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Italy: Constitutional Court Declares Revocation of Certain Criminal Offenders’ Driver’s Licenses Unconstitutional

(July 2, 2020) On May 29, 2020, the Italian Constitutional Court issued a decision declaring unconstitutional a provision of the New Highway Code that established the automatic revocation of certain criminal offenders’ driver’s licenses. (Decision No. 99 of May 27, 2020.) Background of the Case The regional administrative court (Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale, TAR) for Italy’s […]

Italy: Constitutional Court Declares Criminal Code Provision on Child Abduction Unconstitutional

(June 30, 2020) On May 29, 2020, the Italian Constitutional Court issued a decision declaring the unconstitutionality of a Criminal Code provision on the suspension of parental authority in cases of child abduction and child maintenance overseas. (Decision No. 102 of May 29, 2020.) Background of the Case At the request of the Supreme Court […]

Hungary: National Assembly Adopts Act Giving Government Special Powers during Coronavirus Pandemic

(May 26, 2020) On March 29, 2020, Hungary’s National Assembly adopted a special legal regime aimed at “mitigating the consequences of a natural disaster or industrial accident endangering life and property” and preserving the governability of the country in case the National Assembly is not able to meet because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new […]

Germany: First Criminal Trial Worldwide on State Torture in Syria Begins

(Apr. 30, 2020) On April 23, 2020, the first criminal trial worldwide on state torture in Syria started at the Higher Regional Court in Koblenz, Germany (docket no. 1 StE 9/19). The two defendants allegedly worked for the Syrian intelligence services and are charged with crimes against humanity in numerous cases. The trial is scheduled to […]

Switzerland: Prohibition on Sexual Orientation Discrimination Will Apply Starting July 1

(Apr. 30, 2020) In its session of April 3, 2020, the Swiss Federal Council, the country’s government, decided that a prohibition on discrimination due to sexual orientation will enter into force on July 1, 2020. The necessary amendments to the Criminal Code and the Military Criminal Code had been adopted by the Swiss Parliament on December 14, […]

Germany: Constitutional Court Strikes Down Provision Criminalizing Commercial Assisted Suicide

(Apr. 29, 2020) On February 26, 2020, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) held that the provision in the German Criminal Code criminalizing commercial assisted suicide is unconstitutional. The Court stated that the general right of personality encompasses a right to a self-determined death, which includes the freedom to take one’s own life as […]

Chile: Law Enacted Adopting Criminal Penalties for Public Disruptions and Violence

(Mar. 10, 2020) On January 30, 2020, Law No. 21,208 enacted Chile’s “Anti-looting law,” amending the Penal Code to impose criminal penalties for looting and actions that threaten the freedom of movement of people on public roads through violence and intimidation. Under the new Law, setting up barricades, looting, and other violent practices that have […]

Italy: Provision of Regional Basilicata Law Granting State Legal Aid to Certain Criminal Defendants Ruled Unconstitutional

(Mar. 3, 2020) On November 19, 2019, the Italian Constitutional Court declared the unconstitutionality of article 7, paragraph 2 of Law No. 45 of the Basilicata Region, which granted legal assistance to certain criminal defendants. (Decision No. 285 of November 11, 2019  (the Decision) (in Italian).) Request for Declaration of Unconstitutionality  The President of the […]

Italy: Reform of Statute of Limitations in Criminal Cases (“Bonafede Reform”) Takes Effect

(Feb. 21, 2020) On January 1 2020, article 1 of Law No. 3 of January 9, 2019 (Legge 9 gennaio 2019, n. 3) (Law No. 3)—named the “Bonafede reform” after Italian Minister of Justice Alfonso Bonafede—entered into force. The provision amends article 159, paragraph 2 of the Criminal Code to introduce a controversial suspension of […]

Lebanon: General Prosecution Issues Travel Ban After Interrogation Session with Carlos Ghosn

(Jan. 29, 2020) On January 9, 2020, the Lebanese Court of Cassation’s Office of General Prosecution issued a decision to prohibit Carlos Ghosn, the former CEO of Nissan Auto Corporation, from traveling outside the country after interrogating him regarding charges of corruption, tax evasion, and violating Lebanon’s Anti-Israel Boycott Law of 1955. Background of the […]