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Chile: Law Enacted Adopting Criminal Penalties for Public Disruptions and Violence

(Mar. 10, 2020) On January 30, 2020, Law No. 21,208 enacted Chile’s “Anti-looting law,” amending the Penal Code to impose criminal penalties for looting and actions that threaten the freedom of movement of people on public roads through violence and intimidation. Under the new Law, setting up barricades, looting, and other violent practices that have […]

Indonesia: Constitutional Court Rejects Challenge to Law Establishing Papua as a Province

(Jan. 31, 2020) On January 6, 2020, Indonesia’s Constitutional Court (Mahkamah Konstitusi) issued a decision in which it rejected an application for judicial review of Law No. 12/1969 on the establishment of the West Irian Autonomous Province and the Autonomous Districts in the West Irian Province. (Mahkamah Konstitusi Putusan [Decision] No. 35/PUU-XVII/2019.) The area that made up […]

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 […]

Russia: New Legislation Restricts Anonymity of Internet Users

(Sept. 5, 2017) On July 29, 2017, the President of the Russian Federation signed two recently adopted federal laws that prohibit the anonymous use of online messenger applications and detail the procedure for blocking access to websites recognized by the Russian authorities as prohibited. (Law on Information and Information Technologies Has Been Amended, KREMLIN.RU (official […]

Australia: Police Response to Aboriginal Death in Custody and Ensuing Riot Ruled Discriminatory

(Dec. 9, 2016) On December 5, 2016, the Federal Court of Australia found in favor of an Aboriginal community from Palm Island, Queensland, in a class action case involving claims that officers of the Queensland Police Service (QPS) engaged in racial discrimination in responding to a riot that took place in 2004 following the death […]

Burma: Law Used to Stifle Dissent Abolished

(Oct. 10, 2016) On October 4, 2016, Htin Kyaw, the President of Burma (also known as Myanmar), signed legislation that abolishes a law in place since 1950 that has been used to imprison dissidents. (Justin Cosgrove, Myanmar Abolishes Law Used to Jail Dissidents, PAPER CHASE (Oct. 5, 2016); 1950 Emergency Provisions Act (Mar. 9, 1950), […]

Poland: Controversial Proposals and Measures on Surveillance Law, Constitutional Tribunal, and Media Law

(Feb. 3, 2016) Poland’s government is planning legal changes that would increase the surveillance over the country’s citizens. The new provisions, proposed by the ruling Law and Justice Party, would increase the government’s access to digital data while reducing restrictions on the use of surveillance by the police. (Dominic Yobbi, Thousands March in Poland to […]

Burundi: Opposition Leader Detained, Released; Election Aid Suspended Before Military Coup

(May 13, 2015) On May 6, 2015, Burundian opposition leader Audifax Ndabitoreye was arrested by authorities on charges of insurrection. He had just met with ministers of the East African Community (EAC), a regional inter-governmental organization comprised of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. (Bradley McAllister, Burundi Police Arrest Opposition Leader for Insurrection After Meeting […]

Burundi: Court Permits Third Bid for Presidency

(May 7, 2015) On May 5, 2015, the Constitutional Court of Burundi decided that the country’s president, Pierre Nkurunziza, could run for a third term; six of the seven judges signed the decision. (Burundi Court Upholds President’s Controversial Third-Term Bid, FRANCE 24 (May 5. 2015).) The issue arose because Nkurunziza wishes to run for his […]