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Switzerland: Paid Paternity Leave of Two Weeks Approved by Voters

(Oct. 8, 2020) On September 27, 2020, Swiss voters approved by a vote of 60.34% to 39.66% a parliamentary initiative that introduces two weeks of paid paternity leave. Voter turnout was 59.3%. The initiative amends the Code of Obligations and the Loss of Earnings Compensation Act. The proposal was a direct counterproposal to a popular […]

Australia: Bill Recognizing Indigenous Adoption Practices Passed in Queensland

(Sept. 15, 2020) On September 8, 2020, the Queensland Parliament passed the Meriba Omasker Kaziw Kazipa (Torres Strait Islander Traditional Child Rearing Practice) Act 2020, which legally recognizes for the first time in Australia the child adoption practices of Torres Strait Islanders, the indigenous people of the Torres Strait Islands in Queensland. “Meriba Omasker Kaziw Kazipa” […]

Hong Kong: Legislative Council Passes Bill to Extend Statutory Maternity Leave

(Aug. 17, 2020) On July 9, 2020, Hong Kong’s Legislative Council passed the Employment (Amendment) Bill 2019, which will increase the statutory maternity leave for female employees from 10 weeks to 14 weeks. The new measure was published as the Employment (Amendment) Ordinance 2020 (Amendment Ordinance) in the Government Gazette on July 17, 2020. The […]

Sudan: New Law Amending Penal Code Takes Effect

(July 23, 2020) On July 13, 2020, the Sudanese Official Gazette published Law No. 12 of 2020, which amends 15 provisions of the Penal Code of 1991. According to Justice Minister Nasredeen Abdulbari, the new provisions are part of Sudan’s efforts to eliminate all laws that violate human rights and “demolish any kind of discrimination […]

Germany: New Act Allows Stepchild Adoption in Nonmarital Families

(Apr. 29, 2020) On March 31, 2020, an act that allows stepchild adoption in nonmarital families entered into force in Germany. The act implements a decision of the German Federal Constitutional Court of March 26, 2019, which ruled the exclusion of stepchild adoption in nonmarital families unconstitutional. The decision obligated the legislature to enact new […]

Philippines: President Issues Executive Order Regulating Electronic Cigarettes, Vaping

(Mar. 27, 2020) On February 26, 2020, the president of the Philippines issued an executive order (EO) regulating the commercialization and use of electronic cigarettes. Background The EO states in its preamble that in 2016, the World Health Organization issued a report explaining that Electronic Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS/ENNDS) emit aerosol that commonly includes […]

Malaysia: Federal Court Holds that Illegitimate Muslim Child Cannot Use Father’s Last Name

(Mar. 6, 2020) On February 13, 2020, Malaysia’s Star news media outlet reported that the Federal Court of Malaysia (Malaysia’s highest court) had held, by a 4-3 majority, that the National Registration Department (NRD) cannot register the father’s last name for a Muslim child who was born or conceived out of wedlock. It also held, however, […]

United States: Supreme Court Clarifies Standard for Determining Child’s Country of Habitual Residence, Affirms Return of Child to Italy

(Mar. 5, 2020) The U.S. Supreme Court recently endorsed a “totality of the circumstances” test for determining a child’s habitual residence under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Convention). The Court also held that a trial court’s determination of habitual residence is entitled to deferential appellate review and should […]

Germany: Court Obligates Government to Repatriate ISIS Member and Children to Germany

(Dec. 17, 2019) On November 6, 2019, the Higher Administrative Court of Berlin-Brandenburg (OVG Berlin-Brandenburg) held that the German government must repatriate a German citizen who, in 2014, traveled from Germany to the territory held by the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria, together with her three minor children. Facts of the Case In 2014, the […]