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Israel: State Not Authorized to Block Release of Terrorists’ Bodies to Families

(Dec. 28, 2017) On December 14, 2017, Israel’s Supreme Court, sitting as a High Court of Justice, by a two-to-one majority accepted petitions against the State’s holding the bodies of perpetrators of terrorist acts to enable future negotiations on the release of Israeli prisoners and bodies held by terrorist organizations. (HCJ 4466/16 Alian v. IDF […]

Burundi: Constitutional Referendum Planned

(Dec. 20, 2017) On December 12, 2017, Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza began promoting a campaign for a referendum on amending the country’s Constitution, to be held in early 2018. (AFP, Burundi President Launches Campaign to Extend Rule, GUARDIAN (Nigeria) (Dec. 13, 2017).) At the official launch of the amendment campaign, he stated that his purpose […]

Turkey: More Emergency Decrees Issued

(Sept. 8, 2017) On August 25, 2017, the Turkish government issued two new emergency decrees, numbers 693 and 694. Decree Law 693 continues the pattern in earlier decrees of providing for the dismissal of public servants and the closure of institutions and organizations deemed to be a threat to national security or affiliated with terrorist […]

Egypt: Calls for New Constitutional Amendments

(Aug. 29, 2017) On August 16, 2017, members of Egypt’s Council of Representatives (the parliament) suggested revisions to a number of articles of the 2014 Constitution, including articles 103, 140, 146, and 190.)  (Slah Issah, The Three Dimensions of Constitution Amendments, AL-MASRY AL-YOUM (Aug. 11, 2017) (in Arabic); Egypt’s Constitution of 2014, CONSTITUTE PROJECT.) The […]

Mauritania: Senate Abolished in Referendum

(Aug. 22, 2017) On August 5, 2017, Mauritania held a referendum in which the country voted to change to its government structure, abolishing the Senate. (Gwenyth Gamble Jarvi, Mauritania Votes in Referendum to Abolish Senate, PAPER CHASE (Aug. 7, 2017).) Previously there was a bicameral legislature that consisted of the Senate (Majlis al-Shuyukh) and the National […]

Zimbabwe: Constitutional Amendment Bill Gives President Unilateral Power to Appoint Top Judges

(Aug. 22, 2017) On July 25, 2017, the 270-member National Assembly, the lower house of Zimbabwe’s bicameral Parliament, passed a bill that among other measures seeks to amend the Constitution to accord the President unfettered power to unilaterally fill the highest judicial positions in the country: those of Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice, and Judge President of the High Court.  (Amendment Bill […]

India: Supreme Court Upholds Mandatory Use of Biometric Identification for Filing Taxes and Tax Account Applications

(July 21, 2017) India’s Supreme Court, on June 9, 2017, upheld the constitutional validity of section 139AA of the Income Tax Act, 1961, which made the Act’s biometric-based identification project, Aadhaar, mandatory for filing income tax returns and applying for Permanent Account Numbers (PANs). (Binoy Viswam v. Union of India & Ors., (2017), Supreme Court […]

Israel: Court Decision Protects Political Advertising

(July 19, 2017) On June 26, 2017, Israel’s Supreme Court unanimously rejected an appeal against a decision by the Court for Administrative Matters (CAM) to void a decision by the Givat Shmuel Municipality to remove politically oriented outdoor billboard advertisements in areas designated by the municipality for commercial advertising. The paid advertisements were intended “to […]

Iran: Law to Protect Wetlands

(July 10, 2017) In an effort to counteract the combined effects of climate change, water crises, and human activities that have turned Iran’s once-thriving wetlands into sources of dust and sand storms, the Iranian Parliament has passed the Law to Protect, Restore, and Manage the Country’s Wetlands (Wetlands Protection Law). (Law on Wetlands Protection Ready, […]

Egypt: Parliament Approves an Amendment to the Judicial Authority Law

(May 2, 2017) On April 26, 2017, the Council of Representatives, the Egyptian parliament, passed Law No. 13 of 2017 amending the Judicial Authority Law, Law No. 46 of 1972.  (Law No. 13 of 2017, 17 AL JARIDDAH AL-RASMYIAH [OFFICIAL GAZETTE] (Annex) (Apr. 27, 2017) (in Arabic); Law 46 of 1972, 40 AL JARIDDAH AL-RASMYIAH […]