Racial and ethnic relations – Global Legal Monitor [News Feed]

  • Austria: Expropriation of Hitler’s Birthplace Held Constitutional
    (Sept. 8, 2017) On June 30, 2017, the Austrian Constitutional Court (Verfassungsgerichtshof Österreich, VfGH) held that the expropriation by law of the house in which Adolf Hitler was born was constitutional, thereby rejecting the application of the former owner of the house to declare the Expropriation Act void.  The Court stated that the expropriation was in the public interest, proportionate, and not without compensation. (VfGH, June 30, 2017, docket no. G 53/2017-23 (VfGH G53/2017-23), VfGH website (in German); Press Release No. G 53/2017, VfGH, Expropriation of Hitler’s Birthplace by Law Is Not Unconstitutional (June 30, 2017), VfGH website.) Facts of the Case In 2017, the Austrian parliament passed an act to expropriate the property located at Salzburger Vorstadt Nr. 15 in Braunau am Inn, the place where Adolf Hitler was born. (Bundesgesetz über die Enteignung der Liegenschaft Salzburger Vorstadt Nr. 15, Braunau am Inn [Enteignungsgesetz] [Federal Act on the Expropriation of the Property Located at Salzburger Vorstadt Nr. 15, Braunau am Inn] [Expropriation Act], BUNDESGESETZBLATT [BGBl.] [FEDERAL LAW GAZETTE] I No. 4/2017, RIS (Legal Information System of the Republic of Austria).) The law was passed to implement the recommendations of an expert commission set up by the Federal Ministry of the Interior to determine the historically appropriate handling of Adolf Hitler’s birthplace. The expert commission recommended making fundamental architectural changes to the building in order to prevent the identification of the property and deprive it of its symbolic power. (VfGH G53/2017-23, supra, at 33.) According to the Expropriation Act, the purpose of the expropriation was to “permanently prevent the cultivation, promotion, and dissemination of National-Socialist ideology or a positive commemoration of National Socialism.” (Expropriation Act, § 1.) The law provided for fair compensation for the former owner. (Id. § 3.) In February 2017, the District Court of Braunau …
  • Burma: Investigation into Alleged Police Crimes Planned
    (Feb. 22, 2017) On February 8, 2017, officials in Burma (also known as Myanmar), announced that there would be an investigation of alleged police actions, and possible serious crimes, against the Rohingya Muslims, an ethnic and religious minority population.  (Roseanne Gerin, Myanmar Investigation Commission Begins Fact-Finding Mission in Maungdaw, RADIO FREE ASIA (Feb. 10, 2017); Justin Cosgrove, Myanmar to Investigate Alleged Police Crimes Against Rohingya Muslims, PAPER CHASE (Feb. 14, 2017).)  Muslims comprise about 4.3% of the population in the predominantly Buddhist country.  (U.S.  Central Intelligence Agency, Burma: People and Society: Religion, WORLD FACTBOOK (last visited Feb. 15, 2017).) Burmese officials have denied all allegations of wrongdoing by government security forces, stating that there has been a legally conducted counterinsurgency effort in the Rohingya region since nine police officials were killed in October 2016, during an attack on a security post.  (Cosgrove, supra.)  The Home Ministry of Burma has said that the inquiry would establish “whether the police forces have committed illegal actions including violations of human rights during their area clearance operations.”  (Id.)  The country’s Foreign Ministry has said that action will be taken against anyone found guilty of human rights’ abuses.  (Gerin, supra.) U.N. Report on Treatment of Rohingyas According to a report of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), “[s]ince 2012, incidents of religious intolerance and incitement to hatred by extremist and ultra-nationalist Buddhist groups have increased across the country.  The Rohingya and other Muslims are often portrayed as a ‘threat to race and religion.’  Against this backdrop, tensions have occasionally erupted into violence.”  (Interviews with Rohingyas Fleeing from Myanmar since 9 October 2016, REPORT OF THE OHCHR MISSION TO BANGLADESH (Feb. 3, 2017), at 5, OHCHR website.)  The report was based on i …
  • Australia: Police Response to Aboriginal Death in Custody and Ensuing Riot Ruled Discriminatory
    (Dec. 9, 2016) On December 5, 2016, the Federal Court of Australia found in favor of an Aboriginal community from Palm Island, Queensland, in a class action case involving claims that officers of the Queensland Police Service (QPS) engaged in racial discrimination in responding to a riot that took place in 2004 following the death of an Aboriginal man in police custody. (Wotton v State of Queensland (No 5) [2016] FCA 1457, Federal Court of Australia website.) The applicants also claimed that the QPS had contravened the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) (Federal Register of Legislation website) in its handling of the investigation of the death in custody.  (Id.) Background Cameron Doomadgee (commonly called Mulrunji), a 36-year-old Aboriginal man, died in police custody on Palm Island on November 19, 2004. That morning, he had been arrested near the police station after yelling out what the arresting officer, Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley, considered to be abuse directed at Hurley and an Aboriginal police liaison officer who was also on duty. Mulrunji was affected by alcohol and struggled with Hurley, leading to a fall near the door to the police station. He was then dragged “limp and unresponsive” into a cell and died within the next hour. (Federal Court of Australia, Wotton v State of Queensland (No 5) [2016] FCA 1457: Summary (Mortimer J, Dec. 5, 2016), Federal Court of Australia website.) Mulrunji’s autopsy showed that he died of major internal injuries. The coroner’s preliminary report found that Mulrunji died after falling over a step. When the autopsy results were released, about a week after his death, Lex Wotton, an indigenous activist, “led angry residents on a riot through the town.” (Palm Island Riots: Federal Court Finds Police Acted with ‘Impunity’ in Racial Discrimination Lawsuit, ABC NEWS (Dec. 5, 2016).) The police station was burned down during the riot, along with the courthouse and Hurley’s home. (Palm Island Death in Custody Timeline, SYDNEY MO …
  • Canada: Supreme Court Rejects Appeal of Pakistani Canadian Pilot in Discrimination Case
    (July 30, 2015) On July 23, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada rejected the appeal of a Pakistani Canadian pilot in a discrimination case filed against Bombardier, an aerospace company. (Quebec (Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse) v. Bombardier Inc. (Bombardier Aerospace Training Center), 2015 SCC 39, Judgments of the Supreme Court of Canada website.) Case History In 2004, Javed Latif, who held both a U.S. and a Canadian pilot’s license, applied for training at Bombardier’s pilot training center located in Dallas, Texas, under his U.S. license. The security clearance needed was not granted by American authorities, however, and Latif was refused the training. Latif then applied at Bombardier’s Montreal center, using his Canadian pilot’s license. This request was also denied by Bombardier, which based its decision on that of the U.S. authorities without knowing the motivation behind their decision. (Id. ss. 5-15.) Latif filed a complaint with the Commission des droits de l’homme et de la jeunesse (Commission for Human Rights and for Youth), citing racial discrimination by Bombardier. (Id. s. 18). The Commission initiated proceedings on behalf of Latif in the Human Rights Tribunal, under various sections of the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms (COMPILATION OF QUEBEC LAWS AND REGULATIONS, c. 12 (updated to July 1, 2015), PUBLICATIONS QUEBEC); the Tribunal sided with Latif and granted him damages of about CA$320,000 (about US$247, 450). (Quebec (Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse) v. Bombardier Inc. (Bombardier Aerospace Training Center), ss. 20-25.) The Human Rights Tribunal is a specialized Quebec tribunal that has jurisdiction over discrimination and harassment complaints brought under the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. (Ann-Marie Jones, The Human Rights Tribunal, Justice Quebec website (June 25, 2015).) On appeal, the Quebec Court of Appeal rejected the decision of the Tribunal, stating th …
  • United Arab Emirates: New Law Banning Discrimination
    (July 22, 2015) On July 20, 2015, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) issued a law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of religion or ethnic identity. The law also bans discrimination on the grounds of caste, doctrine, color, or race. (Steven Wildberger, UAE Issues Religious Tolerance Law, PAPER CHASE (July 21, 2015).) The Attorney-General of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (one of the components of the UAE), Ali Mohammed Al Balushi, described the law as attempting to prevent divisions in the UAE’s diverse society and to protect all the people of the UAE in a manner consistent with international human rights law as well as with Arab civilization and Islamic civilization. (Anti-Discriminatory Law to Thwart Any Attempt to Sow Seeds of Division in Country’s Cohesive, Diverse Society, Says Abu Dhabi Attorney-General, WAM (Emirates News Agency) (July 20, 2015); United Arab Emirates, WORLD FACTBOOK (last updated July 15, 2015).) The new law, issued by UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, makes it a crime to spread religious hatred or to insult religion, whether through speech, written media, or online. It punishes forms of hate speech that include calling other religious groups or persons infidels. In addition, it penalizes vandalism aimed at religious rituals, holy sites, and symbols. (Anti-Discriminatory Law to Thwart Any Attempt to Sow Seeds of Division in Country’s Cohesive, Diverse Society, Says Abu Dhabi Attorney-General, supra.) The penalties that may be imposed for all the actions considered crimes in the law include imprisonment for from six months to over ten years and fines of from AED50,000 to AED2 million (about US$13,600-$544,500). (UAE Law Combats Religious and Ethnic Intolerance, STAR (July 20, 2015); New UAE Law: 10 Years’ Jail for Hate Crimes and Discrimination, GULF NEWS (July 21, 2015).) The law also targets groups or other entities designed specifically to provoke hatred and provides for punishment of such groups or their supporters if they are a …
  • Brazil: National Council of Justice Sets Quota for Blacks

