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Indonesia: Rules Eased on Who Can Buy Land for Infrastructure Projects

(Jan. 6, 2017) On December 2, 2016, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo signed a presidential regulation that eases existing rules on the acquisition of land for infrastructure projects.  In the past, only the central and regional governments could acquire land for the projects, but budget limitations often delayed infrastructure development.  (Govt Now Allows SOEs, Private Sectors […]

Israel: Representation of Haredi and New Immigrants in Public Service and on Boards of Directors of Government Companies

(Dec. 21, 2016) On December 12, 2016, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) passed the Law for Proper Representation of Members of the Haredi Population and of New Immigrants in Public Service (Amendments), 5777-2016.  (Proper Representation Law, Knesset website (scroll down to issue no. 634) (in Hebrew).) The Proper Representation Law amends the State Service (Appointments) Law, […]

Brazil: Constitutional Amendment Limits Public Spending

(Dec. 16, 2016) On December 13, 2016, the Brazilian Federal Senate approved an amendment to the Constitution that imposes a ceiling on public spending for the next 20 years.  (Proposta de Emenda à Constituição No. 55 de 2016 — PEC do Teto dos Gastos Públicos, Federal Senate website (Dec. 13, 2016).)  The constitutional amendment will […]

South Korea: Scandal Raises Questions About the Future of the President

(Nov. 23, 2016) On November 20, 2016, South Korean prosecutors indicted Choi Soon-sil, a close friend of President Park Geun-hye, on charges of abuse of power, coercion, attempted coercion, and attempted fraud. The prosecutors also announced that Park is subject to investigation in the case as a co-conspirator. (Myo-ja Ser, Prosecutors Announce President Park Is […]

Egypt: Parliament Passes Anti-illegal Migration Law

(Nov. 4, 2016) On October 17, 2016, the Egyptian People’s Assembly passed an anti-human trafficking law and sent it to Egypt’s President for his signature. The law passed by a huge majority of 402 votes. Once the law is signed by the President, it will be published in the official gazette. (Egypt Parliament Passes Bill […]

Norway: Procurement Law to Stem Deforestation, Protect Human Rights Adopted

(Sept. 16, 2016) On June 17, 2016, the Norwegian Parliament passed a new procurement law that mandates consideration of environmental consequences, human rights, and other social effects in public procurement processes. (Lov om Offentlige Anskaffelser (Anskaffelsesloven), LOV 2016-06-17-73 [Procurement Act No. 73 of June 17, 2016], LOVDATA.) This goal is spelled out in article 5 […]

Italy: Legislation on the Audit of Government Accounts

(Aug. 18, 2016) On August 5, 2016, new legislation on the statutory audit of governmental accounts entered into effect in Italy. (Legislative Decree No. 135 of July 17, 2016, Implementing EU Directive 2014/56/EU that Amends Directive 2006/43/EC Concerning the Statutory Audit of Annual Accounts and Consolidated Accounts (L.D. No. 135), GAZETTA UFFICIALE, No. 169 (July […]

European Union: Measures Adopted Following Brexit

(Aug. 8, 2016) Within days following the United Kingdom’s referendum vote of June 23, 2016, to withdraw from the European Union, the EU’s three main decision-making institutions — the Parliament, the Commission, and the Council — took actions in response, such as calling on the United Kingdom to start negotiations to leave the EU by triggering the withdrawal mechanism stipulated in […]

Japan: Emperor Akihito Announces Intention to Abdicate

(July 14, 2016) It was reported on July 13, 2016, that Emperor Akihito of Japan intends to abdicate the throne in favor of his first son, Crown Prince Naruhito.  (Emperor Expressed His Intention to ‘Abdicate,’ NHK News Web (July 13, 2016) (in Japanese).)  As there is no provision on abdication in the Imperial House Act, […]

Thailand: Digital Ministry Established as Part of National Digital Economy Plan

(June 14, 2016) It was reported on June 3, 2016, that Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly, whose members have been appointed by the military government, unanimously approved legislation establishing a new Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES) in the country. (NLA Approves Establishment of Digital Ministry, BANGKOK POST (June 3, 2016).) This administrative change is […]