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TeLawgram Jan, 2021 – Roundup

Hello, this past week has seen several developments ranging from the Supreme Court staying the Bombay High Court judgment which ruled that skin-to-skin contact necessary for offence of ‘sexual assault’ under POCSO to the US Congressional Commission declaring a ‘possible genocide’ against Uighurs in China.
Happy Reading!

Greetings! TeLawgram is back from its hiatus! We present a roundup of the biggest legal updates of January 2021, and reading material therein, for your perusal. Happy Reading!

India
International
CfPs and Seminars

India

SC upholds validity of Central Vista Construction

On 5th January 2021, a 3-judge bench of the Supreme Court upheld the validity of the Central Government’s plan for construction of the Central Vista project and a new Parliament in Lutyens Delhi with a 2:1 majority. The bench consisted of Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Sanjiv Khanna. The majority judgement was given by Justice Khanwilkar and Justice Maheshwari. Justice Khanna gave the dissenting opinion.

The Central Vista project is a grand redevelopment of the power corridor of India. The project includes the construction of a new Parliament building, a common central secretariat and revamped 3-km-long Rajpath, from the Rashtrapati Bhavan to the India Gate. In early December, 2020, the Supreme Court had ordered the halting of construction of the project until a judgement was pronounced.

The majority ruled that there was no issue in the grant of the “No Objection”, the “Approval” by the Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC) and “Prior Approval” by Heritage Conservation Committee (HCC). The Court upheld the validity of the environment clearance granted by the MoEF as well.

In his dissenting opinion, Justice Khanna agreed with the awarding of the project itself, however, he noted that the matter be remitted to public hearing as there was no “Prior Approval” from the HCC.

Suggested Readings:

  1. The judgement can be accessed here.
  2. The project layout for the Central Vista can be found here.
  3. International Institute of Sustainable Development, Public Consultation and Participation (2016), https://www.iisd.org/learning/eia/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Public-participation.pdf .
  4. Jan Van Damme & Marleen Brans, Consultation, participation and the quest for policy legitimacy (2011), https://ecpr.eu/Filestore/PaperProposal/66233f76-31d1-40f2-b40d-fcca632fa22a.pdf .

Governor of Karnataka promulgates Prevention of Cattle Slaughter Ordinance

The Governor of Karnataka, Vajubhai Vala, promulgated the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Ordinance on 5th January, 2021 making cattle slaughter a cognizable offence and granting powers to the government to conduct searches. Sections 4 and 5 of the Ordinance prohibit the slaughter and transportation of cattle to other states for slaughtering purposes. Section 12 prescribes a minimum sentence of three years for any violations of the Ordinance, along with fines that range between fifty thousand and seven lakh rupees. The Ordinance however, permits the slaughter of buffaloes aged over thirteen years, sick cattle that could cause the spread of diseases and cattle used for research purposes.  

Suggested Readings:

  1. Click here for the Ordinance.
  2. Mauzzam Nasir & Akshat Bhushan, Reviewing the Constitutionality of the Karnataka Cattle Protection Legislation (Jan. 12, 2021), https://lawschoolpolicyreview.com/2021/01/12/reviewing-the-constitutionality-of-the-karnataka-cattle-protection-legislation/
  3. Prannv Dhawan, Cow Laws in 10 States Empower Vigilantes. Karnataka’s is the latest. (Jan. 28, 2021), https://lawschoolpolicyreview.com/2021/01/28/cow-laws-in-10-states-empower-vigilantes-karnatakas-is-the-latest/
  4. Shalvi Singh, Cow Slaughter and the Constitution: Uneasy Compromises (Aug. 31, 2016), https://rmlnlulawreview.com/2016/08/31/cow-slaughter-and-the-constitution-uneasy-compromises/
  5. NUJS CLS, The Holy Cow: Anti Cow Slaughter Laws & the Constitution (Nov. 23, 2013), https://wbnujscls.wordpress.com/2013/11/23/the-holy-cow-anti-cow-slaughter-laws-the-constitution/.