    (June 15, 2015) The Brazilian National Council of Justice issued a resolution on June 9, 2015, that establishes that 20% of the available positions in public exams designed to select people to enter the bodies of the judiciary, including exams to become a judge, must be filled by black people. The rule is mandatory when the number of positions available is equal to or greater than three. (André Richter, CNJ Aprova Cotas para Negros em Concursos para Magistratura, AGÊNCIA BRASIL (June 9, 2015).)

    Whoever declares themselves to be black or brown (pardo) according to the definition of color or race used by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística) during the application process for the public exam is entitled to fill slots under the quota. (Id.)

    These criteria will be valid until June 9, 2024, the date when Law No. 12,990 of June 9, 2014, which establishes the same quota for positions in the executive, expires. (Id.; Lei No. 12.990, de 9 de Junho de 2014, PLANALTO.)

    The first census of the judiciary, which occurred in 2013, indicated that only 4% of the judges declared themselves to be brown, 1.4% percent declared themselves to be black, and 0.1% declared themselves to be of an indigenous race. (Richter, supra.)

  • Burundi: Court Permits Third Bid for Presidency
    (May 7, 2015) On May 5, 2015, the Constitutional Court of Burundi decided that the country’s president, Pierre Nkurunziza, could run for a third term; six of the seven judges signed the decision. (Burundi Court Upholds President’s Controversial Third-Term Bid, FRANCE 24 (May 5. 2015).) The issue arose because Nkurunziza wishes to run for his third term, and the constitution states that the President may be elected for a five-year term and re-elected only once. (Burundi’s Constitution of 2005, art. 96, CONSTITUTION PROJECT.) According to the Court, “[t]he renewal of the presidential term through direct universal suffrage for five years is not against the constitution of Burundi.” (Burundi Court Backs President’s Candidacy Amid Unrest, AL JAZEERA (May 5, 2015).) The reasoning behind the decision relies on the fact that Nkurunziza was appointed, not elected for his first term. (Burundi Court Backs President Nkurunziza on Third-Term, BBC (May 5, 2015).) Reaction in Burundi to the Third Term Bid and the Decision Duncan Woodside, a journalist for FRANCE 24, pointed out that the court contained a number of Nkurunziza supporters and opined that “[i]t was always expected that the constitutional court would vote in favour of the status quo.” (Burundi Court Upholds President’s Controversial Third-Term Bid, supra.) There have been extensive protests, beginning even before the announcement. Jean Minani of the Frodebu-Nyakuri party, which opposes extending the current administration, said that the protests would continue until Nkurunziza steps aside. “We don’t care about the constitutional court decision because we know this court is manipulated,” he added. (Id.) Police indicated that at least six people have been killed in clashes between demonstrators and law enforcement personnel, three of them from security forces. (Id.) Civil society groups in the country put the number of dead at about twelve and said that about 30,000 individuals have left the country, fearing violence bet …
  • Sri Lanka: Constitutional Amendment to Be Implemented
    (Jan. 23, 2015) Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister, Ranil Wickramasinghe, stated on January 21, 2015, that the country will implement the 13th amendment of its Constitution. The amendment has been long pending, and the Tamil National Alliance, a political party of the Tamil people, a minority located largely in the Northern Province, has demanded that it be implemented. (Will Implement 13th Amendment Within a Unitary State: Ranil, COLOMBO PAGE (Jan. 21, 2015).) The 13th amendment, originally certified on November 14, 1987, states that Tamil will be one of Sri Lanka’s official languages and that provincial councils, with substantial authority, will be established throughout the country. It also said, however, that these councils would be established at various times, as determined by the President. (Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution (1987), SOUTH ASIA