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New Zealand: Decision on Scope of Crown/Maori Relations Portfolio and Establishment of New Office

(Sept. 25, 2018) On September 18, 2018, the New Zealand government announced that the Cabinet had agreed to the final scope of the Crown/Maori Relations ministerial portfolio and to establish a new agency called the Office for Maori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti. (Press Release, Kelvin Davis, Maori Crown Agency to Be Established (Sept. 18, 2018), New Zealand […]

New Zealand: Bill Banning Foreigners from Purchasing Homes Passed

(Aug. 29, 2018) On August 15, 2018, the New Zealand Parliament passed the Overseas Investment Amendment Bill (the Bill), which includes provisions that will generally prohibit foreign residents from purchasing existing residential land in New Zealand by categorizing it as “sensitive land.” (Overseas Investment Amendment Bill, PARLIAMENT OF NEW ZEALAND (last visited Aug. 23, 2018); […]

Australia: Bills Containing New Espionage, Foreign Interference Offenses, and Establishing Foreign Agent Registry Enacted

(Aug. 21, 2018) On June 28, 2018, the Australian Parliament passed the National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Bill 2018 (Cth) (the Bill). (National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Bill 2018, Parliament of Australia website; National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Act 2018 (Cth), Federal Register of Legislation website.) The Bill […]

Several Pacific Countries Announce Bans on Single-Use Plastic Bags

(July 18, 2018) On July 11, 2018, it was reported that Niue was the latest Pacific Island country to announce a ban on single-use plastic bags, following the implementation of a similar ban in Vanuatu, and related announcements by Samoa and Papua New Guinea. (Niue Joins Growing Pacific Movement to Ban Plastics, RNZ (July 11, […]

Australia: New South Wales Enacts Bill to Amend Relationship References in Legislation

(July 13, 2018) On June 15, 2018, the governor of New South Wales in Australia gave assent to the Miscellaneous Acts Amendment (Marriages) Bill 2018 (NSW). (Miscellaneous Acts Amendment (Marriages) Bill 2018, PARLIAMENT OF NEW SOUTH WALES (last visited July 12, 2018); Miscellaneous Acts Amendment (Marriages) Act 2018 No 28 (NSW), New South Wales Government […]

Malaysia: Anti-Fake News Act Comes into Force

(Apr. 19, 2018) The Anti-Fake News Act 2018 was published in the Federal Gazette of Malaysia on April 11, 2018, coming into effect that day. (Anti-Fake News Act 2018 (Act 803), Federal Gazette website.) The Act was passed by the Malaysian Parliament on April 4 and received Royal Assent on April 9. The Act defines […]

Malaysia: National Human Rights Action Plan Launched

(Apr. 16, 2018) On March 1, 2018, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak, officially launched the National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP). (Press Release, Office of the Prime Minister, Action Plan Malaysia’s Commitment on Human Rights – PM (Mar. 1, 2018).) The development of the NHRAP was approved by the Cabinet in 2012 and was subsequently […]

New Zealand: Legislation Enabling Wiping of Historical Homosexual Convictions Enacted

(Apr. 11, 2018) On April 3, 2018, the New Zealand Parliament passed the Criminal Records (Expungement of Convictions for Historical Homosexual Offences) Bill, and it was signed into law on April 9. (Criminal Records (Expungement of Convictions for Historical Homosexual Offences) Bill, NEW ZEALAND PARLIAMENT (last visited Apr. 11, 2018); Criminal Records (Expungement of Convictions […]

New Zealand: Agreements with Five Countries Exclude Compulsory Investor-State Dispute Settlement Processes

(Mar. 26, 2018) On March 9, 2018, the New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth, David Parker, announced that the government has signed “side letters” with five other countries that are also party to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP, also referred to as TPP11) that exclude compulsory investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) […]