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England: Restrictions on Privacy in Parole Hearings Loosened

(Mar. 15, 2021) On February 8, 2021, England’s government announced its intention to amend rule 15 of the Parole Board Rules 2019, which provide that, with limited exceptions, all parole hearings should be held in private, to provide transparency and confidence in the parole system. Changes to the rules will end what is effectively a […]

England: Proposals Introduced to Reform Pre-charge Bail to Provide Better Protection to Victims of Violent Crime

(Mar. 1, 2021) On January 14, 2021, the U.K. government published its response to a consultation into the use of pre-charge bail amid concern that it was not being used appropriately because of a “presumption against its use,” meaning that the police must use it only when necessary. Most notably, suspects were being released after […]

France: Constitutional Court Strikes Down Special Security Measures for Individuals Convicted of Terrorism

(Sept. 30, 2020) On August 7, 2020, the French Conseil constitutionnel (Constitutional Council) struck down most of a bill that aimed to impose special security measures on individuals after their release from prison for participating in terrorism-related activities. This bill, which was first submitted on March 11, 2020, was adopted by the French Parliament on […]

Philippines: Supreme Court Holds First Virtual Session, Addresses Petition to Free Certain Prisoners due to COVID-19

(Apr. 30, 2020) On April 17, 2020, the Philippine Supreme Court held a virtual en banc session for the first time in its history in order to address an urgent petition requesting the release of elderly and sick inmates because of the risk they face in prison due to COVID-19, a government press release said. […]

Turkey: New Parole Measure Expected to Significantly Lower Prison Population

(Apr. 28, 2020) On April 14, 2020, the Parliament of Turkey passed Law No. 7242 amending Law No. 5275 on the Execution of Penal and Security Measures. The amendments include both provisions that are aimed at lowering the prison population generally and, in response to COVID-19, a temporary release provision for convicts that are serving […]

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 […]

Mexico: President Urges Approval of Amnesty Law Because of Coronavirus Infection Risk in Prisons

(Apr. 24, 2020) On April 15, 2020, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador urged Mexico’s Senate to pass the Amnesty Law to prevent the massive spread of the coronavirus in the country’s 17 federal and 292 state penitentiaries. The purpose of the law is to provide early release for people who have been imprisoned for […]

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 […]

Italy: Constitutional Court Rules on Constitutionality of Prison Benefits Provisions

(Sept. 17, 2018) On July 11, 2018, the Italian Constitutional Court issued a decision on the constitutional legitimacy of article 58-quater of Law No. 354 of 1975 regarding prison benefits for persons sentenced to life imprisonment for certain crimes. (Decision No. 149 of July 11, 2018, Issued in a Constitutional Legitimacy Case by Incidental Procedure […]

Israel: Sentencing of Citizen Who Entered Syria to Join Rebels

(Apr. 6, 2015) On March 23, 2015 Israel’s Kfar-Saba circuit court sentenced a defendant convicted of the offenses of infiltrating a hostile state (Syria) and of negligently causing “the delivery of information likely to benefit the enemy” to imprisonment for a period of 11 months and to additional periods of probation for each offense. The […]