SC emphasizes the need for caution when interfering with arbitral processes under Art. 227 of the Constitution

A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice N.V. Ramana, Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice Surya Kant, held that High Courts must tread with caution when interfering with arbitral processes under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution. The case involved a contract between the parties for the production of bricks. The arbitration clause in the contract required the Contractor to choose a sole arbitrator within fifteen days, failing which the contractor could inform the Chief Engineer of the chosen arbitrator. The respondent (chief engineer) disputed the jurisdiction of the arbitrator and obtained a favourable order from the Gujarat High Court. The Supreme Court however, overruled the decision of the Gujarat High Court, observing that the High Courts must not interfere with arbitral processes when the aggrieved parties have not been able to show mala fide violations of procedures contemplated in the arbitration clause, and since aggrieved parties have the alternate remedy of challenging the award under Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act.  

Suggested readings:

  1. The judgement can be found here
  2. Manav Kapur, Judicial Interference and Arbitral Autonomy: An Overview of Indian Arbitration Law, 2 Contemp. Asia Arb. J. 325 (2009). 
  3. Pareekshit Bishnoi, Invalidity of a Solo Run for the ‘Sole Arbitrator’ under the Indian Arbitration Act (Jul. 07, 2020), https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/business-law-blog/blog/2020/07/invalidity-solo-run-sole-arbitrator-under-indian-arbitration-act.
  4. Chahat Chawla, The Muddy Waters of Pre-Arbitration Procedures – Are they enforceable? Answers from an Indian Perspective (Jun. 9, 2021), http://arbitrationblog.kluwerarbitration.com/2019/06/09/the-muddy-waters-of-pre-arbitration-procedures-are-they-enforceable-answers-from-an-indian-perspective/
  5. Aditya Mehta, Arjun Sreenivas & Swagata Ghosh, Section 34(4) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 – A fly in the ointment? (Part I) (May 29, 2020), https://corporate.cyrilamarchandblogs.com/2020/05/section-34-4-of-arbitration-and-conciliation-act-1996-part-i/
  6. Aditya Mehta, Arjun Sreenivas & Swagata Ghosh, Section 34(4) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996- A fly in the ointment? (Part II) (May 29, 2020), https://corporate.cyrilamarchandblogs.com/2020/05/section-344-of-the-arbitration-and-conciliation-act-1996-a-fly-in-the-ointment-part-ii/.

SC reaffirms that acceptance of a contract after the inclusion of a new condition would constitute a counter proposal 

The Supreme Court in M/s. Padia Timber Company (P) Ltd. v. Board of Trustees of Visakhapatnam Port Trust reaffirmed the principle that acceptance of contracts with new conditions would constitute counter offers and not acceptances. Padia Timber Company had submitted a tender application with a condition stating that the inspection of the wooden sleepers would take place at their showroom. However, the Port Trust accepted the offer on the condition that the final inspection took place at the Port. Subsequently, Port Trust sued for breach when Padia Timber requested for a refund of the earnest money deposit. The Supreme Court, relying on Section 7 of the Indian Contract Act and Union of India v. Bhim Sen Walaiti Ram ruled that conditional acceptances would amount to no acceptance until absolute acceptance had taken place.  

Suggested readings:

  1. Click here for the judgement
  2. Arthur L. Corbin, Offer and Acceptance, and Some of the Resulting Legal Relations, 24 Yale L.J. 169 (1917). 
  3. Shivprasad Swaminathan, The Travails of Teaching ‘Offer’ and ‘Acceptance’ in Contract Law (Feb. 20, 2020), https://indiacorplaw.in/2020/02/the-travails-of-teaching-offer-and-acceptance-in-contract-law.html
  4. I.C. Saxena, Offer and Acceptance – A Centennial Survey, JILI Special Issue: Laws of Evidence and Contract 116 (1972).

Allahabad High Court Dismisses A Man’s Plea For Allowing Live-Body Donation (Jeevit Deh Dan) Of His Body Organs And Tissues

The Allahabad High Court dismissed a petition to allow performing ‘Live-Body Donations’ (Jeevit Deh Dan) of the petitioner’s living organs and tissues to the suffering. The petitioner, who appeared in the public interest litigation, stated that he seeks to donate his living body to the ‘desperate and suffering’ by walking into an operation theatre at any suitable time and sought the Court to make it lawful for medical practitioners to perform the necessary procedures for Live-Body donations.

