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France: Administrative Courts Issue Differing Decisions on Legality of Publicly-Financed Nativity Scenes

(Nov. 16, 2017) On October 5 and 6, 2017, two French administrative courts reached different conclusions in separate cases concerning the legality of government-sponsored Christmas nativity scenes. On October 5, 2017, the Tribunal administratif (Administrative Court) of Lyon ruled that a decision by the President of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region to install a nativity scene on the […]

China/Hong Kong/Macau: Penalization of Disrespect for National Anthem Under Tenth Criminal Code Amendment

(Nov. 8, 2017) On November 4, 2017, that the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) adopted an amendment to the country’s Criminal Code to include criminal sanctions, including up to three years of imprisonment, for disrespecting the national anthem. (Amendment (10) to the Criminal Code of […]

Israel: Commemoration of Allies’ Victory over Nazi Germany

(Oct. 6, 2017) On July 26, 2017, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) passed the Law on the Day of the Victory over Nazi Germany, 5777-2017 (SEFER HAHUKIM [BOOK OF LAWS, official gazette, SH] 5777 No. 2659 p. 1147, available at KNESSET NATIONAL LEGISLATION DATABASE (in Hebrew).  The Law designates May 9, or the Sunday after that […]

Israel: Parliament Establishes New Department for Government Oversight

(Sept. 19, 2017) A special parliamentary unit for oversight of governmental actions was recently established in the Knesset (Israel’s parliament). The Knesset Unit for Parliamentary Oversight (KATEF, based on the Hebrew acronym, which also means “shoulder(s)” in Hebrew).  (Press Release, The Knesset Establishes a Unit for Coordination and Oversight of the Government (Sept. 30, 2017), Knesset […]

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 […]

Indonesia: Plan to Issue Regulation Requiring Local Sourcing of Materials

(Aug. 29, 2017) Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo (also called Jokowi) has announced plans to issue a new regulation requiring the use of local materials in all products made in Indonesia. According to Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, who spoke on August 1, 2017, the regulation has been drafted and will be issued “within […]

France: Final Extension of State of Emergency

(Aug. 24, 2017) On July 6, 2017, the French Parliament adopted, in a 137-13 vote of the General Assembly, an extension of the current “state of emergency” for the sixth time since November 2015. This extension entered into force on July 15 and is set to expire on November 1, 2017. (Le Parlement vote la […]

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 […]

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 […]