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Pakistan: Bills Introduced on Increased Representation of Women in the Supreme Court

(May 26, 2016) On May 16, 2016, a member of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and former law minister, Babar Awan, introduced a private member’s bill in the Senate, the upper house of Pakistan’s federal legislature, that would amend the Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Act, 1997, to provide greater “representation of women” in Pakistan’s […]

India: Maharashtra Passes Legislation Against Social Boycott

(Apr. 28, 2016) On April 13, 2016, the state legislature of Maharashtra passed the Maharashtra Prohibition of People from Social Boycott (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2016. (Betwa Sharma, Maharashtra’s New Law Against Social Boycott Could Spark A Renaissance, Say Activists, HUFFINGTON POST (Apr. 14, 2016).) The legislation prohibits the social boycott of individuals or […]

Canada: Government Announces Plan to Take in up to 57,000 Refugees This Year

(Mar. 29, 2016) On March 8, 2016, the government of Canada announced it plans to take in between 51,000 and 57,000 refugees this year, approximately double the number received in 2015. (Canada Doubles Refugee Target to 57,000 by the End of This Year, THE GUARDIAN (Mar. 8, 2016); see also Notice – Supplementary Information 2016 […]

Pakistan: Senate Passes Bill to Criminalize Child Sexual Abuse and Child Pornography

(Mar. 22, 2016) On March 11, 2016, the Senate, the upper house of Pakistan’s federal legislature, passed a bill that includes a number of amendments to Pakistan’s Penal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure. The legislation adds provisions criminalizing child sexual abuse, child pornography, and domestic human trafficking.  (Senate Passes Law Against Child Sexual Abuse, […]

Pakistan: Hindu Marriage Bill Passed in Sindh Legislature

(Feb. 25, 2016) On February 15, 2016, the Provincial Assembly of Sindh passed the Hindu Marriage Bill 2016, applicable to Hindus and other non-Muslim citizens. It is reportedly the first of its kind in Pakistan. (Hafeez Tunio, Sindh Assembly Becomes First in Pakistan to Pass Hindu Marriage Bill, EXPRESS TRIBUNE (Feb. 15, 2016).) Similar draft […]

Pakistan: Child Marriage Bill Withdrawn

(Jan. 25, 2016) On January 14, 2016, Pakistan’s National Assembly Standing Committee on Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony met to discuss the Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Bill 2014.  According to a press release, the bill, which was moved by National Assembly Member Marvi Memon, was withdrawn at the end of the discussion. (Press Release, National […]

Canada: Government Drops Appeal to Supreme Court over Niqab Ban During Citizenship Ceremonies

(Nov. 27, 2015) On November 16, 2015, John McCallum, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, and Jody Wilson-Raybould, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, issued a joint statement stating that the recently elected Liberal government would discontinue a request for appeal of a recent ruling of the Federal Court of Canada […]

India: Draft Legislation Regulating Assisted Reproductive Technology Published

(Nov. 2, 2015) On September 30, 2015, India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, through its Department of Health Research, published for public and stakeholder comments draft legislation regulating assisted reproductive technology (ART). (Sushmi Dey, Foreigners May Be Barred from Commissioning Surrogacy in India, TIMES OF INDIA (Oct. 16, 2015).) According to the Director of […]

Pakistan: Federal Government Plans to Introduce Legislation Prohibiting Apostasy Pronouncements

(Sept. 21, 2015)  According to a September 10, 2015, news report, the Federal Government of Pakistan is considering legislation to prohibit takfir, a religious pronouncement or clerical ruling that declares one Muslim or group of Muslims to be non-believers or apostates.  A government official was reported to have stated, “[u]nder new laws, no one will […]

Maldives: People’s Majlis Passes Amendment to Constitution Allowing Foreign Ownership of Land

(July 30, 2015) On July 22, 2015, the People’s Majlis, the unicameral parliament of the Maldives, passed a bill amending the 2008 Constitution to allow foreign ownership of land. President Yamin Abdul Gayoom ratified the bill the next day. (Shan Anees, President Ratifies Land Ownership Bill, HAVEERU ONLINE (July 23, 2015).) The bill reportedly amends […]