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Canada: Higher Standards Set for Workplace Diversity

(Sept. 19, 2019) Effective January 1, 2020, all publicly traded companies regulated by the Canada Business Corporations Act (CBCA) must provide shareholders with details regarding the companies’ corporate policies on diversity among the board of directors and among senior management. In accordance with the passing of Bill C-25, An Act to Amend the Canada Business […]

Saudi Arabia: Law on Passports Amended to Allow Women to Travel Abroad Without a Male Guardian

(Aug. 23, 2019) On July 30, 2019, the king of Saudi Arabia issued Royal Decree M/134, amending Royal Decree M/24 of August 28, 2000, on Passports to allow Saudi women to travel abroad without a male guardian. The amendment also grants permission to Saudi women to obtain a passport without the approval of a male […]

New Zealand: Major Changes to Funded Family Care Policy Announced

(Aug. 13, 2019) On July 7, 2019, the New Zealand government announced several changes to the existing system for paying people who provide health and/or disability services to family members, known as the Funded Family Care policy. The current funding arrangements for Funded Family Care are contained in the Funded Family Care Notice 2013, which […]

Canada: New Bill Prohibits Religious Symbols for Public-Sector Workers in Quebec

(Aug. 6, 2019) On June 16, 2019, Quebec’s National Assembly, in a 75–35 vote, passed Bill No. 21, which prohibits the display of religious symbols by public-sector workers in the work place. The controversial Bill was the government’s fourth attempt in the past decade to introduce religious neutrality to the province. (Bill No. 21, An […]

Japan: New Ainu Law Becomes Effective

(Aug. 5, 2019) A new act that legally recognizes the Ainu as the indigenous people of Japan was promulgated on April 26, 2019, and became effective on May 24, 2019. (Act on Promoting Measures to Realize a Society in Which the Pride of the Ainu People Is Respected, Act No. 16 of 2019 (Ainu Promotion […]

European Union: European Court of Justice Rules on German Highway Toll for Passenger Vehicles

(July 11, 2019) On June 18, 2019, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) held that the German highway toll for passenger vehicles is incompatible with European Union (EU) law, in particular with the principles of the free movement of goods and the freedom to provide services. It stated that the toll in combination with the […]

Russia: President Signs Law Allowing Adoption of Children by People with Particular Diseases

(June 26, 2019) On May 29, 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a bill that allows courts to use discretion in approving adoption orders concerning children who already live with their prospective adoptive parents if one of the parents is suffering from certain diseases. (Federal Law No. 115 of May 29, 2019, on […]

Germany: De Facto Complete Exclusion of Stepchild Adoption for Unmarried Couples Held Unconstitutional

(May 15, 2019) In a decision published on May 2, 2019, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) held that the fact that an unmarried stepparent cannot adopt his or her partner’s child without terminating the child’s legal relationship to the latter, thereby de facto excluding stepchild adoption in such cases, violates the equal treatment […]

Syria: Women’s Rights in Light of New Amendments to Syrian Personal Status Law

(Apr. 8, 2019) On February 5, 2019, the People’s Assembly of Syria approved amendments to more than 60 articles of the Personal Status Law issued by Legislative Decree No. 59 of 1953. (President al-Assad Issues Law Amending Certain Articles of Personal Status Law Issued by Legislative Decree No. 59 of 1953 and Its Amendments, SYRIAN […]

Egypt: Grand Imam Issues Religious Opinion Calling Polygamy Oppression of Women

(Mar. 18, 2019) Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar (the main religious institution in the Sunni Muslim world), stated on March 2, 2019, that the Qur’anic teachings concerning polygamy have been misunderstood and distorted, with the result that polygamy has been used in a way that is unfair to women. El-Tayeb argued that […]