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Israel: Parliament Establishes New Department for Government Oversight

(Sept. 19, 2017) A special parliamentary unit for oversight of governmental actions was recently established in the Knesset (Israel’s parliament). The Knesset Unit for Parliamentary Oversight (KATEF, based on the Hebrew acronym, which also means “shoulder(s)” in Hebrew).  (Press Release, The Knesset Establishes a Unit for Coordination and Oversight of the Government (Sept. 30, 2017), Knesset […]

Mauritania: Senate Abolished in Referendum

(Aug. 22, 2017) On August 5, 2017, Mauritania held a referendum in which the country voted to change to its government structure, abolishing the Senate. (Gwenyth Gamble Jarvi, Mauritania Votes in Referendum to Abolish Senate, PAPER CHASE (Aug. 7, 2017).) Previously there was a bicameral legislature that consisted of the Senate (Majlis al-Shuyukh) and the National […]

Sweden: Parliament Adopts Code of Conduct for Members

(Jan. 26, 2017) On December 16, 2016, the Swedish parliamentary Speakers Secretariat (consisting of the Speaker of Parliament and three deputy speakers) and Member group leaders announced new rules of conduct for Members of Parliament, which took effect on January 1, 2017. (Ny uppförandekod för riksdagsledamöter [New Code of Conduct for Members of Parliament], RIKSDAGEN (Dec. […]

Sri Lanka: Debate on New Constitution Scheduled

(Dec. 14, 2016) On December 10, 2016, the Constitutional Assembly Steering Committee of Sri Lanka’s Parliament decided to ask the entire Parliament for its views on proposals for a new Constitution.  In order to accomplish this, a debate has been scheduled for January 9-11, 2017.  (Sri Lanka Parliament to Debate on New Constitution Next Month, […]

Italy: Constitutional Referendum Scheduled

(Nov. 18, 2016) On December 4, 2016, Italy is scheduled to hold a major constitutional referendum.  (Referendum, si vota il 4 dicembre. Renzi: «La partita è ora» [Referendum, the Vote Takes Place on December 4. Renzi: ‘The Match Is Now’], CORRIERE DELLA SERA (Sept. 26, 2016).)  The proposed amendments would drastically change the nature of […]

Indonesia: Controversy over Haj Agency Proposal

(Oct. 7, 2016) Indonesia’s government currently oversees its citizens’ exercise of the haj, the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, something each observant Muslim aspires to accomplish once in a lifetime. Under the Law on Implementing Haj Worship of 2008, which replaced a law on the same topic of 1999, the Ministry of Religious Affairs provides […]

Vietnam: Legislature Considers Law on Guard Force

(Aug. 22, 2016) During its current session, which began on August 15, 2016, the National Assembly of Vietnam (NA) discussed proposed legislation on the country’s Guard Force. While a 2005 ordinance gave a general structure to the Guard Force, according to the Vice Chairman of the NA, Do Ba Ty, legislators have now agreed to […]

Israel: Laws Authorize Expulsion of Lawmakers Engaged in Incitement to Racism or Support of Armed Struggle Against the State

(July 21, 2016) On July 20, 2016, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) passed the Basic Law: the Knesset (Amendments No. 44) (BLK), and the Knesset Law (Amendment No. 43) (KL), both dated 5776-2016.  (Knesset website (click on Issue No. 216 (last visited July 20, 2016) (both laws in Hebrew); Basic Law: the Knesset, (5718 – 1958), […]

Malaysia: Proposal to Reform Laws on Sexual Offenses

(June 16, 2016) Malaysia’s Home Ministry is contemplating revising the country’s laws applicable to sex offenders. Both reform of existing legislation and the adoption of a new statute are being considered. While under current law survivors of sexual attacks must be present in court to face the accused perpetrators, the Deputy Home Minister, Nur Jazlan […]

Indonesia: Regulation on Sexual Violence Against Children Issued

(May 27, 2016) On May 25, 2016, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo issued a regulation in lieu of law (called a perppu in Indonesian) on sexual violence against children; the plan to issue the regulation had been announced about two weeks earlier. (Ayomi Amindoni, Govt Issues Perppu on Sexual Violence Against Children, JAKARTA POST (May 25, […]