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Syria: Women’s Rights in Light of New Amendments to Syrian Personal Status Law

(Apr. 8, 2019) On February 5, 2019, the People’s Assembly of Syria approved amendments to more than 60 articles of the Personal Status Law issued by Legislative Decree No. 59 of 1953. (President al-Assad Issues Law Amending Certain Articles of Personal Status Law Issued by Legislative Decree No. 59 of 1953 and Its Amendments, SYRIAN […]

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 […]

Japan: Civil Code Amended to Enable Elderly Widows and Widowers to Continue Living in Deceased Spouse’s Residence

(Sept. 6, 2018) The inheritance chapter of Japan’s Civil Code was amended in July 2018. (Act to Amend Civil Code and Domestic Relations Case Procedure Act, Act No. 72 of 2018, KANPOU [OFFICIAL GAZETTE] Extra Ed., No. 154, at 4 (July 13, 2018), National Printing Bureau website (in Japanese).) The amendment will become effective by July […]

Colombia: New Law Mandates Loss of Right to Inherit in Cases of Abuse or Neglect of Relatives

(June 13, 2018) On May 30, 2018, President Juan Manuel Santos promulgated Law 1893 to punish children who abuse, abandon, or engage in questionable practices toward their parents by nullifying the children’s right to their parents’ inheritance. (Hijos maltratadores no podrán heredar: nueva ley de la República, EL ESPECTADOR (May 30, 2018).) Senator Roy Barreras, who […]

Brazil: Civil Code Amended to Exclude Heirs Who Kill for Inheritance

(Nov. 21, 2017) On November 9, 2017, the Brazilian Federal Senate approved the bill of law No. 9/2017, which amends the Civil Code to allow the Public Prosecutor’s Office to request the withdrawal of inheritance rights from heirs who have been the perpetrators of intentional homicide or attempted murder against the person who left the […]

Tunisia: Government Lifts Ban on Inter-Religious Marriages

(Sept. 19, 2017) On September 14, 2017, the Tunisian government lifted a ban on inter-religious marriages between Muslim Tunisian females and non-Muslim males. (Tunisia Lifts Ban on Muslim Women Marrying Non-Muslims, AL JAZEERA (Sept. 14, 2017).) This measure was issued by Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi.  During his speech on the national Women’s Day that […]

Brazil: Federal Supreme Court Rules All Couples Have the Same Inheritance Rights

(May 17, 2017) In a ruling issued on May 10, 2017, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal Federal, STF) determined that, for the purpose of inheritance rights, “stable unions” and marriages have the same legal value, providing partners in stable unions the same rights as those of  married persons.  (STF, Recurso Extraordinário (RE) 646721, […]

Japan: Adoption of Grandchild in Order to Save on Inheritance Tax Can Be Valid

(Feb. 23, 2017) Japan’s Supreme Court decided, on January 31, 2017, that adoption of a grandchild can be valid even if the main purpose of the adoption is to save part of the heirs’ inheritance tax upon the grandparent’s death.  (Heisei 28 (ju) 1255, S. Ct. (Jan. 31, 2017), COURTS IN JAPAN (click on the […]

Germany: Court Clarifies Requirements for Living Wills and Durable Healthcare Powers of Attorney

(Sept. 30, 2016) On July 6, 2016, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) held that a statement in a patient’s living will that “I do not wish to receive life-prolonging treatments” was not sufficient to legally bind a patient’s representative to authorize removal of an artificial feeding tube. The Court also separately found that an authorized representative of a patient can only consent to […]