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Italy: Constitutional Court Issues Decision on Citizenship Oath

(Jan. 18, 2018) On November 8, 2017, the Italian Constitutional Court issued a decision on requiring an oath of citizenship from an immigrant whose disabilities prevented her from taking it. (Decision No. 258 of November 8, Issued in a Constitutional Legitimacy Case by Incidental Procedure (the Decision), GAZZETTA UFFICIALE [OFFICIAL GAZETTE, G.U.] (Dec. 13, 2017) […]

France: Constitutional Court Strikes Down Prohibition on Accessing Terrorist Websites

(Jan. 17, 2018) On December 15, 2017, France’s Conseil constitutionnel (Constitutional Court) struck down a legislative provision prohibiting access to websites that support terrorism. (Conseil Constitutionnel, Decision No. 2017-682 QPC, Dec. 15, 2017, CONSEIL CONSTITUTIONNEL.) The provision, which was part of a security law adopted in February 2017, prohibited “habitual” access to websites that supported […]

Germany: University Admission Rules for Medical Studies Partially Unconstitutional

(Jan. 16, 2018) On December 19, 2017, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) held that the federal framework and state implementing provisions regulating university admissions for medical studies at Germany’s public universities are partially incompatible with the German Basic Law, the country’s Constitution. The Court stated that the provisions infringe the applicants’ constitutional right […]

Israel: Restrictions on Ceding Areas in Jerusalem Municipality to Foreign Entities

(Jan. 5, 2018) On January 2, 2018, the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) passed an amendment to Basic Law: Jerusalem Capital of Israel, defining the territory over which delegation of powers by the Israeli government to “a foreign political or governing power, or to another similar foreign authority” is prohibited. (Basic Law: Jerusalem Capital of Israel (Amendment […]

Uganda: Bill Eliminating Presidential Age Limit and Extending Parliamentary Term Passed

(Dec. 27, 2017) On December 20, 2017, the Ugandan Parliament passed an amendment to the Constitution which, among other measures, aims to eliminate the requirement that candidates vying for the presidency be under 75 years of age.  (Parliament Passes “Age Limit Bill,” Extends Its Term to 7 Years, PARLIAMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA (Dec. […]

Burundi: Constitutional Referendum Planned

(Dec. 20, 2017) On December 12, 2017, Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza began promoting a campaign for a referendum on amending the country’s Constitution, to be held in early 2018. (AFP, Burundi President Launches Campaign to Extend Rule, GUARDIAN (Nigeria) (Dec. 13, 2017).) At the official launch of the amendment campaign, he stated that his purpose […]

France: Special Security Measures Declared Unconstitutional

(Dec. 20, 2017) In a decision handed down on December 1, 2017, France’s Conseil constitutionnel (Constitutional Court) examined the legality of security measures that allowed local prefects to establish special security zones within which law enforcement officers could check people’s identification papers and search their bags and vehicles without cause. (Conseil Constitutionnel [CC] Decision No. […]

Georgia: Marijuana Use Decriminalized

(Dec. 13, 2017) On November 30, 2017, the Constitutional Court of Georgia decriminalized the personal use of marijuana and other cannabis-based products. The Court decision, while affirming the right to use marijuana, recognized its potential health risks and did not legalize the sale, distribution, or production of marijuana; those acts are still considered crimes.  Decriminalization […]

Germany: Costs of Phone Calls in Prisons Must Reflect Market Prices

(Dec. 1, 2017) In a decision published on November 28, 2017, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) found that the constitutional requirement of social rehabilitation of sentenced persons is violated when a prisoner is charged excessive fees for phone services. An inmate’s request for a reduction of the costs for a prison phone call […]

Sri Lanka: Constitutional Reform Planned

(Nov. 28, 2017) On October 30, 2017, Sri Lanka’s President, Maithripala Sirisena, announced the convening of three government conferences designed to better inform the public about the plans to adopt a new Constitution. The special conferences include one for all political parties now represented in Parliament, one for religious leaders, and one for scholars interested […]