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Research & Litigation

Updated Regulation of Bitcoin in Selected Jurisdictions Report: Canada and Russia

Law Library of Congress: Research Reports - Mon, 06/01/2015 - 3:00pm
The Law Library of Congress report, Regulation of Bitcoin in Selected Jurisdictions, now includes updates for Canada and Russia.

This report surveys forty foreign jurisdictions and the European Union, reporting on any regulations or statements from central banks or government offices on the handling of bitcoins as well as any significant use of bitcoins in business transactions. Topics covered include whether bitcoins are recognized as legal tender, the possibility of negative impacts on the national currency, concerns about fraud, and how transactions using the Bitcoin system are viewed by tax authorities.

Of those countries surveyed, only a very few, notably China and Brazil, have specific regulations applicable to bitcoin use. There is widespread concern about the Bitcoin system's possible impact on national currencies, its potential for criminal misuse, and the implications of its use for taxation. Overall, the findings of this report reveal that the debate over how to deal with this new virtual currency is still in its infancy.

Visit http://www.loc.gov/law/help/bitcoin-survey/index.php to read the entire report.
Categories: Research & Litigation

New Research Report: Points-Based Immigration Systems

Law Library of Congress: Research Reports - Mon, 06/01/2015 - 3:00pm
The Law Library of Congress is proud to present a new report, Points-Based Immigration Systems.

This report discusses the points-based selection processes used by Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom within the context of the immigration systems of these countries. The individual country surveys reveal that Australia operates a hybrid system for skilled migration that involves employer sponsorship and a points-based visa program that was revised in 2012. The UK's points-based program, introduced in 2003, provides for five different immigrant tiers. Canada uses a points-based selection process for its Federal Skilled Workers Program, which is one of several programs within its "economic class" of immigration. The specific criteria considered within the points-based programs of the countries surveyed vary but can include such factors as the applicant’s age, educational background, language abilities, experience, employment arrangements, and general adaptability, among others. All of the countries surveyed appear to emphasize labor market needs in their current selection processes.

Visit http://www.loc.gov/law/help/points-based-immigration/index.php to read the entire report.
Categories: Research & Litigation

New Research Report: Regulations Concerning the Private Possession of Big Cats

Law Library of Congress: Research Reports - Mon, 06/01/2015 - 3:00pm
The Law Library of Congress is proud to present a new report, Regulations Concerning the Private Possession of Big Cats.

This report surveys the different legal approaches taken by twenty-one countries and the European Union in regulating the private possession of big cats. All the countries surveyed are members of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Among them, China, India, Malaysia, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam are tiger range countries where tigers still exist in the wild. China, India, and Russia were found to designate wild tigers as state property.

Visit http://www.loc.gov/law/help/bigcats/index.php to read the entire report.
Categories: Research & Litigation

New Research Report: Citizenship Pathways and Border Protection

Law Library of Congress: Research Reports - Mon, 06/01/2015 - 3:00pm
The Law Library of Congress is proud to present a new report, Citizenship Pathways and Border Protection.

This report describes the different legal approaches to immigration, citizenship, and border control taken by Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The report also discusses the European Union's border control and visa regime for the Schengen area. A summary that compares and contrasts specific elements of the legal systems surveyed is included.

Visit http://www.loc.gov/law/help/citizenship-pathways/index.php to read the entire report and http://blogs.loc.gov/law/2013/09/law-library-report-on-citizenship-pathways-and-border-protection/ for more background on it.
Categories: Research & Litigation

New Legal Research Guide: Personal Status Laws in Selected Arab Jurisdictions

Law Library of Congress: Research Reports - Mon, 06/01/2015 - 3:00pm
The Law Library of Congress is pleased to publish a new legal research guide, Personal Status Laws in Selected Arab Jurisdictions.

The guide identifies personal status laws and related materials in a number of Arab countries, including Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Qatar, Syria, and Tunisia, as well as the personal status law applicable in those territories that are governed by the Palestinian Authority. Many of these laws are primarily based on Islamic law.

Visit http://www.loc.gov/law/help/arab-laws.php to use the legal research guide.
Categories: Research & Litigation

New Research Report: Guest Worker Programs

Law Library of Congress: Research Reports - Mon, 06/01/2015 - 3:00pm
The Law Library of Congress is proud to present a new report, Guest Worker Programs.

