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Bangladesh: High Court Orders Property of Collapsed Building Owner Confiscated

(May 14, 2013) On April 24, 2013, a multi-story building collapsed in Bangladesh, killing over 1,000 people. Five garment factories were operating inside the building, and more than 3,000 people were believed to be working in it when it collapsed. (Julfikar Ali Manik & Jim Yardley, 17 Days in Darkness, a Cry of ‘Save Me,’ […]

Japan: Law to Support Nuclear Disaster Victims’ Daily Lives

(Oct. 1, 2012) A year after the Fukushima nuclear power plant was hit by a tsunami that was caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011, Japan’s legislature enactedthe Act on Special Measures for Fukushima Reconstruction and Revitalization(Act No. 25 of 2012, Mar. 30, 2012). The Act obligates the government to implement measures […]

Italy: Government Measures in Response to Earthquakes

(June 4, 2012) On May 29, 2012, northern Italy suffered its second earthquake in a little over a week; in all, the disasters caused the deaths of about 24 people. (Death Toll from Italy Earthquake Rises, CNN (May 30, 2012).) On May 30, the Italian Council of Ministers proclaimed June 4 to be a national […]

Taiwan: Proposed Amendments to Acts on Nuclear Damage

(May 7, 2012) On April 19, 2012, the Education and Culture Committee of Taiwan's legislature gave initial approval to amendments to the Nuclear Damage Compensation Act and the Nuclear Accident Emergency Response Act, which, if adopted, would increase the statute of limitations under which victims of a nuclear disaster may seek compensation and widen the […]

Japan: Legal Responses to Disaster Waste Management Issues

(Mar. 23, 2012) There has been some controversy in Japan connected with the plans for handling the large quantity of waste generated by last year's earthquake and tsunami. Background The Great East Japan Earthquake and ensuing tsunami of March 11, 2011, killed more than 15,800 people and destroyed cities and villages along the eastern coastline […]

European Union: Revision of Civil Protection Mechanism

(Feb. 24, 2012) On December 20, 2011, the European Commission came up with a proposal to reform the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism (CPM), established in 2001, “from the current ad-hoc co-ordination to a pre-planned and predictable system,” in order to provide a more efficient and well organized response in cases of emergency. (Press Release, […]

Japan: Law on Making Local Areas Resistant to Tsunamis

(Feb. 13, 2012) When a major tsunami hit the country's east coast in March 2011, Japan had various laws concerning earthquakes, but there was no law that mainly addressed tsunami countermeasures. The largest non-ruling coalition (comprised of the Liberal Democratic Party and the Komei party) had submitted a bill for a Law Concerning Promotion of […]

Italy: Earthquake Trial

(Sept. 29, 2011) On September 20, 2011, the trial of six Italian scientists and a former government official on charges of manslaughter for the 2009 earthquake in L'Aquila began. The 6.3 magnitude quake killed 309 people on April 6 two years ago and devastated the city and several other villages in the region of Abruzzo. […]

Australia: Flood Levy Legislation Passed to Fund Reconstruction Package

(Apr. 7, 2011) On March 22, 2011, the Australian Parliament passed the Tax Laws Amendment (Temporary Flood and Cyclone Reconstruction Levy) Bill 2011 and the Income Tax Rates Amendment (Temporary Flood and Cyclone Reconstruction Levy) Bill 2011. These laws provide for the introduction of a levy that is intended to enable the federal government to […]

European Union: Response to Catastrophic Events in Japan

(Mar. 31, 2011) In the aftermath of the earthquake that hit Japan on March 11, 2011, the European Union set in motion a number of measures in an effort to assist the Japanese government to deal with the unfolding crisis. Following a request for assistance on March 15, 2011, by Japan, a number of EU […]