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Canada: Harmonized Sales Tax for British Columbia and Ontario

(Jan. 14, 2010) Recently, the governments of two Canadian provinces, British Columbia and Ontario, agreed to replace their provincial sales tax with a Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) to be collected by the federal government. In order for the HST to be extended to British Columbia and Ontario, the Parliament had to amend the Excise Tax […]

Canada: Supreme Court Expands Libel Defenses

(Jan. 13, 2010) In late December 2009, the Supreme Court of Canada issued two decisions that widen the defenses available to communicators in defamation cases that are based upon material published on matters of public importance, by establishing a new defense of “responsible communication.” The decisions apply not only to journalists, but also to bloggers […]

Ireland: New Prohibition on Blasphemy

(Jan. 8, 2010) On January 1, 2010, new provisions contained in the Defamation Act, 2009 of the Republic of Ireland, on prohibiting the making of blasphemous statements, came into effect. The relevant section of the new law states that a person “publishes or utters blasphemous matter” if the material “is grossly abusive or insulting in […]

New Zealand: Bill Introduced to Repeal Partial Defense of Provocation

(Oct. 8, 2009) Under New Zealand's Crimes Act, 1961, provocation is a partial defense in homicide cases that can result in a person being found guilty of manslaughter rather than murder. (Crimes Act 1961, No. 43, ss. 169-170, New Zealand Legislation website, (last visited Oct. 3, 2009).) This defense was created at a time […]

Guyana: Caribbean Court of Justice Rules in Trade Dispute

(Oct. 8, 2009) On August 20, 2009, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruled against Guyana in a case brought before it by a cement company located in Trinidad and its subsidiary located in Guyana. The companies alleged that Guyana had violated its obligations under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, which created the Caribbean Community […]

Canada: Saskatchewan Adopts New Procedures to Attract Entrepreneurs

(Oct. 7, 2009) Immigrating to Canada can be a difficult and time-consuming process. One way prospective immigrants can try to improve their chances of being accepted and accelerate their applications is by first applying to become a person nominated by a province. Ten of Canada's provinces and territories have agreements with the Government of Canada […]

Guam (USA): Master Plan for Modernization of Commercial Port Approved

(Oct. 7, 2009) On September 11, 2009, an act to conditionally approve the Port of Guam Master Plan was approved by the legislature of Guam and signed into law by the Governor. (An Act to Approve Phase I of the Jose D. Leon Guerrero Commercial Port of Guam Master Plan Update 2007 Report, 30th Guam […]

Ireland: Referendum on EU Operations Passes

(Oct. 7, 2009) In a referendum held on October 2, 2009, the voters of Ireland ratified the Treaty of Lisbon – a European Union (EU) agreement that would make a number of significant changes to the EU's operational and decision-making procedures and powers – by a margin of approximately 67 percent in favor to 33 […]

Ireland; United Kingdom: British-Irish Inter-Parliamentary Body Recommends Improved Police Cooperation

(July 13, 2009) The British-Irish Inter-Parliamentary Body (BIIPB) was formed in 1990 to address issues of bilateral concern. The body consists of Members of the Parliament in London, the Oireachtas in Dublin, the Assembly of Northern Ireland in Belfast, and the legislatures for Scotland, Wales, and the Isle of Man. (CURRENT MEMBERS of the British-Irish […]

Canada: Convicted War Criminal to Be Sentenced in September 2009

(July 13, 2009) The Rwandan man who became the first person to be convicted in Canada of war crimes will be sentenced in September 2009 by the Quebec Superior Court judge who convicted him on May 22, 2009, for his role in the genocide that occurred near the city of Butare, Rwanda in 1994. (2009 […]