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Germany: New Act Allows Stepchild Adoption in Nonmarital Families

(Apr. 29, 2020) On March 31, 2020, an act that allows stepchild adoption in nonmarital families entered into force in Germany. The act implements a decision of the German Federal Constitutional Court of March 26, 2019, which ruled the exclusion of stepchild adoption in nonmarital families unconstitutional. The decision obligated the legislature to enact new […]

Philippines: President Issues Executive Order Regulating Electronic Cigarettes, Vaping

(Mar. 27, 2020) On February 26, 2020, the president of the Philippines issued an executive order (EO) regulating the commercialization and use of electronic cigarettes. Background The EO states in its preamble that in 2016, the World Health Organization issued a report explaining that Electronic Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS/ENNDS) emit aerosol that commonly includes […]

Germany: New Act Makes Measles Vaccinations Mandatory

(Mar. 11, 2020) On March 1, 2020, the Measles Protection Act, which amends several laws, entered into force in Germany. The Act makes measles protection mandatory for children one year or older who attend daycare, school, or other community facilities, and for persons working in those facilities or in medical facilities. Furthermore, measles vaccinations will […]

Malaysia: Federal Court Holds that Illegitimate Muslim Child Cannot Use Father’s Last Name

(Mar. 6, 2020) On February 13, 2020, Malaysia’s Star news media outlet reported that the Federal Court of Malaysia (Malaysia’s highest court) had held, by a 4-3 majority, that the National Registration Department (NRD) cannot register the father’s last name for a Muslim child who was born or conceived out of wedlock. It also held, however, […]

United States: Supreme Court Clarifies Standard for Determining Child’s Country of Habitual Residence, Affirms Return of Child to Italy

(Mar. 5, 2020) The U.S. Supreme Court recently endorsed a “totality of the circumstances” test for determining a child’s habitual residence under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Convention). The Court also held that a trial court’s determination of habitual residence is entitled to deferential appellate review and should […]

Philippines: House Bill on Divorce Approved in Committee

(Mar. 4, 2020) On February 4, 2020, a bill proposing the legalization of divorce in the Philippines was approved by the Committee on Population and Family Relations of the Philippine House of Representatives. Currently, the Philippines and the Vatican are the only two sovereign states in the world that still prohibit divorce. Opponents of this […]

Philippines: Supreme Court Rules on Same-Sex Marriage

(Jan. 24, 2020) On January 6, 2020, the Philippines’ Supreme Court announced it had dismissed a motion to reconsider its September 2019 ruling denying a petition to approve same-sex marriage in the country, effectively concluding this case “with finality.” The petition had essentially requested that the Court declare unconstitutional on equality grounds certain provisions of […]

Spain: Second Phase of Increase in Paternity Leave to Take Effect in January 2020

(Dec. 31, 2019) On January 1, 2020, the second phase of an increase in paternity leave provided for in Royal Decree Law 6/2019 took effect in Spain. The Law, which was adopted on March 7, 2019, originally granted eight weeks of paternity leave effective in April 2019, with a phased increase to 12 weeks on […]

Norway: Supreme Court Finds Passive Father Responsible for Aiding and Abetting Mother’s Physical Abuse of Children

(Dec. 30, 2019) On November 27, 2019, the Norwegian Supreme Court affirmed the conviction of a man for aiding and abetting the gross abuse of a dependent by neglecting to protect the children from their abusive mother, and increased the sentence from two years and six months’ imprisonment to three years’ imprisonment. (Norwegian Supreme Court, […]