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Indonesia: Controversy over Haj Agency Proposal

(Oct. 7, 2016) Indonesia’s government currently oversees its citizens’ exercise of the haj, the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, something each observant Muslim aspires to accomplish once in a lifetime. Under the Law on Implementing Haj Worship of 2008, which replaced a law on the same topic of 1999, the Ministry of Religious Affairs provides […]

Italy: Legislation on the Audit of Government Accounts

(Aug. 18, 2016) On August 5, 2016, new legislation on the statutory audit of governmental accounts entered into effect in Italy. (Legislative Decree No. 135 of July 17, 2016, Implementing EU Directive 2014/56/EU that Amends Directive 2006/43/EC Concerning the Statutory Audit of Annual Accounts and Consolidated Accounts (L.D. No. 135), GAZETTA UFFICIALE, No. 169 (July […]

New Zealand: Security and Intelligence Bill Introduced

(Aug. 16, 2016) On August 15, 2016, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, John Key, introduced the New Zealand Intelligence and Security Bill 2016 in the Parliament.  (New Zealand Intelligence and Security Bill, NEW ZEALAND PARLIAMENT; New Zealand Intelligence and Security Bill, New Zealand Legislation website (both last visited Aug. 15, 2016).)  The Bill implements […]

Italy: Legislation Easing Certification of Business Startups

(Aug. 11, 2016) On July 28, 2016, new legislation on the “certification of initiation of business activities” entered into effect in Italy. (Legislative Decree No. 126 of June 30, 2016, Implementing Delegated Powers for the “Certified Reporting of Initiation of Business Activities” (SCIA) (L.D. No. 126), GAZETTA UFFICIALE, No. 162 (July 13, 2016), NORMATTIVA (in Italian).) […]

Italy: Legislation on Administrative Agency Coordination

(July 27, 2016) On July 3, 2016, new legislation entered into effect in Italy concerning an administrative coordinating mechanism known as a “conference of services” (conferenza di servizi), intended to simplify and expedite the procedures of such conferences.  (Legislative Decree No. 127 of June 30, 2016, Provisions for the Reorganization Concerning the Services Conference, Implementing Article 2 of […]

Netherlands: Online Marriage Notification

(July 8, 2016) As of July 1, 2016, the Netherlands has instituted the option for spouses- and partners-to-be of digitally notifying the civil status registrar of their intention to marry or enter into a registered partnership.  The computerized notification is based on a decision of the Minister of Security and Justice to allow municipal authorities […]

Italy: Legislation to Combat Corruption and Promote Transparency

(July 6, 2016) On June 23, 2016, new legislation on the fight against corruption and the promotion of transparency entered into effect in Italy. (Legislative Decree No. 97 of March 25, 2016, Review and Simplification of Provisions on the Prevention of Corruption and Promotion of Transparency, Correcting Law No. 190 of November 6, 2012, and Legislative Decree No. […]

Sri Lanka: Right to Information Legislation Considered

(June 28, 2016) On June 24, 2016, the Right to Information Law, with amendments, passed its second reading in Sri Lanka’s Parliament, following a debate that began the day before. The draft legislation had been introduced in the legislature on March 24 by the Minister of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media, Gayantha Karunathileka. (Sri Lanka […]

Thailand: Digital Ministry Established as Part of National Digital Economy Plan

(June 14, 2016) It was reported on June 3, 2016, that Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly, whose members have been appointed by the military government, unanimously approved legislation establishing a new Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES) in the country. (NLA Approves Establishment of Digital Ministry, BANGKOK POST (June 3, 2016).) This administrative change is […]

Malaysia: Legislative Proposal to Use Hudud in Penal Code

(June 2, 2016) On May 26, 2016, draft legislation that would incorporate Islamic criminal law in the country’s Penal Code was proposed in Malaysia’s Parliament by Abdul Hadi Awang, the head of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, an opposition political group, with support from the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition. The legislation, due to be debated this […]