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Australia: ACT Law Allowing Possession and Cultivation of Cannabis for Personal Use Comes into Effect

(Feb. 13, 2020) On January 31, 2020, Australian Capital Territory (ACT) legislation allowing the possession and cultivation of cannabis for personal use, which had been passed by the ACT Parliament in September 2019, came into effect. The Drugs of Dependence (Personal Cannabis Use) Amendment Act 2019 (ACT) amended the Drugs of Dependence Act 1989 (ACT) to remove penalties for persons over […]

Indonesia: Constitutional Court Rejects Challenge to Law Establishing Papua as a Province

(Jan. 31, 2020) On January 6, 2020, Indonesia’s Constitutional Court (Mahkamah Konstitusi) issued a decision in which it rejected an application for judicial review of Law No. 12/1969 on the establishment of the West Irian Autonomous Province and the Autonomous Districts in the West Irian Province. (Mahkamah Konstitusi Putusan [Decision] No. 35/PUU-XVII/2019.) The area that made up […]

New Zealand: Bill Pardoning Māori Prophet Convicted in 1916 Passed

(Jan. 2, 2020) On December 18, 2019, the New Zealand Parliament passed historic legislation that pardons Rua Kēnana, a pacifist religious prophet from the Tuhoe iwi (tribe) who was convicted in August 1916 of “moral resistance” to a police attempt to arrest him in February 1916. In April 1916, around seventy armed police officers came to the […]

New Zealand: Bill Enabling Control Orders for Returning “Foreign Fighters” Passed

(Dec. 26, 2019) On December 12, 2019, the New Zealand Parliament passed the Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill, which allows the commissioner of police to apply to the High Court for control orders to be imposed on New Zealanders who have engaged in terrorism-related activity overseas. The minister of justice, Andrew Little, stated that the Bill […]

Australia: Western Australia Legalizes Voluntary Assisted Dying

(Dec. 20, 2019) On December 10, 2019, the Parliament of Western Australia passed the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2019 (WA), when the Legislative Assembly (lower house) voted in favor of amendments that had been passed in the Legislative Council (upper house) the previous week. Western Australia will therefore be the second Australian state to legalize […]

New Zealand: Referendums on Assisted Dying and Cannabis Legalization to be Held in 2020

(Dec. 17, 2019) On December 3, 2019, the New Zealand government launched a new website to provide information on two referendums that will be held in conjunction with the 2020 general election. This followed a vote in Parliament in November 2019 to pass the End of Life Choice Bill (now the End of Life Choice […]

Australia: New South Wales Bill Decriminalizing Abortion Passed

(Oct. 9, 2019) On September 26, 2019, the New South Wales (NSW) Parliament passed the Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019. The Bill, which will become the Abortion Law Reform Act 2019 (NSW), amends the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) in order to decriminalize abortion, and sets out new provisions to regulate the conduct of practitioners with respect […]

New Zealand: Tax Authority Rules That Salaries Paid in Cryptoassets Are Subject to Tax

(Sept. 5, 2019) On June 27, 2019, New Zealand’s tax authority, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), issued a binding public ruling (BR Pub 19/01) applicable to the payment of remuneration to employees using “crypto-assets.” A further ruling (BR Pub 19/02) relates to the use of crypto-assets to pay employee bonuses. The rulings were to come […]