This report discusses guest worker programs in thirteen countries--Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Norway, the Russian Federation, South Korea, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. It also provides information on the European Union’s Proposal for a Directive on Seasonal Employment, the Association Agreement between the European Union and Turkey regarding migrants of Turkish origin, and the Multilateral Framework of the International Labour Organization on the admission of guest workers. The country surveys address eligibility criteria for the admission of guest workers and their families, guest worker recruitment and sponsorship, visa conditions and quotas, and the availability of a path to permanent status. A bibliography of selected English-language materials on immigration policies is also included.

Visit http://www.loc.gov/law/help/guestworker/index.php to read the entire report.
Categories: Research & Litigation

Three New Customary Law Research Guides

Law Library of Congress: Research Reports - Mon, 06/01/2015 - 3:00pm
The Law Library of Congress is pleased to make three new guides on customary law available: Africa, India, and Maori.

Customary Law in Africa
(http://www.loc.gov/law/help/africa-customary-law.php)
This research guide provides information and resources relating to customary law in Africa.

Customary Law in India
(http://www.loc.gov/law/help/india-customary-law.php)
This research guide provides information and resources relating to customary law in India.

Maori Customary Law
(http://www.loc.gov/law/help/maori-customary-law.php)
This research guide provides information and resources relating to Maori customary law and its place in the New Zealand legal system.
Categories: Research & Litigation

New Research Report: The Role of Islamic Law in Tunisia's Constitution and Legislation Post-Arab Spring

Law Library of Congress: Research Reports - Mon, 06/01/2015 - 3:00pm
In anticipation of the Law Library of Congress and the African and Middle Eastern Division of the Library of Congress event tomorrow, the Law Library is proud to present a new report, The Role of Islamic Law in Tunisia's Constitution and Legislation Post-Arab Spring.

Executive Summary
This report discusses the role played by Islamic law in drafting the new Tunisian Constitution and passing domestic legislation following the Arab Spring civil uprisings. Heated contention characterized debates from February 2012 through early 2013 between Islamic political groups and secular movements over the role of Islamic law in Tunisia's Constitution and domestic legislation, the prohibition of blasphemy in both the Constitution and the Penal Code, and the constitutional and legal rights of women. Ultimately, the Islamic political parties failed in their attempts to implement a stronger role for Islamic law as a result of fierce opposition from secular forces not only in the Constituent Assembly itself, but also in the streets of the country in the form of public protests.

Visit http://www.loc.gov/law/help/tunisia.php to read the entire report.

For more on the event, The Role and Impact of Islamic Law in Transitioning Arab Spring Countries, see: https://www.facebook.com/events/444655232290346/
Date: Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Time: 1:30 p.m.
Place: Mumford Room, Library of Congress, James Madison Building, 101 Independence Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20540

There will be a panel discussion on the role and impact of Islamic law in the developing constitutions and laws of transitioning countries in the Middle East/North Africa region.

The panel, led by moderator Mary-Jane Deeb, Chief of the African and Middle Eastern Division, will discuss the role of Shari'a law in the recent and ongoing constitutional drafting processes of Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. The discussion will also concentrate on the broader impact of Islamic law on the legal systems of Arab Spring states, looking particularly at personal status issues. Other points of discussion will include the compatibility of Shari'a law and human rights, and some of the challenges facing women and minorities in transitioning Arab Spring countries.

The distinguished panel will include Nathan J. Brown, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University; Lama Abu-Odeh, Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center; and Issam Saliba, Foreign Law Specialist at the Law Library of Congress.

In addition to the panel discussion, a display of Islamic law materials from the Library of Congress collections will be placed on rare display at the close of the program for thirty minutes.

