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France: Animals Granted New Legal Status

(Apr. 25, 2014) The French National Assembly recently adopted a legislative amendment changing the status of animals in the Civil Code. Since the inception of the Civil Code in 1804, the legal status of animals was that of mere objects. (Code civil [Civil Code], art. 528 [as worded from Jan. 25, 1804, to Jan. 7, […]

Belgium: Removal of Age Restriction for Euthanasia

(Mar. 11, 2014) On March 2, 2014, Belgium’s King Philippe signed into law an amendment to that country’s euthanasia law that would open the medically assisted suicide option to children. (Christian Laporte, Le Roi a signé la loi sur l’extension de l’euthanasie [The King Has Signed the Law Extending Euthanasia], LA LIBRE (updated Mar. 3, […]

France: New Law Places Limits on Holding Multiple Political Offices

(Feb. 18, 2014) On January 22, 2014, the French Parliament adopted two laws placing limits on the ability of politicians to hold multiple concurrent political offices. (Projet de loi interdisant le cumul de fonctions exécutives locales avec le mandat de représentant au Parlement européen [Draft Law to Prohibit the Concurrent Holding of Local Executive Offices […]

France: 2010 Law Banning Full Islamic Veil Challenged in Court

(Jan. 6, 2014) In October 2010, France enacted a law banning the concealment of one’s face in public (Loi n° 2010-1192 du 11 octobre 2010 interdisant la dissimulation du visage dans l’espace public [Law No. 2010-1192 of October 11, 2010, Banning Concealment of the Face in Public Places], LEGIFRANCE; see also Nicole Atwill, France: Law […]

France: New Mining Code Under Consideration

(Dec. 23, 2013) On September 5, 2012, the French Prime Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, created a working group to elaborate an in-depth reform of the French Mining Code. This working group, which consisted of elected officials, jurists, representatives from non-government organizations, and representatives from the industrial sector, as well as other concerned social actors and experts, […]

Belgium: Antwerp Attorney-General Calls for Comprehensive DNA Database

(Dec. 5, 2013) Yves Liégeois, the Attorney-General (Procureur-général) of Antwerp, has recently suggested that DNA samples be taken from all babies born in Belgium, as well as from all new immigrants, and entered into a database that could be used to solve future crimes. “I think it would be a good idea to collect DNA […]

France: Official Report Calls for Reform of Rehabilitation Centers for Juvenile Delinquents

(Nov. 18, 2013) On November 13, 2013, the French Comptroller-General of prisons issued a report that is highly critical of two “Centres Educatifs Fermés” (CEF, Closed Education Centers). (Contrôleur général des lieux de privation de liberté, JOURNAL OFFICIEL DE LA RÉPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE (Nov. 13, 2013).) These centers are the product of a 2002 law reforming […]