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Japan: New Lost Goods Law in Effect

(Jan. 2, 2008) An American university professor dropped mobile phones and wallets containing cash in Tokyo and New York. The return rate in Japan was higher. Because lost items have piled up at lost property centers and the cost of management of lost property is rising, the Diet passed a new Lost Goods Law (Law […]

Austria: Damages for Pain and Suffering

(Jan. 2, 2008) In a decision of September 27, 2007 (Oberster Gerichtshof [Supreme Court], Sept. 27, 2007, docket no. 2 Ob 135/07b, at Bundeskanzleramt Rechtsinformationssystem [BKA/RIS]), the Austrian Supreme Court affirmed a trial court decision that had awarded ¿35,000 (about US$51,550) for the mental anguish suffered by the 14-year-old survivor of the tortuous death of […]

Japan: Korean A-Bomb Survivors

(Dec. 2, 2007) Although Japan's A-Bomb Special Measures Law of 1968 did not clearly exclude A-bomb survivors who lived outside Japan from being recipients of health maintenance allowances, the Health Ministry notification of 1974 excluded them. Forty Koreans who returned to Korea after the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima sued the Japanese government in Japan, […]

Maldives: Parliament Passes Draft of Constitution Chapter

(Dec. 2, 2007) The draft constitutional chapter concerned with procedures for amending the Constitution was passed by the Majlis, the Parliament of Maldives. The language written by the Drafting Committee was entirely retained. Under this chapter, parts of the Constitution may be amended by a three-fourths majority vote in the Majlis. The chapters on the […]

Nigeria: Vice-President Calls for Review of Constitution

(Dec. 2, 2007) Nigeria's Vice-President, Goodluck Jonathan, on November 20, 2007, said that the country's Constitution is inadequate and in need of amendment. Speaking at the International Conference on Federalism being held in New Delhi, he argued that the 1999 document does not accommodate current developments. Jonathan further said that most Nigerians see the current […]

Ghana: Two Men Charged with Sodomy

(Dec. 2, 2007) The INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE reported that a British journalist and a 19-year old Ghanaian have been charged with sodomy after police found photos of the two men having sex. The British journalist is also charged with possession of obscene pictures. While both men pleaded guilty to "unnatural carnal knowledge," the journalist pleaded […]

Taiwan: Draft Changes to Succession Rules

(Dec. 2, 2007) An amendment to the Civil Code of the Republic of China (on Taiwan) on the rules of inheritance was discussed in November 2007 by the legislature's Judiciary Committee, with a view to protecting minors under 20 years of age and the underprivileged from incurring excessive debt from inheritances. At present, the Civil […]

Nepal: Accident Victim Compensation in Disarray

(Dec. 2, 2007) Street justice, in the form of obstruction of vehicular traffic to press for higher compensation, has in recent months come to determine the amount paid to "third party" victims, as a result of contradictory provisions in Nepal's laws on compensation for accident victims. Reportedly, "the more pressure the victim's party is able […]

China: Simplification of Administrative Procedures

(Nov. 2, 2007) On September 28, 2007, the State Council of the People's Republic of China issued a circular that cancels 128 administrative examination and approval procedures and amends 58 others, in a move to reduce government red tape. Among the 128 eliminated procedures are some of those listed, for example, in the Decision of […]

European Union: Reform Treaty

(Nov. 2, 2007) On October 26, 2007, the European Union agreed on the text of the Reform Treaty, otherwise known as the Lisbon Treaty, which replaces the EU Constitution rejected in 2005 by France and the Netherlands. The treaty will be formally signed by the 27 EU Member States in Lisbon, Portugal, on December 13, […]