The Court relied on the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act, 1994 to deny the relief sought by the petitioner, stating that acceding to the petition was violative of the provisions of the Act. Section 9 of the Act imposed certain restrictions wherein, it is unlawful to remove organs or tissues from a person’s body before his/her death. The Court also stated that the Act explicitly laid down certain procedures for the removal of organs and tissues, and the relief sought by the petitioner was not part of the established procedure. 

Suggested Readings:

  1. Find the decision here.
  2. Find the Act here.
  3. Shah Sunny B & Shah Bharat Vallabhdas, Legal aspects of transplantation in India, 12 Indian Journal of Transplantation 169–173 (2018). 
  4. Sunil Shroff, Legal and ethical aspects of organ donation and transplantation, 25 Indian Journal of Urology 348 (2009).  
  5. Shah Sunny B & Shah Bharat Vallabhdas, Legal aspects of transplantation in India, 12 Indian Journal of Transplantation 169–173 (2018). 

Centre informs Delhi High Court that WhatsApp’s Differential Privacy Policy is discriminatory

The Centre, in a response to a petition filed at the Delhi High Court, submitted that WhatsApp’s new privacy policy for Indian users is a major cause for concern. The Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma, informed the single-judge bench of Justice Sanjeev Sachdev that WhatsApp was adopting a ‘differential and discriminatory treatment’ of its Indian users. The acceptance of the new privacy policy was made mandatory for Indian users, while this policy did not apply to the European Union. The ASG also stated that all the concerns raised in the Personal Data Protection Bill were present in the petition, and that the Government has gone on record to state the Ministry’s concerns about the policy. 

The new policy would allow WhatsApp’s parent company Facebook, to use data including metadata and business chats for targeted advertising. The policy is also said to jeopardise national security by sharing, transmitting and storing the users’ data in another country. The Court however, remarked that WhatsApp is a private company and users were free to uninstall the application if they did not agree to the policies. The matter is to be heard on March 1 and no orders were passed since the Government was already looking into the matter. WhatsApp has postponed implementation of the policy to March. 

Suggested Readings:

  1. Find WhatsApp’s updated privacy policy here.
  2. Find the Delhi High Court orders here.
  3. Vijay Pal Dalmia, & Palak Aggarwal, Need For Data Protection Laws In India: Analysis Of The Exploitation Of Personal Data By WhatsApp And Other Social Media Platforms (Jan. 14, 2021), https://www.mondaq.com/india/privacy-protection/1025404/need-for-data-protection-laws-in-india-analysis-of-the-exploitation-of-personal-data-by-whatsapp-and-other-social-media-platforms
  4. Arnab Mitra, WhatsApp privacy policy tweak highlights need for data protection law in India (Jan. 29, 2021), https://indiaincgroup.com/whatsapp-privacy-policy-tweak-highlights-need-for-data-protection-law-in-india/.

Supreme Court stays Bombay High Court judgment which ruled skin-to-skin contact necessary for offence of ‘sexual assault’ under POCSO

The Supreme Court stayed the judgement of the Bombay High Court which acquitted a man under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act stating that groping a minor’s breast without “skin-to-skin contact” does not fall under the definition of ‘sexual assault’ but only qualifies as ‘outraging the modesty of a woman’ under the Indian Penal Code. Advocate General K. K. Venugopal stated that the High Court’s judgment was very disturbing and would set a dangerous precedent. 

The Bombay High Court had acquitted an accused from sexual assault after he groped a child without removing her clothes. The Court ruled that the act would not fall under the definition of Section 8 of POSCO Act, as the accused had no sexual intent to commit the offence and there was no ‘skin-to-skin’ contact with the victim. The punishment for a Section 8 offence under the POSCO is imprisonment of 3- 5 years, whereas punishment for an offence for outraging the modesty of a woman under section 354 of the IPC is 1-5 years. The Sessions Court had sentenced the man to 3 years of imprisonment for the offences under the POCSO Act and the IPC. 

