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South Korea: Supreme Court Finds Conscientious Objection to Military Service Justifiable

(Nov. 16, 2018) On November 1, 2018, the Supreme Court of South Korea ruled that conscientious objection to military service is “justifiable” under article 88(1) of the Military Service Act. (Sup. Ct., No. 2016 do 10912 (Nov. 1, 2018) (in Korean), Supreme Court website; Military Service Act, Act No. 4685, Dec. 31, 1993, as amended by […]

India: Tripura State Hopes to Follow Assam in Establishing National Register of Citizens

(Nov. 5, 2018) The working president of the Congress Party in the Indian state of Tripura, Pradyot Debbarman, filed a petition before India’s Supreme Court on October 24, 2018, requesting that a National Register of Citizens be compiled for his state. Debbarman’s petition is the second one filed on this issue with the Supreme Court, […]

United Kingdom: Supreme Court Rules on Widowed Parent’s Allowance for the Surviving Unmarried Partner

(Sept. 18, 2018) On August 30, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom issued a ruling stating that “section 39A of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) Act 1992 [the Act] is incompatible with article 14 of the ECHR [European Convention on Human Rights], read with article 8, insofar as it precludes […]

United Kingdom: Supreme Court Rules on Heterosexual Civil Partnerships

(Sept. 14, 2018) On June 27, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom issued a declaration that “sections 1 and 3 of [the Civil Partnership Act 2004, (CPA)], to the extent that they preclude a different sex couple from entering into a civil partnership, are incompatible with article 14 of [the European Convention for […]

United Arab Emirates: Federal Supreme Court Orders Drivers to Pay Blood Money After Killing Pedestrians

(Aug. 22, 2018) The Federal Supreme Court of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has ordered faulty drivers in two separate cases of traffic fatalities to pay compensation to the victims’ families. According to Islamic law, anyone causing the death or injury of another person accidentally or intentionally is required to pay a form of financial […]

Sweden: Supreme Court Rules Live Broadcast of Rape Is Aggravated Defamation but Not Violation of Duty to Report Ongoing Rape

(Aug. 8, 2018) On July 2, 2018, the Swedish Supreme Court ruled that a man who had filmed an ongoing rape and broadcast it on Facebook Live was guilty of aggravated defamation (grovt förtal) but not of the crime of failure to report a rape. (Högsta domstolen [Swedish Supreme Court], Case No. B 3552-17 (July […]

Norway: Supreme Court Rules on Boundaries of Hate Speech

(Aug. 7, 2018) On April 12, 2018, the Norwegian Supreme Court issued a judgment under which a person was sentenced to prison for hate speech. (Norges Høyesterett [Norwegian Supreme Court] Dom [Case No.] HR-2018-674-A, Lovdata website; HR-2018-674-A, Supreme Court website.) The Court found that the man, who on August 15, 2015, had repeatedly called another […]

Brazil: Supreme Court Allows Satire of Political Candidates

(June 26, 2018) On June 21, 2018, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal Federal, STF) ruled as unconstitutional provisions of the Elections Law that prevented radio and television broadcasters from running humorous programs ridiculing or lampooning candidates, political parties, and coalitions in the three months prior to an election. (Lei das Eleições, Lei No. […]

Brazil: Supreme Court Rules Federal Police Plea Bargains Are Constitutional

(June 25, 2018) On June 21, 2018, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal Federal, STF) ruled on a Direct Action of Unconstitutionality (Ação Direta de Inconstitucionalidade (ADI) 5508) proposed by the Public Prosecutor’s Office (Procuradoria Geral da República), holding that agents of the Federal Police (Delegados) could not make plea bargain agreements (acordos de […]

Israel: Constitutionality of Removal from Parliament for Incitement to Racism or Support for Armed Struggle Against the State

(June 7, 2018) On May 27, 2018, Israel’s Supreme Court, sitting as an extended panel of nine justices, rejected joint petitions challenging the constitutionality of amendments authorizing the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) to remove sitting members determined to have acted “in a way constituting incitement to racism or support of an armed struggle against the State […]