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Russian Federation: Supreme Court Recognizes Birthdays and Bad Weather as Legitimate Reasons for Not Working

(Feb. 17, 2021) The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation recently reviewed several labor law cases previously resolved by lower courts and concluded that any evidence admitted under the Civil Procedural Code can be used by employees to prove the validity of their absence from work. In one case, a fellow at a research institute […]

United States: Supreme Court Holds Germany Not Liable for Forced Sale of Artifacts by German Jewish Art Dealers during 1930s

(Feb. 16, 2021) On February 3, 2021, the United States Supreme Court delivered a unanimous opinion in Federal Republic of Germany v. Philipp, holding that heirs to Jewish art dealers whose relics were acquired by the German government during Nazi rule are barred from recovery in United States courts under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA). […]

China: Country’s Second Specialized Financial Court to Be Established in Beijing

(Feb. 10, 2021) On January 22, 2021, China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) issued a decision approving the establishment of a new specialized financial court, the Beijing Financial Court. The establishment of China’s first financial court, the Shanghai Financial Court, was approved by the NPCSC on April 27, 2018. The Supreme People’s Court (SPC, […]

United States: Appeals Court Rules Property Claims out of Early 20th Century Acts of Genocide Do Not Satisfy Jurisdictional Requirements in Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act

(Feb. 5, 2021) On September 24, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a lower court’s decision dismissing a complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), 28 U.S.C. § 1602 et seq. (Rukoru v. Federal Republic of Germany, No. 19-609 (2d Cir. Sept. 24, […]

Russian Federation: Constitutional Court Says Movement Restrictions during Pandemic Are Legal

(Jan. 27, 2021) On December 25, 2020, the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation reviewed a case against the governor of the Moscow Region regarding freedom of movement during the COVID-19 pandemic. The case was submitted by an individual who in April 2020 was fined by local authorities for disobeying the governor’s “stay at home” […]

Sweden: Appellate Court Declares Decision on Shared Reindeer Herding Rights Invalid

(Jan. 26, 2021) On December 16, 2020, the Appellate Court for Upper Norrland remanded the Vapsten reindeer case to the court of first instance, ordering it to rehear the case to determine which Sami group has a better right to herd reindeer in the Vapsten reindeer herding area in northern Sweden. (Appellate Court of Upper […]

Israel: High Court Rejects Petition to Open Criminal Investigation against Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Wexner Foundation

(Jan. 22, 2021) On December 29, 2020, Israel’s High Court rejected outright a petition by current Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyau’s Likud party to open a criminal investigation against former Prime Minister Ehud Barak and the Wexner Foundation. (HC 3194/20 Likud v. Attorney General.) Ehud Barak is a political rival of Netanyahu. Background The petition centers […]

Germany: New English-Speaking Commercial Court Opened in the State of Baden-Württemberg

(Jan. 15, 2021) At the beginning of November 2020, the first English-speaking commercial court began operating in Germany, with locations in Stuttgart (Stuttgart Commercial Court) and Mannheim (Mannheim Commercial Court). The commercial court decides disputes in international commercial law. According to a press release issued by the State Ministry of Baden-Württemberg, the purpose of the […]

Samoa: Controversial Constitutional Reforms Passed

(Jan. 13, 2021) On December 15, 2020, the Parliament of Samoa voted to pass three bills that “fundamentally alter the country’s constitution and judicial system.” The three bills – the Constitution Amendment Bill 2020, Land and Titles Bill 2020, and Judicature Bill 2020 – were introduced in March 2020 and passed with a vote of […]