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Spain: Bill on Transparency and Access to Public Information

(Aug. 20, 2010) By August 20, 2010, Spain's government is expected to have approved the final Bill on Transparency and Access to Public Information (Anteproyecto de Ley de Transparencia y Acceso de los Ciudadanos a la Información Pública). If approved by the country's Congress, the law will become effective in 2011 and would recognize for […]

Spain: Congress Rejects Proposal to Prohibit Use of Niqab or Burka in Public Spaces

(Aug. 12, 2010) On July 20, 2010, the Congreso de los Diputados (the lower house of Spain's parliament) opposed a proposal from the Partido Popular (PP) requesting that the government prohibit the use of the niqab or the burka, the veils worn by Muslim women that cover most of the female body or face in […]

Colombia; European Union: Trade Agreement Ready to Be Signed in May

(Apr. 21, 2010) A trade agreement between Colombia and the European Union is ready to be signed by the parties, possibly on May 19, 2010, during the fourth summit, in Madrid, of the EU and Latin American and Caribbean nations. The agreement would open the EU market to rum, bananas, and sugar from Colombia free […]

Peru: Anti-Smoking Law

(Apr. 21, 2010) On April 1, 2010, the Peruvian Congress passed Law No. 29517, which declares all closed facilities, health care centers, educational centers, public and private means of transportation, and the interiors of workplaces to be smoke-free environments. (Ley No 29517 [in Spanish], Congress of the Republic of Peru website, (last visited Apr. […]

Argentina: Emergency Decrees on President of the Central Bank, Payment of External Debt

(Jan. 27, 2010) On December 14, 2009, Argentina's President Cristina Kirchner issued an emergency Decree (Decreto de Necesidad y Urgencia [Emergency Decree or DNU]2010/2009, BOLETIN OFICIAL (B.O.), Dec. 15, 2009, available at creating the Fondo del Bicentenario para el Desendeudamiento y la Estabilidad (Bicentennial Fund for the Non-Indebtedness and Stability, FBDE). The action was […]

Spain: Lower House of Legislature Votes on Abortion Reform Bill

(Jan. 5, 2010) A joint session of Spain's Congreso de los Diputados (Lower House) voted on December 17, 2009, on an abortion reform bill. (Ley sobre Salud Sexual y Reproductiva e Interrupcion Voluntaria del Embarazo, BOLETÍN OFICIAL DE LAS CORTES GENERALES [BOCG], Series A, No. 41-1, Oct. 2, 2009, available atágina1).) The new law, […]

Argentina: Law Decriminalizing Libel and Slander Passed

(Dec. 7, 2009) Argentina adopted Law 26551 on November 18, 2009 (BOLETIN OFICIAL, Nov. 26, 2009, available at; it amends the Criminal Code, eliminating the criminal sanctions for libel and slander for cases concerning matters of public interest, replacing the sanctions with fines. The Law was adopted after a 2008 decision by the Inter-American […]

Argentina: Law Amending Code of Criminal Procedure to Allow Compulsory DNA Extraction

(Dec. 7, 2009) On November 18, 2009, Argentina's Congress passed Law 26549, which adds a provision to the Code of Criminal Procedure to allow the courts to order the compulsory extraction of DNA to determine an individual's identity. (Ley 26.549, Boletin Oficial, Nov. 26, 2009, available at The Law is mostly aimed at identifying […]

Argentina: New Media Law

(Nov. 23, 2009) On October 10, 2009, Argentina's Congress adopted a new Law on Audio-Visual Communications, also called the Media Law. (Law 26522, Oct. 10, 2009, InfoLEG, available at The law passed with a 44-24 vote in the Senate. The law sets limits on the number of broadcast licenses that a company may own. […]

Argentina: Congress Debates Bill on Gay Marriage

(Nov. 6, 2009) On October 29, 2009, Argentina's Congress started formally debating two bills that would amend the current Civil Code to allow same-sex marriage. The bills are supported by the Kirchner administration and center-left forces in Congress and opposed by the conservatives, provincial political parties, and the Catholic Church. The Cámara de Diputados (Chamber […]