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Japan: Emperor Akihito Announces Intention to Abdicate

(July 14, 2016) It was reported on July 13, 2016, that Emperor Akihito of Japan intends to abdicate the throne in favor of his first son, Crown Prince Naruhito.  (Emperor Expressed His Intention to ‘Abdicate,’ NHK News Web (July 13, 2016) (in Japanese).)  As there is no provision on abdication in the Imperial House Act, […]

Thailand: Digital Ministry Established as Part of National Digital Economy Plan

(June 14, 2016) It was reported on June 3, 2016, that Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly, whose members have been appointed by the military government, unanimously approved legislation establishing a new Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES) in the country. (NLA Approves Establishment of Digital Ministry, BANGKOK POST (June 3, 2016).) This administrative change is […]

South Africa: Parliament to Debate Expropriation Bill

(Feb. 12, 2016) On February 2, 2016, the Portfolio Committee on Public Works in the South African Parliament adopted the Expropriation Bill, which seeks to repeal and replace the 1975 Expropriation Act and align “the process and procedure for expropriation of property by organs of state” with the current Constitution. (Public Works Committee Adopts Expropriation […]

European Union: The Netherlands in Charge of EU Presidency

(Jan. 29, 2016) On January 1, 2016, the Netherlands took over the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union and will be in charge of the Council agenda for the next six months. (The Netherlands and the EU Presidency, Netherlands EU Presidency 2016 website (last visited Jan. 29, 2016).)  The 2009 Lisbon EU […]

Russian Federation: New Law Allows Seizure of Foreign Governments’ Property

(Dec. 2, 2015) On November 3, 2015, President Vladimir Putin signed the Law on Jurisdictional Immunity of a Foreign State and a Foreign State’s Property in the Russian Federation (Federal Law No. 297-FZ (Nov. 3, 2015), PRAVO.GOV official government portal) (in Russian).) The law is scheduled to enter into force on January 1, 2016. (Id. […]

Armenia: Constitutional Amendments to Be Put to a Referendum

(Oct. 29, 2015) On October 8, 2015, the President of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan, signed a decree setting December 6, 2015, as the referendum day for constitutional amendments. (Decree of the President of Armenia No. 754 on Announcement of the Constitutional Amendments Referendum, PASHTONAKAN TEGHEKAGIR [Official Gazette], No. 67 (Oct. 9, 2015) (in Armenian).) The decree had […]

Russia: Receipt of Sick Leave Benefits Will Depend on Healthy Life Style

(June 1, 2015) On May 27, 2015, it was reported that Russian legislators had discussed the possibility of providing sick leave benefits only for those Russians who maintain healthy lifestyles and participate in government-sponsored health maintenance programs. The Vice Chairman of the Health Care Committee of the State Duma (the lower house of the national […]

Russia: Security Clearance Restrictions on Employees with Relatives Abroad

(Mar. 6, 2015) On January 15, 2015, the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation upheld the constitutionality of the Federal Law on State Secrecy and confirmed the legality of the current government practice of cancelling the security clearances of and restricting access to information that contains state secrets by those government employees whose family members […]

Nepal: Two Commissions on War Crimes Established

(Feb. 25, 2015) On February 10, 2015, the government of Nepal established two commissions to investigate allegations of war crimes and disappearances associated with the country’s ten-year civil war, which lasted from 1996 to 2006. (Alexandra Farone, Nepal Forms Commissions to Probe War Crimes, PAPER CHASE (Feb. 10 2015); Nepal: Conflict Profile, INSIGHT ON CONFLICT […]