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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 […]

Sweden: Court Rules Accommodating Deaf Professor Would Place Disproportional Burden on State Employer

(Nov. 3, 2017) On October 11, 2017, the Swedish Arbetsdomstol (Labor Court) held that a deaf man could be denied a position as lector at a university, even though he was the best qualified applicant, because the cost of translating his lectures from sign language would be too great. (Labor Court, Decision No. 51/17, Case […]

Japan: Judges Cannot Engage in Apartment-Leasing Business

(Nov. 2, 2017) Japanese judges cannot engage in for-profit businesses. They may engage in not-for-profit businesses and receive remuneration if they obtain permission from the Supreme Court.  (Court Act, Act No. 59 of 1947, art. 52, Japanese Law Translation website.)  There are similar regulations for civil servants.  (National Public Service Act, Act No. 120 of […]

Germany: New Law Allows Broadcasting and Recording of Court Proceedings

(Oct. 24, 2017) On June 22, 2017, and September 22, 2017, respectively, the German Bundestag (parliament) and the German Bundesrat (representing the states) passed an amendment to the German Courts Constitution Act that allows live audio broadcasting of court proceedings in a separate media room for trials of interest, broadcasting of the judgment and sentencing for […]

Thailand: New Law Impacts Former Prime Minister’s Appeal Against Conviction

(Oct. 24, 2017) After a trial lasting more than two years, a Bangkok court found the former Prime Minister of Thailand, Yingluck Shinawatra, guilty of dereliction of duty and handed down a five-year prison term on September 27, 2017. The Court found that the Yingluck administration’s rice pledging deals were not managed properly and caused […]

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 […]

Laos: Draft Resolution on Administrative Courts

(Sept. 11, 2017) It was reported on July 19, 2017, that discussions had been held in Laos on the draft National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee Resolution on Administrative Case Procedure, and that the People’s Supreme Court and the Institute for Legal Support and Technical Assistance (ILSTA) had convened some 30 senior legal experts from all […]

International Criminal Court/Mali: Reparations Order Issued for Timbuktu Damage

(Aug. 29, 2017) On August 17, 2017, Trial Chamber VIII of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a Reparations Order in the case of The Prosecutor v. Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi. (Jaclyn Belczyk, ICC Orders Reparations for Destruction of Timbuktu Shrines, PAPER CHASE (Aug. 17, 2017); Situation in the Republic of Mali in the […]

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 […]