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Indonesia: Parliament Ratifies ASEAN Charter

(Dec. 3, 2008) ASEAN, the Association of South East Asian Nations consisting of ten nation states, has issued a press release stating that Indonesia has ratified the ASEAN Charter. Indonesia is the last ASEAN member to ratify the charter that will now come into force 30 days after the deposit of all instruments of ratification. […]

Thailand: Former Prime Minister Found Guilty

(Oct. 28, 2008) Media sources have reported that Thailand's Supreme Court has found the former Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, guilty of abusing his office and sentenced him to two years in prison. The finding and sentence were passed in absentia, as Thaksin Shinawatra is currently in the United Kingdom. It is likely that Thailand will […]

Australia: Ban on Short Selling Extended

(Oct. 27, 2008) Australia's corporate regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), has extended its ban on covered short selling for financial securities until January 27, 2009, and ASIC's ban on covered short selling of non-financial securities may be extended until November 18, 2008. Financials are those entities in the S&P/Australian Stock Exchange 200 […]

New Zealand: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme

(Oct. 27, 2008) The Climate Change (Emissions Trading) Amendment Act 2008 recently received royal assent. This legislation introduces a greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme under which participants (large emitters of greenhouse gases) must calculate their emissions via set formulas, retain sufficient records for verification, report the level of emissions, and provide, if requested, sufficient information […]

Fiji: Challenge to 2006 Coup Dismissed

(Oct. 24, 2008) It was reported on October 9, 2008, that Fiji's High Court dismissed a challenge to the actions of President Ratu Josefa Iloilovatu Uluivuda after the 2006 coup in which Commodore Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama took power in Fiji. The High Court ruled that the decision of the President to ratify the dismissal of […]

Indonesia: Amendments to Stock Market and Banking Regulations in Response to Liquidity Issues

(Oct. 15, 2008) Media sources have reported temporary amendments to Indonesian stock market and banking regulations. These amendments include: permitting companies to buy back 20 percent of their paid-up capital, double the previous maximum, without requiring shareholder approval (state-owned enterprises will have access to Rp4,000 billion [sic] (about US$420 million) to buy back their shares), […]

Australia: Amendment to Allow Lesbian Mothers’; Names on Birth Certificates

(Sept. 29, 2008) The Parliament of New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, has passed the Miscellaneous Acts Amendment (Same Sex Relationships) Act 2008 (NSW). The Act permits existing children conceived through artificial fertilization who are living in domestic situations where their parents are in a lesbian de facto relationship to have both mothers named […]

Australia: New National Transplant Authority

(Sept. 29, 2008) The Australian government has proposed new legislation, the Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority Bill 2008, to establish an independent Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority to improve rates of organ donation within Australia. Since July 2005, Australians have been able to register via a national agency to be […]

Fiji: New Foreign Investment Regulations

(Sept. 29, 2008) Fiji has introduced new regulations regarding foreign investment that place restrictions on foreign investors participating in “restricted activities” (that is, investment activities subject to conditions, should non-Fijan investors wish to pursue them). While previously foreigners wishing to invest in restricted activities were regulated by a percentage of equity, they are now required […]

Australia: Draft Children’s Television Standards 2008

(Sept. 8, 2008) The Australian Communications and Media Authority is undertaking a review of the current Children's Television Standards 2005 and has released a draft set of standards. Australia has mandatory quotas for the number or hours and broadcast times and lengths of children's programs on free-to-air television. The current standards contain a range of […]