Suggested Readings:

  1. Find the order here.
  2. Find the HC judgement here.
  3. Vandana Peterson, Speeding up Sexual Assault Trials: A Constructive Critique of India’s Fast-Track Courts, 18 Yale Human Rights and Development Journal 59 – 109 (2016).
  4. Human Rights Watch, India: Women at Risk of Sexual Abuse at Work (Oct. 14, 2020), https://www.hrw.org/report/2020/10/14/no-metoo-women-us/poor-enforcement-indias-sexual-harassment-law#
  5. Bhartiya Stree Shakti, Tackling Violence Against Women: A Study of State Intervention Measures (March, 2017), https://wcd.nic.in/sites/default/files/Final%20Draft%20report%20BSS_0.pdf.

Karnataka High Court restrains the Government from sharing data of Arogya Setu app users without their informed consent 

The Karnataka High Court restrained the Government of India and the National Informatics Centre (NIC) from sharing the data of Aarogya Setu App users without their informed consent, after it was found that user’s data was being shared without their informed content as provided in the Aarogya Setu Data Access and Knowledge Sharing Protocol, 2020. The Court noted that the informed consent is limited to collection of information as provided in the privacy policy. The Court remarked that the information contains data about the health of the user which all the more requires the protection of right to privacy.

The Arogya Setu App functions on location data and other personal data of users, such as medical information to provide essential health services. The petition was filed by a cyber security analyst of SFLC.in, who challenged the “voluntary-mandatory imposition of Aarogya Setu and invasion of privacy rights in the absence of specific legislation governing data collection and processing by it.” The Bench also noted that the Central government will not deny any benefit or services to a citizen only on the ground that the user has not installed Aarogya Setu. Previously, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) and the NIC were pulled up by the Central Information Commission for evasive answers to an RTI about the app’s creation. 

Suggested Readings:

  1. Find the Justice KS Puttaswamy judgement here.
  2. Find the PDP Bill here.
  3. Pranav Bhaskar Tiwari , Ayush Tripathi , Harsh Bajpai , Karthik Venkatesh , Arya Tripathy & Kazim Rizvi, Privacy Framework for the Arogya Setu App (The Dialogue, Working Paper No. 1, May 2020).
  4. Vidhi Desk, Aarogya Setu’s Data Access and Knowledge Sharing Protocol, 2020 (May 11, 2020), https://vidhilegalpolicy.in/blog/aarogya-setus-data-access-and-knowledge-sharing-protocol-2020/ (last visited Jan 30, 2021). 
  5. Shashidhar K.J., Aarogya Setu App and its many conflicts (Jun. 6, 2020), https://www.orfonline.org/expert-speak/aarogya-setu-app-many-conflicts-67442/.

International

Hong Kong’s Chief Justices (former and incumbent) advocate for judicial independence 

The outgoing Chief Justice of Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal, Geoffrey Ma, in his last press conference addressed calls for judicial reform post criticism from Beijing supporters. In doing so, he stressed on the importance of upholding the rule of law, citing numerous articles from Hong Kong’s Basic Law. He noted that, “The independence of the judiciary is not a political statement.” Mr. Ma’s comments came after a panel consisting of himself and his fellow judges, revoked bail for tycoon Jimmy Lai, a critic of the Chinese Government, who faced charges related to national security. 

The panel found that it was “reasonably arguable” that the previous judge’s decision to grant bail could have been erroneous. People’s Daily, the government-owned newspaper, had condemned a lower court’s decision to release Lai on bail.  It stated that the court had “seriously misunderstood” the new security law enacted by China and that it had also “undermined its authority.” Incoming Chief Justice Andrew Cheung Kui-nung’s statements also stressed on upholding impartiality, which included condemning unfounded criticism and doxxing against Hong Kong’s judges.

Suggested Readings: 

  1. Watch the Press Conference here
  2. Find Hong Kong’s Basic Law, here
  3. Ryan House, Hong Kong top judge addresses calls for judicial reform, emphasizes importance of independent judiciary (Jan. 5, 2021), https://www.jurist.org/news/2021/01/hong-kong-top-judge-addresses-calls-for-judicial-reform-emphasizes-importance-of-independent-judiciary/.
  4. Alexandra Briscoe, Hong Kong pro-democracy tycoon returns to custody after top court revokes bail (Jan. 1, 2021), https://www.jurist.org/news/2021/01/hong-kong-pro-democracy-tycoon-returns-to-custody-after-top-court-revokes-bail/.
  5. Find the People’s Daily statement here
  6. Find the new Security Law here
  7. Abhijeet Kashyap, Annihilation of Democracy: Hong Kong’s National Security Law (Sep. 16, 2020).
  8. Wilson Yuen, The Crisis of Judicial Independence in Hong Kong (Nov. 4, 2016),  http://www.iconnectblog.com/2016/11/the-crisis-of-judicial-independence-in-hong-kong/.

