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El Salvador: Chiefs and Members of MS-13 Gang Sentenced in Historic Trial

(Dec. 19, 2019) On December 12, 2019, an anti-mafia tribunal in El Salvador imposed sentences of up to 60 years in prison on nearly 400 chiefs and members of the MS-13 gang (Mara Salvatrucha) for their involvement in multiple crimes, including terrorism, homicide, drug trafficking, money laundering, and drug and firearms smuggling. Background of MS-13 […]

France: Council of State Rules a Law May Prohibit Something Without Providing a Criminal Sanction

(Dec. 16, 2019) The Conseil d’Etat (Council of State), France’s highest jurisdiction for matters of administrative law, ruled on October 24, 2019, that a law may prohibit a behavior without providing the particular remedy of a penal sanction. At the center of this case is a 2005 law, Loi n° 2005-158 du 23 février 2005 […]

West Bank: Palestinian Authority Announces Planned Changes to Penal Code in Response to Case of Honor Killing

(Nov. 13, 2019) The Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Women’s Affairs has responded to a wave of public protests over an alleged honor killing case by stating it will introduce a new family protection law before the end of 2019. The new law would amend the penal code to establish a minimum age for marriage, review […]

Colombia: Constitutional Reforms Proposed to Increase Punishment for Violent and Sexual Crimes Against Minors

(Nov. 12, 2019) During debates over the last several months in the Colombian Congress regarding a proposed constitutional reform to apply life imprisonment to perpetrators of violent and sexual crimes against children, representative Jaime Rodriguez submitted an additional and highly controversial proposal to impose the death penalty for those who commit such crimes. Article 11 of the Colombian […]

England and Wales: Members of Nigerian Organized Crime Gang Sentenced to Jail for Conspiracy to Money Laundering

(Sept. 24, 2019) On August 2, 2019, three Nigerian siblings were sentenced in Woolwich Crown Court in London to imprisonment for conspiracy to money launder almost £1 million (about US$1.2 million) in violation of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. The offenders had laundered the money for the Black Axe organization, a banned organization in […]

Israel: New Categories of Killing Offenses Go into Effect

(Aug. 9, 2019) On July 10, 2019, new penal law categories of offenses causing death went into effect, replacing the former categories that previously applied. (Penal Law (Amendment No. 137), 5779-2019, Sefer HaHukim [SH] 5779 No. 2779 p. 230 (Amendment Law), amending Penal Law, 5733-1977, SH 5733 No. 864 p. 226, as amended, as applied […]

Italy: Constitutional Court Issues Decision on Illicit Trafficking and Possession of Drugs or Psychotropic Substances

(Apr. 15, 2019) On March 13, 2019, the Italian Constitutional Court issued a decision on the production, trafficking, and illicit possession of narcotic and psychotropic substances, declaring part of article 73(1) of Presidential Decree No. 309 of 1990 (D.P.R. No. 309) unconstitutional in that it set the minimum sentence for such crimes at eight years of […]

Italy: Constitutional Court Rules on Constitutionality of Prison Benefits Provisions

(Sept. 17, 2018) On July 11, 2018, the Italian Constitutional Court issued a decision on the constitutional legitimacy of article 58-quater of Law No. 354 of 1975 regarding prison benefits for persons sentenced to life imprisonment for certain crimes. (Decision No. 149 of July 11, 2018, Issued in a Constitutional Legitimacy Case by Incidental Procedure […]

Egypt: Female Tourist Convicted of Spreading False Rumors That Damage Country’s Reputation

(Sept. 12, 2018) In July 2018, the Cairo Misdemeanor Court found a Lebanese female tourist, Mona el-Mazbouh, guilty of deliberately spreading false rumors against Egypt that damage the country’s reputation. The court had initially sentenced the defendant to 11 years in prison before reducing the sentence later on the same day to eight years of […]

Egypt: Parliamentary Committee Approves Anti-cybercrime Draft Law

(May 7, 2018) On April 16, 2018, the Communications and Information Technology Committee of the Egyptian Parliament (Council of Representatives) approved a draft law submitted by the Prime Minister’s cabinet to combat cybercrime. (Khalid Hassan, Egypt’s Parliament Moves Forward on Anti-Cybercrime Law, AL-MONITOR (Apr. 19, 2018).) Text of the Draft Law Article 2 of the […]