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Israel: Supreme Court Removes Knesset Speaker and Orders Knesset to Schedule Election of a Permanent Speaker

(Mar. 27, 2020) In an unprecedented decision on March 25, 2020, at 8:00 p.m. Israel time, the Supreme Court, by an extended panel of five justices, revoked the powers of the outgoing speaker of the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) and ordered the Knesset to convene the Knesset plenum to elect a permanent speaker. The unanimous decision […]

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 […]

Chile: Law Enacted Adopting Criminal Penalties for Public Disruptions and Violence

(Mar. 10, 2020) On January 30, 2020, Law No. 21,208 enacted Chile’s “Anti-looting law,” amending the Penal Code to impose criminal penalties for looting and actions that threaten the freedom of movement of people on public roads through violence and intimidation. Under the new Law, setting up barricades, looting, and other violent practices that have […]

Malaysia: Federal Court Holds that Illegitimate Muslim Child Cannot Use Father’s Last Name

(Mar. 6, 2020) On February 13, 2020, Malaysia’s Star news media outlet reported that the Federal Court of Malaysia (Malaysia’s highest court) had held, by a 4-3 majority, that the National Registration Department (NRD) cannot register the father’s last name for a Muslim child who was born or conceived out of wedlock. It also held, however, […]

Bahrain: Royal Decree Enacted Regarding Mediation for Dispute Settlement

(Mar. 6, 2020) On October 13, 2019, the King of Bahrain issued Royal Decree 22/2019, regarding mediation for dispute settlement. The Royal Decree, consisting of 20 articles, is the first legal instrument in Bahrain that provides the definition of “mediation” and regulates the requirements that mediators must meet and their responsibilities. Also, for the first […]

Italy: Provision of Regional Basilicata Law Granting State Legal Aid to Certain Criminal Defendants Ruled Unconstitutional

(Mar. 3, 2020) On November 19, 2019, the Italian Constitutional Court declared the unconstitutionality of article 7, paragraph 2 of Law No. 45 of the Basilicata Region, which granted legal assistance to certain criminal defendants. (Decision No. 285 of November 11, 2019  (the Decision) (in Italian).) Request for Declaration of Unconstitutionality  The President of the […]

Turkey: Parliament Passes Amendments to New “Valuable Real Estate Tax”

(Feb. 28, 2020) On February 14, 2020, Turkey’s Parliament adopted Law No. 7221, which, among other things, amends several provisions of the Real Estate Tax Law (Law No. 1319). The provisions in question were only recently introduced last December by Law No. 7194. The provisions of Law No. 7194 had introduced an annual “Valuable Real […]

International: International Finance Corporation Faces Renewed Lawsuits Regarding Financing for Coal-fired Power Plant in India

(Feb. 27, 2020) Following last year’s landmark win in their case before the U.S. Supreme Court, the plaintiffs in Jam v. International Finance Corporation (IFC) are still searching for remedy—and legal clarity—in their lawsuit regarding environmental damages caused by the construction and functioning of the Tata Mundra Plant in India. The search for remedy has […]

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. […]

American Samoa: Court Rules Individuals Born in American Samoa Enjoy Birthright United States Citizenship

(Feb. 24, 2020) In December 2019, the United States District Court for the District of Utah issued a memorandum decision finding that individuals born in American Samoa enjoy birthright United States citizenship under Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment. (Fitisemanu v. United States, No. 18-36 (D. Utah Dec. 12, 2019) (Fitisemanu) (order granting summary judgment).) […]