TERRORISM PORTAL; Introduction to the Web Version of the Constitution [with links to text as amended through Dec. 20, 2000], PRESINFORM [official website of the Presidential Secretariat of Sri Lanka].) In addition to this announcement that the amendment would be implemented, Sri Lanka’s President, Maithripala Sirisena, replaced the military officer who was the Governor of the Northern Province with a civilian. This was seen as a gesture of good will to the Tamil community. (Will Implement 13th Amendment Within a Unitary State: Ranil, supra.) The move, together with the plan to implement the 13th amendment, was also welcomed by political leaders in Tamil Nadu, the Indian state closest to Sri Lanka. (Tamil Nadu Parties Welcome Sri Lanka’s Announcement on 13th Amendment, ECONOMIC TIMES (Jan. 21, 2015).) …
  • Burundi: New Land Law Raises Controversy
    (Jan. 27, 2014) Burundi recently issued a decree on the structure of the National Commission on Land and Other Assets (CNTB), increasing its authority; the move has been criticized by members of one political party and by outside organizations. Those opposing it have said it is unconstitutional and in violation of the 2000 Arusha Accord for Burundi. The Accord, designed to end years of conflict and signed by many parties to that conflict, was negotiated by the former president of Tanzania, Julius Nyerere, and South Africa’s Nelson Mandela. (Devon Curtis, The Peace Process in Burundi: Successful African Intervention? 24 GLOBAL INSIGHT (Sept. 2003). The issue of land rights is particularly divisive in Burundi, an agricultural country where refugees who were forced to leave the country over decades of ethnic conflicts have returned to find others working their land and often have difficulty re-establishing their rights. (Burundi Coalition Chairman Says Land Dispute to Be Settled After Reconciliation; RADIO ISANGANIRO ONLINE [in French] (Jan. 10, 2014), translated by Open Source Center online subscription database; Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Burundi (Aug. 28, 2000), PEACE ACCORDS MATRIX; Constitution de Burundi (2005), CONSTITUTION FINDER.) Background The problem of land disputes in Burundi is extensive, and such issues make up 80% of the disputes that are brought to the courts. (Land Governance in Burundi: Reform of the Land Code to Allay Conflicts, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation website (last visited Jan. 24, 2014). About 500,000 people have returned to Burundi in the last ten years, and lack of resolution of land issues has been an obstacle to their reintegration into society. About 60,000 refugees came back following expulsions from Tanzania in 2012-2013, and thousands more are expected to return from Uganda. (Burundi’s Land Conundrum, IRIN (Nov. 14, 2013).) The CNTB, established in 2006, is authorized to resettle refugees who return …
  • Sweden: Country Police’s Roma Database Deemed Illegal
    (Nov. 19, 2013) The Swedish Commission on Security and Integrity Protection (ISN) has found the compilation of a digital database of individuals with Roma background to be illegal. (Press Release, ISN, Nämnden kritiserar polismyndigheten i Skånes behandling av personuppgifter i uppgiftssamlingen “Kringresande” [Commission Criticizes the Skåne County Police for Its Use of Personal Information in the Database “Travelers”], Säkerhets-Och Integritetsskyddsnämndenwebsite (Nov. 15, 2013.) The Skåne County Police in Southern Sweden has come under heavy criticism for maintaining a database concerning “Travelers,” which mainly covers individuals with, or associated with persons of, Romani background, although the database itself does not mention ethnicity. (SIN: Polisens Romska register är olagliga [SIN: Police’s Roma Database Is Illegal], DAGENS JURIDIK (Nov. 18, 2013).)   The database was first discovered in September of this year by Niklas Orrenius of the Swedish daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter. (Över tusen barn med i olaglig kartläggning [More Than a Thousand Children in Illegal Mapping], DAGENS NYHETER (Sept. 23, 2013).) The database has been in use from 2012 and has 4,741 entries, including ones on children and deceased individuals. The information appears to have been collected for years prior to 2012. ( …


