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Russian Federation: New COVID-19 Related Restrictions Imposed, Migrant Deportation Moratorium Extended

(June 17, 2021) Because of the worsening epidemiological situation in Russia, the mayors of Moscow and St. Petersburg, the two largest Russian cities having the legal status of a constituent component of a federation (equivalent to a state in the United States) have introduced new restrictions on businesses and services. The mayor of Moscow ordered […]

Belarus: President Signs Decree Implementing New Procedure for Transfer of Power

(June 7, 2021) On May 9, 2021, the president of Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenko, signed Decree No. 2 on the Protection of Sovereignty and Constitutional Order. The decree established a new procedure for the transfer of presidential duties in case of the president’s death due to assassination, terrorist attack, foreign aggression, or other actions involving the […]

New Zealand: Landmark Judgment Recognizes Customary Rights in Coastal Marine Area

(May 21, 2021) On May 7, 2021, the High Court of New Zealand, the third highest court in New Zealand’s court hierarchy, issued a decision in Re Edwards (Whakatohea) (No 2) [2021] NZHC 1025 in which it “granted recognition orders for customary marine title and protected customary rights to a number of applicant groups in […]

Italy: Constitutional Court Finds Sick Leave Limit for Public Employees Discriminatory

(Apr. 23, 2021) On March 3, 2021, the Italian Constitutional Court declared that a law limiting the sick leave available to seriously ill public employees is unconstitutional. The court found that the law is unreasonable because it sets an 18-month maximum amount of sick leave for an inability to work caused by an illness itself […]

Switzerland: Burqa Ban Approved by Voters

(Apr. 16, 2021) On March 7, 2021, Swiss voters approved by a vote of 51.21%–48.79% a popular initiative that prohibits covering one’s face in public, with some enumerated exceptions. Voter turnout was 51.40%. Content of the Prohibition The initiative adds a new article 10a to the Swiss Constitution. Article 10a prohibits covering one’s face in […]

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait: Authorities Impose New Preventive Measures to Combat Spread of COVID-19 Virus during Ramadan

(Apr. 15, 2021) Between March 30 and April 7, 2021, authorities in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Kuwait announced new preventive measures to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus during the Islamic holy month of the Ramadan. The month of Ramadan began on April 12 and runs through May 12. Saudi Arabia On April 7, […]

Sweden: Privacy Protection Authority Finds Police Use of Facial Recognition Illegal, Issues Fines

(Apr. 6, 2021) On February 10, 2021, the Swedish Authority for Privacy Protection (IMY, Integrationsmyndigheten, formerly Datainspektionen) issued a decision whereby it fined the Swedish Police Authority 2.5 million Swedish kronor (about US$296,000) for violating the Crime Data Act (Brottsdatalagen) by using the facial recognition application Clearview AI. The artificial intelligence application was used intermittently […]

Israel: Facing Criminal Trial, Prime Minister Finds Authority Limited by Supreme Court Decision Upholding Attorney General’s Conflict of Interest Opinion

(Apr. 2, 2021) As Israeli Prime Minister (PM) Binyamin Netanyahu faces hearings scheduled to begin on April 5, 2021, in his criminal trial for charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust, he finds his prime ministerial authority limited by a recent decision of the Israeli Supreme Court, sitting as a High Court of Justice […]

United Kingdom: New Law Provides Framework for Covert Human Intelligence

(Mar. 31, 2021) The United Kingdom enacted the Covert Human Intelligence Sources Act (the CHIS Act) on March 1, 2021. The CHIS Act provides a framework to provide a criminal conduct authorization (CCA) that enables covert human intelligence sources (CHIS) to participate in actions during the course of their work that would otherwise constitute a […]

Japan: Supreme Court Finds Exemption of Confucian Temple from Paying Rent to City Unconstitutional

(Mar. 12, 2021) On February 24, 2021, Japan’s Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional for the city government of Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, to exempt a Confucian temple from paying land usage fees because such an exemption violated the principle of separation of religion and state. (2019(Gyo-tsu)222 (S. Ct., Feb. 24, 2021), in Japanese; to […]