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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 […]

China: Multiple Areas of Criminal Law Changing under New Amendment

(Feb. 26, 2021) On December 26, 2020, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) adopted the 48-article Amendment XI to the PRC Criminal Law. Taking effect on March 1, 2021, the new amendment makes changes to multiple areas under the Criminal Law, including public safety, food and drug […]

England and Wales: New Proposals Would Give Police Targeted Stop-and-Search Powers to Tackle Knife Crimes

(Oct. 8, 2020) On September 14, 2020, the government published a public consultation to receive opinions about the design of its newly proposed Serious Violence Reduction Orders (SVROs), which aim to tackle knife crime across England and Wales. The proposed SVROs would create a new stop-and-search power enabling the police to take an “intelligence based, […]

Saudi Arabia: Flogging and Death Abolished as Ta‘zeer Penalties

(Aug. 3, 2020) On July 15, 2020, the director of the Human Rights Commission of Saudi Arabia, Awwad bin Saleh, announced that the commission is planning to launch a number of initiatives to highlight the kingdom’s reforms in the field of human rights. Those reforms include abolishing flogging and capital punishment for minors as ta‘zeer […]

Sudan: New Law Amending Penal Code Takes Effect

(July 23, 2020) On July 13, 2020, the Sudanese Official Gazette published Law No. 12 of 2020, which amends 15 provisions of the Penal Code of 1991. According to Justice Minister Nasredeen Abdulbari, the new provisions are part of Sudan’s efforts to eliminate all laws that violate human rights and “demolish any kind of discrimination […]

France: Justice Reforms Adopted

(Dec. 6, 2016) On October 12, 2016, the French Parliament adopted a law reforming various aspects of the French justice system. The President promulgated the law on November 18.  (Loi n° 2016-1547 du 18 novembre 2016 de modernisation de la justice du XXIe siècle (1) [Law No. 2016-1547 of 18 November 2016 to Modernize XXIst […]

Israel: Parents May be Required to Provide Good Behavior Guarantee for Juvenile Offenders

(Nov. 18, 2015) On November 2, 2015, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) passed an amendment to the Juveniles (Penalties and Treatment Methods) Law 5731-1971. The amendment authorizes the juvenile court to order that the parents of minors who have been convicted of crimes provide a guarantee of their minor child’s future good behavior or pay a […]

England and Wales: School Girl Pleads Guilty to Terror Charges

(Aug. 27, 2015) A 16-year-old school girl pled guilty to two counts of terrorism offenses in a youth court in England, after a counter-terrorism unit conducted an investigation that resulted in the discovery on the girl’s cellphone of instructions on how to build a bomb, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) propaganda, and images […]

Egypt: Court of Appeal Dismisses Theft Charges Against Boy for Stealing Bread

(Dec. 17, 2014) On December 10, 2014, the Court of Appeal in Bani Swief, south of Cairo, Egypt, dismissed theft charges against a nine-year-old boy who had been charged with stealing five loaves of bread. The first instance court had found the boy guilty of a crime under article 311 of the Penal Code and […]

France: Official Report Calls for Reform of Rehabilitation Centers for Juvenile Delinquents

(Nov. 18, 2013) On November 13, 2013, the French Comptroller-General of prisons issued a report that is highly critical of two “Centres Educatifs Fermés” (CEF, Closed Education Centers). (Contrôleur général des lieux de privation de liberté, JOURNAL OFFICIEL DE LA RÉPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE (Nov. 13, 2013).) These centers are the product of a 2002 law reforming […]