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Germany: Legal Issues Concerning Islam Discussed at Jurists’ Convention

(Oct. 18, 2010) The 68th German Convention of Jurists was held in Berlin on September 21 – 24 (Deutscher Juristentag (Sept. 24, 2010), http://www.djt.de/). One of the topics of the Convention was “Church-State Relations in an Era of New Conflicts over Religion” (68. Deutscher Juristentag, Berlin 1860 2010 Beschlüsse 12-14, http://www.djt.de/djtmedia/files/68_djt_beschluesse.pdf (last visited Oct. 15, […]

Germany: Genetic Modification and Freedom of Speech

(Oct. 18, 2010) On September 8, 2010, the German Federal Constitutional Court (FCC) issued a decision that balanced freedom of speech against commercial interests. The case involved a multinational dairy-producing company that used, in some of its products, milk from cows that had been fed genetically modified corn. (Bundesverfassungsgericht, Sept. 28, 2010, Docket number 1 […]

Germany: Solar Energy Encouragements Reduced

(Sept. 10, 2010) On August 11, 2010, Germany amended the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 (Erstes Gesetz zur Änderung des Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetzes, BUNDESGESETZBLATT I at 1170, amending Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz, Oct. 25, 2008, BUNDESGESETZBLATT I at 2074, updated version available at http://bundesrecht.juris.de/eeg_2009/BJNR207410008.html). The amending Act continues to reduce the guaranteed above-market rates for solar energy production, a process […]

Germany: Tax Treatment of European Losses

(Sept. 9, 2010) On June 9, 2010, the German Federal Fiscal Court (Bundesfinanzhof) issued two decisions that describe the circumstances under which losses incurred by a permanent establishment in a foreign country can be claimed as a deduction by a German resident owner (Docket Nos. I R 100/09, http://juris.bundesfinanzhof.de/cgi-bin/rechtsprechung/druckvorschau.py?Gericht=bfh&Art=pm&nr=21957 & I R 107/09, http://juris.bundesfinanzhof.de/cgi-bin/rechtsprechung/druckvorschau.py?Gericht=bfh&Art=pm&nr=21956; Press […]

Germany: Equal Tax Treatment for Same-Sex Partnerships Required

(Sept. 3, 2010) On July 21, 2010, the German Federal Constitutional Court held that the constitutional guarantee of equality requires that the inheritance tax applicable to the survivors of same-sex partnerships must be as favorable as that applied to surviving spouses (Docket Nos. 1 BvR 611/07 & 1 BvR 2464/07, http://www.bundesverfassungsgericht.de/entscheidungen/rs20100721_1bvr061107.html (last visited Sept. 1, […]

Switzerland: Exchange of Tax Information

(Sept. 3, 2010) On September 1, 2010, the Swiss Federal Council (Bundesrat, Federal Cabinet) adopted the Regulation on Administrative Assistance Accorded to Double Taxation Conventions (Amtshilfeverordnung [Administrative Assistance Regulation], advance copy, Federal Administration of the Swiss Federation website, http://www.news.admin.ch/NSBSubscriber/message/attachments/20252.pdf (last visited Sept. 1, 2010)). This Administrative Assistance Regulation provides the principles and procedures applicable to […]

Germany: Court Permits Embryo Screening

(Aug. 31, 2010) On July 6, 2010, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) issued a decision that permits pre-implantation testing to screen for serious genetic defects (Docket No. 5 StR 386/09, http://juris.bundesgerichtshof.de/cgi-bin/rechtsprechung/document.py?Gericht=bgh&Art=pm&Datum=2010&Sort=3&anz=160&pos=23&nr=52897&linked=urt&Blank=1&file=dokument.pdf). The decision interprets section 1(1) no. 2 of the Embryo Protection Act (Embryonenschutzgesetz, Dec. 13, 1990, BUNDESGESETZBLATT I at 2746, translation available […]

Switzerland: Federal Procedural Laws Enacted

(Aug. 25, 2010) On January 1, 2011, several federal procedural laws will become effective in Switzerland. These will replace the corresponding laws of the 26 cantons as well as several federal enactments. These new federal laws are: the Swiss Code of Criminal Procedure (Schweizerische Strafprozessordnung), October 5, 2007 (AMTLICHE SAMMLUNG DES BUNDESRECHTS [AS] 1881 (2010) […]

Germany: Custody for Out-of-Wedlock Children

(Aug. 20, 2010) On July 21, 2010, Germany's Federal Constitutional Court (FCC, Bundesverfassungsgericht) issued a decision that strengthened the rights of fathers of out-of-wedlock children (Docket No. 1 BvR 420/09 (July 21, 2010), available at http://www.bundesverfassungsgericht.de/entscheidungen/rs20100721_1bvr042009.html). The decision declares unconstitutional sections 1626a and 1672 of the Civil Code (repromulgated Jan. 2, 2002 BUNDESGESETZBLATT I at […]

Germany: Contributions to European Financial Stability

(June 1, 2010) On May 7, 2010, Germany's President signed into law the Act on the Providing of Loan Guarantees to Support the Solvency of the Hellenic Republic Required to Maintain Financial Stability Within the Currency Union (BUNDESGESETZBLATT I at 537). Through this Act, Germany promises to provide a total of €22.4 billion (about US$27.5 […]