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Switzerland: Swiss Voters Reject Popular Initiative on Sovereign Money

(June 12, 2018) On June 10, 2018, Swiss voters rejected by a vote of 75.7% to 24.3% the “Sovereign Money Initiative.” Voter turnout was 33.8%. (Vorlage Nr. 618. Vorläufige amtliche Endergebnisse. Volksinitiative vom 01.12.2015 “Für krisensicheres Geld: Geldschöpfung allein durch die Nationalbank! (Vollgeld-Initiative)” [Proposal No. 618, Preliminary Official Results: Popular Initiative of Dec. 1, 2015 “For Crisis-Proof Money: […]

European Union: Provisional Agreement to Control Illicit Cash Flows in and out of the EU

(June 8, 2018) On May 23, 2018, the Council of the European Union (Council) and the European Parliament reached a provisional agreement on measures to control illicit cash flows in and out of the European Union (EU), in particular a revision of the Cash Controls Regulation (CRC). (European Commission Press Release IP/18/3867, Security Union: Commission […]

Germany: Companies May Exclude Spouses Who Are More than 15 Years Younger than the Deceased from Survivors’ Benefits

(Apr. 25, 2018) In a decision published on April 11, 2018, the German Federal Labor Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG) ruled that a clause in an occupational pension agreement that excludes from survivors’ benefits spouses who are more than 15 years younger than the deceased former employee does not constitute discrimination on the grounds of age. (BAG, […]

Germany / European Court of Human Rights: Caning of Children Justifies Withdrawal of Parental Authority

(Apr. 19, 2018) On March 22, 2018, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) unanimously held in the cases of Tlapak and Others v. Germany and Wetjen and Others v. Germany that the withdrawal of the applicants’ parental authority did not violate article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which grants the […]

European Union: Regulation on Cross-border Portability of Online Content Services in Effect

(Apr. 10, 2018) On April 1, 2018, the Regulation on Cross-border Portability of Online Content Services (Portability Regulation) became applicable across the European Union (EU). The Portability Regulation aims to accomplish seamless access for consumers throughout the EU to online content services, such as Netflix or Spotify, which they subscribe to in their home Member […]

Switzerland: Abolition of Marriage Tax Penalty Proposed

(Apr. 5, 2018) On March 21, 2018, the Swiss Federal Council (the Swiss government) adopted a legislative proposal to abolish the “marriage tax penalty” (marriage penalty). The proposal is designed to resolve the decades-long controversy surrounding the issue. (Swiss Federal Council, Botschaft zur Änderung des Bundesgesetzes über die direkte Bundessteuer (Ausgewogene Paar- und Familienbesteuerung) [Message […]

Germany: Federal Administrative Court Allows Cities to Ban Diesel-Fueled Vehicles to Reduce Air Pollution

(Mar. 28, 2018) On February 27, 2018, Germany’s highest administrative court, the Federal Administrative Court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht, BVerwG), held in two not-yet-published decisions that older and more-polluting diesel-run vehicles could be banned from predefined zones in the cities and metropolitan areas that are the worst affected by nitrogen dioxide (NO2)-polluted air. The Federal Administrative Court thereby […]

Germany: Court Rules Google Has No Duty to Check Websites for Defamatory Content Before Displaying Search Results

(Mar. 19, 2018) On February 27, 2018, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) ruled that Google is not obligated to prescreen websites for defamatory content before displaying links to them in its search results. (BGH, Feb. 27, 2018, Docket No. VI ZR 489/16, BGH website (not yet published); Press Release No. 39/2018, BGH, […]

Germany: Proposed Amendment to the Criminal Code Concerning Advertising Services for Abortion

(Mar. 19, 2018) On February 22, 2018, the German Bundestag (Parliament) debated draft acts introduced by three parliamentary groups concerning a provision in the Criminal Code that penalizes advertising services for abortion. The amendments would either abolish the provision or restrict its scope to cover only grossly offensive advertising. (Gesetzentwurf der Fraktion BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN, […]