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Germany: Expanded Telecommunications Surveillance and Online Search Powers

(Sept. 7, 2017) On August 24, 2017, a controversial amendment to the German Criminal Code of Procedure entered into force in Germany that expanded the powers of law enforcement agencies to conduct online searches and source telecommunications surveillance (called a “State Trojan”). (Gesetz zur effektiveren und praxistauglicheren Ausgestaltung des Strafverfahrens [Act to Make Criminal Proceedings More Effective […]

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. […]

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 […]

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), […]

Cambodia: Opposition Legislator Arrested on Charges of Incitement

(Apr. 14, 2016) On April 10, 2016, Cambodian authorities arrested Um Sam An, an opposition legislator. He had been critical of the way the government had determined the border of Cambodia with neighboring Vietnam. His arrest in Siem Reap province, shortly after he returned from a trip to the United States, was announced by Khieu […]

Japan: Communist Party Accepts Emperor’s Speech at Opening Ceremony of the Diet as Constitutional

(Jan. 4, 2016) Kazuo Shii, Japan’s Communist Party (JCP) Secretary, met with Tadamori Oshima, Speaker of the House of Representatives, on December 24, 2015, and informed the speaker that JCP members would attend the next opening ceremony of the House. Shii also requested on behalf of the JCP that the ceremony be reformed. (Norihisa Hoshino, […]

Slovenia: Same-Sex Marriage Law Rejected by Voters

(Dec. 24, 2015) In a referendum held on December 20, 2015, voters in Slovenia rejected by a margin of 63.54% to 36.46% a law on same-sex marriage and adoption rights that had been passed by the National Assembly in March 2015. (Taylor Isaac, Slovenia Voters Reject Same-Sex Marriage Law, PAPER CHASE (Dec. 21, 2015); Referendum […]

Israel: Supreme Court Dismisses Petition to Order Withdrawal of Legislative Research Report

(June 13, 2014) Israel’s Supreme Court recently dismissed a petition by the Manufacturers Organization of Israel (MOI) to order the Knesset Information and Research Center (KIRC) to withdraw a report that it had made to the Knesset Joint Committee on Economic Affairs and Finance. (MOI v. Knesset- KIRC [in Hebrew], State of Israel: The Judicial […]