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Russian Federation: Supreme Court Rejects Mother’s Petition to Change Children’s Names without Father’s Consent

(Apr. 19, 2021) On January 28, 2021, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation issued a ruling that clarified the circumstances in which a divorced parent may change a child’s first name, patronymic name, and last name without the consent of the other parent. This decision confirmed the equal rights of the parents regardless of […]

Israel: Supreme Court Voids Coronavirus Lockdown Restrictions Limiting Demonstrators to 1,000 Meters from Residence

(Apr. 15, 2021) On April 4, 2021, Israel’s Supreme Court voided a regulation that had been in effect from October 1 to 13, 2020, and served as a basis for issuing fines against persons who participated in demonstrations against the prime minister and the Israeli government in violation of its conditions. (HC 5469/20 National Responsibility […]

Israel: Facing Criminal Trial, Prime Minister Finds Authority Limited by Supreme Court Decision Upholding Attorney General’s Conflict of Interest Opinion

(Apr. 2, 2021) As Israeli Prime Minister (PM) Binyamin Netanyahu faces hearings scheduled to begin on April 5, 2021, in his criminal trial for charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust, he finds his prime ministerial authority limited by a recent decision of the Israeli Supreme Court, sitting as a High Court of Justice […]

Norway: Supreme Court Rules on Scope of Climate Provision in Constitution, Finds Government May Issue Exploratory Arctic Drilling Permits

(Mar. 31, 2021) On December 22, 2020, the Norwegian Supreme Court ruled that the Norwegian Constitution does not prevent the country’s government from issuing permits to explore drilling in the Arctic. (Supreme Court Decision HR-2020-2472-P (sak nr. 20-051052SIV-HRET), Dec. 22, 2020.) In doing so, the Supreme Court also established the boundaries and meaning of the […]

United Kingdom: Uber Drivers Are Workers Entitled to Employment Law Protections, Supreme Court Rules

(Mar. 17, 2021) The Supreme Court, the United Kingdom’s highest court, upheld on February 19, 2021, a ruling from the Court of Appeal that drivers who brought an employment law claim against Uber in 2016 were not independent contractors and were entitled to the protections afforded workers under U.K. employment law. The high court rejected […]

Brazil: Federal Supreme Court Decides Right to Be Forgotten Is Not Supported by Constitution

(Mar. 15, 2021) On February 11, 2021, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal Federal, STF) dismissed the extraordinary appeal by family members of the victim of a notorious 1958 murder who had sought redress for the reconstruction of the case on a 2004 TV show without their permission. In a ruling of “general repercussion”—one […]

Japan: Supreme Court Finds Exemption of Confucian Temple from Paying Rent to City Unconstitutional

(Mar. 12, 2021) On February 24, 2021, Japan’s Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional for the city government of Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, to exempt a Confucian temple from paying land usage fees because such an exemption violated the principle of separation of religion and state. (2019(Gyo-tsu)222 (S. Ct., Feb. 24, 2021), in Japanese; to […]

Pakistan: Supreme Court Bars Use of Death Penalty for Inmates with Serious Mental Illness

(Mar. 3, 2021) On February 10, 2021, a five-member bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in a landmark judgment barred the use of the death penalty for inmates with serious mental illness or disorders who are “unable to comprehend the rationale behind their execution.” Background The apex court was hearing three appeals from prisoners […]

Russian Federation: Supreme Court Recognizes Birthdays and Bad Weather as Legitimate Reasons for Not Working

(Feb. 17, 2021) The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation recently reviewed several labor law cases previously resolved by lower courts and concluded that any evidence admitted under the Civil Procedural Code can be used by employees to prove the validity of their absence from work. In one case, a fellow at a research institute […]

United States: Supreme Court Holds Germany Not Liable for Forced Sale of Artifacts by German Jewish Art Dealers during 1930s

(Feb. 16, 2021) On February 3, 2021, the United States Supreme Court delivered a unanimous opinion in Federal Republic of Germany v. Philipp, holding that heirs to Jewish art dealers whose relics were acquired by the German government during Nazi rule are barred from recovery in United States courts under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA). […]