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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 […]

International Criminal Court: New Judge Elected

(July 6, 2015) On June 24, 2015, during its 13th session, the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court (ICC), elected Dr. Raul Cano Pangalangan as a judge of the ICC. (Press Release, ICC, Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute Elects a Judge (June […]

Brazil: Constitutional Amendment Passed Increasing Justices

(May 12, 2015) On May 6, 2015, the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies approved a constitutional amendment that increases the age of compulsory retirement of the members of the Federal Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal Federal, STF), the Audit Tribunal of the Union (Tribunal de Contas da União, TCU), and all other superior tribunals. After the amendment, […]

Italy: Civil Liability of Judges

(Apr. 9, 2015) Italy has approved new legislation on the civil liability of judges. (Law No. 18 of February 27, 2015, on Civil Liability of Magistrates, GAZETTA UFFICIALE (G. U.) No. 52, NORMATTIVA, amending Law No. 117 of April 13, 1988, Indemnification of Damages Caused in the Exercise of Judicial Functions and Civil Liability of […]