Library of Congress

Law Library of Congress

The Library of Congress > Law Library > News & Events > Global Legal Monitor

The Global Legal Monitor is an online publication from the Law Library of Congress covering legal news and developments worldwide. It is updated frequently and draws on information from official national legal publications and reliable press sources. You can find previous news by searching the Global Legal Monitor.

Back to Top

Egypt: Ministerial Resolution Issued to Regulate Activities of Ride-Sharing Companies

(Oct. 22, 2019) On September 18, 2019, Egypt’s cabinet issued Resolution No. 2180 of 2019, which regulates ride-sharing companies operating in Egypt, such as Uber. The Resolution acts as the executive regulation of Law No. 87 of 2018 concerning land transportation services. Under the Egyptian legal system, an executive regulation is used to clarify the general provisions of a law by providing more details about them.

Resolution No. 2180 of 2019

Resolution No. 2180 of 2019 mandates that ride-sharing companies be responsible for conducting background checks on drivers before hiring them, as well as subject drivers to random drug and alcohol tests. It also compels ride-sharing companies to hire only drivers with modern air-conditioned cars that are no more than five years old. (Art. 9.)

According to the Resolution, ride-sharing companies are to submit to the Ministry of Transportation six months’ worth of “customers’ data” from all rides provided upon request by the Ministry. (Art. 10.)

The Resolution also requires that drivers hired by ride-sharing companies pay a social security insurance fee and obtain a work license from the Ministry of Transportation, the requirements for which include providing commercial records, a tax card, and a vehicle registration. (Art. 23.)

Law No. 87 of 2018

In June 2018, President Abdu Al-Fatah Al-Sisi signed Law No. 87 of 2018. The Law consists of 19 provisions that govern services offered by all kinds of land transportation companies, including ride-sharing companies. The Law bans ride-sharing companies from operating in Egypt without obtaining a permit from the cabinet, which has the authority to determine how many permits are granted to land transportation service companies to operate legally in the country. (Arts. 2 & 5.)

All vehicles used in transporting individuals must display during operating hours the logo of the transportation company with which the vehicle is affiliated. The Law also forbids any person from working in the field of land transportation services without affiliation to a transportation company licensed to operate in Egypt by the cabinet. (Arts. 7 & 8.)

All land transportation service companies are required to provide the country’s national security agencies with “all their customers’ data” and to pay taxes annually. (Arts. 9 & 11.)

Legal persons caught working in the field of land transportation services without obtaining a permit from the cabinet are fined 200,000 to 5 million Egyptian pounds (EGP) (about US$12, 300 to $306,000). The Law also imposes a fine of EGP5,000 to 20,000 (about US$306 to $1,226) on anyone driving a vehicle without obtaining a permit to use the vehicle in a land transportation service company. In addition, it imposes the same fine on drivers who do not display the logo of the transportation company that they are affiliated with during operating hours. Finally, the Law imposes a penalty of EGP500,000 to 5 million (about US$36,650 to $306,000) on transportation companies that do not provide customer data to the national security agencies. (Arts. 15–17.)

Back to Top

International: World Bank Inspection Panel Registers Eight Requests for Inspection Regarding Odra-Vistula Flood Management Project

(Oct. 21, 2019) In September 2019, the World Bank Inspection Panel registered eight requests for inspection, all related to the Odra-Vistula Flood Management project in Poland. The requesters, representatives of various nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Germany and Poland, allege that the World Bank project harms biodiversity and increases flood risks, among other allegations. In addition, and of special importance in the Inspection Panel process, a number of requesters allege that the environmental impact assessment carried out by the World Bank before the initiation of the Project was insufficient, lacking proper consideration of alternatives and adequate consultation with affected populations.

The project now under inspection was approved by the World Bank Board of Directors in 2015 and is scheduled to be completed in 2023. As stated in the Notice of Registration from the Chair of the Inspection Panel,

[t]he development objectives of the Project are to “increase access to flood protection for people living in selected areas of the Odra River and the Upper Vistula River basins and to strengthen the institutional capacity of the Borrower to mitigate the impact of floods more effectively” [according to the Project Appraisal Document]. The Project triggered the following World Bank safeguard policies: Environmental Assessment (OP/BP 4.01); Natural Habitats (OP/BP 4.04); Physical Cultural Resources (OP/BP 4.11); Involuntary Resettlement (OP/BP 4.12); Safety of Dams (OP/BP 4.37); and Projects on International Waterways (OP/BP 7.50).

Of particular importance to the Inspection Panel is the environmental impact assessment rating of “Category B” given to the project, per OP/BP 4.01. When a proposed project is determined to be Category B, it indicates that the potential adverse environmental impacts are considered to be less adverse than a “Category A” project, thus necessitating narrower mitigating measures to protect the environment.

