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Norway: Supreme Court Overrules Detention Order Issued Following Remote Proceedings

(May 14, 2020) On May 8, 2020, the Supreme Court of Norway overturned a decision to detain a man suspected of attempted murder because the pretrial detention hearing had been conducted remotely. (Supreme Court Decision HR-2020-972-U (sak nr. 20-065997STR-HRET).) To limit the risk of spreading COVID-19, the court of first instance conducted an initial pretrial […]

France: European Court of Human Rights Finds France in Violation of European Human Rights Convention Due to Overcrowded Prisons

(Feb. 26, 2020) On January 30, 2020, the European Court of Human Rights (E.C.H.R.) found that France was in violation of the European Convention of Human Rights because of poor conditions of detention in several prisons. The decision in J.M.B. and Others v. France was in response to petitions brought by 32 inmates of several […]

Austria: Constitutional Court Holds That Civil Code Provision May Not Be Interpreted to Restrict Same-Sex Couples’ Power to Adopt After Separation

(Nov. 27, 2018) On October 3, 2018, the Austrian Constitutional Court (Verfassungsgerichtshof Österreich, VfGH) held that after a same-sex couple separates, one former partner must remain able to adopt the other’s biological child. The Court stated that section 197, paragraph 3 of the Civil Code must be interpreted in conformity with the Constitution so that […]

Germany: Federal Court of Justice Rules Same-Sex Marriage Does Not Make Wife of Child’s Mother Co-parent by Law

(Nov. 9, 2018) On October 10, 2018, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH), Germany’s supreme court for civil and criminal cases, held that being in a same-sex marriage does not automatically make the wife of the mother of a child co-parent by law. The Court stated that there is no legal presumption for […]

United Kingdom: Supreme Court Rules on Heterosexual Civil Partnerships

(Sept. 14, 2018) On June 27, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom issued a declaration that “sections 1 and 3 of [the Civil Partnership Act 2004, (CPA)], to the extent that they preclude a different sex couple from entering into a civil partnership, are incompatible with article 14 of [the European Convention for […]

United Kingdom: Cliff Richard Wins Privacy Case Against BBC and South Yorkshire Police

(Sept. 11, 2018) On July 18, 2018, Sir Cliff Richard OBE was awarded £210,000 (about US$270,360) in general damages after the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) was held liable for infringing his privacy rights over the filming and broadcast of a search of his UK property by South Yorkshire Police (SYP) in relation to allegations of […]

Austria: Court Allows Intersex Individuals to Register Third Gender Other Than Male or Female

(July 6, 2018) On June 15, 2018, the Austrian Constitutional Court (Verfassungsgerichtshof Österreich, VfGH) held that intersex individuals have a right to register in the civil status register a gender other than male or female that conforms to their gender identity. It stated that forcing intersex persons to register a male or female gender but […]

Germany / European Court of Human Rights: Caning of Children Justifies Withdrawal of Parental Authority

(Apr. 19, 2018) On March 22, 2018, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) unanimously held in the cases of Tlapak and Others v. Germany and Wetjen and Others v. Germany that the withdrawal of the applicants’ parental authority did not violate article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which grants the […]

Finland: Supreme Court to Make English Summaries of Precedents Available Online and Begin Using ECLI Code in 2018

(Jan. 12, 2018) On January 2, 2018, the Finnish Supreme Court announced it will make some of its precedents available through summaries in English. (Press Release, Finnish Supreme Court, The Supreme Court of Finland Starts to Publish Summaries of Its Precedents in English (Jan. 2, 2018), SUPREME COURT.) The cases will be limited to those […]

Germany: Purchase of Lethal Dose of Narcotics for Painless Suicide Not Deniable in “Extremely Exceptional Situations”

(May 24, 2017) On March 2, 2017, Germany’s Federal Administrative Court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht (BVerwG)) held that the constitutionally guaranteed general right to protection of personality includes the right of seriously and terminally ill patients to decide how and when to end their lives, provided that the patients are able to form the decision of their own […]