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United States: Supreme Court Rules Victims of State-Sponsored Terrorism May Recover Punitive Damages under Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act

(June 2, 2020) On May 18, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that the Republic of Sudan could be held liable for $4.3 billion in punitive damages related to state-sponsored acts of terrorism that occurred in 1998. (Opati v. Republic of Sudan, No. 17-1268 (May 18, 2020).) Case History In 1998, al-Qaida orchestrated simultaneous […]

Norway: Supreme Court Overrules Detention Order Issued Following Remote Proceedings

(May 14, 2020) On May 8, 2020, the Supreme Court of Norway overturned a decision to detain a man suspected of attempted murder because the pretrial detention hearing had been conducted remotely. (Supreme Court Decision HR-2020-972-U (sak nr. 20-065997STR-HRET).) To limit the risk of spreading COVID-19, the court of first instance conducted an initial pretrial […]

Italy: Supreme Court of Cassation Addresses Required Evidence in Corporate Shareholder Claims

(May 12, 2020) On February 19, 2020, the Italian Supreme Court of Cassation (SCC) clarified the evidence a corporate shareholder must present to prove a claim for repayment from the corporation. (Decision No. 4261 of February 19, 2020 (Decision).) Background of the Case The SCC reviewed a case submitted by the Appellate Court of Lecce, […]

Brazil: Federal Supreme Court Confirms Validity of Provisional Measures That Reduce Salaries for 90 Days

(Apr. 29, 2020) On April 17, 2020, the plenary of Brazil’s Federal Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal Federal, STF) held valid Provisional Measure 936/2020 (Medida Provisória No. 936, de 1 de Abril de 2020), which authorizes a reduction of working hours and wages, or the temporary suspension of employment contracts, through individual agreements due to the […]

New Zealand: Court of Appeal and Supreme Court Issue Protocol for Remote Hearings During COVID-19 Restrictions

(Apr. 28, 2020) On April 17, 2020, the Chief Justice of the New Zealand Supreme Court and the President of the Court of Appeal issued a protocol that will apply to remote hearings of the two courts while the country is subject to various restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The country entered “Alert […]

Brazil: Federal Supreme Court Confirms Concurrent Powers of Federal Government, States, Federal District, and Municipalities to Fight COVID-19

(Apr. 22, 2020) On April 15, 2020, in a session held by videoconference, the plenary of Brazil’s Federal Supreme Court unanimously confirmed the understanding that the measures adopted by the federal government in Provisional Measure No. 926 of March 20, 2020 do not rule out the concurrent competence or ability of the states, Federal District, […]

Norway: Supreme Court Holds First Web-Based Court Hearing

(Apr. 22, 2020) On April 17, 2020, the Norwegian Supreme Court held its first web-based court hearing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In accordance with the Criminal Procedure Act and the Civil Procedure Act, cases may be held as remote hearings in specific situations. (Straffeprossessloven (LOV 1981-05-22-25); Tvisteloven (LOV 2005-06-17-90).) Moreover, on March […]

Israel: Supreme Court Again Rejects Petition for Court to Rule on Indicted Knesset Member’s Eligibility for Prime Ministership

(Apr. 20, 2020) On April 12, 2020, the Supreme Court of Israel, sitting as a High Court of Justice, unanimously rejected a petition that the Court determine whether a member of Knesset (Israel’s parliament) who had been indicted for an offense of moral turpitude is eligible to serve as prime minister (PM), and whether the […]

Israel: Live Broadcasting of Supreme Court Hearing Authorized During COVID-19 Emergency

(Apr. 16, 2020) On April 13, 2020, Supreme Court President Justice Esther Hayut approved an experimental live broadcast of a hearing before the Supreme Court sitting as a High Court of Justice. The hearing, scheduled for April 16, 2020, involves petitions questioning the validity of authorization granted to the Israel Security Agency (ISA) and the […]

United States: Supreme Court Dismisses Claims Against Border Patrol Agent for Constitutional Violations in Cross-border Shooting Death

(Mar. 31, 2020) On February 25, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court announced a 5–4 opinion holding that a U.S. Border Patrol agent was not liable for claims of Fourth and Fifth Amendment violations stemming from a cross-border shooting death of a 15-year-old Mexican national. (Hernández v. Mesa, No. 17-1678 (Feb. 25, 2020).) Case History In […]