In case you are unable to make the event, we will post information, including live tweets during the program, a recap blog post, and webcast via our social media outlets:

In Custodia Legis, < http://blogs.loc.gov/law/ >
Twitter, @LawLibCongress < https://twitter.com/LawLibCongress >, using the hashtag #ArabSpring < https://twitter.com/search?q=%23arabspring >
Facebook, < http://www.facebook.com/lawlibraryofcongress >
YouTube, < http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL96401BE3402149B9 >, "Law and the Library" playlist
iTunes U, < deimos3.apple.com/WebObjects/Core.woa/Browse/loc.gov.3061529668 >
Categories: Research & Litigation

Current Legal Topics - Firearms-Control Legislation and Policy: Australia, Brazil, and Canada

Law Library of Congress: Research Reports - Mon, 06/01/2015 - 3:00pm
The Law Library of Congress is proud to present three new Firearms-Control Legislation and Policy reports: Australia, Brazil, and Canada.

Australia
The sale, possession, and use of firearms are regulated by the Australian states and territories, with cross-border trade matters addressed at the federal level. In 1996, following the Port Arthur massacre, the federal government and the states and territories agreed to a uniform approach to firearms regulation, including a ban on certain semiautomatic and self-loading rifles and shotguns, standard licensing and permit criteria, storage requirements and inspections, and greater restrictions on the sale of firearms and ammunition. Firearms license applicants would be required to take a safety course and show a "genuine reason" for owning a firearm, which could not include self-defense. The reasons for refusing a license would include "reliable evidence of a mental or physical condition which would render the applicant unsuitable for owning, possessing or using a firearm." A waiting period of twenty-eight days would apply to the issuing of both firearms licenses and permits to acquire each weapon.

Brazil
In Brazil, the federal government has the power to legislate on issues related to firearms. The handling, trading, or possession of materials for the production of weapons without a license is criminalized. It is also a crime to expose a child or adolescent to firearms. In 2003, a more rigid federal law was enacted to regulate the registration, possession, and sale of firearms and ammunition. This law defines crimes involving firearms and fosters the disarmament of the society.

Canada
The control of firearms in Canada is predominantly governed by the Firearms Act, the Criminal Code, and their subordinate regulations. The Criminal Code defines the main categories of firearms, which include restricted, prohibited, and non-restricted firearms. The Firearms Act regulates the possession, transport, and storage of firearms.

Visit our site to read the three new reports and the comparative analysis: http://www.loc.gov/law/help/firearms-control/index.php
Categories: Research & Litigation

Current Legal Topics - Firearms-Control Legislation and Policy: Comparative Analysis

Law Library of Congress: Research Reports - Mon, 06/01/2015 - 3:00pm
The Law Library of Congress is proud to present a new comparative analysis, Firearms-Control Legislation and Policy.

Introduction
This survey describes the different legal approaches taken by eighteen countries and the European Union (EU) with regard to ownership, possession, and other activities involving firearms. The individual reports cover laws, regulations, and directives, in addition to statistical and other relevant information on gun control. The reports also address the availability or lack thereof of a constitutional right to bear arms under foreign law; the scope of firearms-related activities that are subject to licensing; conditions for the issuance of licenses, including background checks of the applicant's mental and criminal history; training, testing, and storage requirements; weapons bans; and registration procedures, including the use of a central register in some of the countries surveyed. Many reports describe legislative history and trends, which in some cases were influenced by rising crime levels or incidents of mass shootings.

The countries surveyed include Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, Germany, Great Britain, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, and Switzerland. These countries and the EU were selected based on interest in their firearms-control laws and the way these laws are implemented, the desire to cover a wide selection of continents and cultures, and the current availability of staff expertise at the Law Library of Congress. The individual country and EU surveys will be added to the Law Library of Congress website as they become available.

Visit our site for the comparative analysis: http://www.loc.gov/law/help/firearms-control/comparative.php
Categories: Research & Litigation

Current Legal Topics - Israel: Participation of Victims of Terrorism in Criminal Appeals

Law Library of Congress: Research Reports - Mon, 06/01/2015 - 3:00pm
The Law Library of Congress is proud to present a new report, Israel: Participation of Victims of Terrorism in Criminal Appeals.

Summary
Israeli legislation does not expressly recognize the right of crime victims, including those harmed by terrorism offenses, to participate at the appellate stage of criminal proceedings that are tried in either civilian or military courts.

In the absence of express authorization for participation of victims of terrorism offenses in the appeal process, the introduction of any new statements by victims during such proceedings is subject to general rules regarding the admissibility of evidence in the course of an appeal.

