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Samoa: Controversial Constitutional Reforms Passed

(Jan. 13, 2021) On December 15, 2020, the Parliament of Samoa voted to pass three bills that “fundamentally alter the country’s constitution and judicial system.” The three bills – the Constitution Amendment Bill 2020, Land and Titles Bill 2020, and Judicature Bill 2020 – were introduced in March 2020 and passed with a vote of […]

United States: Appeals Court Rules Shareholders Not Eligible to Bring Claim under Alien Tort Act When Claim Involves Breach of Fiduciary Duty

(Sept. 14, 2020) The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently reversed a lower court’s decision to allow an amended complaint in a derivative lawsuit (one allowing shareholders to sue the managers of their company) brought by plaintiff shareholders of Lebanese Canadian Bank (LCB) to support a cause of action (giving a party […]

Denmark: Appeals Court Rules Coughing on and Screaming “Corona” at Police Officer Constitutes Threat of Violence

(Aug. 13, 2020) On June 2, 2020, a Danish appeals court, the Western High Court (Vestre Landsret), convicted a man for coughing on and screaming “corona” at a police officer, ruling that these actions when done together constituted a threat of violence under the Danish Criminal Code. (Vestre Landsret, Case No. V.L. S-0831-20, U.2020.2985-2899, June […]

Norway: Supreme Court Rules It Has Universal Jurisdiction over Foreigners’ Prior Terrorist Acts Abroad

(July 16, 2020) On June 26, 2020, the Norwegian Supreme Court ruled that Norwegian courts may exercise universal jurisdiction over crimes of terrorism and that foreigners may thus be sentenced in Norway for terrorism crimes they committed before arriving in the country. (Supreme Court Decision Case No. HR-2020-1340-A.) Facts of the Case The defendant, a […]

United States: Welsh Government Not Immune from Copyright Lawsuit for Using Dylan Thomas Photos in Tourism Ads

(June 23, 2020) On June 8, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a lower court decision that the Welsh government is not immune under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) from a private lawsuit alleging claims of copyright infringement because of the commercial-activity exception to the FSIA. (Pablo Star Ltd. […]

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, […]

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 […]

United States: Supreme Court Clarifies Standard for Determining Child’s Country of Habitual Residence, Affirms Return of Child to Italy

(Mar. 5, 2020) The U.S. Supreme Court recently endorsed a “totality of the circumstances” test for determining a child’s habitual residence under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Convention). The Court also held that a trial court’s determination of habitual residence is entitled to deferential appellate review and should […]