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Germany: Federal Constitutional Court Declares Child Care Allowance Act Unconstitutional

(July 27, 2015) On July 21, 2015, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) ruled that the Deutscher Bundestag (German Parliament) lacked the legislative power to enact provisions on the care allowance (Betreuungsgeld), which provides money to stay-at-home parents. (BVerfG, 1 BvF 2/13, July 21, 2015 (in German).) The provisions of the Federal Act on […]

China: New Measures on Foster Families

(Dec. 12, 2014) On September 24, 2014, China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs promulgated new measures on foster care, which took effect on December 1, 2014. They replace temporary measures that have been applied since 2004. (Jiating jiyang guanli banfa [Measures for the Management of Family Fosterage] (adopted on Sept. 14, 2014), Ministry of Civil Affairs […]

Japan: Support for Raising Children of the Next Generation

(June 24, 2014) Because of the country’s low birthrate and problems arising from a shrinking population, since 1994 the Government of Japan has implemented measures to boost the birthrate. One set of measures is aimed at supporting child rearing. (Kuni no torikumi [Government Actions], Cabinet Office website (last visited June 24, 2014).) In 2003, the […]

Australia: High Court Strikes Down Territory’s Same-Sex Marriage Law

(Dec. 19, 2013) On December 12, 2013, the High Court of Australia (Australia’s highest court) ruled that a law granting same-sex couples the ability to marry in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is invalid because it is inconsistent with the federal Marriage Act 1961. (The Commonwealth of Australia v. The Australian Capital Territory [2013] HCA […]

Netherlands: Children

(June 20, 2013) According to a recent report issued by the Children’s Ombudsman of the Netherlands, Marc Dullaert, the Netherlands is in violation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child because of its restrictive policy on family reunions. The report noted as evidence of the Dutch “get-tough” approach that in 2008, […]

New Zealand: Same-Sex Marriage Bill Passed

(Apr. 18, 2013) On April 17, 2013, the New Zealand Parliament passed the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill by a margin of 77-44. (Isaac Davison et al., Same-Sex Marriage Law Passed, THE <?NEW ZEALAND HERALD (Apr. 17, 2013).) The bill amends the Marriage Act 1955 to add a definition of “marriage” that states that […]

Australia: Australian Parliament Votes Down Two Marriage Equality Bills

(Sept. 26, 2012) On September 20, 2012, the Australian Senate (the upper house of the federal parliament) voted 41-26 against the Marriage Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2012. (Marriage Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2012; Marriage Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2012, Parliament of Australia website (last visited Sept. 24, 2012).) This action followed a vote taken on […]

New Zealand: Same-Sex Marriage Bill Passes First Vote

(Aug. 30, 2012) On August 29, 2012, the New Zealand Parliament voted on the First Reading of a bill that seeks to make provision for same-sex marriage in the country. (John Hartevelt, Bill Passes First Reading, STUFF.CO.NZ (Aug. 29, 2012).) The 80-40 vote in favor of the bill means that it will now be referred […]

Ireland: EU Divorce Plan Rejected

(July 7, 2010) Ireland has declined to take part in a European Union plan for enhanced cooperation in divorce cases. The proposed scheme has been agreed upon by 14 Member States implementing, for the first time, rules contained in the Lisbon Treaty allowing core countries to proceed in an initiative without all Member States taking […]

Chile: New Law Creates the Inter-Agency Social Protection System

(Sept. 25, 2009) Chile has adopted a new law that creates the Inter-Agency Social Protection System (IASPS) and recognizes the existence of the Integral Infants’ Protection Sub-System (IFPSS), “Chile Grows with You.” Law No. 20,379, which was promulgated on September 1, 2009, and entered into force on September 12, 2009, defines the IASPS as a […]