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Germany: Amendments to Adoption Law Enacted

(Mar. 16, 2021) On February 18, 2021, the Act to Improve Support to Families That Are Adopting (Adoption Support Act) was published in the German Federal Law Gazette. The Adoption Support Act aims to modernize adoption law and improve adoption placement procedures to safeguard the best interests of the child. In particular, questions of open […]

Brazil: Federal Supreme Court Decides Right to Be Forgotten Is Not Supported by Constitution

(Mar. 15, 2021) On February 11, 2021, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal Federal, STF) dismissed the extraordinary appeal by family members of the victim of a notorious 1958 murder who had sought redress for the reconstruction of the case on a 2004 TV show without their permission. In a ruling of “general repercussion”—one […]

England: Restrictions on Privacy in Parole Hearings Loosened

(Mar. 15, 2021) On February 8, 2021, England’s government announced its intention to amend rule 15 of the Parole Board Rules 2019, which provide that, with limited exceptions, all parole hearings should be held in private, to provide transparency and confidence in the parole system. Changes to the rules will end what is effectively a […]

Japan: Supreme Court Finds Exemption of Confucian Temple from Paying Rent to City Unconstitutional

(Mar. 12, 2021) On February 24, 2021, Japan’s Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional for the city government of Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, to exempt a Confucian temple from paying land usage fees because such an exemption violated the principle of separation of religion and state. (2019(Gyo-tsu)222 (S. Ct., Feb. 24, 2021), in Japanese; to […]

Germany: Bavarian High Administrative Court Rules on COVID-19 Testing Requirement in Nursing Homes

(Mar. 10, 2021) On March 2, 2021, the High Administrative Court of Bavaria (Bayerischer Verwaltungsgerichtshof, BayVGH), the supreme court for administrative jurisdiction in Bavaria, published its rulings in two preliminary injunction cases challenging the COVID-19 testing guidelines in nursing homes. It struck down the requirement that nursing home staff be tested three times a week […]

Italy: Implementation of EU Legislation on Arrest Warrants

(Mar. 9, 2021) On February 2, 2021, Italy issued Legislative Decree No. 10 (L.D. No. 10) amending domestic legislation to implement a European Union (EU) standard related to the European Arrest Warrant. General Provisions on the Implementation of the EU Arrest Warrant Under the new legislation, the implementation of EU provisions for EU arrest warrants […]

Pakistan: Supreme Court Bars Use of Death Penalty for Inmates with Serious Mental Illness

(Mar. 3, 2021) On February 10, 2021, a five-member bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in a landmark judgment barred the use of the death penalty for inmates with serious mental illness or disorders who are “unable to comprehend the rationale behind their execution.” Background The apex court was hearing three appeals from prisoners […]

Thailand: Abortion in First Trimester Legalized

(Mar. 1, 2021) On January 25, 2021, the Ratthasapha (Thai national assembly) amended the Thai Penal Code to relax currently restrictive regulations on abortion by decriminalizing the termination of pregnancy during first 12 weeks. The amendment was published in the Government Gazette on February 6, 2021, and took effect on the following day. (Act Amending […]

Brazil: Federal Supreme Court Implements Mediation and Conciliation Center

(Feb. 25, 2021) The recently created mediation and conciliation center of the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal Federal, STF) will hear its first dispute involving the exclusive use of the iPhone brand in Brazil. The center, which was created on August 6, 2020, through STF Resolution No. 697 (Resolução STF No. 697, de 6 […]

International: International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea Confirms Sovereignty of Mauritius over Chagos Archipelago

(Feb. 23, 2021) On January 28, 2021, in its Judgment on Preliminary Objections in the Dispute Concerning Delimitation of the Maritime Boundary between Mauritius and the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) rejected the Maldives’ challenges to the Tribunal’s jurisdiction. The judgment was rendered by the […]