World Bank Inspection Panel at a Glance

 The World Bank Inspection Panel’s mandate is to serve as “an independent complaints mechanism for people and communities who believe that they have been, or are likely to be, adversely affected by a World Bank-funded project.” Since the Inspection Panel’s creation as an independent investigations body in 1993, the Panel has received 150 requests for inspection. Once the Chair of the Inspection Panel registers a request, thus providing official notification of the request to the Executive Directors and the President of the World Bank, Bank Management must provide the Inspection Panel a response regarding the issues raised in the request within three weeks. Thereafter, the Panel will “determine whether the Request meets the eligibility criteria … and shall make a recommendation to the Executive Directors as to whether the matter should be investigated.” The eligibility criteria include the requirement that the requester(s) demonstrate that their “rights or interests have been or are likely to be directly affected by an action or omission of the Bank as a result of a failure of the Bank to follow its operational policies and procedures with respect to the design, appraisal and/or implementation of a project financed by the Bank.”

Updated October 22, 2019.

Back to Top

Back to Top

Turkey: AKP Submits Draft “Judicial Reform Package” to Grand National Assembly

(Oct. 17, 2019) On October 7, 2019, the Justice Commission of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (GNAT, Turkey’s parliament) accepted a draft bill constituting a “judicial reform package” that was submitted to the GNAT by Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (the AKP) on September 30, 2019. A press statement released by the AKP stated that other draft bills would follow in accordance with the Judicial Reform Strategy that the government published in May 2019. The Justice Commission’s version of the bill was placed on the GNAT’s agenda after its passage by the Commission.

Especially notable in the draft bill are four proposed changes to the Criminal Procedure Code (Law No. 5271). One of these amendments limits the allowed period for pretrial detention of a suspect during the investigation phase of the criminal process (the stage before the indictment is submitted to and approved by the court) to a maximum of two years for terrorism-related crimes; crimes against the safety of the state, the constitutional order, national defense, and state secrets; and crimes committed collectively. The amendment also limits to one year the period of pretrial detention for crimes that are within the jurisdiction of the court of assize (which has jurisdiction in crimes punishable by more than 10 years of imprisonment and certain other crimes), and limits to six months the period of pretrial detention for other crimes. (Draft bill art. 18.)

Two amendments introduce new procedures, the first being likened by the AKP’s deputy chairman to plea bargaining in American law, whereby the prosecutor would be able to offer a 50% reduction in the punishment of certain listed crimes to obtain the accused’s consent to a summary judgment. Under the second new procedure, the criminal court could employ an expedited process conducted without hearings for crimes that are punishable by two years of imprisonment or less. The court would revert to the ordinary procedure if a party objected to the use of the expedited procedure. (Arts. 23–25.)

Another amendment enables appeals to the Court of Cassation against judgments issued by criminal divisions of regional courts (courts of second instance) with regard to certain serious crimes, which are currently not appealable due to the minimum prison-term limit provided for in article 286 of the Criminal Procedure Code. (Art. 29.)

Some of the other significant amendments proposed by the draft bill are as follows:

  • An amendment to article 19 of the Law on the Protection of Children (Law No. 5395), allowing prosecutors to postpone for a period of five years the prosecution of crimes punishable by five years of imprisonment or less for juvenile suspects younger than 15 years of age. (Art. 33.)
  • An amendment to the Law on the Regulation of Publications on the Internet and Combating Crimes Committed by Means of Such Publications (Law No. 5651), requiring the judge applying the procedure set forth in article 8 of the Law (allowing access to internet content to be blocked if its placement is suspected of constituting one of the crimes listed therein) to block access only to the offending content and not to the whole website, if possible. (Art. 36.) The article 8 procedure and other content-blocking procedures included in Law No. 5651 are controversial and were criticized by the Venice Commission.
  • An amendment to article 7(2) of the Law on Combatting Terrorism (Law No. 3713). Article 7(2) proscribes “engaging in propaganda that justifies, praises, or promotes the use of a terrorist organization’s methods of coercion, violence, or intimidation.” The amendment adds a sentence to article 7(2), clarifying that expressions made to merely convey news or offer criticism do not constitute an offense. (Art. 13.) Opposition MPs in the Justice Commission have argued in their dissents attached to the Commission report approving the draft bill that the amendment did not do enough to reform the law, whose ambiguity and overly broad language in their view enables the violation of freedom of expression. The Constitutional Court of Turkey has found such a violation in the application of article 7(2) in its recent high-profile judgment in the Sirri Süreyya Önder case.

Back to Top