Library of Congress

Law Library of Congress

The Library of Congress > Law Library > News & Events > Global Legal Monitor

Indonesia: Constitutional Court Opens Way to Recognition of Native Faiths

(Nov. 17, 2017) On November 7, 2017, Indonesia’s Constitutional Court (Mahkamah Konstitusi Republik Indonesia) issued a decision that will allow Indonesians who follow native faiths to list their religions on official forms.  According to Justice Arief Hidayat, several articles in the Law on Population Administration are discriminatory and “contradict the 1945 Constitution and these articles […]

Brazil: Federal Supreme Court Authorizes Religious Education in Public Schools

(Oct. 6, 2017) On September 27, 2017, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal Federal, STF) dismissed, by a majority vote (6 to 5), a Direct Action of Unconstitutionality (Ação Direta de Incosntitucionalidade, ADI)  in which the Public Prosecutor’s Office (Procuradoria-Geral da República, PGR) questioned the model of religious education in the country’s public school […]

Belgium/European Court of Human Rights: Ban on Full-Face Veil in Public Does Not Violate European Convention on Human Rights

(Aug. 30, 2017) On July 11, 2017, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) unanimously ruled that Belgium’s ban on wearing an Islamic full-face veil in public does not violate the European Convention on Human Rights. (Affaire Belcacemi et Oussar c. Belgique [Case of Belcacemi and Oussar v. Belgium], Judgment (July 11 2017), Application No. […]

Denmark: List of Religious Extremists Banned from Denmark Published

(June 21, 2017) On June 15, 2017, Denmark edited its “National Sanction List” of religious preachers who are prohibited from entering Denmark.  The original list, created on May 2, 2017, by the Danish Immigration Service, bans extreme religious advocates from entering Denmark.  The list is instituted by virtue of an amendment to the Aliens Act […]

Samoa: Constitutional Amendment Makes Christianity the National Religion

(June 14, 2017) The Samoan Parliament reportedly unanimously passed the Constitution Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2016 (the Bill) during the week of May 29, 2017, and it is now awaiting assent from the Head of State. (Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu, Freedom of Religion Not Threatened: A.G., SAMOA OBSERVER (June 9, 2017); Parliament of Samoa, Daily Progress in the Maota 3 (May […]

Italy: Weapons Violation Case Raises Religious Freedom and Assimilation Issues

(June 13, 2017) On March 31, 2017, the Supreme Court of Italy (Corte di Cassazione), in affirming a lower court conviction of an immigrant charged with a weapons violation he carried for religious reasons, issued a decision declaring that immigrants who have chosen to live in the Western world have the “obligation to conform themselves […]

Turkey: Court Rules that Child Can Be Exempted from Compulsory Religious Classes

(Mar. 30, 2017) It was reported on March 15, 2017, that a court in Turkey’s southern province of Antalya had issued a decision stating that “compulsory religion classes are ‘openly against the law.’” The ruling was in response to a complaint filed by an atheist family seeking to have their child, “E.D.,” exempted from compulsory […]

Germany: Parliament Debates Burqa and Niqab Ban for Civil Servants and Soldiers

(Mar. 22, 2017) On March 9, 2017, the German Bundestag (parliament) debated a draft act that would prohibit federal civil servants performing official duties and soldiers in general from wearing full body and face veils (burqas) and face veils (niqab).  Exceptions would be allowed for medical reasons (protection against infections) or for official purposes.  The […]

Switzerland: Upper House of Parliament Rejects Burqa and Niqab Ban

(Mar. 15, 2017) On March 9, 2017, the Swiss Council of States (upper house of Parliament) rejected by a vote of 26 to 9, with 4 abstentions, a parliamentary initiative to ban the full body and face veil (burqa) and the face veil (niqab) and amend the Swiss Constitution accordingly.  The Council of States is […]

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, […]