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Malaysia: Court Rules Catholic Magazine Can Use the Word “Allah”

(Jan. 5, 2010) On December 31, 2009, the High Court of Malaysia ruled that a Christian publication has a constitutional right to use the word “Allah” to refer to God. (Catholic Magazine Herald Can Use Word “Allah,” BERNAMA (Malaysia), Dec. 31, 2009, available at The case was filed in February 2009 by the Herald, […]

Australia: Plans for Mandatory Internet Filtering Announced

(Dec. 30, 2009) On December 15, 2009, Australia's Minister of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Hon. Stephen Conroy, announced that the government intends to introduce legislation by mid-2010 requiring Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block overseas content given a Refused Classification (RC) rating. (Press Release, Hon. Stephen Conroy, Measures to Improve Safety of the […]

Malaysia: Goods and Services Tax to Be Implemented in 2011

(Dec. 24, 2009) The Goods and Services Tax Bill 2009 was tabled in the Malaysian Parliament on December 16, 2009. The Second Finance Minister, Ahmad Husni, stated that the government expects a goods and services tax (GST) at a rate of 4% to be implemented by mid-2011. (Goods and Services Tax Bill Tabled in Dewan […]

Australia: New Guidelines on International Cooperation in Death Penalty Cases

(Dec. 24, 2009) On December 18, 2009, the Australian government announced that new guidelines governing international law enforcement cooperation in possible death penalty cases had come into effect. (Press Release, Brendan O'Connor & Hon. Robert McClelland, International Law Enforcement Cooperation (Dec. 18, 2009), available at The guidelines set out a list of factors that […]

Australia: Judge Finds Abuse of Process in Case Against Former Solomon Islands Attorney-General

(Dec. 18, 2009) On December 15, 2009, a judge in the Supreme Court of Queensland, Australia, granted a permanent stay in the child sex case against Julian Moti, a Fiji-born Australian citizen who is a former Attorney-General of the Solomon Islands, ruling that his prosecution “constitutes an abuse of process.” (R v. Moti [2009] Q.S.C. […]

Nauru: Lawmakers Agree to CEDAW Ratification

(Dec. 8, 2009) On November 30 and December 1, 2009, Nauru’s parliamentarians met to discuss the advantages and challenges of ratifying the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). (Press Release, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Nauru MPs Commit to Ratifying CEDAW (Dec. 7, 2009), available at; treaty text […]

New Zealand: Amendments to Emissions Trading Scheme Passed

(Dec. 1, 2009) On November 25, 2009, the New Zealand Parliament passed the Climate Change Response (Moderated Emissions Trading) Amendment Bill. This legislation amends the scheme that was enacted by the previous government in September 2008, which was due to come into effect on January 1, 2010. (See Lisa White, New Zealand: Greenhouse Gas Emissions […]

Australia: Bill to Prohibit Torture and Abolish the Death Penalty Introduced

(Nov. 23, 2009) On November 19, 2009, Australia’s Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, introduced the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Torture Prohibition and Death Penalty Abolition) Bill 2009 in the Parliament. The bill will create a specific federal offense of torture and ensure that the death penalty cannot be reintroduced in any of Australia’s states and territories in the […]

Australia; Cook Islands: Tax Information Exchange Agreement Signed

(Nov. 17, 2009) On October 27, 2009, Australia and the Cook Islands signed a comprehensive tax information exchange agreement in Rarotonga. The agreement provides for the exchange of information on request in both criminal and civil tax matters. The two countries also signed an Additional Benefits Agreement that will result in greater technical assistance being […]

New Zealand: Police Given Greater Powers to Obtain DNA Samples

(Nov. 6, 2009) On October 28, 2009, the New Zealand Parliament passed legislation that will allow police to collect DNA from people arrested for certain offenses, without the need to obtain consent or apply for judicial approval. (Press Release, Hon. Simon Power, Parliament Passes DNA Law (Oct. 28, 2009), available at The Criminal Investigations […]