Library of Congress

Law Library of Congress

The Library of Congress > Law Library > News & Events > Global Legal Monitor

Senegal: Penalties Increased for Drug Crimes

(Feb. 2, 2008) Under a new law adopted by Senegal's legislature, the punishment for drug trafficking will be increased to 10 to 20 years of hard labor, double the previous punishment. The law now must be promulgated by President Abdoulay Wade before it comes into force. The country, together with its neighbors in West Africa, […]

Canada: Government Introduces Bill to Create New Offense of Identity Theft

(Jan. 2, 2008) On November 21, 2007, Canada's ruling Conservative government, headed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, introduced a bill that would create a new offense of identity theft and address a number of related matters (Bill C-27, 39th Parl. 2d Sess.). The bill would make it an offense to obtain personal identity information to […]

India: Punishment Must Match Criminal Act of Offender

(Jan. 2, 2008) In a recently adjudicated case, the Supreme Court of India expressed concern at the frequency of sexual offenses against women in the country and directed all trial courts and high courts to deal harshly with sexual offenders. Quoting an earlier judgment, the bench observed, "[j]udges who bear the sword of justice should […]

Taiwan: Penalties for DUI Stiffened

(Jan. 2, 2008) On January 2, 2008, an amendment to Taiwan's Criminal Law that increases the penalties for driving under the influence was promulgated. Article 185-3 specifies that those who, due to the use of narcotics, controlled substances, alcohol, or other similar substances, drive a motor vehicle while unable to drive safely, will be sentenced […]

Ukraine: Wrong Interpretation of History Is a Crime

(Jan. 2, 2008) On December 10, 2007, President Viktor Yushchenko of Ukraine introduced amendments to the Criminal Code of Ukraine that were supported by the legislature. The new provisions added to the Criminal Code establish criminal responsibility for denying that the 1932-1933 famine was a genocide of the Ukrainian people and for denying the Holocaust […]

Brazil: Senate Approves Changes in Jury Procedures

(Jan. 2, 2008) On December 5, 2007, the Brazilian Senate approved a proposed law that amends the Code of Criminal Procedure, particularly the part that regulates the procedures of trial by jury. One of the amendments curtails the impact of a step (libelo acusatório) that sometimes is used for procrastination purposes only and that may […]

Sri Lanka: Attorney General Opposes Non-Summary Proceedings

(Jan. 2, 2008) Speaking at a meeting of the Asian Crimes Prevention Foundation on December 15, 2007, the Sri Lankan Attorney General, C. R. De Silva, said that he opposed the use of non-summary proceedings in magistrate's courts for cases of serious crimes, such as murder, attempted murder, and rape. He argued that the cases […]

China: Anti-Narcotics Law Adopted

(Jan. 2, 2008) On December 29, 2007, the National People's Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) adopted China's first anti-drug law, 71 articles long; it abrogates a December 28, 1990, NPCSC 16-article decision on the subject. The new law will be in force as of June 1, 2008. Narcotics are defined under the law as opium, marijuana, […]

Australia: Inquest Rules Murder in Balibo Five Case

(Dec. 2, 2007) International media have reported a Sydney coroner court finding that the five Australian-based journalists known as the Balibo Five (two Australians, two Britons, and a New Zealander) were murdered in East Timor by Indonesian troops, to prevent the disclosure of the invasion of East Timor. The court found that the journalists were […]

Ghana: Two Men Charged with Sodomy

(Dec. 2, 2007) The INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE reported that a British journalist and a 19-year old Ghanaian have been charged with sodomy after police found photos of the two men having sex. The British journalist is also charged with possession of obscene pictures. While both men pleaded guilty to "unnatural carnal knowledge," the journalist pleaded […]