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England: Restrictions on Privacy in Parole Hearings Loosened

(Mar. 15, 2021) On February 8, 2021, England’s government announced its intention to amend rule 15 of the Parole Board Rules 2019, which provide that, with limited exceptions, all parole hearings should be held in private, to provide transparency and confidence in the parole system. Changes to the rules will end what is effectively a […]

Nicaragua: Amendment to Code of Criminal Procedure Extends Pretrial Preventive Detention Period

(Mar. 11, 2021) On February 5, 2021, Law No. 1060, which amends Nicaragua’s Code of Criminal Procedure to extend the previous 48-hour pretrial preventive detention period for suspects, was published in the country’s official gazette and entered into force. Law No. 1060 adds a new article 253 bis to the code, stipulating that the judicial […]

Italy: Implementation of EU Legislation on Arrest Warrants

(Mar. 9, 2021) On February 2, 2021, Italy issued Legislative Decree No. 10 (L.D. No. 10) amending domestic legislation to implement a European Union (EU) standard related to the European Arrest Warrant. General Provisions on the Implementation of the EU Arrest Warrant Under the new legislation, the implementation of EU provisions for EU arrest warrants […]

Pakistan: Supreme Court Bars Use of Death Penalty for Inmates with Serious Mental Illness

(Mar. 3, 2021) On February 10, 2021, a five-member bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in a landmark judgment barred the use of the death penalty for inmates with serious mental illness or disorders who are “unable to comprehend the rationale behind their execution.” Background The apex court was hearing three appeals from prisoners […]

England: Proposals Introduced to Reform Pre-charge Bail to Provide Better Protection to Victims of Violent Crime

(Mar. 1, 2021) On January 14, 2021, the U.K. government published its response to a consultation into the use of pre-charge bail amid concern that it was not being used appropriately because of a “presumption against its use,” meaning that the police must use it only when necessary. Most notably, suspects were being released after […]

Italy: New Law Contains Measures on Visas, Territorial Waters, Virtual Proceedings in Drug Trials, and Refugee Centers

(Jan. 22, 2021) On December 20, 2020, Italy’s government issued Law No. 173 of December 18, 2020, which contains new measures concerning visas, vessels in territorial waters, virtual proceedings in drug trafficking prosecutions, and refugee center security and detainee welfare. New Provisions on Student Visas, Resident Visas for Refugees The new legislation allows foreign students who […]

France: Constitutional Court Finds Arrested Persons Have Constitutional Right to Challenge Conditions of Incarceration

(Oct. 28, 2020) In a decision of October 2, 2020, the Conseil constitutionnel (Constitutional Council), France’s high court for constitutional questions, found that the absence of judicial recourse for persons under arrest to challenge their conditions of incarceration is unconstitutional. This decision was given in response to two questions prioritaires de constitutionalité (QPC) (priority question […]

Saudi Arabia: Flogging and Death Abolished as Ta‘zeer Penalties

(Aug. 3, 2020) On July 15, 2020, the director of the Human Rights Commission of Saudi Arabia, Awwad bin Saleh, announced that the commission is planning to launch a number of initiatives to highlight the kingdom’s reforms in the field of human rights. Those reforms include abolishing flogging and capital punishment for minors as ta‘zeer […]