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European Union: European Court of Justice Rules on Religious Employment Discrimination

(Oct. 3, 2018) On September 11, 2018, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) held that dismissing a Catholic employee in a managerial position at a Catholic hospital for remarrying in a civil ceremony could constitute discrimination. According to the Court, religion or belief must be a genuine, legitimate, and justified occupational requirement in light of […]

United Kingdom: Supreme Court Rules on Heterosexual Civil Partnerships

(Sept. 14, 2018) On June 27, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom issued a declaration that “sections 1 and 3 of [the Civil Partnership Act 2004, (CPA)], to the extent that they preclude a different sex couple from entering into a civil partnership, are incompatible with article 14 of [the European Convention for […]

Burundi: School Pregnancy Ban Reversed

(Aug. 30, 2018) On July 27, 2018, Burundi’s education ministry reversed a month-old school pregnancy ban, which had prevented pregnant teens and young mothers, as well as the boys who made them pregnant, from being part of the formal education system. (Nita Bhalla, Burundi Reversing School Pregnancy Ban Not Enough to Protect Girls: Campaigners, REUTERS […]

Brazil: National Supervisory of Justice Authorizes Transgender Persons to Change Name and Gender at Civil Registries Without Judicial Approval

(July 11, 2018) On June 28, 2018, the National Supervisory of Justice (Corregedoria Nacional de Justiça) issued Administrative Act No. 73 (Provimento CNJ No. 73, de 28 de Junho de 2018, National Supervisory of Justice website), which provides in article 1 for registering the change of name and gender in the birth and marriage records […]

Portugal: Change of Gender in the Civil Register for Certain Minors Vetoed by the President

(May 31, 2018) On May 9, 2018, the president of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, vetoed a decree that had been approved by the Portuguese Parliament allowing a change of gender to be entered in the civil register for minors aged 16 to 18. (Decreto No. 203/XIII; Marieta Cazarré, Portugal Veta Mudança de Gênero no […]

Malaysia: National Human Rights Action Plan Launched

(Apr. 16, 2018) On March 1, 2018, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak, officially launched the National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP). (Press Release, Office of the Prime Minister, Action Plan Malaysia’s Commitment on Human Rights – PM (Mar. 1, 2018).) The development of the NHRAP was approved by the Cabinet in 2012 and was subsequently […]

New Zealand: Legislation Enabling Wiping of Historical Homosexual Convictions Enacted

(Apr. 11, 2018) On April 3, 2018, the New Zealand Parliament passed the Criminal Records (Expungement of Convictions for Historical Homosexual Offences) Bill, and it was signed into law on April 9. (Criminal Records (Expungement of Convictions for Historical Homosexual Offences) Bill, NEW ZEALAND PARLIAMENT (last visited Apr. 11, 2018); Criminal Records (Expungement of Convictions […]

Switzerland: Abolition of Marriage Tax Penalty Proposed

(Apr. 5, 2018) On March 21, 2018, the Swiss Federal Council (the Swiss government) adopted a legislative proposal to abolish the “marriage tax penalty” (marriage penalty). The proposal is designed to resolve the decades-long controversy surrounding the issue. (Swiss Federal Council, Botschaft zur Änderung des Bundesgesetzes über die direkte Bundessteuer (Ausgewogene Paar- und Familienbesteuerung) [Message […]

Saudi Arabia: Riyadh High Court Waives Requirement for Women to Fully Cover Their Faces in Courthouse

(Feb. 8, 2018) For the first time in its history, the High Court of Riyadh is no longer requiring women to fully cover their faces when they visit the Riyadh courthouse. (Fatimah Al-Dabees, Riyadh Court Waives Condition of Covering the Face and Is Satisfied with Hijab, OKAZ (Dec. 25, 2017) (in Arabic).) The Chief Justice […]

Egypt: Parliament Discusses New Bills Criminalizing Atheism and Homosexuality

(Jan. 26, 2018) On December 24, 2017, the Committee on Religion of Egypt’s Council of Representatives discussed a bill that would make atheism a crime punishable under the Egyptian Penal Code. (Egyptian Parliament Discusses Plans to Criminalise Atheism, EGYPTIAN STREETS (Dec. 24, 2017).) Previously on November 9, 2017, an Egyptian lawmaker proposed a bill criminalizing […]