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Japan: Supreme Court Reverses View on Whether Obscene Intent Necessary for Crime of Forcible Indecency

(Dec. 5, 2017) On November 29, 2017, the Supreme Court of Japan reversed a nearly five-decade-old precedent, stating that no obscene intent is necessary for the crime of forcible indecency.  (Saiko Saibansho [Sup. Ct.] Nov. 29, 2017, Case No. 2016 (a) 1731, Courts in Japan website (in Japanese) (click on the two characters beside PDF […]

Mexico: Lawmaker Proposes Criminalizing Sexual Harassment at Federal Level

(Aug. 28, 2017) In order to criminalize sexual harassment at the federal level as a form of violence suffered by women and girls, the President of the Gender Equality Commission of Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies, Laura Nereida Plascencia Pacheco (a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, PRI) is promoting the reform of articles 259 bis […]

Brazil: State Law Creates Register of Pedophile Offenders

(Aug. 9, 2017) On July 31, 2017, the Governor of the State of Mato Grosso do Sul, in western Brazil, approved Law No. 5,038 on creating a State Register of Pedophiles within his state. (Cadastro Estadual de Pedófilos no âmbito do Estado de Mato Grosso do Sul). (Lei Estadual No. 5.038, de 31 de Julho […]

Jordan: Repeal of Controversial Article in Penal Code

(Aug. 8, 2017) On August 1, 2017, the majority of members of the lower house (House of Representatives) of the Jordanian parliament voted to repeal article 308 of the Penal Code, which had allowed rapists to avoid a jail term if they married the victim. (Zena Tahhan, ‘Historic Day’ as Jordanian Parliament Repeals Rape Law, […]

Australia: Legislation Enacted Preventing Child Sex Offenders from Traveling Overseas

(June 29, 2017) On June 26, 2017, the Passports Legislation Amendment (Overseas Travel by Child Sex Offenders) Act 2017 (Cth) received royal assent, following its passage by the Australian Parliament on June 20, 2017. (Passports Legislation Amendment (Overseas Travel by Child Sex Offenders) Act 2017 (Cth), Federal Register of Legislation website; Passports Legislation Amendment (Overseas Travel by […]

Sweden: Swedish Prosecutors Discontinue Assange Investigation

(June 2, 2017) On May 19, 2017, the Swedish Director of Public Prosecution, Marianne Ny, announced that she had discontinued the investigation into the alleged rape committed by Julian Assange against a woman in Sweden. (Press Release, Swedish Prosecution Authority, The Investigation Against Julian Assange Is Discontinued (May 19, 2017); Beslut [Decision], Case AM-131226-10, Swedish […]

Israel: Additional Restriction on Sex Offenders

(May 16, 2017) On March 22, 2017, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) passed the Restrictions on the Return of a Sex Offender to the Crime Victim’s Locality (Amendment No. 6) Law, 5777-2017 (Amendment Law) (SEFER HAHUKIM [BOOK OF LAWS, official gazette, SH] 5777 No. 2627 p. 593, available at KNESSET NATIONAL LEGISLATION DATABASE (in Hebrew)).  The […]

Japan: Sex Crime Law to Be Amended

(Mar. 16, 2017) The Cabinet submitted a bill to the Diet, Japan’s parliament, on March 7, 2017, on amending a part of the Penal Code. (Bill Status Information, Cabinet Bill 47 of 193rd Diet Session, House of Representatives, Japan, website (in Japanese).) Former Minister of Justice Midori Matsushima had initiated the discussion of the amendment in […]

England and Wales: Thousands Receive Posthumous Pardon for Homosexuality Convictions

(Feb. 23, 2017) Section 166 of the recently enacted Policing and Crime Act of England and Wales granted approximately 49,000 deceased gay and bisexual men a posthumous pardon for offenses they were convicted of under the old sexual offenses laws that had provided that homosexuality was a crime.  The Act also states that any living person who […]

Lebanon: First Step to Repeal Provision Favorable to Rapists and Perpetrators of Lewd Acts

(Dec. 21, 2016) A person who commits certain crimes defined by law, rape; lewd acts by threat, violence, or against minors; and other similar crimes may avoid punishment under a controversial provision of the Penal Code of Lebanon. (Lebanese Penal Code, Legislative Decree No. 340 of 1943, arts. 503-510, 514-521, & 522, United Nations Office […]