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Israel: Supreme Court Removes Knesset Speaker and Orders Knesset to Schedule Election of a Permanent Speaker

(Mar. 27, 2020) In an unprecedented decision on March 25, 2020, at 8:00 p.m. Israel time, the Supreme Court, by an extended panel of five justices, revoked the powers of the outgoing speaker of the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) and ordered the Knesset to convene the Knesset plenum to elect a permanent speaker. The unanimous decision […]

Israel: Supreme Court Rules Coronavirus Pandemic Does Not Justify Delay in Electing Knesset Speaker

(Mar. 26, 2020) On March 23, 2020, the Supreme Court, by an extended panel of five justices, ordered the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) speaker to convene the Knesset plenum to appoint a new Knesset speaker for the 23rd Knesset at the earliest possible time and no later than March 25, 2020. The decision was unanimous with […]

Colombia: Constitutional Reforms Proposed to Increase Punishment for Violent and Sexual Crimes Against Minors

(Nov. 12, 2019) During debates over the last several months in the Colombian Congress regarding a proposed constitutional reform to apply life imprisonment to perpetrators of violent and sexual crimes against children, representative Jaime Rodriguez submitted an additional and highly controversial proposal to impose the death penalty for those who commit such crimes. Article 11 of the Colombian […]

Malaysia: Bill Reducing Voting Age to 18 Passed

(July 18, 2019) On July 16, 2019, the Dewan Rakyat, the lower house of the Parliament of Malaysia, passed the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019, which reduces the voting age in national and state elections from the current 21 years to 18 years. The Bill received 211 votes—the number of members present for the vote—surpassing the two-thirds […]

Afghanistan: Distribution of Controversial Electronic Identity Cards Launched

(July 19, 2018) The distribution of controversial Electronic National Identity Cards (known as the e-Tazkira) throughout Afghanistan was launched on May 3, 2018, by Afghan president Ashraf Ghani, with Ghani becoming the first person in the country to receive the card. The president cited security concerns as the factor that made him start the process, […]

Italy: New Law on Election of Members of Congress

(Jan. 2, 2018) On December 11, 2017, new legislation on the election of members of Congress came into effect in Italy. (Law No. 165 of November 3, 2017, Amending the Electoral System for the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate of the Republic, Delegating Authority to the Government to Determine Uninominal and Plurinominal Electoral Constituencies […]

Italy: Constitutional Referendum Scheduled

(Nov. 18, 2016) On December 4, 2016, Italy is scheduled to hold a major constitutional referendum.  (Referendum, si vota il 4 dicembre. Renzi: «La partita è ora» [Referendum, the Vote Takes Place on December 4. Renzi: ‘The Match Is Now’], CORRIERE DELLA SERA (Sept. 26, 2016).)  The proposed amendments would drastically change the nature of […]

Israel: Laws Authorize Expulsion of Lawmakers Engaged in Incitement to Racism or Support of Armed Struggle Against the State

(July 21, 2016) On July 20, 2016, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) passed the Basic Law: the Knesset (Amendments No. 44) (BLK), and the Knesset Law (Amendment No. 43) (KL), both dated 5776-2016.  (Knesset website (click on Issue No. 216 (last visited July 20, 2016) (both laws in Hebrew); Basic Law: the Knesset, (5718 – 1958), […]

Vanuatu: Amendments to Reserve Seats in Parliament for Women to Be Introduced

(May 27, 2016) On May 20, 2016, the Vanuatu Minister of Justice, Ronald Warsal, stated in a radio interview that the government would introduce a bill that would reserve a certain number of seats for women in the Parliament.  (Michael Walsh, Vanuatu Paves Way for Women’s Seats in Parliament, ABC NEWS (May 20, 2016).)  The […]

Turkey: Constitutional Amendment Adopted to Allow Certain Legislators to Be Stripped of Immunity

(May 25, 2016) On May 20, 2016, the Grand National Assembly (parliament, GNA) of Turkey voted in favor of a draft constitutional amendment, sponsored by the 316-seat ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP, Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi), that would strip almost 140 Members of Parliament of their privilege of immunity from prosecution. (Turkish Parliament Controversially […]