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Sweden: Court Recognizes Exclusive Fishing Rights of Sami Village

(Feb. 9, 2016) On February 3, 2016, the District Court of Gällivare announced its verdict in a hunting and fishing rights dispute between the government of Sweden and Girjas, a Sami village (a community of the indigenous Sami people that is a special legal entity with special legal rights and duties different from an ordinary Swedish village). […]

Australia/Nauru: High Court Rules Offshore Detention of Asylum Seekers Is Lawful

(Feb. 5, 2016) On February 3, 2016, the High Court of Australia, Australia’s highest court, held in a 6-1 decision that the government is legally able to participate in the detention of asylum seekers in the Pacific island country of Nauru; this means that a number of people who were brought to Australia to receive […]

Belgium: Court Rules Tax Haven Requirements Constitutional

(Feb. 4, 2016) Belgium’s Constitutional Court issued a decision on January 21, 2016, on the question of whether tax havens are unconstitutional. The decision, No. 11/2016, was in response to a request for a preliminary ruling sent by a lower court in Antwerp. The request asked whether the rules prohibiting tax deductibility and imposing reporting […]

Poland: Controversial Proposals and Measures on Surveillance Law, Constitutional Tribunal, and Media Law

(Feb. 3, 2016) Poland’s government is planning legal changes that would increase the surveillance over the country’s citizens. The new provisions, proposed by the ruling Law and Justice Party, would increase the government’s access to digital data while reducing restrictions on the use of surveillance by the police. (Dominic Yobbi, Thousands March in Poland to […]

Israel: Court Recognizes U.S. Foreign State Immunity in Employment Suit

(Feb. 2, 2016) On January 8, 2016, Israel’s National Labor Court accepted an appeal by the United States of a decision of the Jerusalem regional labor court. The regional court had rejected the U.S. claim of foreign sovereign immunity in a suit filed against the U.S. by a former employee (the respondent) of its consulate […]

Netherlands: Special Tribunal for Alleged Kosovo War Crimes

(Jan. 27, 2016) The Government of the Netherlands announced on January 15, 2016, that it will establish a special court in The Hague to “try serious crimes allegedly committed in 1999-2000 by members of the Kosovo Liberation Army [KLA] against ethnic minorities and political opponents” in the aftermath of the Kosovo War of 1998-1999 between […]

Thailand/United Nations: Call to Investigate Disappearances, Ratify Treaty

(Jan. 8, 2016) On January 6, 2016, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, called on the Thai government to criminalize enforced disappearances; to investigate the cases of over 80 individuals who have disappeared, including the prominent attorney Somchai Neelapaijit; and to immediately ratify the International Convention for the Protection […]

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 […]

Turkey: Constitutional Court Rulings on “Reasonable Suspicion” in Criminal Procedure Code and on 2014 Changes to Internet Law

(Dec. 30, 2015) The Constitutional Court of Turkey issued two key decisions in December 2015, on amending provisions of a “package” law adopted in December 2014 and on amendments to Turkey’s Internet Law that had been introduced in February 2014.  (Top Court Rejects Appeal Against ‘Reasonable Suspicion’ Clause in Security Law, TODAY’S ZAMAN (Dec. 23, […]