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Austria: Constitutional Court Holds That Civil Code Provision May Not Be Interpreted to Restrict Same-Sex Couples’ Power to Adopt After Separation

(Nov. 27, 2018) On October 3, 2018, the Austrian Constitutional Court (Verfassungsgerichtshof Österreich, VfGH) held that after a same-sex couple separates, one former partner must remain able to adopt the other’s biological child. The Court stated that section 197, paragraph 3 of the Civil Code must be interpreted in conformity with the Constitution so that […]

Germany: Federal Court of Justice Rules Same-Sex Marriage Does Not Make Wife of Child’s Mother Co-parent by Law

(Nov. 9, 2018) On October 10, 2018, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH), Germany’s supreme court for civil and criminal cases, held that being in a same-sex marriage does not automatically make the wife of the mother of a child co-parent by law. The Court stated that there is no legal presumption for […]

Germany: Court Holds That Bitcoin Trading Does Not Require a Banking License

(Oct. 19, 2018) On September 29, 2018, the Higher Regional Court of Berlin (Kammergericht Berlin, KG Berlin) held that trading in Bitcoin does not require a banking license because Bitcoin is not a financial instrument, in particular, not a unit of account, within the meaning of the German Banking Act. The defendant was therefore not […]

European Union: European Court of Justice Rules on Religious Employment Discrimination

(Oct. 3, 2018) On September 11, 2018, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) held that dismissing a Catholic employee in a managerial position at a Catholic hospital for remarrying in a civil ceremony could constitute discrimination. According to the Court, religion or belief must be a genuine, legitimate, and justified occupational requirement in light of […]

European Union: European Court of Justice Rules Sellers Must Inform Consumers of Fee-Incurring Preloaded and Preinstalled Services on SIM Cards

(Sept. 28, 2018) On September 13, 2018, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) held that selling SIM cards with preinstalled and preloaded fee-incurring services constitutes an aggressive unfair commercial practice. It stated that consumers must be informed in advance of such services so that they can make a free choice. The ECJ concluded that such […]

Liechtenstein: Government Adopts Consultation Report on Draft Blockchain Act

(Sept. 20, 2018) On August 28, 2018, the government of Liechtenstein adopted a consultation report on a proposed Blockchain Act. The goal of the Blockchain Act is to take advantage of the potential of blockchain technology, create legal certainty for market participants, protect users of blockchain technology from potential abuse, and reduce potential reputation risks […]

European Union: New Rules for Money Market Funds

(Aug. 31, 2018) On July 21, 2018, new rules to make money market funds (MMFs) more resilient against financial market difficulties, reduce the risk of runs, and limit cross-border contagion began applying to newly issued MMFs in the European Union (EU). Existing MMFs must show compliance by January 21, 2019. MMFs are mutual funds that […]

European Union: European Court of Justice Strengthens Rights of Copyright Holders

(Aug. 24, 2018) On August 7, 2018, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) held that the download and subsequent posting on a website of a photograph that has previously been published on another website with the consent of the author and was freely accessible requires new consent from the copyright holder. The upload of such […]

Germany: New Law Allows Consumer Class Actions

(July 31, 2018) On July 17, 2018, a new law to allow consumer class actions (“model declaratory proceedings”) was published in Germany’s Federal Law Gazette. The Act will enter into force on November 1, 2018. (Gesetz zur Einführung einer zivilprozessualen Musterfeststellungsklage [Act to Introduce Civil Model Declaratory Proceedings], July 12, 2018, Bundesgesetzblatt [BGBl.] [FEDERAL LAW GAZETTE] […]