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Malaysia: Border Security Agency Act Comes into Force

(Jan. 11, 2018) On December 29, 2017, the Malaysian Border Security Agency Act 2017 came into force. (Malaysian Border Security Agency Act 2017 (Act 799) (AKSEM Act), e-Federal Gazette website; Hashini Kavishtri Kannan, All-New AKSEM Act Comes into Force Today, NEW STRAITS TIMES (Dec. 29, 2017).) The Act, which was passed by the Parliament in August 2017, establishes […]

Australia: “Puppy Farms” Banned in State of Victoria

(Dec. 19, 2017) On December 15, 2017, the Parliament of Victoria, Australia, passed the Domestic Animals Amendment (Puppy Farms and Pet Shops) Bill 2016 (Vic), which prohibits high-volume commercial dog-breeding operations, commonly referred to as “puppy farms” or “puppy factories.” (Domestic Animals Amendment (Puppy Farms and Pet Shops) Bill 2016, VICTORIAN LEGISLATION AND PARLIAMENTARY DOCUMENTS (last […]

Australia: Same-Sex Marriage Bill Passes

(Dec. 13, 2017) On December 7, 2017, the Australian House of Representatives (lower house) voted to pass the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017, which legalizes same-sex marriage nationwide, with only four members voting against the legislation. (Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017, PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA (last visited Dec. 7, 2017).) […]

New Zealand: Paid Parental Leave to Be Extended to 26 Weeks by 2020

(Dec. 5, 2017) On November 30, 2017, the New Zealand Parliament voted to pass legislation that will see the current paid parental leave entitlement of 18 weeks extended in two stages: to 22 weeks from July 1, 2018, and then to 26 weeks from July 1, 2020.  (Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill, PARLIAMENT […]

Australia: Victorian State Parliament Passes Bill to Legalize Voluntary Euthanasia

(Nov. 30, 2017) On November 29, 2017, the Parliament of Victoria passed the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017 (Vic), under which terminally ill people will be able to request assistance to end their lives through the use of a lethal medication.  Once it receives royal assent, the bill will come into force in June 2019, […]

Australia: High Court Disqualifies Five Members of Parliament Due to Dual Citizenship

(Oct. 31, 2017) On October 27, 2017, the High Court of Australia (Australia’s highest court), sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns, issued its decision in a case involving seven sitting members of the federal Parliament (sometimes referred to as the “Citizenship Seven”). (Re Canavan; Re Ludlam; Re Waters; Re Roberts [No 2]; Re Joyce; […]

Australia: Legislation Enacted Preventing Child Sex Offenders from Traveling Overseas

(June 29, 2017) On June 26, 2017, the Passports Legislation Amendment (Overseas Travel by Child Sex Offenders) Act 2017 (Cth) received royal assent, following its passage by the Australian Parliament on June 20, 2017. (Passports Legislation Amendment (Overseas Travel by Child Sex Offenders) Act 2017 (Cth), Federal Register of Legislation website; Passports Legislation Amendment (Overseas Travel by […]

Australia: National Firearms Amnesty to Commence

(June 27, 2017) On June 16, 2017, the Australian Minister for Justice, Michael Keenan, announced the details of a National Firearms Amnesty that will commence on July 1, 2017, and run for three months until September 30, 2017. (Press Release, Michael Keenan, National Firearms Amnesty Starts on July 1 (June 16, 2017), Minister for Justice […]

Australia: Bill to Amend Citizenship Requirements Introduced

(June 21, 2017) On June 15, 2017, the Australian Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton, introduced a bill in the House of Representatives that will implement the government’s proposals to amend certain legal requirements for obtaining Australian citizenship.  (Australian Citizenship Legislation Amendment (Strengthening the Requirements for Australian Citizenship and Other Measures) Bill 2017, PARLIAMENT […]

Samoa: Constitutional Amendment Makes Christianity the National Religion

(June 14, 2017) The Samoan Parliament reportedly unanimously passed the Constitution Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2016 (the Bill) during the week of May 29, 2017, and it is now awaiting assent from the Head of State. (Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu, Freedom of Religion Not Threatened: A.G., SAMOA OBSERVER (June 9, 2017); Parliament of Samoa, Daily Progress in the Maota 3 (May […]