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Italy: Right to Use Maternal Last Name

(Jan. 25, 2017) On December 28, 2016, a decision by the Constitutional Court of Italy declared unconstitutional several provisions of the Civil Code and other legislation, concerning the attribution of the maternal last name to children. (Decision No. 286 of November 8, 2016, Related to Provisions of the Civil Code and Other Legislation (Decision No. […]

France: Justice Reforms Adopted

(Dec. 6, 2016) On October 12, 2016, the French Parliament adopted a law reforming various aspects of the French justice system. The President promulgated the law on November 18.  (Loi n° 2016-1547 du 18 novembre 2016 de modernisation de la justice du XXIe siècle (1) [Law No. 2016-1547 of 18 November 2016 to Modernize XXIst […]

Pakistan: National Assembly Passes Hindu Marriage Bill

(Nov. 15, 2016) On September 26, 2016, the Hindu Marriage Bill was unanimously passed in Pakistan’s National Assembly, after three previous failed attempts to pass the bill in 2008, 2011, and 2012. (Kalbe Ali, NA Finally Passes Hindu Marriage Bill, DAWN (Sept. 27, 2016); Hamza Ameer, Why Is Pakistan Afraid of Passing the Hindu Marriage […]

Australia: Bill to Establish State Relationship Register for Same-Sex Couples Introduced

(Oct. 7, 2016) On September 22, 2016, the South Australian government introduced into the State Parliament a bill that will enable unmarried couples, both same-sex and heterosexual, to register their relationships with the government.  The Relationships Register Bill 2016 (SA) provides for such couples to receive a certificate of registration and have their relationships legally […]

Tajikistan: Fines for Language Mistakes

(Sept. 26, 2016) On August 1, 2016, the State Committee on Language and Terminology under Tajikistan’s Cabinet of Ministers announced that it will issue fines for violating Tajik language norms and using words in the Farsi language that are not clearly understood by the audience of print and broadcast media. The fine will be in […]

Aruba: Same-Sex Partnerships Recognized by Law

(Sept. 23, 2016) On September 8, 2016, the Parliament of Aruba, one of the constituent countries that comprise the Kingdom of the Netherlands, voted to amend the Aruban Civil Code provisions on marriage so as to officially recognize same-sex registered partnerships. The amendment will give same-sex couples the same benefits granted to married partners under […]

Papua New Guinea: Changes to Marriage Laws to be Introduced

(Aug. 23, 2016) On August 22, 2016, it was reported that the Papua New Guinea government will soon introduce legislation to amend the country’s marriage and divorce laws.  (Nellie Setepano, PNG Marriage Laws to Be Amended as Part of Reform Bundle to Legally Recognize Traditional Marriage and Protect Minors, PNG POST-COURIER (Aug. 22, 2016).)  Two […]

Australia: State Legislation to Remove Barriers to Changing Sex on Birth Certificate

(Aug. 22, 2016) On August 18, 2016, the Attorney-General of the Australian State of Victoria introduced the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Amendment Bill 2016 in the state parliament.  The bill “removes the need for applicants to have undergone sex affirmation surgery before being able to apply for a new birth certificate.”  (Press Release, Martin […]

Cameroon: Revision of Adultery Law

(June 30, 2016) On June 22, 2016, the lower house of the Parliament of Cameroon voted to amend the country’s criminal provisions on adultery. (Matthew Santiago, Cameroon Parliament Votes for Gender-Balanced Adultery, PAPER CHASE (June 26, 2016).) While the Penal Code had already penalized adultery as a crime for both men and women, responsibility was […]

Switzerland: Rejection of Abolishment of Marriage Tax Penalty and Constitutional Definition of Marriage

(Mar. 11, 2016) On February 28, 2016, Swiss voters rejected by a narrow vote of 50.8% to 49.2% a referendum to abolish the marriage tax penalty in Swiss law. (Vorlage Nr. 596, Vorläufige amtliche Endergebnisse [Initiative No. 596, Preliminary Official Results], Schweizerische Bundeskanzlei [Swiss Federal Chancellery] website (Feb. 28, 2016).) The “marriage penalty” refers to tax provisions […]