Library of Congress

Law Library of Congress

The Library of Congress > Law Library > News & Events > Global Legal Monitor

Switzerland: Burqa Ban Approved by Voters

(Apr. 16, 2021) On March 7, 2021, Swiss voters approved by a vote of 51.21%–48.79% a popular initiative that prohibits covering one’s face in public, with some enumerated exceptions. Voter turnout was 51.40%. Content of the Prohibition The initiative adds a new article 10a to the Swiss Constitution. Article 10a prohibits covering one’s face in […]

Sweden: Privacy Protection Authority Finds Police Use of Facial Recognition Illegal, Issues Fines

(Apr. 6, 2021) On February 10, 2021, the Swedish Authority for Privacy Protection (IMY, Integrationsmyndigheten, formerly Datainspektionen) issued a decision whereby it fined the Swedish Police Authority 2.5 million Swedish kronor (about US$296,000) for violating the Crime Data Act (Brottsdatalagen) by using the facial recognition application Clearview AI. The artificial intelligence application was used intermittently […]

United Kingdom: New Law Provides Framework for Covert Human Intelligence

(Mar. 31, 2021) The United Kingdom enacted the Covert Human Intelligence Sources Act (the CHIS Act) on March 1, 2021. The CHIS Act provides a framework to provide a criminal conduct authorization (CCA) that enables covert human intelligence sources (CHIS) to participate in actions during the course of their work that would otherwise constitute a […]

Jamaica: House of Representatives Passes Bills Easing Admission of Drug Crime Evidence

(Jan. 15, 2021) On December 8, 2020, Jamaica’s House of Representatives passed amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act, 1948, and the Evidence Act, 1843. If enacted, the amendments would introduce new procedures for securing and disposing of drugs seized in connection with drug crimes and enable the admission of drug samples and recorded images as […]

Italy: Constitutional Court Limits Drug Searches Conducted Without Judicial Authorization

(Jan. 5, 2021) On November 26, 2020, the Italian Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional a provision in Presidential Decree No. 309 of October 9, 1990, that allows police to conduct searches and seizures in illegal drug cases without previous authorization from a magistrate. (Decision No. 252 of November 26, 2020  (in Italian).)  Article 103, paragraph 3 […]

Germany: Bremen Prohibits Flying or Using German Imperial War Flags

(Oct. 13, 2020) On September 14, 2020, Minister of the Interior Ulrich Mäurer of the city-state of Bremen, Germany issued a decree banning the public flying or use of the German imperial war flag. Flying such a flag on private property where it is clearly intended to be and is visible to everyone is also […]

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, […]

New Zealand: Court Partially Upholds Challenge to Legality of COVID-19 Lockdown

(Aug. 20, 2020) On August 19, 2020, the High Court of New Zealand, the third-highest court in the judicial hierarchy, released its decision in the case of Andrew Borrowdale v Director-General of Health [2020] NZHC 2090 (Decision), in which Borrowdale, a former government legal drafter, challenged the legality of aspects of the New Zealand government’s lockdown measures […]

Italy: New Law Including Measures on Home Detention or Postponement of Penalties due to COVID-19 Enters into Force

(July 27, 2020) On June 30, 2020, a new law containing a provision on the adjustment of penal sentences because of the COVID-19 pandemic and other miscellaneous provisions entered into force in Italy. (Law No. 70 of June 25, 2020, amending Decree Law No. 28 of April 30, 2020 (D.L. No. 28).) Measures on Home […]

Israel: Emergency Regulations Authorize Digital Surveillance of Coronavirus Patients and Persons Subjected to Home Isolation

(Mar. 18, 2020) On March 15 and 17, 2020, Israel’s transitional government headed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu approved two separate emergency regulations that allow, among other things, the use of digital surveillance by the General Security Service (GSS) and provide expanded search authority to the Israel Police to combat the spread of the coronavirus. […]