Archived Snapshot: 2017-03-30

Burma: Investigation into Alleged Police Crimes Planned (Feb. 22, 2017) On February 8, 2017, officials in Burma (also known as Myanmar), announced that there would be an investigation of alleged police actions, and possible serious crimes, against the Rohingya Muslims, an ethnic and religious minority population. (Roseanne Gerin, Myanmar Investigation Commission Begins Fact-Finding Mission in Maungdaw, RADIO FREE ASIA (Feb. 10, 2017); Justin Cosgrove, Myanmar to Investigate Alleged Police Crimes Against Rohingya Muslims, PAPER CHASE (Feb. 14, 2017).) Muslims comprise about 4.3% of the population in the predominantly Buddhist country. (U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, Burma: People and Society: Religion, WORLD FACTBOOK (last visited Feb. 15, 2017).) Burmese officials have denied all allegations of wrongdoing by government security forces, stating that there has been a legally conducted counterinsurgency effort in the Rohingya region since nine police officials were killed in October 2016, during an attack on a security post. (Cosgrove, supra.) The Home Ministry of Burma has said that the inquiry would establish the police forces have committed illegal actions including violations of human rights during their area clearance operations." (Id.) The country's Foreign Ministry has said that action will be taken against anyone found guilty of human rights' abuses. (Gerin, supra.) U.N. Report on Treatment of Rohingyas According to a report of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), 2012, incidents of religious intolerance and incitement to hatred by extremist and ultra-nationalist Buddhist groups have increased across the country. The Rohingya and other Muslims are often portrayed as a to race and religion.' Against this backdrop, tensions have occasionally erupted into violence." (Interviews with Rohingyas Fleeing from Myanmar since 9 October 2016, REPORT OF THE OHCHR MISSION TO BANGLADESH (Feb. 3, 2017), at 5, OHCHR website.) The report was based on i …

Australia: Police Response to Aboriginal Death in Custody and Ensuing Riot Ruled Discriminatory (Dec. 9, 2016) On December 5, 2016, the Federal Court of Australia found in favor of an Aboriginal community from Palm Island, Queensland, in a class action case involving claims that officers of the Queensland Police Service (QPS) engaged in racial discrimination in responding to a riot that took place in 2004 following the death of an Aboriginal man in police custody. (Wotton v State of Queensland (No 5) [2016] FCA 1457, Federal Court of Australia website.) The applicants also claimed that the QPS had contravened the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) (Federal Register of Legislation website) in its handling of the investigation of the death in custody. (Id.) Background Cameron Doomadgee (commonly called Mulrunji), a 36-year-old Aboriginal man, died in police custody on Palm Island on November 19, 2004. That morning, he had been arrested near the police station after yelling out what the arresting officer, Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley, considered to be abuse directed at Hurley and an Aboriginal police liaison officer who was also on duty. Mulrunji was affected by alcohol and struggled with Hurley, leading to a fall near the door to the police station. He was then dragged and unresponsive" into a cell and died within the next hour. (Federal Court of Australia, Wotton v State of Queensland (No 5) [2016] FCA 1457: Summary (Mortimer J, Dec. 5, 2016), Federal Court of Australia website.) Mulrunji's autopsy showed that he died of major internal injuries. The coroner's preliminary report found that Mulrunji died after falling over a step. When the autopsy results were released, about a week after his death, Lex Wotton, an indigenous activist, angry residents on a riot through the town." (Palm Island Riots: Federal Court Finds Police Acted with in Racial Discrimination Lawsuit, ABC NEWS (Dec. 5, 2016).) The police station was burned down during the riot, along with the courthouse and Hurley's home. (Palm Island Death in Custody Timeline, SYDNEY MO …

