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Canada: Quebec Court Ruling Prolongs Stay of Uncovered-Face Provision

(July 27, 2018) On June 28, 2018, the Superior Court of Quebec ruled to stay the operation of section 10 of An Act to Foster Adherence to State Religious Neutrality and, in Particular, to Provide a Framework for Requests for Accommodations on Religious Grounds in Certain Bodies. The stay allows veiled Muslim women in the […]

Brazil: National Supervisory of Justice Authorizes Transgender Persons to Change Name and Gender at Civil Registries Without Judicial Approval

(July 11, 2018) On June 28, 2018, the National Supervisory of Justice (Corregedoria Nacional de Justiça) issued Administrative Act No. 73 (Provimento CNJ No. 73, de 28 de Junho de 2018, National Supervisory of Justice website), which provides in article 1 for registering the change of name and gender in the birth and marriage records […]

Portugal: Change of Gender in the Civil Register for Certain Minors Vetoed by the President

(May 31, 2018) On May 9, 2018, the president of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, vetoed a decree that had been approved by the Portuguese Parliament allowing a change of gender to be entered in the civil register for minors aged 16 to 18. (Decreto No. 203/XIII; Marieta Cazarré, Portugal Veta Mudança de Gênero no […]

Sweden: Law Providing Compensation to Sterilized or Infertile Gender-Change Surgery Recipients Takes Effect

(May 10, 2018) On May 1, 2018, the Swedish Act on State Compensation in Certain Cases to Persons Who Have Had Their Changed Gender Verified took effect. (Lag om statlig ersättning till personer som har fått ändrad könstillhörighet fastställd i vissa fall (Svensk författningssamling [SFS] 2018:162), Sverges Riksdag [Swedish Parliament] website.) This new temporary legislation […]

Malaysia: National Human Rights Action Plan Launched

(Apr. 16, 2018) On March 1, 2018, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak, officially launched the National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP). (Press Release, Office of the Prime Minister, Action Plan Malaysia’s Commitment on Human Rights – PM (Mar. 1, 2018).) The development of the NHRAP was approved by the Cabinet in 2012 and was subsequently […]

Israel: Supreme Court Holds Threat of Suicide Not a Criminal Offense

(Feb. 15, 2018) On January 17, 2018, Israel’s Supreme Court unanimously overturned the conviction of an appellant who had threatened to take her own life and been charged with committing a criminal threat under § 192 of the Penal Law, 5737-1977. The Court opinion was issued by Justice Dafna Barak-Erez, with Justices Uzi Vogelman and […]

Costa Rica/OAS: Inter-American Court of Human Rights Declares Right to Marry Should Be Extended to Same-Sex Couples

(Feb. 9, 2018) On January 9, 2018, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) published an advisory opinion stating that under the American Convention of Human Rights, the institution of marriage should be extended to same-sex couples. (Press Release, IACtHR, Advisory Opinion on Gender Identity and Nondiscrimination Against Same-Sex Couples (Jan. 9, 2018), IACtHR website […]

Saudi Arabia: Riyadh High Court Waives Requirement for Women to Fully Cover Their Faces in Courthouse

(Feb. 8, 2018) For the first time in its history, the High Court of Riyadh is no longer requiring women to fully cover their faces when they visit the Riyadh courthouse. (Fatimah Al-Dabees, Riyadh Court Waives Condition of Covering the Face and Is Satisfied with Hijab, OKAZ (Dec. 25, 2017) (in Arabic).) The Chief Justice […]

Egypt: Parliament Discusses New Bills Criminalizing Atheism and Homosexuality

(Jan. 26, 2018) On December 24, 2017, the Committee on Religion of Egypt’s Council of Representatives discussed a bill that would make atheism a crime punishable under the Egyptian Penal Code. (Egyptian Parliament Discusses Plans to Criminalise Atheism, EGYPTIAN STREETS (Dec. 24, 2017).) Previously on November 9, 2017, an Egyptian lawmaker proposed a bill criminalizing […]

Israel: Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to Constitutionality of FATCA’s Implementation

(Jan. 25, 2018) On January 2, 2018, Israel’s Supreme Court, sitting as a High Court of Justice, issued its reasoning for its decision of September 12, 2016, rejecting a petition challenging the constitutionality of the Income Tax Ordinance (Amendment No. 227) Law, 5776-2016 (Amendment Law). The main decision was rendered by Justice Hanan Melcer, with […]