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Bahrain: Crown Prince Issues Decree to Suppress Financing of Terrorism

(Mar. 5, 2021) On February 19, 2020, the crown prince and prime minister of Bahrain, Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, issued Decree No. 12 of 2021 on the National Terrorism Lists. The decree is aimed at combating the financing of terrorism by establishing the National Terrorism List and the Sanction List, which will be […]

International: Former Child Workers Sue Chocolate Companies Alleging Forced Labor in Cocoa Supply Chains

(Mar. 4, 2021) On February 12, 2021, the Washington, D.C.-based nongovernmental organization International Rights Advocates (IRAdvocates) filed a federal class action lawsuit on behalf of eight former child workers who allege they were trafficked from Mali and forced to harvest cocoa in Côte d’Ivoire beginning in 2011. The lawsuit accuses several multinational chocolate producers of […]

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 […]

Thailand: Abortion in First Trimester Legalized

(Mar. 1, 2021) On January 25, 2021, the Ratthasapha (Thai national assembly) amended the Thai Penal Code to relax currently restrictive regulations on abortion by decriminalizing the termination of pregnancy during first 12 weeks. The amendment was published in the Government Gazette on February 6, 2021, and took effect on the following day. (Act Amending […]

China: Multiple Areas of Criminal Law Changing under New Amendment

(Feb. 26, 2021) On December 26, 2020, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) adopted the 48-article Amendment XI to the PRC Criminal Law. Taking effect on March 1, 2021, the new amendment makes changes to multiple areas under the Criminal Law, including public safety, food and drug […]

Egypt: Draft Law Enhancing Criminal Penalties against Female Genital Mutilation Approved

(Feb. 24, 2021) On January 20, 2021, the Egyptian cabinet approved a draft law amending the Egyptian penal code to strengthen penalties against the crime of female genital mutilation (FGM). This legal measure comes one year after a female teenager died in southern Egypt while undergoing a genital mutilation procedure. Female genital mutilation has been […]

Italy: Fines Updated, Auto Tax Refund Scheme Created Under New Traffic Code

(Feb. 18, 2021) On December 31, 2020, Italy’s Ministry of Justice issued a Decree updating the fines established for violations of the Traffic Code. The Decree became effective on January 1, 2021. (Decree, art. 3.) Indexing of Fines for Traffic Violations The new legislation updates the amounts of the administrative pecuniary penalties established under article 195(3) […]