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Pakistan: Federally Administered Tribal Areas to Be Merged with the Province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

(Mar. 16, 2017) On March 2, 2017, the Federal Cabinet of Pakistan approved recommendations of a reforms committee to “bring the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) in the mainstream” by merging the tribal region with the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.  (Federal Cabinet Approves Recommendations to ‘Mainstream’ Fata, DAWN.COM (Mar. 2, 2017).)  FATA is a constitutionally […]

South Africa: Notice of Withdrawal from the Rome Statute Revoked

(Mar. 10, 2017) On March 7, 2017, the South African government revoked the notice of withdrawal from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (the Rome Statute) that it had  submitted to the United Nations Secretary-General on October 19, 2016.  (South Africa: Withdrawal of Notification of Withdrawal, C.N.121.2017.TREATIES-XVIII.10 (Depositary Notification) (Mar. 7, 2017), United […]

Kenya: Government’s Attempt to Close Refugee Camps Found Unconstitutional

(Mar. 8, 2017) On February 9, 2017, the Constitutional and Human Rights Division of the High Court of Kenya at Nairobi found unconstitutional the government’s decisions to close the Dadaab refugee camp without first consulting stakeholders and to forcibly repatriate Somali refugees in the camp.  Judge John M. Mativo, who handed down the decision, also found the government’s […]

Iran: Charter on Citizens’ Rights Signed

(Feb. 28, 2017) With the aim of “recovering and promoting citizens’ rights,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, under his constitutional authority to “determine the program and policies of the government,” signed the Charter on Citizens’ Rights in a ceremony on December 19, 2016.  (Rouhani Unveils Charter on Civil Rights; Vagueness Regarding “Enforcement Guarantee,” VOA (Dec. 19, […]

Kenya: High Court Declares Penal Code Provision on Criminal Defamation Unconstitutional

(Feb. 14, 2017) On February 6, 2017, the Constitutional and Human Rights Division of the High Court of Kenya at Nairobi found unconstitutional article 194 of the country’s 1930 Penal Code, which relates to criminal defamation.  (Jacqueline Okuta & another v Attorney General & 2 others [2017] eKLR, Kenya Law website.)  Two individuals, Jacqueline Okuta and […]

Germany: No Prohibition of the National Democratic Party

(Feb. 2, 2017) On January 17, 2017, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) unanimously rejected the application of the German Bundesrat to ban the National Democratic Party (NPD). The German Bundesrat is the constitutional body through which the German states participate in the legislation and administration of the German Federation.  (BVerfG, Jan. 17, 2017, docket […]

Gambia: State of Emergency Lifted

(Jan. 30, 2017) On January 24, 2017, Gambia’s legislature ended the state of emergency in the country and rescinded the extension of executive power that had been granted to former President Yahya Jammeh. Jammeh had lost an election in December 2016 to Adama Barrow, but for a time refused to leave office and hand over […]

Turkey: Parliamentary Commission Approves Amendments to Constitution that Would Enhance President’s Powers

(Jan. 9, 2017) On December 30, 2016, the Commission on the Constitution in Turkey’s Grand National Assembly (GNA, the parliament) approved several draft amendments to the country’s Constitution that would, among other measures, augment the powers of the president and change the government to a presidential system from the current prime minister-led system. Of an […]

Egypt: Supreme Constitutional Court Rules Law Regulating Public Gatherings to Be Unconstitutional

(Dec. 19, 2016) On December 3, 2016, the Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court decided that article 10 of Law no. 107 of 2013, known as “the Protest Law,” violates the Egyptian Constitution of 2014.  (Law No.107 of 2013, 47 AL-JARĪDAH AL-RASMĪYYAH (duplicate) (Nov. 24, 2013, at 2 (in Arabic).)  The Court stated that article 10 is […]

Brazil: Constitutional Amendment Limits Public Spending

(Dec. 16, 2016) On December 13, 2016, the Brazilian Federal Senate approved an amendment to the Constitution that imposes a ceiling on public spending for the next 20 years.  (Proposta de Emenda à Constituição No. 55 de 2016 — PEC do Teto dos Gastos Públicos, Federal Senate website (Dec. 13, 2016).)  The constitutional amendment will […]