China assents to rules to counter ‘unjustified’ foreign trade 

The rules formulated by the Ministry of Commerce in China (MOFCOM), were approved by the PRC’s State Council in order to aid Chinese citizens and corporations to uphold their trade rights on foreign territory. The rules are to apply whenever an entity recognised as Chinese, is prevented from exercising its trade or economic activities in another State. For MOFCOM to deem any prohibition on business as null and void, the ‘unjustifiably violated rights of the entity’ standard is proposed to be used. The entity will receive an exemption from adhering to the order of prohibition, if found unjustifiable.

These rules follow the delisting of three Chinese telecommunication companies from the New York Stock Exchange after US President (former) Donald Trump, issued an executive order banning American investors from aiding companies that conduct business with the Chinese military. Trade relations between America and China are reported to have worsened due to the newly added tariffs on Chinese imports. It is pertinent to note that America has banned several major Chinese digital wallet apps in January as well. 

Suggested Readings: 

  1. Find the Rules here
  2. Roxana Tudosa, NYSE reaffirms delisting of 3 Chinese telecom companies after earlier reversal (Jan. 8, 2021), https://www.jurist.org/news/2021/01/nyse-delist-china-telecom-companies/
  3. Find the executive order here.  
  4. MOFCOM, MOFCOM Spokesperson made remarks on NYSE’s Delisting of Three Chinese Companies (Jan. 4, 2021), http://english.mofcom.gov.cn/article/newsrelease/policyreleasing/202101/20210103029226.shtml.  
  5. Terry Ang, China approves rules to counter ‘unjustified’ foreign trade and business restrictions (Jan. 10, 2021),  https://www.jurist.org/news/2021/01/china-approves-rules-to-counter-unjustified-foreign-trade-and-business-restrictions/#:~:text=The%20rules%20will%20apply%20whenever,application%20of%20foreign%20legislation%E2%80%9D%20claims
  6. M. Tyler Gillett, WTO finds US tariffs on China inconsistent with treaty obligations (Sep. 17, 2020), https://www.jurist.org/news/2020/09/wto-finds-us-tariffs-on-china-inconsistent-with-treaty-obligations/.  
  7. Also find the Report of the WTO Panel on US’s tariffs on Chinese imports here

US Congressional Commission declares ‘possible genocide’ against Uighurs in China

The Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), in its annual report has cited new evidence generated in 2020, that “crimes against humanity – and possibly genocide – are occurring” in Xinjiang Province, China. The CECC also blamed China for harassing members of the community in the US. China has been widely criticised for having built complexes in Xinjiang that have been described by representatives as “vocational training centers” to help people gain skills and which anti- Beijing supporters have called ‘concentration camps’.

This determination is the harshest yet by any State against China’s activities in Xinjiang. This is the first genocide denunciation by the US State Department since March 2016, when Secretary of State John Kerry determined that the Islamic State terrorist group was “responsible for genocide” against the region’s Christian, Yazidi and Shiite minorities. The United Nations says at least 1 million Uighurs and other Muslims have been detained in Xinjiang. China has denied all accusations and its Washington embassy has also remarked that the CECC was “obsessed with making up all sorts of lies to vilify China.”

Suggested Readings: 

  1. Find the CECC’s annual report here
  2. Find the 2019 report here
  3. Ciara Finnegan, The Uyghur Minority in China: A Case Study of Cultural Genocide, Minority Rights and the Insufficiency of the International Legal Framework in Preventing State-Imposed Extinction 9 Laws 1 (2020). 
  4. Henrietta Storig, The Uyghurs of China: A Genocide in the Making Tracking the Stages of Genocide (2020), https://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1482609/FULLTEXT01.pdf.    
  5. Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, The Persecution of the Uighurs and Potential Crimes Against Humanity in China (2019), https://r2pasiapacific.org/files/3297/2019-april-uighurs-brief.pdf.   
  6. Ashley Tan, Could China Be Charged for the Xinjiang Conflict? Exploring the Applicability of International Genocide Law (Jan. 6, 2021), https://www.culawreview.org/journal/could-china-be-charged-for-the-xinjiang-conflict-exploring-the-applicability-of-international-genocide-law.

