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Southern African Development Community: Model Laws to Combat HIV

(Dec. 2, 2007) The Southern Africa Development Community's (SADC) Parliamentary Forum Standing Committee has initiated the preparation of model laws to complement its member countries' existing measures to combat HIV/AIDS. SADC legislators, lawyers, and health sector representatives from the member states took part in a consultative meeting on the initiative on November 10, 2007. (SADC […]

Taiwan: Draft Changes to Succession Rules

(Dec. 2, 2007) An amendment to the Civil Code of the Republic of China (on Taiwan) on the rules of inheritance was discussed in November 2007 by the legislature's Judiciary Committee, with a view to protecting minors under 20 years of age and the underprivileged from incurring excessive debt from inheritances. At present, the Civil […]

Nepal: Accident Victim Compensation in Disarray

(Dec. 2, 2007) Street justice, in the form of obstruction of vehicular traffic to press for higher compensation, has in recent months come to determine the amount paid to "third party" victims, as a result of contradictory provisions in Nepal's laws on compensation for accident victims. Reportedly, "the more pressure the victim's party is able […]

Taiwan: Amendment of Election and Recall Law Provisions

(Dec. 2, 2007) Taiwan's Public Officials Election and Recall Law was significantly amended on November 7, 2007. The changes include revised provisions on campaign activities and expenditures and on candidate qualification requirements, as well as revised and new provisions on punishments for vote-buying. One example of the changes is that although the basic method of […]

Zimbabwe: Election Laws Amendment Bill

(Dec. 2, 2007) Upon reconvening on November 20, 2007, the Parliament of Zimbabwe was to consider, among other legislation, an Electoral Laws Amendment Bill that would establish the framework for the March 2008 joint presidential, parliamentary, and municipal elections. Critics contend that the bill is aimed at furthering President Robert Mugabe's re-election bid and may […]

China: New Foreign Investment Catalog

(Dec. 2, 2007) China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Commerce MOC) issued the revised Catalog of Foreign Investment Industries on October 31, 2007, to be implemented as of December 1, 2007. (NDRC Web site). Compared to the 2004 Catalog it replaced, the new Catalog, in conformity with China's World Trade […]

China: Simplification of Administrative Procedures

(Nov. 2, 2007) On September 28, 2007, the State Council of the People's Republic of China issued a circular that cancels 128 administrative examination and approval procedures and amends 58 others, in a move to reduce government red tape. Among the 128 eliminated procedures are some of those listed, for example, in the Decision of […]

Africa: Death Penalty Developments

(Nov. 2, 2007) The non-governmental human rights organization Amnesty International (AI) reported in October 2007 on various developments concerning capital punishment in five African countries. Most notably, Rwanda abolished the death penalty on July 27, 2007, resulting in the commutation of the sentences of about 600 death row prisoners to life imprisonment. According to AI, […]

Ghana: Phone Chip Registration

(Nov. 2, 2007) It was reported in late September 2007 that Ghana's National Communication Authority (NCA) was introducing reforms in the mobile phone industry. Under the NCA's proposed new regulations, a spokeswoman stated, customers would have to provide such information as name, home address, other telephone numbers, and a form of identification before the seller […]

Taiwan: Statute on Development of Biotech, New Pharmaceutical Enterprises

(Nov. 2, 2007) On July 4, 2007, the 13-article Statute for Development of Biotechnology and New Pharmaceutical Enterprises was promulgated in Taiwan, to provide incentives to companies in that sector. According to Academia Sinica President Wong Chi-huey, the legislation is "important and timely" and represents "a new foundation that would rapidly boost the industry" instead […]