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United Kingdom: Supreme Court Rules on Heterosexual Civil Partnerships

(Sept. 14, 2018) On June 27, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom issued a declaration that “sections 1 and 3 of [the Civil Partnership Act 2004, (CPA)], to the extent that they preclude a different sex couple from entering into a civil partnership, are incompatible with article 14 of [the European Convention for […]

Canada: Quebec Court Ruling Prolongs Stay of Uncovered-Face Provision

(July 27, 2018) On June 28, 2018, the Superior Court of Quebec ruled to stay the operation of section 10 of An Act to Foster Adherence to State Religious Neutrality and, in Particular, to Provide a Framework for Requests for Accommodations on Religious Grounds in Certain Bodies. The stay allows veiled Muslim women in the […]

Sweden: Law Providing Compensation to Sterilized or Infertile Gender-Change Surgery Recipients Takes Effect

(May 10, 2018) On May 1, 2018, the Swedish Act on State Compensation in Certain Cases to Persons Who Have Had Their Changed Gender Verified took effect. (Lag om statlig ersättning till personer som har fått ändrad könstillhörighet fastställd i vissa fall (Svensk författningssamling [SFS] 2018:162), Sverges Riksdag [Swedish Parliament] website.) This new temporary legislation […]

Brazil: Federal Supreme Court Allows Transfer of Two Transvestites to Prisons Compatible with their Sexual Orientation

(Mar. 14, 2018) On February 19, 2018, Justice Luis Roberto Barroso of the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court ruled in a habeas corpus proceeding that two persons who self-identified as transvestites and who had been placed in a men’s prison cell be transferred to a prison that is “compatible with their gender identity.” (Ministro determina transferência […]

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 […]

Taiwan: New Indigenous Languages Act

(June 21, 2017) On June 14, 2017, the Republic of China on Taiwan government promulgated the Indigenous Languages Development Act in order to “achieve historical justice, further preserve and promote the indigenous languages, and guarantee that the languages are used and passed down … .”  (Indigenous Languages Development Act (May 26, 2017), art. 1, Legislative […]

Iran: Charter on Citizens’ Rights Signed

(Feb. 28, 2017) With the aim of “recovering and promoting citizens’ rights,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, under his constitutional authority to “determine the program and policies of the government,” signed the Charter on Citizens’ Rights in a ceremony on December 19, 2016.  (Rouhani Unveils Charter on Civil Rights; Vagueness Regarding “Enforcement Guarantee,” VOA (Dec. 19, […]

Pakistan: Sindh Provincial Assembly Passes Law to Establish Commission for Protection of Minority Rights

(Dec. 19, 2016) In what Assembly-member Nand Kumar Goklani called “a victory for the entire province,” Pakistan’s Sindh Province Assembly has unanimously adopted a private bill to establish a commission to protect the rights of religious minorities.  (Sindhi Assembly Stamps Commission for Minorities, NATION (Nov. 18, 2016).)  The Sindh Minorities Rights Commission Bill, 2015, was […]

Australia: Police Response to Aboriginal Death in Custody and Ensuing Riot Ruled Discriminatory

(Dec. 9, 2016) On December 5, 2016, the Federal Court of Australia found in favor of an Aboriginal community from Palm Island, Queensland, in a class action case involving claims that officers of the Queensland Police Service (QPS) engaged in racial discrimination in responding to a riot that took place in 2004 following the death […]

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 […]