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Australia: Privacy Protections Applicable to COVID-19 Contact Tracing App Enacted

(May 29, 2020) On May 15, 2020, the Privacy Amendment (Public Health Contact Information) Act 2020 (Cth) was enacted in Australia. The act adds a new part to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) that specifically regulates the use and disclosure of data collected when people download and use the Australian government’s COVID-19 contact tracing mobile phone […]

New Zealand: New COVID-19 Public Health Response Legislation Enacted

(May 28, 2020) On May 13, 2020, the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020 was enacted in New Zealand. The act provides a new legal framework for making and enforcing orders containing restrictions and requirements for businesses, gatherings, and movement in response to COVID-19. It was enacted in time for the country’s move to “Alert […]

Côte d’Ivoire: Former Prime Minister Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Corruption

(May 15, 2020) On April 28, 2020, the Tribunal Correctionnel (Criminal Trial Court) of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, convicted former Prime Minister Guillaume Soro in absentia of embezzlement and money laundering. The trial lasted only a few hours and was boycotted by Soro’s lawyers in protest of what they claimed were politically motivated, trumped-up charges. Soro, […]

Sweden: National Prosecutor Investigates Workplace Environment Crime After Nurse Dies of COVID-19

(May 4, 2020) On April 29, 2020, the Swedish National Prosecutor announced that it is investigating a workplace environment crime (arbetsmiljöbrott) after a nurse working at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm died of COVID-19. The investigation comes following a report by the local safety representative (skyddsombud), who reportedly claimed that the hospital lacked the appropriate […]

Philippines: Supreme Court Holds First Virtual Session, Addresses Petition to Free Certain Prisoners due to COVID-19

(Apr. 30, 2020) On April 17, 2020, the Philippine Supreme Court held a virtual en banc session for the first time in its history in order to address an urgent petition requesting the release of elderly and sick inmates because of the risk they face in prison due to COVID-19, a government press release said. […]

Switzerland: Prohibition on Sexual Orientation Discrimination Will Apply Starting July 1

(Apr. 30, 2020) In its session of April 3, 2020, the Swiss Federal Council, the country’s government, decided that a prohibition on discrimination due to sexual orientation will enter into force on July 1, 2020. The necessary amendments to the Criminal Code and the Military Criminal Code had been adopted by the Swiss Parliament on December 14, […]

Germany: Constitutional Court Strikes Down Provision Criminalizing Commercial Assisted Suicide

(Apr. 29, 2020) On February 26, 2020, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) held that the provision in the German Criminal Code criminalizing commercial assisted suicide is unconstitutional. The Court stated that the general right of personality encompasses a right to a self-determined death, which includes the freedom to take one’s own life as […]

Turkey: New Law Imposes Harsher Penalties for Violence Against Health Care Workers

(Apr. 28, 2020) On April 15, 2020, Turkey’s Parliament passed Law No. 7243 introducing harsher penalties for certain crimes committed against health care workers and their assistants. (Law No. 7243, art. 28.) Versions of the so-called “violence in health care” law had long been proposed by medical professional organizations and others in reaction to the high […]

Turkey: New Parole Measure Expected to Significantly Lower Prison Population

(Apr. 28, 2020) On April 14, 2020, the Parliament of Turkey passed Law No. 7242 amending Law No. 5275 on the Execution of Penal and Security Measures. The amendments include both provisions that are aimed at lowering the prison population generally and, in response to COVID-19, a temporary release provision for convicts that are serving […]

Mexico: President Signs Law Granting Amnesty to Criminals Incarcerated for Certain Crimes

(Apr. 24, 2020) On April 22, 2020, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador signed into law a bill passed by Mexico’s Senate two days earlier granting amnesty to persons incarcerated for the commission of certain crimes provided that applicable requirements are met. These crimes include the possession of narcotics in small quantities under a number […]