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Germany: Constitutional Court Declines to Hear Complaint Challenging Alternating Schedules in Schools

(Aug. 5, 2020) In an order published on July 15, 2020, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) declined to hear a case in which the complainants challenged a COVID-19 regulation limiting in-person classes in schools in Bavaria when a physical distance of 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) cannot be maintained. The court further denied the […]

Austria: Constitutional Court Clarifies Rules of Procedure Changes during Extraordinary Circumstances

(July 30, 2020) On July 14, 2020, the Austrian Constitutional Court approved changes to its Rules of Procedure, which, among other things, allow for decisions using a written circulation procedure and videoconferencing when extraordinary circumstances are present. The changes clarify a March 2020 amendment to the Constitutional Court Act that was adopted to keep the […]

Chile: New Constitutional Amendment Imposes Term Limits for Certain Public Officials

(July 29, 2020) On July 8, 2020, Law No. 21238, which amends the Chilean Political Constitution to establish limitations on the reelection of certain public officials, entered into force in Chile. The new law also provides that elections for deputies (members of the lower house of the national legislature) and senators are to be held […]

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 […]

Turkey: Parliament Passes Major Amendments to Law on Legal Practitioners

(July 17, 2020) On July 10, 2020, Turkey’s parliament passed into law a bill amending Law No. 1136 on Legal Practitioners (LLP). The new law allows new bar associations to be established in populous provinces, and significantly changes the system for the distribution of delegates representing provincial bar associations in the Union of Turkish Bar […]

Norway: Supreme Court Rules It Has Universal Jurisdiction over Foreigners’ Prior Terrorist Acts Abroad

(July 16, 2020) On June 26, 2020, the Norwegian Supreme Court ruled that Norwegian courts may exercise universal jurisdiction over crimes of terrorism and that foreigners may thus be sentenced in Norway for terrorism crimes they committed before arriving in the country. (Supreme Court Decision Case No. HR-2020-1340-A.) Facts of the Case The defendant, a […]

Russian Federation: Newly Adopted Constitutional Amendments Change Jurisdiction of Constitutional Court and Procedure for Appointing Judges

(July 15, 2020) On July 3, 2020, Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin signed Decree No. 445 “On the Official Publication of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, as Amended.” The president issued the decree immediately after the Russian Central Election Commission had approved the results of the national referendum held between June 25 and July […]

Israel: Supreme Court Voids Law Legalizing Settlements Built on Unauthorized and Privately Owned Land in West Bank

(July 14, 2020) On June 9, 2020, the Supreme Court of Israel, sitting as a High Court of Justice, ruled 8–1 to accept a petition against the constitutionality of the Law on the Regulation of Settlement in Judea and Samaria, 5777-2017 (Feb. 13, 2017). The majority opinion was rendered by Court President Justice Esther Hayut, […]

Brazil: Municipal Elections Postponed Because of COVID-19

(July 7, 2020) On July 2, 2020, the Brazilian Congress promulgated Constitutional Amendment No. 107, which determines that the first round of the municipal elections scheduled for October 2020 will take place on November 15, 2020, and the second round, where applicable, will be held on November 29, 2020. In the event that the sanitary […]

Italy: Constitutional Court Declares Revocation of Certain Criminal Offenders’ Driver’s Licenses Unconstitutional

(July 2, 2020) On May 29, 2020, the Italian Constitutional Court issued a decision declaring unconstitutional a provision of the New Highway Code that established the automatic revocation of certain criminal offenders’ driver’s licenses. (Decision No. 99 of May 27, 2020.) Background of the Case The regional administrative court (Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale, TAR) for Italy’s […]