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France: National Medication Safety Agency to Consider Experimenting with Legalized Medical Cannabis

(Jan. 8, 2019) The French agency in charge of evaluating the efficacy and safety of pharmaceutical products, L’Agence nationale de sécurité du médicament (ANSM) (National Agency for the Safety of Medication), announced on December 27, 2018, that it would consider experimenting with cannabis-based preparations for medical purposes. (L’ANSM souscrit aux premières conclusions du CSST sur […]

France: Government Adopts Law Banning Cell Phone Use at School

(Oct. 30, 2018) On August 5, 2018, the French government promulgated a law banning “cell phones and other electronic communication devices” from kindergartens, elementary schools, and middle schools. (Loi n° 2018-698 du 3 août 2018 relative à l’encadrement de l’utilisation du téléphone portable dans les établissements d’enseignement scolaire [Law No. 2018-698 of August 3, 2018, […]

Belgium: Report Reveals Euthanasia Commission Authorized Euthanasia of Three Minors in 2016–17

(Oct. 29, 2018) Belgium has the world’s only law allowing terminally ill minors in “unbearable suffering” to choose to die. (Henry Samuel, Belgium Authorized Euthanasia of a Terminally Ill Nine and 11-Year-Old in Youngest Cases Worldwide, TELEGRAPH (Aug. 7, 2018).) According to a report published on July 17, 2018, by the Commission fédérale de Contrôle […]

Togo: Parliament Adopts Bill to Promote Power Generation from Clean Sources

(Oct. 15, 2018) On July 24, 2018, Togo’s Parliament adopted a bill to promote power generation from clean sources. (Ouverture de la deuxième session extraordinaire de l’année 2018 [2018’s Second Extraordinary Assembly], Assemblée Nationale Togolais [Togolese National Assembly] website (all translations by author).) The bill was approved unanimously and includes 59 articles organized in seven […]

France: Senate Rejects ‘Fake News Ban’ Bills

(Sept. 24, 2018) On July 26, 2018, the French Senate rejected two controversial bills aimed at “fighting fake news.” (Press Release, Sénat [Senate], Lutte contre la manipulation de l’information [Fight Against the Manipulation of Information] (July 26, 2018).) Background First announced by President Emmanuel Macron last January and adopted by the Assemblée Nationale (National Assembly) […]

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Ex-warlord Found Ineligible to Run for Presidency

(Sept. 5, 2018) On August 24, 2018, the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Independent National Electoral Commission (Commission Electorale Nationale Independente, CENI) declared Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo ineligible to run in the country’s upcoming presidential election. (Décision No. 028/CENI/BUR/18 du 24 août 2018 déclarant irrecevable les candidatures des indépendants, des partis, et des regroupements politiques à […]

Burundi: School Pregnancy Ban Reversed

(Aug. 30, 2018) On July 27, 2018, Burundi’s education ministry reversed a month-old school pregnancy ban, which had prevented pregnant teens and young mothers, as well as the boys who made them pregnant, from being part of the formal education system. (Nita Bhalla, Burundi Reversing School Pregnancy Ban Not Enough to Protect Girls: Campaigners, REUTERS […]

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Party Names Ex-warlord for Presidential Election Following ICC Acquittal

(Aug. 29, 2018) On June 8, 2018, the International Criminal Court (ICC) Appeals Chamber acquitted Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, former vice president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), of the charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. (Press Release, ICC, ICC Appeals Chamber Acquits Mr. Bemba from [sic] Charges of War Crimes and […]

Belgium: Proposed Amendment on Removal of Abortion from Penal Code

(Aug. 23, 2018) On August 1, 2018, the Justice Commission of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives adopted a bill introduced by representatives of the Ecolo-Groen opposition party that would remove abortion from the Penal Code and place relevant provisions in a public health law. (Proposition de loi relative à l’interruption volontaire de grossesse (1er août […]