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France/European Court of Human Rights: Intercepted Conversation with Client Admissible Against Attorney

(July 13, 2016) On June 16, 2016, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) issued a judgment validating the interception, transcription, and use by the French government of a wiretapped conversation between an attorney and her client. (Affaire Versini-Campinchi et Crasnianski c. France (Judgment), Application No. 49176/11 (June 16, 2016) (Judgment), HUDOC.) Background This case […]

Netherlands: Crime Victims’ Rights Enhanced

(May 3, 2016) On April 26, 2016, the Dutch Senate (Eerste Kamer) adopted a legislative proposal put forward by the Minister of Security and Justice that gives victims of serious crimes the right to be heard in the courtroom and to express, “for example, [what they] think about the guilt of a suspect and what […]

Brazil: Federal Supreme Court Changes Its Understanding of Enforcement of Sentences

(Mar. 11, 2016) On February 17, 2016, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal Federal) ruled that requiring a defendant to start serving a sentence after an intermediate appellate court’s confirmation of a criminal conviction does not offend the constitutional principle of the defendant’s presumption of innocence. Minister Teori Zavascki, who wrote the opinion, held that an intermediate appellate […]

ECHR, Russian Federation: Breaches of Human Rights in Surveillance Legislation

(Mar. 2, 2016) The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), in a decision issued on December 4, 2015, in the case of Roman Zakharov v. Russia, ruled on the legality of Russia’s regulations on administering the System for Ensuring Investigative Activities (SORM legislation) under article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights […]

Israel: Expansion of Police Body Search Powers

(Feb. 11, 2016) On February 2, 2016, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) passed legislation expanding the powers of police to conduct body searches. (Authorities for Protecting Public Safety (Amendment No. 5 and Temporary Provision) Law, 5776-2016 (Amendment Law), Knesset website (in Hebrew) (click on appropriate link to view); Authorities for Protecting Public Safety Law 5765-2005 (Authorities Law), SEFER […]

Turkey: Constitutional Court Rulings on “Reasonable Suspicion” in Criminal Procedure Code and on 2014 Changes to Internet Law

(Dec. 30, 2015) The Constitutional Court of Turkey issued two key decisions in December 2015, on amending provisions of a “package” law adopted in December 2014 and on amendments to Turkey’s Internet Law that had been introduced in February 2014.  (Top Court Rejects Appeal Against ‘Reasonable Suspicion’ Clause in Security Law, TODAY’S ZAMAN (Dec. 23, […]

Israel: Parents May be Required to Provide Good Behavior Guarantee for Juvenile Offenders

(Nov. 18, 2015) On November 2, 2015, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) passed an amendment to the Juveniles (Penalties and Treatment Methods) Law 5731-1971. The amendment authorizes the juvenile court to order that the parents of minors who have been convicted of crimes provide a guarantee of their minor child’s future good behavior or pay a […]

Germany: Judge Texting During Trial Created Appearance of Bias

(Sept. 10, 2015) On June 17, 2015, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) held that the private use of a cell phone by a judge during the questioning of a witness in the trial of a case created an appearance of impropriety and bias and thus constituted absolute grounds for appeal of the […]

Canada: Supreme Court Calls for Clear and Complete Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases

(July 21, 2015) On July 17, 2015, in the murder case of R. v. Rodgerson (2015 CSC 38, Judgements of the Supreme Court of Canada), the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed an appeal from the Court of Appeal for Ontario and found that the majority of the Court of Appeal judges had ruled correctly in […]

Italy: New Legislation Against Public Corruption and Organized Crime

(June 25, 2015) On June 14, 2015, new legislation fighting criminal conduct against the state, organized crime activities, and false accounting reporting entered into effect in Italy. (Law No. 69 of May 6, 2015, Provisions on Crimes Against the Public Administration, Mafia-Type Associations and False Accounting, GAZETTA UFFICIALE No. 124 (May 30, 2015), NORMATTIVA (in […]