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China: National Database of Laws and Regulations Launched

(Apr. 26, 2021) On February 24, 2021, China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) launched an official database of Chinese laws and regulations, the National Database of Laws and Regulations (see NPC Observer’s guide and review for a discussion of the database in English). According to the NPC statement announcing the database, the database entered its trial […]

Turkey: Constitutional Court Censures Lower Court for Not Enforcing Constitutional Court Judgment

(Apr. 9, 2021) On January 21, 2020, the Grand Chamber of the Constitutional Court of Turkey issued its decision in the Kadri Enis Berberoglu (3) case, censuring the Istanbul 14. Criminal Court for refusing to comply with the Constitutional Court’s prior decision in Kadri Enis Berberoglu (2). The cases arose from complaints made by Kadri […]

Norway: Supreme Court Rules Organization May Bring Claim Questioning Constitutionality of Parliamentary Decision

(Mar. 30, 2021) On March 1, 2021, the Norwegian Supreme Court, sitting in banc, declared that the organization “Nei til EU” (No to the EU) may bring a claim in court that a parliamentary vote decided by simple majority violated a Norwegian constitutional provision requiring certain matters be decided by a supermajority. (Norwegian Supreme Court, […]

England: Government Introduces Law to Allow More Flexible Proxy Voting in Local Elections Due to COVID-19

(Mar. 18, 2021) In England on February 23, 2021, the Representation of the People (Proxy Vote Applications) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021 were laid before Parliament. If enacted, the regulations will enable individuals who are self-quarantining or “shielding” due to COVID-19 to vote in local elections, scheduled for May 6, 2021, via a last minute proxy vote […]

United States: President Biden Signs American Rescue Plan Act into Law to Address Ongoing Issues Related to Coronavirus Pandemic

(Mar. 11, 2021) On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed into law H.R. 1319, a $1.9 trillion supplemental appropriations bill commonly referred to as the American Rescue Plan. Although Congress enacted a number of emergency appropriations measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic throughout 2020, including the CARES Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response […]

Argentina: Congress Passes New Law Requiring Congressional Approval for Public Debt

(Mar. 11, 2021) On March 3, 2021, Argentina’s Congress passed Law 27612 on Public Debt Sustainability, which provides that financing agreements with any international organization must be approved by law. The General Budget Law of the National Administration for each fiscal year is now required to provide a maximum percentage amount assigned to the issuance […]

Denmark: Parliament Establishes Committee to Oversee New Epidemics Act

(Mar. 9, 2021) On March 2, 2021, the Danish Parliament (Folketinget) established a new parliamentary committee, the Epidemic Committee (Epedimiudvalget). The committee is tasked with reviewing the use of power by the Danish government under the newly adopted Epidemics Act, which entered into force on March 1, 2021. The Epidemics Act gives the Danish government, […]

Switzerland: Popular Initiative to Hold Businesses Accountable for Human Rights Abuses or Environmental Harm Abroad Fails

(Feb. 10, 2021) On November 29, 2020, the popular initiative “For Responsible Businesses – Protecting Human Rights and the Environment” (Responsible Business Initiative) failed to reach the necessary majority for approval in Switzerland. The initiative aimed to introduce stricter statutory requirements for Swiss businesses abroad to comply with human rights obligations and environmental standards. It […]

Jamaica: House of Representatives Passes Bills Easing Admission of Drug Crime Evidence

(Jan. 15, 2021) On December 8, 2020, Jamaica’s House of Representatives passed amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act, 1948, and the Evidence Act, 1843. If enacted, the amendments would introduce new procedures for securing and disposing of drugs seized in connection with drug crimes and enable the admission of drug samples and recorded images as […]

Denmark: Parliament Extends Working Rules to Prevent Spread of COVID-19

(Jan. 4, 2021) On December 10, 2020, the Danish Parliament announced it will extend to February 28, 2021, its current working rules to limit the spread of COVID-19. These working rules follow a decision of November 3, 2020, to adopt new working rules to limit the spread of COVID-19 within the Parliament building. The current […]