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New Zealand: Landmark Judgment Recognizes Customary Rights in Coastal Marine Area

(May 21, 2021) On May 7, 2021, the High Court of New Zealand, the third highest court in New Zealand’s court hierarchy, issued a decision in Re Edwards (Whakatohea) (No 2) [2021] NZHC 1025 in which it “granted recognition orders for customary marine title and protected customary rights to a number of applicant groups in […]

Samoa: Controversial Constitutional Reforms Passed

(Jan. 13, 2021) On December 15, 2020, the Parliament of Samoa voted to pass three bills that “fundamentally alter the country’s constitution and judicial system.” The three bills – the Constitution Amendment Bill 2020, Land and Titles Bill 2020, and Judicature Bill 2020 – were introduced in March 2020 and passed with a vote of […]

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” […]

United States: Appeals Court Rules Shareholders Not Eligible to Bring Claim under Alien Tort Act When Claim Involves Breach of Fiduciary Duty

(Sept. 14, 2020) The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently reversed a lower court’s decision to allow an amended complaint in a derivative lawsuit (one allowing shareholders to sue the managers of their company) brought by plaintiff shareholders of Lebanese Canadian Bank (LCB) to support a cause of action (giving a party […]

Australia: High Court Rules that Aboriginal People Cannot be Deported

(Feb. 26, 2020) On February 11, 2020, the High Court of Australia (Australia’s highest court) handed down a decision in the case of Love v Commonwealth of Australia [2020] HCA 3 (“Decision”). In the significant judgment, the Court ruled by a majority of 4-to-3 that indigenous Australians who do not hold Australian citizenship cannot be deported. […]

Tunisia: Cabinet Approves Bill Requiring Equal Inheritance Shares for Men and Women

(Dec. 4, 2018) On November 25, 2018, the cabinet of Tunisia approved a bill that, for the first time in the nation’s history, would require that male and female heirs receive equal inheritance shares. Tunisia is the first among Arab countries to adopt such a bill. The bill will now be referred to the Tunisian […]

Namibia: Bill on Access to Biological and Genetic Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge

(June 1, 2017) In April 2017, the Namibian National Assembly reportedly passed the Access to Biological and Genetic Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge Bill and sent it to the other chamber of Parliament, the National Council, for review.  (Absalom Shigwedha, NA Passes Bill on Use of Genetic Resources, NAMIBIAN (May 11, 2017).)  If the bill is confirmed by […]

New Zealand: Bill Establishing River as Having Own Legal Personality Passed

(Mar. 22, 2017) On March 14, 2017, the New Zealand Parliament voted to pass the Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River) Claims Settlement Bill (the Bill). (Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River) Claims Settlement Bill, Government Bill 129-2, as reported by the Māori Affairs Committee, New Zealand Legislation website.) The Bill “gives effect to the Whanganui River Deed […]

Pakistan: Federally Administered Tribal Areas to Be Merged with the Province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

(Mar. 16, 2017) On March 2, 2017, the Federal Cabinet of Pakistan approved recommendations of a reforms committee to “bring the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) in the mainstream” by merging the tribal region with the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.  (Federal Cabinet Approves Recommendations to ‘Mainstream’ Fata, DAWN.COM (Mar. 2, 2017).)  FATA is a constitutionally […]

Papua New Guinea: Changes to Marriage Laws to be Introduced

(Aug. 23, 2016) On August 22, 2016, it was reported that the Papua New Guinea government will soon introduce legislation to amend the country’s marriage and divorce laws.  (Nellie Setepano, PNG Marriage Laws to Be Amended as Part of Reform Bundle to Legally Recognize Traditional Marriage and Protect Minors, PNG POST-COURIER (Aug. 22, 2016).)  Two […]