The South Korean Supreme Court upholds the 20-year prison sentence for impeached former President Park Geun-hye

The Supreme Court of South Korea, on 17th January, 2021 upheld a 20-year prison sentence for former President Park Guen-hye who was convicted on charges of abuse of power, bribery and coercion in 2018. The rejection of the former president’s appeal exhausts all available legal remedies. The only recourse available to the former president is a special presidential pardon by incumbent President Moon Jae-in.

President Park Guen-hye was impeached from office by the National Assembly in December 2016 after being found to be colluding with her confidante Choi Soon-sil to take millions of dollars in bribes from South Korea’s major conglomerates. The Constitutional Court upheld her impeachment and removal from office the subsequent year. It also indicted her on charges of illegally taking funds that were diverted from the intelligence agency’s budget. In 2018, the Seoul Central District Court sentenced her to 24 years of imprisonment, reduced to a 20-year term in July 2020 following a retrial by the Seoul High Court.

The 20-year sentence upheld by the Supreme Court includes 15 years of imprisonment for bribery charges, five years for abuse of authority and a fine of 18 billion won ($16.38 million). Park also faces an additional two-year sentence of imprisonment for illegally interfering with the nomination of candidates for the Liberty Korea Party during the 2016 legislative elections. She is expected to face a prison term of 22 years if she does not receive a presidential pardon.

President Moon has not made his decision yet despite mounting public pressure for clarification on his position.

Suggested Readings:

  1. Click here to view the judgement. 
  2. A timeline of events can be viewed here
  3. Hyun-Soo Lim, A Closer Look at the Korean Constitutional Court’s Ruling on Park Geun-hye’s Impeachment, Yale Journal of International Law, (May. 18, 2017), https://www.yjil.yale.edu/a-closer-look-at-the-korean-constitutional-courts-ruling-on-park-geun-hyes-impeachment/
  4. Tom Ginsburg, I–CONnect Symposium: The 30th Anniversary of the Constitutional Court of Korea—Part II: The South Korean Constitutional Court in Comparative Perspective, Int’l J. Const. L. Blog, (Mar. 9, 2019), http://www.iconnectblog.com/2019/02/i–connect-symposium:-the-30th-anniversary-of-the-constitutional-court-of-korea—part-ii:-the-south-korean-constitutional-court-in-comparative-perspective 
  5. Jonathan Fermin-Robbins, The Impeachment of South Korean President Park Geun-hye,  Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, (May. 10, 2018), https://www.carnegiecouncil.org/publications/articles_papers_reports/the-impeachment-of-south-korean-president-park-geun-hye/_res/id=Attachments/index=0/Fermins-Robbins%20June%205.pdf.  
  6. Ho-Ki Kim, Out of the Shadows: The Collapse of Park Geun-hye and the Future of South Korea, 11: 4 GLOBAL ASIA (2016).

Japanese Court denies dual citizenship for expatriates

The Tokyo District Court upheld Japan’s ban on dual citizenship. The court rejected the case of Japanese expatriates living in Europe who had challenged the constitutionality of the ban in the first judicial decision concerning the issue.

The plaintiffs in the case were eight Japanese-born residents of Europe. They currently reside in countries including Switzerland and France and had to obtain citizenship to continue working in their respective European countries. Their complaint challenged the constitutionality of Japan’s Nationality Law. The law stated that “[a] Japanese national shall lose Japanese nationality when he or she acquires a foreign nationality by his or her own choice.” The plaintiffs claimed that this provision violates several articles of the Japanese Constitution. The allegedly violated articles include Article 13, which guarantees the individual “right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” and Article 22, which states that the “freedom of all persons to move to a foreign country and to divest themselves of their nationality shall be inviolate.”

The Court sided with the Japanese Government’s concern for national interests. The Court stated that allowing dual citizenship for Japanese nationals could result in a conflict in the rights and obligations between countries, as well as between the individual and the State.

