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Belgium: Court Rules Tax Haven Requirements Constitutional

(Feb. 4, 2016) Belgium’s Constitutional Court issued a decision on January 21, 2016, on the question of whether tax havens are unconstitutional. The decision, No. 11/2016, was in response to a request for a preliminary ruling sent by a lower court in Antwerp. The request asked whether the rules prohibiting tax deductibility and imposing reporting […]

Nepal: New Constitution Amended

(Jan. 27, 2016) By a two-thirds vote on January 23, 2016, the Parliament of Nepal accepted an amendment of the country’s new Constitution. The Constitution had been adopted just a few months ago, in September 2015. (Nepal Parliament Amends New Constitution, INDIA.COM (Jan. 24, 2016); Wendy Zeldin, Nepal: New Constitution Approved, GLOBAL LEGAL MONITOR (Oct. […]

Sri Lanka: Prime Minister Comments on Constitutional Revision Plan

(Jan. 25, 2016) Speaking on January 17, 2016, the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe, stated that a new Constitution now being planned will not change the unitary structure of the nation. He discounted rumors that the country would be divided and asserted that he wants the country to be united, attributing the reports […]

Zambia: Constitutional Changes on Citizenship, Elections

(Jan. 13, 2016) Zambia’s President, Edgar Lungu, approved a new Constitution for the country on January 5, 2016. Among other changes, the new document permits dual citizenship and sets a date for the next elections.  (Government Urges Zambians Living in Diaspora to Apply for Dual Citizenship, LUSAKA TIMES (Jan. 7, 2016), Open Source Center No. […]

Japan: Supreme Court States Family Name System Constitutional

(Jan. 8, 2016) On December 16, 2015, the Japanese Supreme Court held that a Civil Code provision that requires one partner of a married couple, which in practice is nearly always the female partner, to change his/her surname to that of the other partner does not violate the relevant provisions of the Constitution. (Case No. […]

South Korea: Constitutional Court Decides Long-Running Case on Compensation for Forced Labor During Colonial Rule

(Jan. 6, 2016) A lawsuit called “the longest unresolved case” in Korea, which took the country’s Constitutional Court six years to deliberate, was finally settled in December 2015. (2009 Heonba 317 (Dec. 23, 2015) (in Korean); Yong-Jin Che, Claims Agreement Lawsuit That Gained Attention in Korea and Japan, Korean Constitutional Court Avoided Discussion, CHOSUN ILBO […]

Poland: New Legislation May Hobble Constitutional Court

(Jan. 5, 2016) On December 22, 2015, the lower chamber of Poland’s Parliament, the Sejm, passed controversial legislation amending the Law on the Constitutional Court that critics fear will paralyze the functioning of the Court and harm governmental checks and balances.   It was passed by the upper chamber, the Senate, on the same day.  (Alexis […]

Japan: Communist Party Accepts Emperor’s Speech at Opening Ceremony of the Diet as Constitutional

(Jan. 4, 2016) Kazuo Shii, Japan’s Communist Party (JCP) Secretary, met with Tadamori Oshima, Speaker of the House of Representatives, on December 24, 2015, and informed the speaker that JCP members would attend the next opening ceremony of the House. Shii also requested on behalf of the JCP that the ceremony be reformed. (Norihisa Hoshino, […]

Bulgaria: Constitutional Amendment Provides for Judicial Reform

(Dec. 30, 2015) On December 16, 2015, the National Assembly (legislature) of Bulgaria adopted a law amending several provisions of the Constitution concerning the organization of the national judiciary and the law enforcement community. (Law on Amending the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria, DERZHAVEN VESNIK [OFFICIAL GAZETTE] 2015, No. 100 (Dec. 18, 2015), at […]

Rwanda: Referendum Approves Extended Presidential Terms

(Dec. 30, 2015) On December 19, 2015, Rwandan citizens approved a referendum to amend the country’s Constitution. Reportedly, 98% of the voters agreed to the revision of article 101. The change will permit the current president, Paul Kagame, to remain in office for a third seven-year term beginning in 2017, to be followed by two […]