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Italy: Legislation Implementing the EU Criminal Mutual Assistance Convention

(Aug. 26, 2016) On August 5, 2016, new legislation ratifying and implementing the European Union Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, in particular concerning extradition, entered into effect in Italy. (Law No. 149 of July 21, 2016, Ratifying and Implementing the Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Between Member States of the European […]

South Africa: Constitutional Court Confirms Right of a Child not to be Detained Except as a Measure of Last Resort

(Aug. 26, 2016) On August 11, 2016, South Africa’s Constitutional Court found unconstitutional the arrest and detention of a 15-year-old child by the police and upheld her claim for damages for wrongful arrest and detention against the Minister of Safety and Security.  (The Right of a Child Not to Be Detained Prevails, BUSINESS DAY LIVE […]

Argentina: Expansion of Plea Bargain in Corruption Cases

(Aug. 15, 2016) On June 23, 2016, the Cámara de Diputados (Argentina’s Lower House of Congress) approved the draft Ley del Arrepentido (Law of the Repentant) that would expand plea bargaining in corruption cases, allowing prosecutors to offer criminal suspects the opportunity to bargain for a shorter sentence in exchange for an admission of wrongdoing and […]

Italy: Right to Interpretation and Translation in Criminal Proceedings

(July 29, 2016) On July 29, 2016, new legislation on the right to interpretation and translation services in criminal proceedings entered into effect in Italy. (Legislative Decree No. 129 of June 23, 2016, Implementing EU Directive 2010/64/UE on the Right to Interpretation and Translation in Criminal Procedures, GAZETTA UFFICIALE, No. 163 (July 14, 2016), NORMATTIVA […]

France/European Court of Human Rights: Intercepted Conversation with Client Admissible Against Attorney

(July 13, 2016) On June 16, 2016, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) issued a judgment validating the interception, transcription, and use by the French government of a wiretapped conversation between an attorney and her client. (Affaire Versini-Campinchi et Crasnianski c. France (Judgment), Application No. 49176/11 (June 16, 2016) (Judgment), HUDOC.) Background This case […]

Netherlands: Crime Victims’ Rights Enhanced

(May 3, 2016) On April 26, 2016, the Dutch Senate (Eerste Kamer) adopted a legislative proposal put forward by the Minister of Security and Justice that gives victims of serious crimes the right to be heard in the courtroom and to express, “for example, [what they] think about the guilt of a suspect and what […]

Brazil: Federal Supreme Court Changes Its Understanding of Enforcement of Sentences

(Mar. 11, 2016) On February 17, 2016, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal Federal) ruled that requiring a defendant to start serving a sentence after an intermediate appellate court’s confirmation of a criminal conviction does not offend the constitutional principle of the defendant’s presumption of innocence. Minister Teori Zavascki, who wrote the opinion, held that an intermediate appellate […]

ECHR, Russian Federation: Breaches of Human Rights in Surveillance Legislation

(Mar. 2, 2016) The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), in a decision issued on December 4, 2015, in the case of Roman Zakharov v. Russia, ruled on the legality of Russia’s regulations on administering the System for Ensuring Investigative Activities (SORM legislation) under article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights […]

Israel: Expansion of Police Body Search Powers

(Feb. 11, 2016) On February 2, 2016, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) passed legislation expanding the powers of police to conduct body searches. (Authorities for Protecting Public Safety (Amendment No. 5 and Temporary Provision) Law, 5776-2016 (Amendment Law), Knesset website (in Hebrew) (click on appropriate link to view); Authorities for Protecting Public Safety Law 5765-2005 (Authorities Law), SEFER […]

Turkey: Constitutional Court Rulings on “Reasonable Suspicion” in Criminal Procedure Code and on 2014 Changes to Internet Law

(Dec. 30, 2015) The Constitutional Court of Turkey issued two key decisions in December 2015, on amending provisions of a “package” law adopted in December 2014 and on amendments to Turkey’s Internet Law that had been introduced in February 2014.  (Top Court Rejects Appeal Against ‘Reasonable Suspicion’ Clause in Security Law, TODAY’S ZAMAN (Dec. 23, […]