Canada: Supreme Court Rejects Appeal of Pakistani Canadian Pilot in Discrimination Case (July 30, 2015) On July 23, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada rejected the appeal of a Pakistani Canadian pilot in a discrimination case filed against Bombardier, an aerospace company. (Quebec (Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse) v. Bombardier Inc. (Bombardier Aerospace Training Center), 2015 SCC 39, Judgments of the Supreme Court of Canada website.) Case History In 2004, Javed Latif, who held both a U.S. and a Canadian pilot's license, applied for training at Bombardier's pilot training center located in Dallas, Texas, under his U.S. license. The security clearance needed was not granted by American authorities, however, and Latif was refused the training. Latif then applied at Bombardier's Montreal center, using his Canadian pilot's license. This request was also denied by Bombardier, which based its decision on that of the U.S. authorities without knowing the motivation behind their decision. (Id. ss. 5-15.) Latif filed a complaint with the Commission des droits de l'homme et de la jeunesse (Commission for Human Rights and for Youth), citing racial discrimination by Bombardier. (Id. s. 18). The Commission initiated proceedings on behalf of Latif in the Human Rights Tribunal, under various sections of the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms (COMPILATION OF QUEBEC LAWS AND REGULATIONS, c. 12 (updated to July 1, 2015), PUBLICATIONS QUEBEC); the Tribunal sided with Latif and granted him damages of about CA$320,000 (about US$247, 450). (Quebec (Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse) v. Bombardier Inc. (Bombardier Aerospace Training Center), ss. 20-25.) The Human Rights Tribunal is a specialized Quebec tribunal that has jurisdiction over discrimination and harassment complaints brought under the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. (Ann-Marie Jones, The Human Rights Tribunal, Justice Quebec website (June 25, 2015).) On appeal, the Quebec Court of Appeal rejected the decision of the Tribunal, stating th …

United Arab Emirates: New Law Banning Discrimination (July 22, 2015) On July 20, 2015, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) issued a law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of religion or ethnic identity. The law also bans discrimination on the grounds of caste, doctrine, color, or race. (Steven Wildberger, UAE Issues Religious Tolerance Law, PAPER CHASE (July 21, 2015).) The Attorney-General of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (one of the components of the UAE), Ali Mohammed Al Balushi, described the law as attempting to prevent divisions in the UAE's diverse society and to protect all the people of the UAE in a manner consistent with international human rights law as well as with Arab civilization and Islamic civilization. (Anti-Discriminatory Law to Thwart Any Attempt to Sow Seeds of Division in Country's Cohesive, Diverse Society, Says Abu Dhabi Attorney-General, WAM (Emirates News Agency) (July 20, 2015); United Arab Emirates, WORLD FACTBOOK (last updated July 15, 2015).) The new law, issued by UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, makes it a crime to spread religious hatred or to insult religion, whether through speech, written media, or online. It punishes forms of hate speech that include calling other religious groups or persons infidels. In addition, it penalizes vandalism aimed at religious rituals, holy sites, and symbols. (Anti-Discriminatory Law to Thwart Any Attempt to Sow Seeds of Division in Country's Cohesive, Diverse Society, Says Abu Dhabi Attorney-General, supra.) The penalties that may be imposed for all the actions considered crimes in the law include imprisonment for from six months to over ten years and fines of from AED50,000 to AED2 million (about US$13,600-$544,500). (UAE Law Combats Religious and Ethnic Intolerance, STAR (July 20, 2015); New UAE Law: 10 Years' Jail for Hate Crimes and Discrimination, GULF NEWS (July 21, 2015).) The law also targets groups or other entities designed specifically to provoke hatred and provides for punishment of such groups or their supporters if they are a …

Brazil: National Council of Justice Sets Quota for Blacks
(June 15, 2015) The Brazilian National Council of Justice issued a resolution on June 9, 2015, that establishes that 20% of the available positions in public exams designed to select people to enter the bodies of the judiciary, including exams to become a judge, must be filled by black people. The rule is mandatory when the number of positions available is equal to or greater than three. (André Richter, CNJ Aprova Cotas para Negros em Concursos para Magistratura , AGÊNCIA BRASIL (June 9, 2015).)

Whoever declares themselves to be black or brown (pardo) according to the definition of color or race used by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística) during the application process for the public exam is entitled to fill slots under the quota. (Id.)

