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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 […]

Pakistan: Federally Administered Tribal Areas to Be Merged with the Province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

(Mar. 16, 2017) On March 2, 2017, the Federal Cabinet of Pakistan approved recommendations of a reforms committee to “bring the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) in the mainstream” by merging the tribal region with the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.  (Federal Cabinet Approves Recommendations to ‘Mainstream’ Fata, DAWN.COM (Mar. 2, 2017).)  FATA is a constitutionally […]

South Africa: Notice of Withdrawal from the Rome Statute Revoked

(Mar. 10, 2017) On March 7, 2017, the South African government revoked the notice of withdrawal from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (the Rome Statute) that it had  submitted to the United Nations Secretary-General on October 19, 2016.  (South Africa: Withdrawal of Notification of Withdrawal, C.N.121.2017.TREATIES-XVIII.10 (Depositary Notification) (Mar. 7, 2017), United […]

Iran: Charter on Citizens’ Rights Signed

(Feb. 28, 2017) With the aim of “recovering and promoting citizens’ rights,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, under his constitutional authority to “determine the program and policies of the government,” signed the Charter on Citizens’ Rights in a ceremony on December 19, 2016.  (Rouhani Unveils Charter on Civil Rights; Vagueness Regarding “Enforcement Guarantee,” VOA (Dec. 19, […]

Turkey: Parliamentary Commission Approves Amendments to Constitution that Would Enhance President’s Powers

(Jan. 9, 2017) On December 30, 2016, the Commission on the Constitution in Turkey’s Grand National Assembly (GNA, the parliament) approved several draft amendments to the country’s Constitution that would, among other measures, augment the powers of the president and change the government to a presidential system from the current prime minister-led system. Of an […]

South Korea: President May Be Impeached

(Dec. 2, 2016) An impeachment motion against South Korean President Park Geun-hye has now been delayed and it is not certain whether it will be brought against her in, and passed by, the National Assembly. (Yoon-seung Kang, Impeachment Motion Delayed as Oppositions Fail to Narrow Gap, YONHAP NEWS (Dec. 1, 2016); for background on the […]