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Italy: Measures for Simplification of Companies and Public Administration Take Effect

(Feb. 5, 2019) On December 12, 2018, new measures to simplify public administration and promote the economy entered into force in Italy. (Decree-Law No. 135 of December 14, 2018, Urgent Provisions on Supporting and Simplifying Companies and Public Administration) (D.L. No. 135), GAZZETTA UFFICIALE (G.U.), Dec. 14, 2018, G.U. website (in Italian).) Support for Small […]

Sweden: Changes to Law on National Minorities and Minority Languages Take Effect

(Jan. 28, 2019) On January 1, 2019, provisions expanding rights and protection for Swedish national minorities and minority languages took effect. The new provisions provide that minorities have a right to both elder care and preschool in their native (minority) language. (17, 18 & 18 a §§ Lag om nationell minoriteter [Act on National Minorities] […]

Germany: Courts’ Obligation to Accommodate Disability at Oral Argument Must Be Balanced Against Other Principles

(Jan. 16, 2019) In an order published on January 3, 2019, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) declined to hear a case in which the complainant requested that oral arguments be conducted in a way to accommodate his Asperger’s syndrome. The Court held that the decision of the regional social court (Landessozialgericht) denying his […]

France: National Medication Safety Agency to Consider Experimenting with Legalized Medical Cannabis

(Jan. 8, 2019) The French agency in charge of evaluating the efficacy and safety of pharmaceutical products, L’Agence nationale de sécurité du médicament (ANSM) (National Agency for the Safety of Medication), announced on December 27, 2018, that it would consider experimenting with cannabis-based preparations for medical purposes. (L’ANSM souscrit aux premières conclusions du CSST sur […]

New Zealand: Medicinal Cannabis Bill Passed

(Dec. 18, 2018) On December 11, 2018, the New Zealand Parliament passed the Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill (New Zealand Legislation website), which “will introduce an exception and a statutory defence for terminally ill people to possess and use illicit cannabis and to possess a cannabis utensil; provide a regulation-making power to enable the […]

Japan: High Court Rules Tattooing Is Not a Medical Act

(Nov. 23, 2018) On November 14, 2018, the Osaka High Court acquitted a tattoo artist who had been convicted of violating the Medical Practitioners Act. (Osaka High Ct., Case No. 2017 (u) No. 1117 (Nov. 14, 2018) (in Japanese), posted by defense lawyers, Good Morning website.) Previously, the Osaka District Court had imposed a fine […]

Israel: Legislation Exempting Food Donors from Liability Adopted

(Nov. 1, 2018) On October 22, 2018, the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) passed the Encouragement of Food Donations Law, 5779-2018 (SEFER HAHUKIM [SH] [BOOK OF LAWS] (official gazette) 5778 No. 2752 p. 10, Ministry of Justice website (in Hebrew; click on issue No. 2752)). The Law exempts donors to food distribution organizations from civil and criminal […]

Uruguay: Congress Adopts New Law on Transgender Rights

(Oct. 31, 2018) On October 19, 2018, the Uruguayan Congress adopted the new Comprehensive Law for Transgender Persons, aimed at reversing discrimination and advancing the rights of this population, including the right to work, to housing, and to surgical interventions. (Uruguay Aprueba la Ley Integral para Personas Trans [Uruguay Approves Comprehensive Law for Transgender Persons], […]

Belgium: Report Reveals Euthanasia Commission Authorized Euthanasia of Three Minors in 2016–17

(Oct. 29, 2018) Belgium has the world’s only law allowing terminally ill minors in “unbearable suffering” to choose to die. (Henry Samuel, Belgium Authorized Euthanasia of a Terminally Ill Nine and 11-Year-Old in Youngest Cases Worldwide, TELEGRAPH (Aug. 7, 2018).) According to a report published on July 17, 2018, by the Commission fédérale de Contrôle […]