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ECtHR/Switzerland: Compulsory Co-Ed Swim Classes Do Not Infringe Freedom of Religion

(Jan. 24, 2017) On January 10, 2017, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) held unanimously that a decision of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court, which upheld an administrative fine for the refusal of Muslim parents to send their 9- and 11-year-old daughters to compulsory co-ed swim lessons as part of their schooling, did not […]

Sweden: Separate Swimming Hours by Gender Justifiable

(Jan. 12, 2017) The Swedish Diskrimineringsombudsmannen (DO, Equality Ombudsman) has issued two decisions on the legality of separate hours for men and women at public indoor pools. (Press Release, Könsseparerade simhallstider kan vara diskriminering [Gender-Segregated Pool Hours May Be Discriminatory], DO website (Dec. 14, 2016).) The role of the Equality Ombudsman is regulated by the […]

Japan: Amendment to Law on Prevention of Damage by Wildlife Enacted

(Dec. 13, 2016) The Act to Amend the Act on Special Measures for Prevention of Damage Related to Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Caused by Wildlife was promulgated on December 2, 2016.  (Act No. 97 of 2016, KANPO, Extra No. 267 (Dec. 2, 2016) at 13 (in Japanese); Act on Special Measures for Prevention of Damage […]

Australia: New South Wales Government Announces Greyhound Racing Ban

On July 7, 2016, the New South Wales premier, Mike Baird, announced that a state ban on greyhound racing would come into effect on July 1, 2017, making New South Wales (NSW) the first Australian state to ban the sport.  (Press Release, NSW Government, Greyhound Racing to Be Shut Down in NSW (July 7, 2016), […]

Japan: Baseball Player Arrested After Two Bullets Found in Bag

(Apr. 4, 2016) Former Major League Baseball player Yamaico Navarro, who currently plays for Japan’s Lotte Marines, was arrested on February 21, 2016, at an airport in Japan for possession of two bullets in his luggage. The bullets were discovered in his shoulder bag during a security check at the airport in Okinawa. (Yamaico Navarro […]

Sweden: Court Recognizes Exclusive Fishing Rights of Sami Village

(Feb. 9, 2016) On February 3, 2016, the District Court of Gällivare announced its verdict in a hunting and fishing rights dispute between the government of Sweden and Girjas, a Sami village (a community of the indigenous Sami people that is a special legal entity with special legal rights and duties different from an ordinary Swedish village). […]

Saudi Arabia: Religious Decree Forbids Chess

(Jan. 28, 2016) On January 21, 2016, Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Sheikh, the Grand Mufti, of the Sunni sect of Islam, who represents the formal religious institution of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, issued a religious decree to ban the game of chess. He stated that he had issued the fatwa forbidding chess because it is like […]

Russia: Supreme Court Ruling on Sports Contracts

(Dec. 9, 2015) On November 24, 2015, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation issued a ruling on resolving labor disputes involving athletes and sports team coaches. (Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, Ruling No. 52 on the Application by Courts of Laws Regulating the Work of Sportsmen and Coaches (Nov. 24, 2015), Supreme Court […]

Brazil: No Tourist Visa Required for Entry During 2016 Olympic Games

(Nov. 3, 2015) On October 28, 2015, the Brazilian Federal Senate approved a law that waives the requirement for foreigners to have a tourist visa to enter the country during the Olympic Games, which will take place in Brazil in 2016. (Mariana Jungmann, Senado Aprova Dispensa de Visto para Turistas Durante Olimpíada de 2016, AGÊNCIA BRASIL […]

Japan: Horse Racing Act Amended

(June 16, 2015) Japan’s amended Horse Racing Act was promulgated on May 7, 2015. (Horse Racing Act, Act No. 158 of 1948 (amended by Act No. 18 of 2015), text of amendment bill, The House of Representatives website (in Japanese).) When the amendment becomes effective within six months of its promulgation, the Minister of Agriculture […]