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Italy: New Legislation on Honorary Judges

(Sept. 28, 2017) On July 18, 2017, new legislation amending the statute on honorary judges and other judges entered into effect in Italy. (Legislative Decree No. 116 of July 13, 2017, Organic Reform of the Honorary Judiciary and Other Provisions on Justices of the Peace as well as Temporary Regulations on Honorary Magistrates in Service, […]

Zimbabwe: Constitutional Amendment Bill Gives President Unilateral Power to Appoint Top Judges

(Aug. 22, 2017) On July 25, 2017, the 270-member National Assembly, the lower house of Zimbabwe’s bicameral Parliament, passed a bill that among other measures seeks to amend the Constitution to accord the President unfettered power to unilaterally fill the highest judicial positions in the country: those of Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice, and Judge President of the High Court.  (Amendment Bill […]

Israel: First Female Judge Selected for Muslim Religious Court

(Apr. 27, 2017) On April 25, 2017, the Qadis (Muslim law judges) Appointment Committee in Israel selected Hana Mansour-Khatib, a female jurist, for the position of a Sharia (Islamic law) court judge.  Mansour-Khatib is a lawyer specializing in Sharia family law and a licensed mediator.  (Hur Uriel Nizari, History in the Committee for the Appointment of […]

Kyrgyzstan: Parliament Approves Bill Abolishing Military Courts

(Mar. 23, 2017) On December 27, 2016, the President of Kyrgyzstan signed into law amendments to the Constitutional Law on the Status of Judges of the Kyrgyz Republic that had been adopted by the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic. (Optimization of Spending: Military Courts Are Terminated in Kyrgyzstan, SPUTNIK-TJ.COM,  (Dec. 27, 2016) (in Russian); Law […]

Italy: Law to Increase Efficiency of Judicial Procedures

(Nov. 9, 2016) On August 31, 2016, new legislation designed to increase the efficiency of judicial proceedings entered into effect in Italy. (Decree Law No. 168 of August 31, 2016, Urgent Measures for the Settlement of Contentious Procedures Before the Court of Cassation [Supreme Court for Civil Matters], for the Efficiency of the Judiciary, and […]

Pakistan: Bills Introduced on Increased Representation of Women in the Supreme Court

(May 26, 2016) On May 16, 2016, a member of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and former law minister, Babar Awan, introduced a private member’s bill in the Senate, the upper house of Pakistan’s federal legislature, that would amend the Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Act, 1997, to provide greater “representation of women” in Pakistan’s […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]