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Switzerland: Gender Quotas for Boards of Large Companies to Take Effect January 1, 2021

(Sept. 29, 2020) In its session of September 11, 2020, the Swiss Federal Council, the country’s government, decided that a provision requiring large companies to introduce a gender quota of 30% for their boards of directors and of 20% for their executive boards will enter into force on January 1, 2021. This amendment to the […]

Germany: State Constitutional Court of Thuringia Declares Act on Gender Parity in Politics Unconstitutional

(July 24, 2020) On July 15, 2020, the German State Constitutional Court of Thuringia (Thüringer Verfassungsgerichtshof, VerfGH) held in a 6–3 ruling that the Seventh Act to Amend the State Election Act of Thuringia (Parity Act) is unconstitutional. The goal of the Parity Act was to counter the current underrepresentation of women in the State […]

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: Berlin Adopts Antidiscrimination Act

(June 30, 2020) On June 21, 2020, a new antidiscrimination act entered into force in the city-state of Berlin, Germany. The act, entitled the State Antidiscrimination Act, prohibits Berlin public authorities, including police and public schools and universities, from engaging in discrimination on the grounds of gender, ethnic origin, racial association, religion or belief, disability, […]

Japan: Law to Prevent “Powa-Hara” (Power Harassment) Takes Effect

(June 22, 2020) On June 1, 2020, the 2019 amendment to the Labor Policy Comprehensive Promotion Act (Act No. 132 of 1966, amended by Act No. 24 of 2019 (Reiwa)) took effect. The amendment act, nicknamed the “Powa-Hara (Power Harassment) Prevention Act,” had been promulgated on June 5, 2019. A 2016 survey on power harassment […]

European Union: Court of Justice Rules against Poland, Czech Republic, and Hungary for Noncompliance with Migrant Relocation Obligations

(June 5, 2020) On April 2, 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (EU) in Luxembourg issued a judgment in Joined Cases C-715/17, C-718/17 and C-719/17, European Commission v. Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, finding these three countries in noncompliance with the temporary mechanism for the relocation of applicants for international protection […]

Switzerland: Prohibition on Sexual Orientation Discrimination Will Apply Starting July 1

(Apr. 30, 2020) In its session of April 3, 2020, the Swiss Federal Council, the country’s government, decided that a prohibition on discrimination due to sexual orientation will enter into force on July 1, 2020. The necessary amendments to the Criminal Code and the Military Criminal Code had been adopted by the Swiss Parliament on December 14, […]

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 […]

Israel: Exclusion of Single Men and Same-Sex Male Spouses with Genetic Affinity for the Newborn from Surrogacy Agreements Held Unconstitutional

(Mar. 24, 2020) On February 27, 2020, Israel’s Supreme Court, with an extended bench of five justices, unanimously ruled that same-sex couples and single men with genetic affinity for the newborn should have access to surrogacy agreements in Israel. (HC 781/15 Arad-Pinkas v. Committee for Approval of Surrogacy Agreements, State of Israel: Judicial Authority (all […]

Brazil: City of São Paulo Enacts Law Punishing Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

(Feb. 26, 2020) On January 24, 2020, the mayor of the city of São Paulo enacted Law No. 17,301 (Lei No. 17.301 de 24 de Janeiro de 2020), which provides for administrative sanctions to be applied to discriminatory practices that are based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Under the new Law, any form of […]