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United Kingdom: New Law Provides Framework for Covert Human Intelligence

(Mar. 31, 2021) The United Kingdom enacted the Covert Human Intelligence Sources Act (the CHIS Act) on March 1, 2021. The CHIS Act provides a framework to provide a criminal conduct authorization (CCA) that enables covert human intelligence sources (CHIS) to participate in actions during the course of their work that would otherwise constitute a […]

South Korea: Abortion Decriminalized since January 1, 2021

(Mar. 18, 2021) Abortion became decriminalized in South Korea effective January 1, 2021, when the provisions of Act No. 293, the Criminal Act, that criminalized abortion became invalid. (Criminal Act, Act No. 293, Sept. 18, 1953, arts. 269–270, amended by Act No. 5057, Dec. 29, 1995.) The decriminalization of abortion was the effect of a […]

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 […]

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 […]

Brazil: Chamber of Deputies Approves Bill to Imprison Anyone Cutting into Vaccination Priority Line

(Feb. 16, 2021) On February 11, 2021, the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies approved Bill of Law 25/2021, which amends the Criminal Code to criminalize violations of immunization plans, the embezzlement of vaccines and medicinal or therapeutic goods, and any kind of corruption of an immunization plan. The purpose of the bill is to curb the […]

Egypt: New Crimes Added to Penal Code

(Jan. 11, 2021) On December 16, 2020, the Egyptian cabinet approved a proposed addition to the penal code concerning the criminalization of video and audio recordings of criminal trial hearings. Additionally, the Egyptian Parliament in September 2020 passed two laws introducing the new crimes of (1) bullying and (2) conducting foreign currency exchanges outside credited […]

Italy: Constitutional Court Limits Drug Searches Conducted Without Judicial Authorization

(Jan. 5, 2021) On November 26, 2020, the Italian Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional a provision in Presidential Decree No. 309 of October 9, 1990, that allows police to conduct searches and seizures in illegal drug cases without previous authorization from a magistrate. (Decision No. 252 of November 26, 2020  (in Italian).)  Article 103, paragraph 3 […]