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Brazil: Federal Supreme Court Authorizes Release of Pregnant Women in Pretrial Detention

(Mar. 15, 2018) On February 20, 2018, the second chamber of the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court decided by a majority vote to grant collective habeas corpus to women currently in pretrial detention and place them under house arrest instead. This decision applies to all women prisoners in the national territory who are pregnant or mothers […]

Brazil: Federal Supreme Court Allows Transfer of Two Transvestites to Prisons Compatible with their Sexual Orientation

(Mar. 14, 2018) On February 19, 2018, Justice Luis Roberto Barroso of the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court ruled in a habeas corpus proceeding that two persons who self-identified as transvestites and who had been placed in a men’s prison cell be transferred to a prison that is “compatible with their gender identity.” (Ministro determina transferência […]

Sweden: Appellate Court Grants Sami Village “Better Right” to Hunting Rights, but Not Control over Them

(Mar. 8, 2018) On January 23, 2018, the Appeals Court for Upper Norrland (Hovrätten for Övre Norrland) decided that the Sami village Girjas has a “better right” to fishing and hunting rights in its reindeer-grazing area than the Swedish state, concluding that the state has no right to fishing or hunting in that area. The […]

Malaysia: Federal Court Rules that State Sharia Court Has Jurisdiction Over Apostasy Cases

(Mar. 6, 2018) On February 27, 2018, it was reported that the Malaysian Federal Court (the highest court in Malaysia) had dismissed an appeal by four people from the state of Sarawak who wished to have their apostasy cases considered in a civil court. (Sharon Ling, Federal Court Rules Jurisdiction to Hear Apostasy Cases Lies […]

Germany: Islamic Umbrella Organizations Ruled Ineligible to Teach Religious Classes in Public Schools in North Rhine-Westphalia

(Feb. 27, 2018) In a decision published on January 10, 2018, the Higher Administrative Court of North Rhine-Westphalia (OVG NRW), the highest state court in administrative law matters, held that the petitioners, two Islamic religious umbrella organizations, were not entitled to introduce Islamic religious classes in public schools as a permanent part of the school […]

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 […]

Italy: Constitutional Court Issues Decision on Citizenship Oath

(Jan. 18, 2018) On November 8, 2017, the Italian Constitutional Court issued a decision on requiring an oath of citizenship from an immigrant whose disabilities prevented her from taking it. (Decision No. 258 of November 8, Issued in a Constitutional Legitimacy Case by Incidental Procedure (the Decision), GAZZETTA UFFICIALE [OFFICIAL GAZETTE, G.U.] (Dec. 13, 2017) […]

France: Constitutional Court Strikes Down Prohibition on Accessing Terrorist Websites

(Jan. 17, 2018) On December 15, 2017, France’s Conseil constitutionnel (Constitutional Court) struck down a legislative provision prohibiting access to websites that support terrorism. (Conseil Constitutionnel, Decision No. 2017-682 QPC, Dec. 15, 2017, CONSEIL CONSTITUTIONNEL.) The provision, which was part of a security law adopted in February 2017, prohibited “habitual” access to websites that supported […]

Germany: University Admission Rules for Medical Studies Partially Unconstitutional

(Jan. 16, 2018) On December 19, 2017, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) held that the federal framework and state implementing provisions regulating university admissions for medical studies at Germany’s public universities are partially incompatible with the German Basic Law, the country’s Constitution. The Court stated that the provisions infringe the applicants’ constitutional right […]

Japan: Supreme Court Says Pretense of Being Deceived Did Not Affect Responsibility for Attempted Fraud

(Jan. 11, 2018) On December 11, 2017, Japan’s Supreme Court rendered a decision in a fraud case in which the victim cooperated with the police investigation after she realized the fraud had occurred. (Sup. Ct., Case No. 2017 (a) 1079 (Dec. 11, 2017) (click characters beside PDF icon at the bottom) (in Japanese).) In this […]