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Germany: Courts’ Obligation to Accommodate Disability at Oral Argument Must Be Balanced Against Other Principles

(Jan. 16, 2019) In an order published on January 3, 2019, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) declined to hear a case in which the complainant requested that oral arguments be conducted in a way to accommodate his Asperger’s syndrome. The Court held that the decision of the regional social court (Landessozialgericht) denying his […]

Malawi: Parliament Passes Law Allowing Dual Citizenship

(Dec. 27, 2018) On December 12, 2018, Malawi’s 193-member unicameral National Assembly reportedly passed the Malawi Citizenship Amendment Bill to amend the 1966 Citizenship Act (hereinafter “the Principal Act”). If enacted, the new law would permit Malawians who have acquired the citizenship of other countries to retain their Malawi citizenship. (Malawi Parliament Passes Bill Allowing […]

China: Rail Passengers Refusing to Vacate Others’ Seats Punished by Administrative Detention

(Dec. 20, 2018) On December 3, 2018, two rail passengers in China were reportedly punished by administrative detention after refusing to vacate seats booked by others, which may be the harshest punishments handed out in cases of this kind in the country. (Mandy Zuo, China Gets Tough on Train ‘Seat Robbers’ Who Refuse to Move, […]

Israel: Amendment Law Passed Allowing Early Release to Accommodate Prison Living-Space Requirements

(Dec. 12, 2018) On November 5, 2018, the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) passed the Prisons Ordinance (Amendment No. 54 Temporary Provision) Law, 5779-2018 (Amendment Law) (SEFER HAHUKIM [SH] [BOOK OF LAWS] (official gazette) 5779 No. 2755 p. 44, Ministry of Justice website (in Hebrew; click on issue no. 2755). The Amendment Law is designed to enable […]

Russia: Persons Under House Arrest Will Be Allowed to Vote

(Dec. 11, 2018) Russian citizens placed under house arrest will be allowed to vote according to a law approved by the Federation Council (lower house of the Federal Assembly) on December 5, 2018. (Citizens Placed Under House Arrest Will Be Able to Vote—State Duma], RAPSI (Nov. 22, 2018) (in Russian); Law No. 1063338-6 on Introducing […]

Sweden: Parliament Limits Recognition of Child Marriages

(Dec. 10, 2018) On November 21, 2018, the Swedish Parliament (Riksdagen) passed legislation that will limit the instances in which child marriages are recognized in Sweden. (Förbud mot erkännande av utländska barnäktenskap, RIKSDAGEN (Nov. 21, 2018).) Under the new provisions marriages that were conducted when one or both parties were underage will be recognized only […]

Tunisia: Cabinet Approves Bill Requiring Equal Inheritance Shares for Men and Women

(Dec. 4, 2018) On November 25, 2018, the cabinet of Tunisia approved a bill that, for the first time in the nation’s history, would require that male and female heirs receive equal inheritance shares. Tunisia is the first among Arab countries to adopt such a bill. The bill will now be referred to the Tunisian […]

Austria: Constitutional Court Holds That Civil Code Provision May Not Be Interpreted to Restrict Same-Sex Couples’ Power to Adopt After Separation

(Nov. 27, 2018) On October 3, 2018, the Austrian Constitutional Court (Verfassungsgerichtshof Österreich, VfGH) held that after a same-sex couple separates, one former partner must remain able to adopt the other’s biological child. The Court stated that section 197, paragraph 3 of the Civil Code must be interpreted in conformity with the Constitution so that […]

Zimbabwe: Court Declares Law Empowering Police to Ban Public Demonstrations Indefinitely Unconstitutional

(Nov. 20, 2018) On October 18, 2018, the Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe, the highest court in the land on all constitutional matters, found unconstitutional a provision in the 2002 Public Order and Security Act (POSA) that essentially empowers local police to indefinitely ban public demonstrations in their jurisdictions.  (Carmel Richkard, A New Chapter for Human Rights […]

South Korea: Supreme Court Finds Conscientious Objection to Military Service Justifiable

(Nov. 16, 2018) On November 1, 2018, the Supreme Court of South Korea ruled that conscientious objection to military service is “justifiable” under article 88(1) of the Military Service Act. (Sup. Ct., No. 2016 do 10912 (Nov. 1, 2018) (in Korean), Supreme Court website; Military Service Act, Act No. 4685, Dec. 31, 1993, as amended by […]