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United Nations: Draft Resolutions on Humanitarian Assistance, Draft Decisions on Two International Tribunals

(Jan. 2, 2015) On December 23, 2014, the United Nations General Assembly adopted, without a vote, three draft resolutions aimed at enhancing the international body’s emergency humanitarian responses. The draft resolution on international cooperation on humanitarian assistance in the field of natural disasters, from relief to development, according to Bolivia’s U.N. representative, not only “recognized […]

Portugal: Government Establishes Inter-Ministerial Coordination Commission on Ebola

(Oct. 28, 2014) On October 23, 2014, the Portuguese Council of Ministers approved the creation of a commission designed to coordinate the responses to and political decisions on the ebola virus, among all sectors of government. The Inter-Ministerial Commission on the Coordination of the Response to Ebola, headed by the Ministry of Health, will comprise […]

Liberia: Army Orders Border Crossers from Sierra Leone Shot Due to Fear of Ebola

(Aug. 22, 2014) On August 15, 2014, Colonel Eric W. Dennis, Deputy Chief of Staff of Liberia’s armed forces, directed soldiers on the border in two counties in the western part of the country to shoot at anyone trying to enter from Sierra Leone. This move comes as a result of the Ebola epidemic; the […]

Canada; Mexico; United States: Agreement on Health Emergencies

(July 2, 2014) Health authorities from Mexico, the United States, and Canada recently announced that they have reached an agreement on a Declaration of Intent that sets forth guidelines and principles concerning how these countries will exchange public information during health emergencies of common interest. (Press Release, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), […]

Italy: New Measures to Respond to Environmental Emergencies

(Feb. 14, 2014) Italy’s Senate adopted a decree on “Urgent Measures Designed to Tackle Environmental and Industrial Emergencies and to Facilitate the Development of the Concerned Areas,” on February 5, 2014. (Legislative Decree No. 136 [hereinafter the Decree] (Dec. 10, 2013), NORMATTIVA.) The Decree aims to address the current environmental emergencies in the regions of […]

Bangladesh: High Court Orders Property of Collapsed Building Owner Confiscated

(May 14, 2013) On April 24, 2013, a multi-story building collapsed in Bangladesh, killing over 1,000 people. Five garment factories were operating inside the building, and more than 3,000 people were believed to be working in it when it collapsed. (Julfikar Ali Manik & Jim Yardley, 17 Days in Darkness, a Cry of ‘Save Me,’ […]

Japan: Law to Support Nuclear Disaster Victims’ Daily Lives

(Oct. 1, 2012) A year after the Fukushima nuclear power plant was hit by a tsunami that was caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011, Japan’s legislature enactedthe Act on Special Measures for Fukushima Reconstruction and Revitalization(Act No. 25 of 2012, Mar. 30, 2012). The Act obligates the government to implement measures […]

Italy: Government Measures in Response to Earthquakes

(June 4, 2012) On May 29, 2012, northern Italy suffered its second earthquake in a little over a week; in all, the disasters caused the deaths of about 24 people. (Death Toll from Italy Earthquake Rises, CNN (May 30, 2012).) On May 30, the Italian Council of Ministers proclaimed June 4 to be a national […]

Taiwan: Proposed Amendments to Acts on Nuclear Damage

(May 7, 2012) On April 19, 2012, the Education and Culture Committee of Taiwan's legislature gave initial approval to amendments to the Nuclear Damage Compensation Act and the Nuclear Accident Emergency Response Act, which, if adopted, would increase the statute of limitations under which victims of a nuclear disaster may seek compensation and widen the […]

Japan: Legal Responses to Disaster Waste Management Issues

(Mar. 23, 2012) There has been some controversy in Japan connected with the plans for handling the large quantity of waste generated by last year's earthquake and tsunami. Background The Great East Japan Earthquake and ensuing tsunami of March 11, 2011, killed more than 15,800 people and destroyed cities and villages along the eastern coastline […]