Suggested Readings:

  1. Click here to view the process of choosing your nationality in Japan.
  2. Atsushi Kondo, Report on Citizenship Law: Japan, EUDO Citizenship Observatory, RSCAS/EUDO-CIT-CR (2016).
  3. Peter J. Spiro, Dual citizenship as human right, 8 I • CON 111(2010).
  4. Mie Murazumi, Japan’s Laws on Dual Nationality in the Context of a Globalized World, 9 Pac. Rim L & Pol’y J. 415 (2000).
  5. Mindy Eiko Tadai, Dual Citizenship in Asia, Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects 400 (2010).
  6. Maia Hall, The Best of Both Worlds? Japan’s Outdated Dual Citizenship Policy, The Governance Post, (Dec. 11, 2019), https://www.hertie-school.org/the-governance-post/2019/12/the-best-of-both-worlds-japans-outdated-dual-citizenship-policy/.

Argentine law legalizing abortion comes into force

Argentina’s Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy Law, approved by the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate came into force on 24th January, 2020. The law gives a choice to women and other gender identities to terminate their pregnancy within 14 weeks of pregnancy. Beyond 14 weeks, pregnancy can be terminated only in cases of rape, or when there is a risk to the individual or the child. Prior to this law, abortion was a crime included under the 1921 penal law of Argentina.

Minister of Women, Gender and Diversity, Elizabeth Gomez Alcorta said that as soon as the law comes into force, all abortions falling under the categories mentioned in the law will be decriminalized and all pending criminal cases shall be dismissed. She stated that the decriminalization of abortion should happen despite the enormous resistance that exists in conservative sectors and closely linked to the churches in the region.

With this law, Argentina joins other Latin American countries like Cuba and Uruguay that have legalized abortion.

Suggested Readings:

  1. The law as it came into force in Argentina can be accessed here.
  2. The 1921 Penal Code which originally contained provisions for criminalization of abortion can be found here.
  3. Andrea F. Noguera, Argentina’s Path to Legalizing Abortion: a Comparative Analysis of Ireland, The United States and Argentina, 25:2 SWLAW 356 (2019). 
  4. Human Rights Watch, Argentina: Legalize Abortion End Insurmountable Barriers, (Aug. 31, 2020), https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/08/31/argentina-legalize-abortion#
  5. J. Grugel & P. Riggirozzi, Argentina’s legalisation of abortion is only the beginning of the battle for reproductive rights in Latin America, (Jan. 27, 2021), https://www.york.ac.uk/igdc/news/news/argentina-blog-legalisation-of-abortion/.

CfPs and Seminars

Call for Papers (India)

  • NUALS Law Journal invites submissions for the 2nd Volume of its 15th Edition on any topic of contemporary relevance. The deadline for submission is 14th March, 2021.
  • Journal of Global Research And Analysis (JGRA), Geeta Institute’s peer reviewed bi-annual journal, invites submissions for its Issue I And II of Volume 9 on any contemporary issue of law. The deadline for submission for the Issue I is 10th February, 2021 and the Issue II is 20th February, 2021.

Call for Papers (International)

  • The Vienna Journal of International Constitutional Law (ICL Journal) invites submissions for its special issue on “Hegel’s Legal Philosophy and International Constitutional Law” on topics of comparative constitutional law, global constitutionalism or constitutional theory with Hegel’s legal philosophy. The deadline for submission is 28th February, 2021.
  • The Wolverhampton Law Journal (WLJ) of the Law Research Centre at the University of Wolverhampton, the United Kingdom invites submissions on all areas of law and criminal justice. The deadline for submission is 30th April, 2021.
  • The Harvard Law Review invites submissions, on a rolling basis, of articles, essays and book reviews.

Seminars (India)

  • Gujarat National Law University is organising the ‘GNLU International Conference on Economic Analysis of Law and Governance’, an International E-Conference on “Criminal Justice System: National and International Aspects” from  18th to 19th March, 2021. Deadline for registration is 10th February, 2021.
  • The Institute of Law, Nirma University is organising a Virtual International Conference on the theme “Language, Law, Literature: Dialogic Interfaces” on 23th & 24th March, 2021. The deadline for registration is 15th March, 2021.

Seminars (International)

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