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Germany: Courts’ Obligation to Accommodate Disability at Oral Argument Must Be Balanced Against Other Principles

(Jan. 16, 2019) In an order published on January 3, 2019, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) declined to hear a case in which the complainant requested that oral arguments be conducted in a way to accommodate his Asperger’s syndrome. The Court held that the decision of the regional social court (Landessozialgericht) denying his […]

Zimbabwe: Court Declares Law Empowering Police to Ban Public Demonstrations Indefinitely Unconstitutional

(Nov. 20, 2018) On October 18, 2018, the Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe, the highest court in the land on all constitutional matters, found unconstitutional a provision in the 2002 Public Order and Security Act (POSA) that essentially empowers local police to indefinitely ban public demonstrations in their jurisdictions.  (Carmel Richkard, A New Chapter for Human Rights […]

South Korea: Supreme Court Finds Conscientious Objection to Military Service Justifiable

(Nov. 16, 2018) On November 1, 2018, the Supreme Court of South Korea ruled that conscientious objection to military service is “justifiable” under article 88(1) of the Military Service Act. (Sup. Ct., No. 2016 do 10912 (Nov. 1, 2018) (in Korean), Supreme Court website; Military Service Act, Act No. 4685, Dec. 31, 1993, as amended by […]

Italy: Constitutional Court Rules on Constitutionality of Prison Benefits Provisions

(Sept. 17, 2018) On July 11, 2018, the Italian Constitutional Court issued a decision on the constitutional legitimacy of article 58-quater of Law No. 354 of 1975 regarding prison benefits for persons sentenced to life imprisonment for certain crimes. (Decision No. 149 of July 11, 2018, Issued in a Constitutional Legitimacy Case by Incidental Procedure […]

Comoros: Planned Constitutional Referendum on Presidential Term Limits Leads to Crisis

(July 30, 2018) On April 29, 2018, Comoros’s President Sem Azali Assoumani declared that a referendum on amending the country’s Constitution would be held in July 2018. (Les conclusions des assises soumises au référendum au mois de juillet [Assembly’s Conclusions to Be Decided by Referendum in July], GOUVERNEMENT DE L’UNION DES COMORES [GOVERNMENT OF THE […]

Russia: No Warrant Needed for Chat and Email Eavesdropping

(Mar. 29, 2018) In a recently issued ruling, the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation confirmed the constitutionality of the current criminal procedural order under which investigators do not need to obtain a court warrant to access the content of electronic communications found on telephones, tablets, and personal computers of persons investigated at the scene […]

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 […]