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Hungary: National Assembly Adopts Act Giving Government Special Powers during Coronavirus Pandemic

(May 26, 2020) On March 29, 2020, Hungary’s National Assembly adopted a special legal regime aimed at “mitigating the consequences of a natural disaster or industrial accident endangering life and property” and preserving the governability of the country in case the National Assembly is not able to meet because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new […]

Colombia: Congress to Vote on Legislation in Virtual Sessions

(May 5, 2020) On March 28, 2020, Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez issued Legislative Decree 491/2020, which permits governmental bodies, including the legislature, to conduct business virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic. Article 12 of the decree allows for remote sessions in which members can deliberate by any means (por cualquier medio) and make decisions by […]

Philippines: President Granted Temporary Extraordinary Powers to Combat COVID-19

(Apr. 30, 2020) On March 25, 2020, the Philippine government announced the approval of Republic Act 11469, a law granting extraordinary powers to President Rodrigo Duterte aimed at combatting COVID-19. Specifically, section 4 of the law authorizes the president to execute a wide variety of financial and operational measures to address the pandemic, including the […]

France: Government Adopts Law Declaring and Defining a ‘State of Health Emergency’

(Mar. 30, 2020) On March 23, 2020, the French government adopted a law allowing the executive branch to declare a state of emergency for health-related crises. This law adds several provisions to the nation’s Public Health Code, allowing the executive to declare a “state of health emergency” (état d’urgence sanitaire) in all or part of […]

Australia: High Court Rules that Aboriginal People Cannot be Deported

(Feb. 26, 2020) On February 11, 2020, the High Court of Australia (Australia’s highest court) handed down a decision in the case of Love v Commonwealth of Australia [2020] HCA 3 (“Decision”). In the significant judgment, the Court ruled by a majority of 4-to-3 that indigenous Australians who do not hold Australian citizenship cannot be deported. […]

Ukraine: Law on Impeachment of President Adopted

(Nov. 7, 2019) On September 26, 2019, the Law on the Special Procedure for Removing the President of Ukraine from Office (Impeachment Law) entered into force. The Law defines legal procedures for impeachment—a mechanism prescribed by the country’s constitution—and for entrusting the national legislature, the Verkhovna Rada, with the power to remove the president from […]

Sudan: Interim Constitutional Declaration Signed

(Oct. 9, 2019) On August 4, 2019, Sudanese media announced that the Transitional Military Council and an opposition movement known as the Coalition of Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) would officially sign an interim constitutional declaration. The 2019 Interim Constitutional Declaration, consisting of 15 chapters and 70 provisions, provides that a governing council will […]

Brazil: Brazilian President Signs Decree Authorizing Use of Armed Forces in Amazon Region

(Sept. 19, 2019) On August 23, 2019, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro signed Decree No. 9,985 (Decreto No. 9,985, de 24 de Agosto de 2019) authorizing the use of the armed forces to assist in fighting fires in the Amazon forest. Article 1 of Decree No. 9,985 authorizes the use of the armed forces to guarantee […]

Egypt: National Referendum on Constitutional Amendments Takes Place

(June 5, 2019) On April 22, 2019, Egyptians completed casting their votes on constitutional amendments to the 2014 Egyptian Constitution. The polling was carried out over a three-day period throughout the country. (Egypt Polls Close After 3-Day Vote to Extend El-Sissi’s Rule, ASSOCIATED PRESS (Apr. 22, 2019).) The amendments passed with over 88% of voters […]

Guinea: President Refuses to Approve New Civil Code Legalizing Polygamy

(Jan. 28, 2019) On December 29, 2018, the Guinean Parliament adopted a new Civil Code to replace the one that Guinea has had since 1983. (Guinean Civil Code: Some Advances for Women, but Polygamy Legalized, RFI AFRIQUE (Dec. 31, 2018) (in French); NEW CIVIL CODE (DRAFT), Feb. 2016, Guinea Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC Guinée) website.) However, […]