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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) […]

Malaysia: Federal Court Rules that State Sharia Court Has Jurisdiction Over Apostasy Cases

(Mar. 6, 2018) On February 27, 2018, it was reported that the Malaysian Federal Court (the highest court in Malaysia) had dismissed an appeal by four people from the state of Sarawak who wished to have their apostasy cases considered in a civil court. (Sharon Ling, Federal Court Rules Jurisdiction to Hear Apostasy Cases Lies […]

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).) […]