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Sweden: Supreme Court Rules Naming and Threatening Police Officer in Rap Song to Be Freedom of Expression and Not a Crime

(Apr. 7, 2021) On March 31, 2021, the Supreme Court of Sweden issued a judgment finding that song lyrics that named a female police officer and included threatening language did not constitute the crime of threatening a police officer (hot mot tjänsteman), but was protected under the constitutional right to freedom of expression. (Supreme Court, […]

Brazil: Federal Supreme Court Decides Right to Be Forgotten Is Not Supported by Constitution

(Mar. 15, 2021) On February 11, 2021, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal Federal, STF) dismissed the extraordinary appeal by family members of the victim of a notorious 1958 murder who had sought redress for the reconstruction of the case on a 2004 TV show without their permission. In a ruling of “general repercussion”—one […]

Japan: Supreme Court Finds Exemption of Confucian Temple from Paying Rent to City Unconstitutional

(Mar. 12, 2021) On February 24, 2021, Japan’s Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional for the city government of Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, to exempt a Confucian temple from paying land usage fees because such an exemption violated the principle of separation of religion and state. (2019(Gyo-tsu)222 (S. Ct., Feb. 24, 2021), in Japanese; to […]

United Kingdom: Export of King George III Watch Temporarily Banned in Hopes Bridgerton Interest Will Help Raise Funds to Keep It in UK

(Feb. 26, 2021) On January 29, 2021, Minister for Digital and Culture Caroline Dinenage, upon the advice of the Reviewing Committee of the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA) of the Arts Council, placed a temporary bar on the issuance of an export order for a watch designed by Abraham-Louis […]

Italy: Education Ministry Reorganized

(Jan. 14, 2021) On December 29, 2020, a Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers of Italy approving the Regulations on the Organization of the Ministry for Universities and Research entered into effect, significantly reorganizing the country’s education ministry. Ministry Divided into New Directorates-General  The new legislation overhauls the structure of the Ministry […]

Australia: Bill Recognizing Indigenous Adoption Practices Passed in Queensland

(Sept. 15, 2020) On September 8, 2020, the Queensland Parliament passed the Meriba Omasker Kaziw Kazipa (Torres Strait Islander Traditional Child Rearing Practice) Act 2020, which legally recognizes for the first time in Australia the child adoption practices of Torres Strait Islanders, the indigenous people of the Torres Strait Islands in Queensland. “Meriba Omasker Kaziw Kazipa” […]

Germany: Court Allows Student to Wear Niqab at School

(Feb. 25, 2020) On January 29, 2020, the Higher Administrative Court of Hamburg (OVG Hamburg) held that a 16-year old girl is allowed to attend school dressed in a niqab face veil that leaves only the area around the eyes open. The Court stated that there is no legal basis in Hamburg law for the […]

Russia: Law Regulating Sale and Return of Tickets to Cultural Events and Museums Comes into Effect

(Sept. 30, 2019) On July 18, 2019, the president of the Russian Federation signed into law a bill regulating the sale and return of tickets to cultural events and admissions to museums. (Federal Law on Amending the Law of the Russian Federation on Fundamentals of the Legislation of the Russian Federation on Culture, July 18, […]

Netherlands: Burqa Ban Enters into Force

(Aug. 27, 2019) On August 1, 2019, the “Act Partially Prohibiting Face-Covering Clothing,”also known as the “Burqa Ban,” entered into force in the Netherlands. The Act prohibits the wearing of clothing that completely or partially conceals the face in spaces where people are expected to communicate with each other. Thus, face-covering clothing is banned on […]