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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 […]

Netherlands: Draft Law on New International Commercial Court

(Aug. 11, 2017) On July 18, 2017, Stef Blok, Minister of Security and Justice of the Netherlands, submitted draft legislation to the Dutch House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) on the establishment of a new commercial court that would have the authority to render judgments in English on complex international trade disputes involving the Netherlands. (Legislative […]

Egypt/Saudi Arabia: Supreme Constitutional Court Halts Decision of High Administrative Court Concerning Maritime Border Demarcation Agreement

(July 5, 2017) On June 21, 2017, the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt repealed all the decisions issued by the High Administrative Court on the Egyptian-Saudi Maritime Border Demarcation Agreement. The repeal is temporary until the Supreme Constitutional Court decides whether or not the bilateral agreement is constitutional. (Egypt’s Constitutional Court Halts all Verdicts on […]

Israel: Applicable Law of Dissolution of Mixed Marriages

(July 5, 2017) On June 22, 2017, Israel’s Supreme Court rejected a request to allow an appeal against a decision by the Nazareth District Court confirming the validity of dissolution of marriage between a Jewish woman and a man not belonging to any recognized religious community in Israel. (App. Req. 5640/16, Anonymous v. Anonymous (decision […]

European Union: “Milk” Cannot Be Used to Market Purely Plant-Based Products

(June 27, 2017) On June 14, 2017, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) held that the term “milk” and other milk product names cannot, in principle, be used to designate a purely plant-based product even if clarifying or descriptive terms indicating the plant origin of the product concerned are used (e.g., tofu butter). The Court […]

European Union: Court Dismisses German Bank’s Challenge Against “Significant Entity” Classification

(June 22, 2017) In a decision issued on May 16, 2017, the General Court of the European Union confirmed the decision of the European Central Bank (ECB) to classify the German State bank Landeskreditbank Baden-Württemberg – Förderbank as a “significant entity.” The bank is therefore subject to direct supervision by the ECB rather than supervision […]

Netherlands: Mandatory Digital Litigation Extended to Asylum and Detention Cases

(June 15, 2017) According to the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice, beginning on June 12, 2017, a new system of simplified, digital litigation will be used for all asylum and detention cases handled by all courts in the Netherlands and, as of September 1, the new system will be required for claims cases requiring legal representation […]

Saint Lucia: Awareness Campaign on Mediation Launched

(June 12, 2017) In a press release issued by the Saint Lucia Registry of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC), the Registry has launched an island-wide sensitization and awareness campaign on mediation as an alternative means of dispute resolution. The press release states, “[m]ediation is a structured dispute resolution process where an impartial third party, […]

Germany: Third Parties Have Legal Right to Anonymized Copy of Civil Decisions

(June 12, 2017) On April 5, 2017, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) held that civil courts must make anonymized copies of decisions available to third parties.  It added that the third party does not need to prove a legitimate interest, as is generally necessary to inspect court records.  The BGH decision was […]

Taiwan: Constitutional Court Rules Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Unconstitutional

(June 5, 2017) On May 24, 2017, Taiwan’s Constitutional Court announced J.Y. Interpretation No. 748, which rules that the prohibition of same-sex marriage in the current Civil Code violates the Constitution. (Judicial Yuan Interpretation No. 748 and Reasons (May 24, 2017), Judicial Yuan website (in Chinese) (click on the first PDF link); Press Release, On the Same […]