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Germany: Constitutional Court Declines to Hear Complaint Challenging Alternating Schedules in Schools

(Aug. 5, 2020) In an order published on July 15, 2020, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) declined to hear a case in which the complainants challenged a COVID-19 regulation limiting in-person classes in schools in Bavaria when a physical distance of 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) cannot be maintained. The court further denied the […]

Austria: Constitutional Court Clarifies Rules of Procedure Changes during Extraordinary Circumstances

(July 30, 2020) On July 14, 2020, the Austrian Constitutional Court approved changes to its Rules of Procedure, which, among other things, allow for decisions using a written circulation procedure and videoconferencing when extraordinary circumstances are present. The changes clarify a March 2020 amendment to the Constitutional Court Act that was adopted to keep the […]

Germany: State Constitutional Court of Thuringia Declares Act on Gender Parity in Politics Unconstitutional

(July 24, 2020) On July 15, 2020, the German State Constitutional Court of Thuringia (Thüringer Verfassungsgerichtshof, VerfGH) held in a 6–3 ruling that the Seventh Act to Amend the State Election Act of Thuringia (Parity Act) is unconstitutional. The goal of the Parity Act was to counter the current underrepresentation of women in the State […]

Russian Federation: Newly Adopted Constitutional Amendments Change Jurisdiction of Constitutional Court and Procedure for Appointing Judges

(July 15, 2020) On July 3, 2020, Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin signed Decree No. 445 “On the Official Publication of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, as Amended.” The president issued the decree immediately after the Russian Central Election Commission had approved the results of the national referendum held between June 25 and July […]

Italy: Constitutional Court Declares Revocation of Certain Criminal Offenders’ Driver’s Licenses Unconstitutional

(July 2, 2020) On May 29, 2020, the Italian Constitutional Court issued a decision declaring unconstitutional a provision of the New Highway Code that established the automatic revocation of certain criminal offenders’ driver’s licenses. (Decision No. 99 of May 27, 2020.) Background of the Case The regional administrative court (Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale, TAR) for Italy’s […]

Italy: Constitutional Court Declares Criminal Code Provision on Child Abduction Unconstitutional

(June 30, 2020) On May 29, 2020, the Italian Constitutional Court issued a decision declaring the unconstitutionality of a Criminal Code provision on the suspension of parental authority in cases of child abduction and child maintenance overseas. (Decision No. 102 of May 29, 2020.) Background of the Case At the request of the Supreme Court […]

United States: Appellate Court Orders Dismissal of Palestinian Suicide Bomb Case on Procedural Grounds

(May 27, 2020) On April 14, 2020, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit determined that civil claims against the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization (the Palestinian defendants) by victims of a suicide bombing could not withstand a procedural challenge to personal jurisdiction. (Shatsky v. Palestine Liberation Org., No. 17-7168, […]

Hungary: National Assembly Adopts Act Giving Government Special Powers during Coronavirus Pandemic

(May 26, 2020) On March 29, 2020, Hungary’s National Assembly adopted a special legal regime aimed at “mitigating the consequences of a natural disaster or industrial accident endangering life and property” and preserving the governability of the country in case the National Assembly is not able to meet because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new […]

Germany: Constitutional Court Strikes Down Provision Criminalizing Commercial Assisted Suicide

(Apr. 29, 2020) On February 26, 2020, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) held that the provision in the German Criminal Code criminalizing commercial assisted suicide is unconstitutional. The Court stated that the general right of personality encompasses a right to a self-determined death, which includes the freedom to take one’s own life as […]