Based on rules laid down by Israel's Supreme Court in accordance with section 211 of the Criminal Procedure Law (Consolidated Version), 5742-1982, the introduction of new evidence in appeal proceedings is generally prohibited except under exceptional circumstances. Such circumstances exist when the new evidence is necessary in the interest of justice and could not have been located during the hearing in the lower court, and when its introduction is expected to result in a different outcome than that reached by the lower court. Allowing victims to participate by providing new statements during the appeal process is not likely to be in compliance with these requirements.

A search for court decisions has not identified cases where victims of terrorism attempted to intervene in appeals of criminal convictions or the sentencing of offenders.

Visit our site for the full report: http://www.loc.gov/law/help/victims-terrorism.php
Categories: Research & Litigation

Current Legal Topics - Wildlife Trafficking and Poaching

Law Library of Congress: Research Reports - Mon, 06/01/2015 - 3:00pm
The Law Library of Congress is proud to present a new report, Wildlife Trafficking and Poaching.

Executive Summary
This report describes the regulatory framework relating to wildlife trafficking and poaching in seven African jurisdictions: Botswana, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, and Tanzania. Included in the report are discussions of laws that criminalize poaching and trafficking in wildlife, the penalties imposed for such crimes, and the state institutions tasked with enforcing the laws.

Visit our site for the full report: http://www.loc.gov/law/help/wildlife-poaching.php
Categories: Research & Litigation

Current Legal Topics - Constitutional Provisions on Women's Equality

Law Library of Congress: Research Reports - Mon, 06/01/2015 - 3:00pm
The Law Library of Congress is proud to present a new report, Constitutional Provisions on Women's Equality.

Executive Summary
In many countries of the world, the national constitution includes language that proclaims women's equality, states anti-discrimination policies, or both. The following report, presented in list format, offers the jurisdictions that include such language in their constitution, as well as direct citations to where it can be found.

Visit our site for the full report: http://www.loc.gov/law/help/women-equality.php
Categories: Research & Litigation

Current Legal Topics - New Zealand: General Elections

Law Library of Congress: Research Reports - Mon, 06/01/2015 - 3:00pm
The Law Library of Congress is proud to present a new report, New Zealand: General Elections.

Executive Summary
This report provides information on the conduct of general elections in New Zealand. It includes discussion of the "mixed member proportional" electoral system, which is the subject of a referendum that will coincide with the 2011 election. Other matters covered include voter registration and eligibility rules, voting processes, the existence of separate electoral districts and an electoral roll for Maori voters, campaign finance and advertising laws, and responsibilities for electoral administration and oversight.

Visit our site for the full report: http://www.loc.gov/law/help/new_zealand_elections.php
Categories: Research & Litigation

Egypt: Pending Charges Against Former President Mubarak and Potential Legal Ramifications

Law Library of Congress: Research Reports - Mon, 06/01/2015 - 3:00pm
The Law Library of Congress is proud to present a new item, Egypt: Pending Charges Against Former President Mubarak and Potential Legal Ramifications.

After the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his regime on February 11, 2011, political activists and the Egyptian public have not stopped protesting in downtown Cairo's Tahrir Square. The main purpose of these ongoing protests is to pressure the caretaker government to put the main figures of the Mubarak regime on trial, including the former Ministers of Interior, Tourism, Information, Finance, Industry, Trade, and Housing. Protestors are calling for the trial not only of these people but also of former President Mubarak and his family.

Under the pressure of these continuous demonstrations, the caretaker government arrested all the aforementioned ministers as well as other individuals loyal to the regime. The government is investigating whether these individuals are guilty of embezzlement of public funds, abuse of power, and illegal profiteering. This article discusses the charges of abuse of power and illegal profiteering against Mubarak, his wife, and two sons.

Visit our site for an introduction to the issue, the investigation, charges and penalties, burden of proof, and concluding remarks.
Categories: Research & Litigation

Legal Research Guide: Egypt

Law Library of Congress: Research Reports - Mon, 06/01/2015 - 3:00pm
The Law Library of Congress is pleased to present this new Legal Research Guide to Egypt. The guide includes an introduction, official sources of the law, the legislative process, the court system, and web resources.
Categories: Research & Litigation

Current Legal Topics: Nigeria: Election Laws

Law Library of Congress: Research Reports - Mon, 06/01/2015 - 3:00pm
The Law Library of Congress is proud to present a new report, Nigeria: Election Laws.

