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New Zealand: Government Launches Charter on Use of Algorithms by Public Agencies

(July 31, 2020) On July 28, 2020, the New Zealand government launched the Algorithm Charter for Aotearoa New Zealand, with the minister for statistics stating that it was the first country in the world “to outline a set of standards to guide the use of algorithms by public agencies.” The charter, which has been signed by 21 public […]

Mexico: President Signs Law Granting Amnesty to Criminals Incarcerated for Certain Crimes

(Apr. 24, 2020) On April 22, 2020, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador signed into law a bill passed by Mexico’s Senate two days earlier granting amnesty to persons incarcerated for the commission of certain crimes provided that applicable requirements are met. These crimes include the possession of narcotics in small quantities under a number […]

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 […]

New Zealand: Bill Pardoning Māori Prophet Convicted in 1916 Passed

(Jan. 2, 2020) On December 18, 2019, the New Zealand Parliament passed historic legislation that pardons Rua Kēnana, a pacifist religious prophet from the Tuhoe iwi (tribe) who was convicted in August 1916 of “moral resistance” to a police attempt to arrest him in February 1916. In April 1916, around seventy armed police officers came to the […]

Mexico: Bill Granting Amnesty for Certain Drug Crimes and Offenses Committed by Indigenous People Passed

(Dec. 26, 2019) On December 11, 2019, Mexico’s House of Representatives announced that it had passed a bill proposing to grant amnesty for the commission of certain crimes, provided that applicable requirements are met. These crimes include the possession of narcotics in small quantities under a number of circumstances, such as cases in which the […]

Sweden: Government Announces Truth Commission at Sami Repatriation Ceremony Following Official Sami Request

(Dec. 12, 2019) On August 12, 2019, the Swedish government repatriated 25 skulls belonging to the Samis, an indigenous group living in an area known as Sápmi, which is spread over northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia. The skulls had been excavated during the 1950s during an archeological dig and sent to the […]

Sweden: Sami Rights Litigated in Dispute Between Two Sami Groups

(Nov. 27, 2019) On November 8, 2019, two indigenous Sami groups met in Lycksele District Court over who had the “better right” to herd reindeer in the Vapsten reindeer herding area, which includes parts of Storuman municipality in northern Sweden. (Case no. T329-17, Aktbilaga 133 Sammanställning [Case Addendum 13 Summary], on file with author.) Legal […]

Japan: New Ainu Law Becomes Effective

(Aug. 5, 2019) A new act that legally recognizes the Ainu as the indigenous people of Japan was promulgated on April 26, 2019, and became effective on May 24, 2019. (Act on Promoting Measures to Realize a Society in Which the Pride of the Ainu People Is Respected, Act No. 16 of 2019 (Ainu Promotion […]

India: Tripura State Hopes to Follow Assam in Establishing National Register of Citizens

(Nov. 5, 2018) The working president of the Congress Party in the Indian state of Tripura, Pradyot Debbarman, filed a petition before India’s Supreme Court on October 24, 2018, requesting that a National Register of Citizens be compiled for his state. Debbarman’s petition is the second one filed on this issue with the Supreme Court, […]

New Zealand: Decision on Scope of Crown/Maori Relations Portfolio and Establishment of New Office

(Sept. 25, 2018) On September 18, 2018, the New Zealand government announced that the Cabinet had agreed to the final scope of the Crown/Maori Relations ministerial portfolio and to establish a new agency called the Office for Maori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti. (Press Release, Kelvin Davis, Maori Crown Agency to Be Established (Sept. 18, 2018), New Zealand […]