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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 […]

Sweden: Government Tasks Sami Parliament with Investigating Sameby Legal Construct and Membership Rules

(June 1, 2021) On May 20, 2021, the Swedish Parliament announced that it was reviewing legislation pertaining to the Sami (a nomadic group indigenous to northern Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia) and had tasked the Sami Parliament with investigating the legal construct and status of the sameby—literally “sami village” but actually a legal entity and an […]

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 […]

Canada: Supreme Court Rules American Indian Tribe Member Has Constitutional Right to Hunt in Ancestral Territory without a License

(May 5, 2021) On April 23, 2021, the Supreme Court of Canada issued an opinion holding that an American citizen who is a member of an American Indian tribe with ancestral connections to an aboriginal group in Canada was not subject to criminal penalties under a British Columbia conservation law for hunting on public land […]

Norway: Supreme Court Rules on Scope of Climate Provision in Constitution, Finds Government May Issue Exploratory Arctic Drilling Permits

(Mar. 31, 2021) On December 22, 2020, the Norwegian Supreme Court ruled that the Norwegian Constitution does not prevent the country’s government from issuing permits to explore drilling in the Arctic. (Supreme Court Decision HR-2020-2472-P (sak nr. 20-051052SIV-HRET), Dec. 22, 2020.) In doing so, the Supreme Court also established the boundaries and meaning of the […]

International: New App Developed to Combat Illegal Fishing in West Africa

(Dec. 1, 2020) Illegal fishing in West Africa has been a longstanding challenge in the region, threatening livelihoods, nutritional security, and export revenues, while also causing damage to marine environments and contributing to increased pollution. Now a new app, developed by the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) and launched on November 10, 2020, can be used […]

Italy: Measures Adopted to Protect and Restore the Venetian Lagoon

(Sept. 29, 2020) Italy recently enacted measures to protect and restore the Venetian Lagoon in northern Italy, which is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The measures were included as part of a broader law, Decree-Law No. 104 of August 14, 2020, aimed at revitalizing the national economy in response to the negative impacts […]

Germany: Law on Phasing-Out Coal-Powered Energy by 2038 Enters into Force

(Aug. 31, 2020) On August 14, 2020, the Act to Reduce and End Coal-Powered Energy and Amend Other Laws (Coal Phase-Out Act) entered into force in Germany. The Coal Phase-Out Act aims to gradually reduce and eventually end the use of coal-powered energy in Germany by 2038 in order to “reduce emissions and provide the […]

Brazil: Government Creates Amazon Council to Protect Amazon Region

(Feb. 19, 2020) On January 22, 2020, during a meeting of the Council of Government, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced the creation of the Amazon Council and an Environmental Task Force to devise plans and actions for protecting, defending, and sustainably developing Brazilian forestry. Bolsonaro explained that the Council would be coordinated by Vice President […]

Sweden: Supreme Court Recognizes Sami Indigenous Group’s Exclusive Right to Confer Hunting and Fishing Rights in Sami Area

(Feb. 14, 2020) On January 23, 2020, the Swedish Supreme Court held that the Sami group “Girjas Sameby” (literally “Girjas Sami Village”) had an exclusive right to fishing and hunting in Girjas reindeer-herding areas on the basis of urminnes hävd (their presence there from time immemorial). Not only can the Sami village confer hunting and […]