Executive Summary
In preparation for the 2011 elections, Nigeria has made various changes to laws governing elections, mainly the Electoral Act and the Constitution. Among the changes are steps taken to guarantee the independence of the Independent National Elections Commission (INEC) and to reorganize Election Tribunals and their powers. The issue of what amounts to a full term of a governorship, an issue that has recently been a subject of litigation before federal courts, has also been finally settled through a Constitutional amendment.

Visit our site for the full report: http://go.usa.gov/b2c.

For related resources on the Nigerian elections, see:

-Nigeria: Constitutionality of Provisions of Electoral Act 2010 Challenged in Court http://www.loc.gov/lawweb/servlet/lloc_news?disp3_l205402607_text

-Nigeria: INEC Appeals Court Ruling Exempting Five States from Upcoming Gubernatorial Elections http://www.loc.gov/lawweb/servlet/lloc_news?disp3_l205402614_text

-Nigeria: Court of Appeals Upholds High Court Ruling, No Gubernatorial Elections in Five States http://www.loc.gov/lawweb/servlet/lloc_news?disp3_l205402631_text

-Election Season in Nigeria http://blogs.loc.gov/law/2011/04/election-season-in-nigeria/
Categories: Research & Litigation

Current Legal Topics: Lebanon: Constitutional Law and the Political Rights of Religious Communities

Law Library of Congress: Research Reports - Mon, 06/01/2015 - 3:00pm
The Law Library of Congress is proud to present a new report, Lebanon: Constitutional Law and the Political Rights of Religious Communities.

Executive Summary
The Lebanese constitution of 1926, as amended, is still in force today. Its main feature is the representation given to the various religious communities in public employment, the formation of government, and the selection of the legislature. It guarantees basic individual rights and freedoms and provides for a parliamentary form of government. The major amendments agreed to in 1989 shifted the balance of executive power from the Presidency of the Republic to the Council of Ministers. In 2008 following a military operation undertaken by Hizbullah, an agreement among the main political parties was concluded in Doha. This agreement reflected a de facto acknowledgement that no major decisions by the Lebanese government can be made without the consent of all major religious communities, no matter how large the majority supporting the government may be.

Visit our site for the full report: http://go.usa.gov/4Lh.
Categories: Research & Litigation

Current Legal Topics: Israel: Criminal and Ethical Aspects of Municipal Rabbis' Letter Concerning the Sale or Rental of Property in Israel to Non-Jews

Law Library of Congress: Research Reports - Mon, 06/01/2015 - 3:00pm
The Law Library of Congress is proud to present a new report, Israel: Criminal and Ethical Aspects of Municipal Rabbis' Letter Concerning the Sale or Rental of Property in Israel to Non-Jews.

This report analyzes the criminal and ethical aspects of a letter published by fifty municipal rabbis in Israel alleging that Jewish law prohibits the sale or rental of property in Israel to non-Jews. It suggests that the publication of the letter may have constituted an offense under Israel's penal law and may also subject its signatories to ethical penalties. It further suggests that at least with regard to one of the signatories, an indictment under the Penal Law is highly likely.

Visit our site for the full report: http://go.usa.gov/YzH.
Categories: Research & Litigation

Current Legal Topics: New Zealand: Maori Culture and Intellectual Property Law

Law Library of Congress: Research Reports - Mon, 06/01/2015 - 3:00pm
The Law Library of Congress is proud to present a new report, New Zealand: Maori Culture and Intellectual Property Law.

The protection of the traditional cultural expressions of indigenous people from inappropriate use raises issues relating to the differences between standard intellectual property concepts and the "worldview" of such groups. In New Zealand, Maori claims regarding rights to "guardianship" of their cultural knowledge have been expressed in the context of the guarantees in the Treaty of Waitangi. Some recognition of these interests can be seen in amendments to intellectual property laws. However, there remain questions regarding the protection of expressions of culture that are considered in the public domain, and that are used commercially and non-commercially in both the domestic and international settings.

Visit our site for the full report: http://go.usa.gov/1d5.
Categories: Research & Litigation

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