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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 […]

Mexico: President Urges Approval of Amnesty Law Because of Coronavirus Infection Risk in Prisons

(Apr. 24, 2020) On April 15, 2020, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador urged Mexico’s Senate to pass the Amnesty Law to prevent the massive spread of the coronavirus in the country’s 17 federal and 292 state penitentiaries. The purpose of the law is to provide early release for people who have been imprisoned for […]

Singapore: New Payment Services Act Takes Effect

(Apr. 17, 2020) On January 28, 2020, Singapore’s new Payment Services Act went into effect. The Act unifies and streamlines the regulatory requirements for various payment services provided in Singapore, including electronic payments and cryptocurrency dealing and exchange services. The Act was passed by Parliament on January 14, 2019. The Act regulates seven types of […]

Tunisia: Ratification of African Union Anti-corruption Convention Follows on Recent Anti-corruption Reforms

(Apr. 6, 2020) On February 10, 2020, Tunisia’s secretary of state for foreign affairs, Sabri Bash Tabaji, deposited documents of ratification of the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption. The ratification, according to Tabaji, is an important step toward strengthening the collaboration with the African Union and African states in the fight against […]

England and Wales: New Powers to Prevent Knife Crime to Be Piloted Across London

(Mar. 25, 2020) On March 4, 2020, the government of England and Wales introduced new Knife Crime Prevention Orders (KCPO) under part 2 of the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 as a pilot program to provide police throughout the London metropolitan area with greater powers to help prevent knife crime. KCPOs are preventive civil orders and […]

Israel: Emergency Regulations Authorize Digital Surveillance of Coronavirus Patients and Persons Subjected to Home Isolation

(Mar. 18, 2020) On March 15 and 17, 2020, Israel’s transitional government headed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu approved two separate emergency regulations that allow, among other things, the use of digital surveillance by the General Security Service (GSS) and provide expanded search authority to the Israel Police to combat the spread of the coronavirus. […]