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Italy: New Law to Combat Organized Crime Takes Effect

(Jan. 3, 2018) On November 19, 2017, new legislation to combat criminal activities of the Mafia (organized crime) entered into force in Italy. (Law No. 161 of October 17, 2017, Amending the Code of Anti-Mafia Legislation and Protection Measures Under Legislative Decree No. 159 of September 6, 2011, the Penal Code, the Implementing, Coordinating, and […]

Georgia: Marijuana Use Decriminalized

(Dec. 13, 2017) On November 30, 2017, the Constitutional Court of Georgia decriminalized the personal use of marijuana and other cannabis-based products. The Court decision, while affirming the right to use marijuana, recognized its potential health risks and did not legalize the sale, distribution, or production of marijuana; those acts are still considered crimes.  Decriminalization […]

Italy: New Legislation on International Judicial Cooperation in Effect

(Dec. 6, 2017) On October 31, 2017, comprehensive new legislation on extradition and other forms of international judicial cooperation entered into effect in Italy. (Legislative Decree No. 149 of October 3, 2017, Provisions Amending Book XI of the Code of Criminal Procedure on Jurisdictional Relations with Foreign Authorities (L.D. No. 149), GAZZETTA UFFICIALE (Oct. 16, […]

Japan: Supreme Court Reverses View on Whether Obscene Intent Necessary for Crime of Forcible Indecency

(Dec. 5, 2017) On November 29, 2017, the Supreme Court of Japan reversed a nearly five-decade-old precedent, stating that no obscene intent is necessary for the crime of forcible indecency.  (Saiko Saibansho [Sup. Ct.] Nov. 29, 2017, Case No. 2016 (a) 1731, Courts in Japan website (in Japanese) (click on the two characters beside PDF […]

China/Hong Kong/Macau: Penalization of Disrespect for National Anthem Under Tenth Criminal Code Amendment

(Nov. 8, 2017) On November 4, 2017, that the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) adopted an amendment to the country’s Criminal Code to include criminal sanctions, including up to three years of imprisonment, for disrespecting the national anthem. (Amendment (10) to the Criminal Code of […]

Italy: New Law Making Torture a Crime

(Sept. 20, 2017) On July 18, 2017, new legislation creating the crime of torture entered into effect in Italy. (Law No. 110 of July 14, 2017, Introduction of the Crime of Torture in the Italian Legal System (Law No. 110), GAZZETTA UFFICIALE  (July 18, 2017) (in Italian).) To effect this change, the new legislation introduces articles […]

China: Judicial Interpretation on Infringement of Personal Information Released

(Sept. 1, 2017) In May 2017, China’s Supreme People’s Court (SPC) and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP, the prosecutor) released a judicial interpretation on infringement of personal information in criminal cases. Effective June 1, 2017, the interpretation defines the scope of personal information under the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and […]

Afghanistan: Cyber Crime Code Signed into Law

(Aug. 16, 2017) On June 20, 2017, Afghanistan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani signed into law the Cyber Crime Code, which forms part of the country’s new Penal Code. (Walasmashar Da Internete Jarmono Qanon Tawshih Karry [President Signed the Law of Cybercrimes], PAJHWAK Pashto (June 20, 2017).)  The Penal Code is being drafted by the Law Enforcement […]

Jordan: Repeal of Controversial Article in Penal Code

(Aug. 8, 2017) On August 1, 2017, the majority of members of the lower house (House of Representatives) of the Jordanian parliament voted to repeal article 308 of the Penal Code, which had allowed rapists to avoid a jail term if they married the victim. (Zena Tahhan, ‘Historic Day’ as Jordanian Parliament Repeals Rape Law, […]

Germany: Law on Insulting Foreign Leaders Abolished

(July 26, 2017) On July 17, 2017, an act that abolishes the criminal law provision that made it a crime to insult a foreign head of state, a member of a foreign government who is in Germany in his official capacity, or a head of a foreign diplomatic mission who is accredited in Germany was […]