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New Zealand: Amendments Enacted to Remove Barriers to the Establishment of Maori Seats by Local Authorities

(Mar. 5, 2021) On March 1, 2021, the Local Electoral (Maori Wards and Maori Constituencies) Amendment Act 2021 (2021 Act) received royal assent, having been passed by the New Zealand Parliament on February 23, 2021. The amendments to the Local Electoral Act 2001 were passed under urgency procedures, as the government considered that local authorities […]

Italy: New Law Contains Measures on Visas, Territorial Waters, Virtual Proceedings in Drug Trials, and Refugee Centers

(Jan. 22, 2021) On December 20, 2020, Italy’s government issued Law No. 173 of December 18, 2020, which contains new measures concerning visas, vessels in territorial waters, virtual proceedings in drug trafficking prosecutions, and refugee center security and detainee welfare. New Provisions on Student Visas, Resident Visas for Refugees The new legislation allows foreign students who […]

European Union: European Court of Justice Upholds Flemish Requirement to Stun Animals Before Slaughter

(Dec. 31, 2020) On December 17, 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that a decree requiring that animals undergo a reversible (temporary) stunning procedure before slaughter is not an illegal infringement of freedom of religion as guaranteed by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. At issue was a […]

Australia: New Legislative Framework for Federal Assessments of Arrangements between State or Territory Governments and Foreign Governments Receives Assent

(Dec. 17, 2020) On December 10, 2020, Australia’s Foreign Relations (State and Territory Arrangements) Bill 2020 (Cth) (the act) received assent, having been passed by the Commonwealth (i.e., federal) Parliament on December 3, 2020. A bill containing consequential amendments to other legislation was also passed on December 8 and received assent on December 10. According […]

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 […]

Ukraine: New Territorial Division of the Country Initiated

(July 21, 2020) On July 17, 2020, the Verkhovna Rada (legislature) of Ukraine changed the administrative division of the country at the subregional level and approved Resolution No. 3650 of July 15, 2020, on the Creation and Elimination of Districts. With the implementation of the reform, planned before the local elections scheduled for October 25, […]

Brazil: Municipal Elections Postponed Because of COVID-19

(July 7, 2020) On July 2, 2020, the Brazilian Congress promulgated Constitutional Amendment No. 107, which determines that the first round of the municipal elections scheduled for October 2020 will take place on November 15, 2020, and the second round, where applicable, will be held on November 29, 2020. In the event that the sanitary […]

Indonesia: Spread of COVID-19 Declared a National Disaster

On April 13, 2020, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo (“Jokowi”) issued Presidential Decree No. 12 of 2020 on Stipulation of the Non-Natural Disaster of the Spread of COVID-19 as a National Disaster. According to the Jakarta Post, the decree “states that efforts to mitigate the outbreak are to be led by the COVID-19 Task Force with the cooperation […]

Germany: Court Rules Day Care Assignments More than 30 Minutes from Home Unreasonable

(Nov. 20, 2019) In a decision published on August 2, 2019, the Higher Administrative Court of Rhineland-Palatinate held that the city of Mainz, Germany, cannot fulfill its legal obligation to provide children three years and older with day care that is a reasonable distance from their home by assigning them a place in a center […]

Brazil: Brazilian President Signs Decree Authorizing Use of Armed Forces in Amazon Region

(Sept. 19, 2019) On August 23, 2019, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro signed Decree No. 9,985 (Decreto No. 9,985, de 24 de Agosto de 2019) authorizing the use of the armed forces to assist in fighting fires in the Amazon forest. Article 1 of Decree No. 9,985 authorizes the use of the armed forces to guarantee […]