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Sweden: Supreme Court Recognizes Sami Indigenous Group’s Exclusive Right to Confer Hunting and Fishing Rights in Sami Area

(Feb. 14, 2020) On January 23, 2020, the Swedish Supreme Court held that the Sami group “Girjas Sameby” (literally “Girjas Sami Village”) had an exclusive right to fishing and hunting in Girjas reindeer-herding areas on the basis of urminnes hävd (their presence there from time immemorial). Not only can the Sami village confer hunting and […]

Indonesia: Constitutional Court Rejects Challenge to Law Establishing Papua as a Province

(Jan. 31, 2020) On January 6, 2020, Indonesia’s Constitutional Court (Mahkamah Konstitusi) issued a decision in which it rejected an application for judicial review of Law No. 12/1969 on the establishment of the West Irian Autonomous Province and the Autonomous Districts in the West Irian Province. (Mahkamah Konstitusi Putusan [Decision] No. 35/PUU-XVII/2019.) The area that made up […]

Philippines: Supreme Court Rules on Same-Sex Marriage

(Jan. 24, 2020) On January 6, 2020, the Philippines’ Supreme Court announced it had dismissed a motion to reconsider its September 2019 ruling denying a petition to approve same-sex marriage in the country, effectively concluding this case “with finality.” The petition had essentially requested that the Court declare unconstitutional on equality grounds certain provisions of […]

Turkey: Digital Services, Accommodations, and Valuable Real Estate Taxes Introduced

(Jan. 14, 2020) On December 5, 2019, Turkey’s parliament passed Law No. 7194, which, among other things, introduced three new taxes. The Law, which was published in the Official Gazette on December 7, provides for a “digital services tax,” an “accommodations tax,” and a “valuable real estate tax.” Digital Services Tax This tax is assessed […]

Egypt: Court Grants Christian Woman Share of Father’s Estate Equal to Share of Her Two Brothers

(Jan. 9, 2020) On November 25, 2019, the Cairo Court of Appeal granted a Christian woman a share of her late father’s inheritance equal to that of her two male brothers. The plaintiff had argued that, as a Coptic Christian, she should not be subject to Islamic law in matters related to family law. She […]

United Kingdom: Court Upholds Elephant Ivory Ban

(Jan. 8, 2020) On November 5, 2019, the High Court of the United Kingdom (UK) ruled against a claim filed earlier that year by a group of antiques dealers that the Ivory Act 2018 was unlawful. The Act had been enacted to prohibit commercial activities involving ivory in the UK. There were two primary grounds […]

Israel: Supreme Court Holds Eligibility of Knesset Member Facing Serious Offenses Indictment to Form Government Is Justiciable but Not Before Election

(Jan. 6, 2020) On January 2, 2020, the Supreme Court of Israel, sitting as a High Court of Justice, unanimously rejected a petition that the Court declare it illegal for a member of the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) facing indictment for offenses of moral turpitude to form a government, or alternatively, order the attorney general to […]

Norway: Supreme Court Finds Passive Father Responsible for Aiding and Abetting Mother’s Physical Abuse of Children

(Dec. 30, 2019) On November 27, 2019, the Norwegian Supreme Court affirmed the conviction of a man for aiding and abetting the gross abuse of a dependent by neglecting to protect the children from their abusive mother, and increased the sentence from two years and six months’ imprisonment to three years’ imprisonment. (Norwegian Supreme Court, […]

Sweden: Former Ambassador Charged with “Arbitrariness During Negotiations with a Foreign Power”

(Dec. 27, 2019) On December 9, 2019, the Swedish prosecutor charged former ambassador to China, Anna Lindstedt, with “arbitrariness during negotiations with a foreign power” (egenmäktighet vid förhandling med främmande makt), for conducting secret negotiations, without prior authorization from the Swedish Foreign Ministry, with parties that represented the Chinese government’s interest in relation to the […]