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Norway: Supreme Court Rules It Has Universal Jurisdiction over Foreigners’ Prior Terrorist Acts Abroad

(July 16, 2020) On June 26, 2020, the Norwegian Supreme Court ruled that Norwegian courts may exercise universal jurisdiction over crimes of terrorism and that foreigners may thus be sentenced in Norway for terrorism crimes they committed before arriving in the country. (Supreme Court Decision Case No. HR-2020-1340-A.) Facts of the Case The defendant, a […]

Russian Federation: Newly Adopted Constitutional Amendments Change Jurisdiction of Constitutional Court and Procedure for Appointing Judges

(July 15, 2020) On July 3, 2020, Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin signed Decree No. 445 “On the Official Publication of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, as Amended.” The president issued the decree immediately after the Russian Central Election Commission had approved the results of the national referendum held between June 25 and July […]

Israel: Supreme Court Voids Law Legalizing Settlements Built on Unauthorized and Privately Owned Land in West Bank

(July 14, 2020) On June 9, 2020, the Supreme Court of Israel, sitting as a High Court of Justice, ruled 8–1 to accept a petition against the constitutionality of the Law on the Regulation of Settlement in Judea and Samaria, 5777-2017 (Feb. 13, 2017). The majority opinion was rendered by Court President Justice Esther Hayut, […]

Italy: Constitutional Court Declares Revocation of Certain Criminal Offenders’ Driver’s Licenses Unconstitutional

(July 2, 2020) On May 29, 2020, the Italian Constitutional Court issued a decision declaring unconstitutional a provision of the New Highway Code that established the automatic revocation of certain criminal offenders’ driver’s licenses. (Decision No. 99 of May 27, 2020.) Background of the Case The regional administrative court (Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale, TAR) for Italy’s […]

Italy: Constitutional Court Declares Criminal Code Provision on Child Abduction Unconstitutional

(June 30, 2020) On May 29, 2020, the Italian Constitutional Court issued a decision declaring the unconstitutionality of a Criminal Code provision on the suspension of parental authority in cases of child abduction and child maintenance overseas. (Decision No. 102 of May 29, 2020.) Background of the Case At the request of the Supreme Court […]

Italy: Supreme Court of Cassation Issues Decision on Rights of Detained Persons

(June 26, 2020) On May 22, 2020, the Italian Supreme Court of Cassation (SCC) issued a decision declaring unconstitutional a provision imposing a radical ban on communication between incarcerated persons who, in accordance with Law No. 94 of July 15, 2009 and article 4-bis of Law No. 354 of July 26, 1975, are grouped together […]

United States: Welsh Government Not Immune from Copyright Lawsuit for Using Dylan Thomas Photos in Tourism Ads

(June 23, 2020) On June 8, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a lower court decision that the Welsh government is not immune under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) from a private lawsuit alleging claims of copyright infringement because of the commercial-activity exception to the FSIA. (Pablo Star Ltd. […]

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 […]

United States: Supreme Court Rules Victims of State-Sponsored Terrorism May Recover Punitive Damages under Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act

(June 2, 2020) On May 18, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that the Republic of Sudan could be held liable for $4.3 billion in punitive damages related to state-sponsored acts of terrorism that occurred in 1998. (Opati v. Republic of Sudan, No. 17-1268 (May 18, 2020).) Case History In 1998, al-Qaida orchestrated simultaneous […]