These criteria will be valid until June 9, 2024, the date when Law No. 12,990 of June 9, 2014, which establishes the same quota for positions in the executive, expires. (Id.; Lei No. 12.990, de 9 de Junho de 2014 , PLANALTO.)

The first census of the judiciary, which occurred in 2013, indicated that only 4% of the judges declared themselves to be brown, 1.4% percent declared themselves to be black, and 0.1% declared themselves to be of an indigenous race. (Richter, supra.)

Burundi: Court Permits Third Bid for Presidency (May 7, 2015) On May 5, 2015, the Constitutional Court of Burundi decided that the country's president, Pierre Nkurunziza, could run for a third term; six of the seven judges signed the decision. (Burundi Court Upholds President's Controversial Third-Term Bid, FRANCE 24 (May 5. 2015).) The issue arose because Nkurunziza wishes to run for his third term, and the constitution states that the President may be elected for a five-year term and re-elected only once. (Burundi's Constitution of 2005, art. 96, CONSTITUTION PROJECT.) According to the Court, renewal of the presidential term through direct universal suffrage for five years is not against the constitution of Burundi." (Burundi Court Backs President's Candidacy Amid Unrest, AL JAZEERA (May 5, 2015).) The reasoning behind the decision relies on the fact that Nkurunziza was appointed, not elected for his first term. (Burundi Court Backs President Nkurunziza on Third-Term, BBC (May 5, 2015).) Reaction in Burundi to the Third Term Bid and the Decision Duncan Woodside, a journalist for FRANCE 24, pointed out that the court contained a number of Nkurunziza supporters and opined that was always expected that the constitutional court would vote in favour of the status quo." (Burundi Court Upholds President's Controversial Third-Term Bid, supra.) There have been extensive protests, beginning even before the announcement. Jean Minani of the Frodebu-Nyakuri party, which opposes extending the current administration, said that the protests would continue until Nkurunziza steps aside. don't care about the constitutional court decision because we know this court is manipulated," he added. (Id.) Police indicated that at least six people have been killed in clashes between demonstrators and law enforcement personnel, three of them from security forces. (Id.) Civil society groups in the country put the number of dead at about twelve and said that about 30,000 individuals have left the country, fearing violence bet …

Sri Lanka: Constitutional Amendment to Be Implemented (Jan. 23, 2015) Sri Lanka's Prime Minister, Ranil Wickramasinghe, stated on January 21, 2015, that the country will implement the 13th amendment of its Constitution. The amendment has been long pending, and the Tamil National Alliance, a political party of the Tamil people, a minority located largely in the Northern Province, has demanded that it be implemented. (Will Implement 13th Amendment Within a Unitary State: Ranil, COLOMBO PAGE (Jan. 21, 2015).) The 13th amendment, originally certified on November 14, 1987, states that Tamil will be one of Sri Lanka's official languages and that provincial councils, with substantial authority, will be established throughout the country. It also said, however, that these councils would be established at various times, as determined by the President. (Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution (1987), SOUTH ASIA TERRORISM PORTAL; Introduction to the Web Version of the Constitution [with links to text as amended through Dec. 20, 2000], PRESINFORM [official website of the Presidential Secretariat of Sri Lanka].) In addition to this announcement that the amendment would be implemented, Sri Lanka's President, Maithripala Sirisena, replaced the military officer who was the Governor of the Northern Province with a civilian. This was seen as a gesture of good will to the Tamil community. (Will Implement 13th Amendment Within a Unitary State: Ranil, supra.) The move, together with the plan to implement the 13th amendment, was also welcomed by political leaders in Tamil Nadu, the Indian state closest to Sri Lanka. (Tamil Nadu Parties Welcome Sri Lanka's Announcement on 13th Amendment, ECONOMIC TIMES (Jan. 21, 2015).) …

