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Zimbabwe: Constitutional Amendment Bill Gives President Unilateral Power to Appoint Top Judges

(Aug. 22, 2017) On July 25, 2017, the 270-member National Assembly, the lower house of Zimbabwe’s bicameral Parliament, passed a bill that among other measures seeks to amend the Constitution to accord the President unfettered power to unilaterally fill the highest judicial positions in the country: those of Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice, and Judge President of the High Court.  (Amendment Bill […]

Mali: Referendum on Constitutional Amendments Postponed

(Aug. 10, 2017) On June 2, 2017, the National Assembly of Mali approved a bill to amend the 1992 Constitution, as President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita earlier this year had announced would occur. (Antoine Le Goff, Mali: les enjeux d’une révision constitutionnelle qui suscite l’opposition [Mali: The Constitutional Amendments’ Issues Awakens the Opposition], LE MONDE (June 16, […]

Israel: Landmark Decision on Child Support

(Aug. 3, 2017) On July 19, 2017, Israel’s Supreme Court, in an extended panel of seven justices, unanimously accepted appeals against decisions rendered by the district courts of Central-Lod and of Haifa to the effect that the responsibility for child support for children 6 to15 years of age who were under the shared custody of […]

China/Hong Kong: National Anthem Law Under Consideration

(July 18, 2017) On June 27, 2017, the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) published a draft National Anthem Law for consideration. The public has one month, from June 28 to July 27, to submit their opinions on the draft.  (Guoge Fa Cao’an Zhengqiu Yijian [Draft National Anthem Law Soliciting Public Opinions], NPC […]

Samoa: Constitutional Amendment Makes Christianity the National Religion

(June 14, 2017) The Samoan Parliament reportedly unanimously passed the Constitution Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2016 (the Bill) during the week of May 29, 2017, and it is now awaiting assent from the Head of State. (Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu, Freedom of Religion Not Threatened: A.G., SAMOA OBSERVER (June 9, 2017); Parliament of Samoa, Daily Progress in the Maota 3 (May […]

Germany: Constitutional Right to Reimbursement for Uncovered Health Care Services Only Exists in Emergencies

(May 17, 2017) On May 11, 2017, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) declined to accept a case for review that challenged a lower court’s decision not to obligate the applicant’s statutory health insurance to pay for intravenous immunoglobulin therapy (antibody infusions) not covered under her plan, to treat her autoimmune disease. (BVerfG, 1 BvR 452/17, […]

Mongolia: Constitutional Reform Discussed

(May 10, 2017) On April 29 and 30, 2017, Mongolia held a “deliberative polling” event to discuss constitutional reform. Although no decisions were made, several recommendations were issued, including a proposal to restructure the current unicameral legislature, the Great State Hural.  The 76-member Great State Hural is described in the Constitution as “the highest organ […]

Kenya: Parliament Ordered to Enact Legislation Related to Increasing the Number of Female Members

(Apr. 19, 2017) On March 29, 2017, the Constitutional and Human Rights Division of the High Court of Kenya at Nairobi found that the two houses of the national legislature, the National Assembly and the Senate, failed to perform their constitutional obligation to ensure that not more than two-thirds of their members be of the […]

Azerbaijan: President Appointed His Wife as First Vice-President

(Mar. 24, 2017) On February 21, 2017, the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, appointed his wife, Mehriban Aliyeva, as the First Vice-President of the Republic, in accordance with newly added article 1031 of Azerbaijan’s Constitution.  (Appointment by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan of M. A. Aliyeva as the First Vice-President of the Republic […]

Bahrain: Constitutional Amendment Allows Military Trials of Civilians

(Mar. 22, 2017) On March 6, 2017, the Bahraini Parliament (Shura Council) approved an amendment to article 105(b) of the Bahraini Constitution of 2002.  (Bahrain: Constitution of February 14 in English (2002) (Constitution), ACE Electoral Knowledge Network website.)  Members of the Council approved the constitutional amendment two weeks after it was passed by the National Assembly, […]