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Finland: Gender Neutral Marriage Act Enters Into Force

(Mar. 2, 2017) On March 1, 2017, the Finnish Marriage Act became gender neutral as amendments to the Act entered into force.  (Äktenskapslag [Marriage Act] (Finsk författningssamling [FFS] 13.6.1929/234), FINLEX.)  The amending Act was adopted on February 20, 2015.  (Lag om ändring av äktenskapslagen [Act on Amendment of the Marriage Act] (FFS 20.2.2015/156249), FINLEX.) Registered […]

Sweden: Man Sentenced to Prison for Soliciting Funding of Terrorist Organizations

(Feb. 28, 2017) On February 23, 2017, Malmö District Court sentenced a Swedish national to six months’ imprisonment for having “enticed funding” for the terrorist organizations Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State (IS). (Press Release, Fängelse för uppmaningar på Facebook om att finansiera terroristbrott [Prison for Enticement, on Facebook, to Fund Terrorist Crimes], Malmö tingsrätt […]

Sweden: Jehovah’s Witnesses Have Right to State Funding

(Feb. 24, 2017) On February 20, 2017, the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court decided that Jehovah’s Witnesses have the right to state funding and that not providing such support would violate articles 14 and 19 of the European Convention on Human Rights. (Case No. 2310-16, Högsta förvaltningsdomstolen [Swedish Supreme Administrative Court], Feb. 20, 2017, HÖGSTA FÖRVALTNINGSDOMSTOLEN […]

Norway: State and Church Separate After 500 Years

(Feb. 3, 2017) On January 1, 2017, the Norwegian State Church (Norske statskirke) was formally and completely legally separated from the state when an amendment to the Church Act took effect. The changes made the Norwegian State Church into its own legal entity with no connection to the Norwegian state. (Lov om endringer i kirkeloven […]

Sweden: Parliament Adopts Code of Conduct for Members

(Jan. 26, 2017) On December 16, 2016, the Swedish parliamentary Speakers Secretariat (consisting of the Speaker of Parliament and three deputy speakers) and Member group leaders announced new rules of conduct for Members of Parliament, which took effect on January 1, 2017. (Ny uppförandekod för riksdagsledamöter [New Code of Conduct for Members of Parliament], RIKSDAGEN (Dec. […]

European Court of Justice/Sweden: Invalidation of Data Retention Obligations

(Jan. 19, 2017) On December 21, 2016, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) delivered a judgment striking down Sweden’s Data Retention Act as inconsistent with provisions of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. (Joined Cases C-203/15 & C-698/15, Tele 2, Sverige AB v Post-och Telestyrelsen and Secretary of State for the Home Department […]

Sweden: Separate Swimming Hours by Gender Justifiable

(Jan. 12, 2017) The Swedish Diskrimineringsombudsmannen (DO, Equality Ombudsman) has issued two decisions on the legality of separate hours for men and women at public indoor pools. (Press Release, Könsseparerade simhallstider kan vara diskriminering [Gender-Segregated Pool Hours May Be Discriminatory], DO website (Dec. 14, 2016).) The role of the Equality Ombudsman is regulated by the […]

Sweden: Court Rejects Charge of Terrorism Travel; Government Proposes Tighter Legislation

(Jan. 11, 2017) On December 9, 2016, the Svea Court of Appeals in Sweden dismissed a charge of terrorism travel against a Swedish national, reaffirming a lower court decision to clear the defendant of that charge on grounds of insufficient evidence. (Press Release, Svea Court of Appeals, Svea hovrätt frikänner i ett mål om resa […]

Sweden: New Law Regulating Names Adopted

(Dec. 15, 2016) On November 9, 2016, the Swedish Parliament (Riksdagen) approved a new law that regulates how names are acquired in Sweden. (En ny lag om personnamn [A New Law on Personal Names], SVERIGES RIKSDAG (last visited Nov. 25, 2016); Lag om Personnamn (SFS 2016:1013) [Act on Personal Names] (New Name Law), Nov. 17, […]

Iceland: New Home Sharing Law To Take Effect January 1, 2017

(Nov. 29, 2016) On May 31, 2016, the Icelandic Parliament (Althingi) passed a new law amending the Act on Restaurants, Lodging and Entertainment. (Lög um breytingu á lögum um veitingastaði, gististaði og skemmtanahald nr. 85/2007 (heimagisting, veitingastaðir án áfengisveitinga, ótímabundin rekstrarleyfi) [Act on Amending the Act on Restaurants, Lodging and Entertainment 85/2007 (Private Accommodation, Restaurants Without […]