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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 […]

Israel: Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to Constitutionality of FATCA’s Implementation

(Jan. 25, 2018) On January 2, 2018, Israel’s Supreme Court, sitting as a High Court of Justice, issued its reasoning for its decision of September 12, 2016, rejecting a petition challenging the constitutionality of the Income Tax Ordinance (Amendment No. 227) Law, 5776-2016 (Amendment Law). The main decision was rendered by Justice Hanan Melcer, with […]

Netherlands: Human Rights Institute Rules Police Administrative Staffer Can Wear Hijab with Uniform

(Dec. 1, 2017) On November 20, 2017, the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights (College voor de rechten van de mens), an independent supervisory body established in 2002 that took over the tasks of the Dutch Equal Rights Commission, issued a non-binding ruling to the effect that the Dutch police were wrong to prohibit a Muslim […]

Germany: Personal Status Act Must Allow Third Gender Option for Intersex People

(Nov. 20, 2017) In a decision published on November 8, 2017, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) held that the Personal Status Act is incompatible with the German Basic Law, the country’s constitution, to the extent that it only allows the registration of a female or male gender at birth or no gender entry […]