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Global Legal Monitor: February Highlights

One thing I enjoy at the end of every month is going to the Global Legal Monitor (GLM) page and browsing through the articles on legal developments from different corners of the world published that month.  Thirty articles were published in the GLM in February.  Among these are three notable articles regarding the regulation of firearms in three different jurisdictions:

  • The first discusses a measure in South Africa seeking to outlaw possession of, among other things, firearms and “dangerous weapons” in public gatherings.  This measure adopts a broad definition of what amounts to a dangerous weapon including “any object, other than a firearm, designated as a weapon and capable of producing death or seriously [sic] bodily harm.”
  • The second discusses a nationwide campaign by the Ministry of Public Security (MPS, the police) of China to fight firearms related offenses.  According to the MPS, a 2012 campaign resulted in the seizure of 160,000 guns and 2,780 tons of explosives, the uncovering of 670 illegal gun manufacturing shops, and the arrest of 20,000 suspects.
  • The third talks about a recent measure adopted by Australia‘s House of Representatives introducing a new offense for trafficking large numbers of firearms across state and territory lines or national borders.  A conviction for this offense is punishable by life imprisonment.  Other measures currently being worked on are the establishment of a National Firearms Register and a National Firearms Identification Database.

Also among the articles published in February are three others that discuss developments on domestic relations issues in three jurisdictions:

  • One discusses three failed measures in Poland intended to recognize and extend limited legal rights to same-sex couples and unmarried heterosexual couples including inheritance rights.
  • The second is on a recent Supreme Court of Canada decision rejecting a claim challenging the constitutionality of  provisions of the Québec Civil Code that distinguishes between married and civil union couples.  The court noted that the provisions in question did not violate the Constitution because they do not target a particular group of couples.
  • Finally, the third article discusses  a recently adopted provision in France redefining marriage as follows: “[m]arriage is contracted by two persons of different sex or of the same sex.”  The provision is part of a larger piece of proposed legislation on same-sex marriage that will amend various provisions of the Civil Code.  The entire package was adopted by the National Assembly, the lower chamber of the French Parliament, on February 12, and passed on to the French Senate, with public discussion scheduled for the period April 4-13.

Of all the articles published in the GLM, some attracted particularly high traffic in February.  Below is the list of the 10 most viewed GLM articles for the month in the order of their popularity:

  1. Burma: Amended Foreign Investment Law Published
  2. European Court of Human Rights / France: Adoption for Same Sex Couples
  3. U.N. Human Rights Council: First Resolution on Internet Free Speech
  4. India: Crime of Sexual Assault Penalized
  5. Taiwan: Cabinet Approves Increase in Minimum Hourly Wage
  6. China: Maternity Leave Extended from 90 Days to 98 Days
  7. South Korea: Permanent Dual Nationality Allowed after 60 Years
  8. Somalia: New Constitution Approved
  9. Iceland: Internet Porn Ban Considered
  10. China: Revision of Catalog of Industries for Foreign Investment

You can read more GLM articles by going to the GLM page in the Law Library of Congress website.  You can also sign-up for email alerts or RSS feeds.  If you’re on Twitter, you can access GLM articles through tweets via @lawlibcongress and tweets from Law library staff.

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