Burundi: New Land Law Raises Controversy (Jan. 27, 2014) Burundi recently issued a decree on the structure of the National Commission on Land and Other Assets (CNTB), increasing its authority; the move has been criticized by members of one political party and by outside organizations. Those opposing it have said it is unconstitutional and in violation of the 2000 Arusha Accord for Burundi. The Accord, designed to end years of conflict and signed by many parties to that conflict, was negotiated by the former president of Tanzania, Julius Nyerere, and South Africa's Nelson Mandela. (Devon Curtis, The Peace Process in Burundi: Successful African Intervention? 24 GLOBAL INSIGHT (Sept. 2003). The issue of land rights is particularly divisive in Burundi, an agricultural country where refugees who were forced to leave the country over decades of ethnic conflicts have returned to find others working their land and often have difficulty re-establishing their rights. (Burundi Coalition Chairman Says Land Dispute to Be Settled After Reconciliation; RADIO ISANGANIRO ONLINE [in French] (Jan. 10, 2014), translated by Open Source Center online subscription database; Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Burundi (Aug. 28, 2000), PEACE ACCORDS MATRIX; Constitution de Burundi (2005), CONSTITUTION FINDER.) Background The problem of land disputes in Burundi is extensive, and such issues make up 80% of the disputes that are brought to the courts. (Land Governance in Burundi: Reform of the Land Code to Allay Conflicts, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation website (last visited Jan. 24, 2014). About 500,000 people have returned to Burundi in the last ten years, and lack of resolution of land issues has been an obstacle to their reintegration into society. About 60,000 refugees came back following expulsions from Tanzania in 2012-2013, and thousands more are expected to return from Uganda. (Burundi's Land Conundrum, IRIN (Nov. 14, 2013).) The CNTB, established in 2006, is authorized to resettle refugees who return …

Sweden: Country Police's Roma Database Deemed Illegal (Nov. 19, 2013) The Swedish Commission on Security and Integrity Protection (ISN) has found the compilation of a digital database of individuals with Roma background to be illegal. (Press Release, ISN, N√§mnden kritiserar polismyndigheten i Sk√•nes behandling av personuppgifter i uppgiftssamlingen [Commission Criticizes the Sk√•ne County Police for Its Use of Personal Information in the Database S√§kerhets-Och Integritetsskyddsn√§mndenwebsite (Nov. 15, 2013.) The Sk√•ne County Police in Southern Sweden has come under heavy criticism for maintaining a database concerning which mainly covers individuals with, or associated with persons of, Romani background, although the database itself does not mention ethnicity. (SIN: Polisens Romska register √§r olagliga [SIN: Police's Roma Database Is Illegal], DAGENS JURIDIK (Nov. 18, 2013).) The database was first discovered in September of this year by Niklas Orrenius of the Swedish daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter. (√ñver tusen barn med i olaglig kartl√§ggning [More Than a Thousand Children in Illegal Mapping], DAGENS NYHETER (Sept. 23, 2013).) The database has been in use from 2012 and has 4,741 entries, including ones on children and deceased individuals. The information appears to have been collected for years prior to 2012. ( …

Israel: Commemoration of the Ethiopian Jewish Heritage (Apr. 23, 2012) On March 21, 2012, the Knesset (Israel's parliament) passed the Center of Ethiopian Jewish Heritage Law, 5762-2012 (the Law). According to the Law, the Center will include a research institute as well as an archive. The Center will collect and document research activities on Ethiopian Jewish Heritage, among other activities. It will be established as a corporation and will be subject to an audit in accordance with the State Comptroller Law (Consolidated Version), as amended. According to the Law, the Center will be managed by a committee that will include representatives of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, the Ministry of Immigration Absorption, and the Ministry of Education, plus an archivist, three members of academia with expertise in the activities of the Center, and five public representatives. The Law requires that at least one-third of the committee members be Ethiopian immigrants or their offspring. The committee will determine the Center's general policy, approve its budget and annual plans, and supervise its activities. The research institute established by the Center will operate a research library that will specialize in and publish studies on the history, religion, law, and culture of Ethiopian Jewry. The Law further provides for the establishment of an archive for the preservation of materials directly related to the heritage of Ethiopian Jewry. The Center and its activities will be funded by the state as well as by donations and any income it receives. The rules for admission and conditions of employment of the Center's employees will be identical to those of civil servants in similar jobs, subject to some adjustments as determined by the Minister of the Treasury. (Center of Ethiopian Jewish Heritage Law, 5762-2012 & bill [p. 476] [both in Hebrew], the Knesset website (both last visited Apr. 11, 2012); State Comptroller Law (Consolidated Version), as amended, 12 LAWS OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL 107 (5718-1957/58), as amended).) …

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