 5.869, de 11 de Janeiro de […]

Belgium: Class Action Lawsuits Introduced

(June 26, 2014) On March 28, 2014, the Federal Parliament of Belgium enacted a law adding a new section on “collective compensation action” to the Code of Economic Law. The new title on collective compensation action will be part of Book XVII, Special Jurisdictional Procedures of the Code. (Loi portant insertion d’un titre 2 “De […]

Russia: New Privacy Protection Law

(Nov. 5, 2013) On October 1, 2013, amendments to Russia’s Civil Code aimed at protecting the privacy of individuals entered into force. (Federal Law of the Russian Federation, No. 142 FZ of July 2, 2013, on Amending Section 3 of Chapter 1, Part 1, of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation [in Russian], ROSSIISKAIA […]

Israel: Statute of Limitations for Sexual Harassment Suits

(Feb. 9, 2012) On January 30, 2012, the Knesset (Israel's parliament) passed an amendment to the Prevention of Sexual Harassment Law, 5758-1998). According to the 1998 Law, sexual harassment and any harm originating from a complaint or a suit regarding sexual harassment are civil wrongs for which compensation may be paid. Sexual harassment includes threats, […]

Sri Lanka: Mediation Boards Planned for Northern Province

(Sept. 29, 2010) The Ministry of Justice of Sri Lanka has announced plans to establish mediation boards for the Northern Province of the country, with one board in each of the 16 divisional secretariats in the province. The new system will give people a way to settle disputes without turning to the courts. The boards […]

China: New Law on Mediation

(Sept. 9, 2010) China's National People's Congress Standing Committee promulgated the Law on People's Mediation on August 28, 2010; it will be in force as of January 1, 2011. The Law has 35 articles divided among six chapters, which cover such subjects as mediation committees, mediators, mediation procedures, and mediation agreements. The Law defines “people's […]

United States: South Dakota Court Vacates Jury Decision Because of Juror’s Internet Search

(Oct. 20, 2009) The South Dakota Supreme Court has upheld a trial court decision to vacate a jury verdict because of a juror's Internet search regarding the defendant in the case. After receiving a summons and questionnaire for a wrongful death case, a juror used Google to find out information about the case's defendant, a […]

Australia: Recommendations for Improving Access to Justice

(Oct. 8, 2009) Calling access to justice “central to the rule of law and integral to the enjoyment of basic human rights,” as well as “an essential precondition to social inclusion and a critical element of a well-functioning democracy,” Australia's Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, launched the government's A Strategic Framework for Access to Justice in the […]

Iran: Ruling on Foreigners’ Lawsuits Against Iranian Nationals in Iranian Courts

(Sept. 10, 2009) In July 2008, in response to a question from Iran's Minister of Justice, the Guardian Council announced that in some cases foreign nationals cannot benefit from a statute of limitations for litigation when they file lawsuits in Iranian courts. The Guardian Council is an institution established under Iran's Constitution to examine the […]

Nigeria: Bill Making Electronic Materials Admissible in Court Proposed

(July 15, 2009) It was reported on July 13, 2009, that the Nigerian senate is considering adoption of the Bill for an Act to Amend the Evidence Act, which would make electronic and computer-generated materials admissible in court. (Sufuyan Ojeifo, Text Messages to Become Admissible in Court, THISDAY, July 13, 2009, available at The […]