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Japan: New Law to Expand Legal Aid for Earthquake Victims

(May 7, 2012) After the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, many people in the Tohoku region of Japan have faced various legal problems, such as the right to succession from quake victims, to obtain special relief from housing loans for destroyed houses, and to seek damages stemming from the nuclear disaster. A new law has […]

Netherlands: Proposed Tightening of Supervision over Legal Profession

(Mar. 26, 2012) The Cabinet of the Dutch government has put forward a legislative proposal on the creation of an independent Supervisory Board to be the body ultimately responsible for lawyers' conduct. The Board will have three members, none of whom may be lawyers. The body will issue an annual report on its activities. (Press […]

Brazil: Federal Supreme Courts Rules on Bar Exam

(Nov. 3, 2011) On October 26, 2011, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court ruled that passage of the Brazilian Bar Association (Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil) exam is a necessary condition for the practice of law. The decision was unanimous and must be applied by all judges and tribunals in the country. The decision was made […]

Indonesia: Legal Aid Law Passed

(Oct. 7, 2011) On October 4, 2011, Indonesia's House of Representatives passed a new law on legal aid (Undang-undang tentang Bantuan Hukum [Law Concerning Legal Aid], House of Representatives website (last visited Oct. 7, 2011)). Under its provisions, legal counsel will be available to every defendant at each step in the legal process. Previously, the […]

Ethiopia: Government Institutions in Dispute over Right of Foreigners to Practice Law in Ethiopia

(Apr. 26, 2011) It was reported on April 23, 2011, that two Ethiopian government institutions are in disagreement over whether foreign attorneys of Ethiopian origin should be allowed to practice law in Ethiopia. (Eden Sahle, Should Diaspora Members Be Allowed to Practice Law?,11: 573 ADDIS FORTUNE (Apr. 24, 2011).) The Ministry of Justice (MOJ), the […]

Netherlands: Attorney-Client Privilege and Telephone Conversations

(Sept. 8, 2010) It was indicated in a letter from the Netherlands Minister of Justice to the Lower House of the Dutch Parliament, released on August 23, 2010, that as of 2011 confidential telephone conversations between lawyers and their clients who are suspected criminals and subjects of police wiretapping will be automatically destroyed. (Press Release, […]

China: Human Rights Lawyers Disbarred

(May 11, 2010) On May 7, 2010, the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Justice (BMBJ) revoked the licenses of two Chinese human rights lawyers, Liu Wei (f) and Tang Jitian (m), permanently disbarring them from practice. At a hearing held by the BMBJ in April 2010, the two lawyers were accused of having broken the law […]

Iraq; United Nations: Free Legal Aid for Detainees

(May 3, 2010) On April 28, 2010, a meeting was held in Amman, Jordan, to review the United Nations program to provide legal assistance to detainees in Iraq. Aid for their legal defense has been available through 20 centers, each with up to seven lawyers; the centers were established in September 2009 and cover 16 […]

China: Legal Profession Developing

(Feb. 18, 2010) The legal profession has grown in China in the last few years. According to Ministry of Justice statistics for 2009, there were more than 15,000 law firms, 166,000 lawyers, and 220,000 individuals working in the field. (China's Law Profession Advances as Nation Builds Rule-of-Law System, XINHUA, Feb. 16, 2010, available at […]

United States: Supreme Court Addresses Ineffective Assistance of Counsel in Death Penalty Case

(Dec. 17, 2009) The United States Supreme Court has overturned a convicted murderer's death sentence, ruling that his counsel's failure to investigate the defendant's background prior to the penalty phase of his trial fell below an objective standard of reasonableness, and that, had the judge and jury learned of the defendant's background, he might not […]