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Brazil: Supreme Court Reaffirms that Convictions Are to Be Enforced After Confirmation by Appellate Court Decision

(Nov. 17, 2016) A decision on an extraordinary appeal (recurso extraordinário), issued by the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal Federal, STF) on November 10, 2016, reaffirmed Court jurisprudence from October 2016 that determined that enforcement of a criminal sentence is to commence after a conviction has been confirmed by the first appellate court to […]

Italy: Law to Increase Efficiency of Judicial Procedures

(Nov. 9, 2016) On August 31, 2016, new legislation designed to increase the efficiency of judicial proceedings entered into effect in Italy. (Decree Law No. 168 of August 31, 2016, Urgent Measures for the Settlement of Contentious Procedures Before the Court of Cassation [Supreme Court for Civil Matters], for the Efficiency of the Judiciary, and […]

Israel: Law Authorizing Force-Feeding of Prisoners Held Constitutional

(Oct. 5, 2016) On September 11, 2016, Israel’s Supreme Court rejected a petition by the Israeli Medical Association (IMA) and various human rights organizations to declare void legislation passed by the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) in July 2015, authorizing force-feeding of prisoners on a hunger strike. (HC 5304/15 IMA v. Israel Knesset (Sept. 11, 2016), STATE […]

Brazil: Federal Supreme Court Recognizes Dual Paternity

(Sept. 23, 2016) On September 21, 2016, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal Federal, STF) held that a child’s relationship with one man through socio-affective paternity does not exempt the child’s biological father from paternal responsibility.  A majority of ministers of the STF dismissed an appeal by a biological father from a decision that imposed paternal obligations despite the child’s ties […]

Israel: Supreme Court Orders Release of Ship Captured Attempting to Break Gaza Blockade

(Aug. 10, 2016) On August 8, 2016, the Supreme Court of Israel rejected an appeal by the state against the Haifa District Court’s decision not to allow confiscation of the ship Estelle. Instead, the Court ordered the release of the ship to its owners.  (CA7307/14 State of Israel v. the Ship Estelle (Aug. 8, 2016), […]

Maldives: Supreme Court Decision Allows Executions to Proceed

(July 28, 2016) On July 24, 2016, the Supreme Court of the Maldives reversed a stay order issued the day before by the High Court. The High Court order had stopped executions based on that court’s views of the constitutionality of the regulations that implement the punishment. The Supreme Court ruling means that two pending […]

Pakistan: Bills Introduced on Increased Representation of Women in the Supreme Court

(May 26, 2016) On May 16, 2016, a member of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and former law minister, Babar Awan, introduced a private member’s bill in the Senate, the upper house of Pakistan’s federal legislature, that would amend the Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Act, 1997, to provide greater “representation of women” in Pakistan’s […]

Brazil: Federal Supreme Court Changes Its Understanding of Enforcement of Sentences

(Mar. 11, 2016) On February 17, 2016, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal Federal) ruled that requiring a defendant to start serving a sentence after an intermediate appellate court’s confirmation of a criminal conviction does not offend the constitutional principle of the defendant’s presumption of innocence. Minister Teori Zavascki, who wrote the opinion, held that an intermediate appellate […]

Sweden: Supreme Court Turns to Electronic Communication

(Sept. 8, 2015) On August 25, 2015, the Swedish Supreme Court announced that as of August 31, 2015, it has turned to e-mail as its main means of communication. (Press Release, Ökad användning av e-post vid Högsta domstolen, Högsta Domstolen [Supreme Court] website (Aug. 25, 2015), NOTISUM.) The new policy means that all communication between […]

Afghanistan: President Ghani Nominates First Female Supreme Court Justice

(June 26, 2015) Afghanistan’s President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani nominated the country’s first female justice to the Afghan Supreme Court in mid-June 2015. Anisa Rasouli, currently the head of the Juvenile Appeals Court, will become the first female Supreme Court justice in Afghanistan if she receives a vote of confidence from the lower house of the […]