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Brazil: New Law Prohibits Marriage of Persons Under 16 Years of Age

(Mar. 22, 2019) On March 12, 2019, Brazil enacted legislation to prohibit underage persons from marrying. The new law—Law No. 13,811 (Lei No. 13.811, de 12 de Março de 2019, Presidency of the Republic website)—amends article 1,520 of the Civil Code to establish that only persons who have reached the age of marriage determined in […]

Egypt: Grand Imam Issues Religious Opinion Calling Polygamy Oppression of Women

(Mar. 18, 2019) Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar (the main religious institution in the Sunni Muslim world), stated on March 2, 2019, that the Qur’anic teachings concerning polygamy have been misunderstood and distorted, with the result that polygamy has been used in a way that is unfair to women. El-Tayeb argued that […]

Finland: Finnish Parliament Revokes Underage Marriage Exception

(Mar. 12, 2019) On February 19, 2019, the Finnish Parliament adopted changes to its Marriage Act, revoking the exception that persons not yet 18 may marry with special prior approval from the Ministry of Justice. (Press Release, Eduskunta [Parliament], Marriage with Underage Individuals Prohibited (Feb. 20, 2019) (in Swedish), Parliament website.) The parliamentary press release […]

Russia: President Signs Law on Children’s Rights Commissioners

(Feb. 7, 2019) On December 27, 2018, the President of the Russian Federation signed the Law on Children’s Rights Commissioners. (Federal Law on Children’s Rights Commissioners, Dec. 27, 2018, N 501-FZ, Russian government’s Official Legal Information Portal (in Russian). The Law expanded the authority of the Children’s Rights Commissioner, a post created by a presidential […]

Guinea: President Refuses to Approve New Civil Code Legalizing Polygamy

(Jan. 28, 2019) On December 29, 2018, the Guinean Parliament adopted a new Civil Code to replace the one that Guinea has had since 1983. (Guinean Civil Code: Some Advances for Women, but Polygamy Legalized, RFI AFRIQUE (Dec. 31, 2018) (in French); NEW CIVIL CODE (DRAFT), Feb. 2016, Guinea Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC Guinée) website.) However, […]

China: Rules on Tax Deduction for Elderly Support Released

(Dec. 31, 2018) On December 22, 2018, the State Council of the People’s Republic of China (PRC or China) released the Interim Measures on Additional Special Deductions for Individual Income Taxes. The Measures, among other things, allow a taxpayer to deduct 24,000 Chinese yuan RMB (about US$3,500) per year from taxable income for the sake […]

Sweden: Migration High Court Rules That Applying High School Act Does Not Violate Schengen

(Dec. 13, 2018) On September 25, 2018, the Swedish Migration Court of Appeals found that the newly enacted “High School Act,” which allows undocumented minors whose asylum application has been rejected to stay in the country to pursue a high school education, does not violate the Schengen rules requiring proof of identity. (Migrationsöverdomstolen [Migration Appeals […]

Sweden: Parliament Limits Recognition of Child Marriages

(Dec. 10, 2018) On November 21, 2018, the Swedish Parliament (Riksdagen) passed legislation that will limit the instances in which child marriages are recognized in Sweden. (Förbud mot erkännande av utländska barnäktenskap, RIKSDAGEN (Nov. 21, 2018).) Under the new provisions marriages that were conducted when one or both parties were underage will be recognized only […]

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 […]