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Laws on Children Residing with Parents in Prison

October 21, 2014 Comments off

Laws on Children Residing with Parents in Prison
Source: Law Library of Congress

This report provides information on select international and regional measures and the laws of 97 jurisdictions from around the world that relate to allowing children to reside in prison with an incarcerated parent. Most of the countries surveyed impose specific age limits for a child’s admission into and length of stay in prison. Additionally, most of jurisdictions surveyed require that prisons that admit children meet certain standards.

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Police Weapons in Selected Jurisdictions

October 15, 2014 Comments off

Police Weapons in Selected Jurisdictions
Source: Law Library of Congress

This report examines the weapons and equipment generally at the disposal of law enforcement officers in several countries around the world. It also provides, for each of these countries, a brief overview of the rules governing the use of weapons by law enforcement officers. Precise and reliable information on the weapons and equipment of some countries’ police forces was often difficult to find.

Sentencing Guidelines — Australia • England and Wales • India South Africa • Uganda

September 9, 2014 Comments off

Sentencing Guidelines — Australia • England and Wales • India South Africa • Uganda (PDF)
Source: Law Library of Congress

Sentencing guidelines in the common law countries of Australia, England and Wales, India, South Africa, and Uganda vary significantly. England and Wales have a Sentencing Council that develops offense-specific guidelines that the courts must follow, while Uganda’s Supreme Court has developed guidelines that are advisory only. In India and Australia, no formal guidelines exist and judges retain wide discretion in sentencing, but both countries have mechanisms in place to provide general guidance—in Australia through state legislation and in India through a series of court decisions that identify relevant sentencing factors.

Family Law: A Beginner’s Guide – Part 2: Child Custody, Support, and Adoption

July 23, 2014 Comments off

Family Law: A Beginner’s Guide – Part 2: Child Custody, Support, and Adoption
Source: Law Library of Congress

In Part Two of our Family Law Beginner’s Guide, we are shifting our focus to what the law says about children’s roles in the family—focusing on their custody and care. Below, please find information and resources for legal researchers regarding child custody, child support, and domestic adoption.

Family Law: A Beginner’s Guide – Part 1: Formation and Dissolution of Marriage

July 23, 2014 Comments off

Family Law: A Beginner’s Guide – Part 1: Formation and Dissolution of Marriage
Source: Law Library of Congress

Whether it be in relation to marriage, the birth of children, adoption, or divorce, family law is one area of the law that affects nearly everyone. But even though family law is a part of daily life, legal issues in this area can quickly become complex. Below, we have collected a sampling of the marriage and divorce law resources available, both at the Law Library of Congress and on the free web, to help researchers get a better handle on these issues.

National Funding of Road Infrastructure

July 10, 2014 Comments off

National Funding of Road Infrastructure
Source: Law Library of Congress

This report examines the funding of roads and highways in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, England and Wales, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, South Africa, and Sweden. It provides a description of the infrastructure in the jurisdiction, information on the ownership and responsibility of the roads, and taxes or other ways of collecting money to fund the nation’s infrastructure. If applicable, a discussion of reforms or new initiatives is examined.

What Countries Criminalize Religious Conversion? Our New Report Examines this Question

June 30, 2014 Comments off

What Countries Criminalize Religious Conversion? Our New Report Examines this Question
Source: Law Library of Congress

A recent case in Sudan in which Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, a citizen who was at the time expecting her second child, was convicted of apostasy (renunciation of a religious faith) and adultery and sentenced to 100 lashes and death by hanging has led to condemnation around the world. Her conviction was due to her leaving Islam, marrying a Christian man, and refusing to recant. Amnesty International, which called Ibrahim’s sentence abhorrent, together with over 600,000 of its supporters, called for her immediate release. A group of United Nations human rights experts condemned the sentence, noting that the trial violated due process principles. The U.S. State Department called the death sentence deeply disturbing. A resolution condemning the sentence was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and a similar resolution was adopted in the U.S. Senate. Although, in what appears to be a response to the mounting pressure from the international community, the Sudanese government initially said that Ibrahim would be released, it quickly retracted the statement and Ibrahim’s case continues to unfold before an appeals court.

Sudan, which officially announced the introduction of an Islamic legal system in 1983, has executed at least one (access by subscription) person for apostasy since that time. Of course, Sudan is not the only country to criminalize apostasy. We recently completed a survey of twenty-three countries in Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and Southeast Asia that looked at the prevalence of apostasy being a capital offense (or as a lesser offense) and the frequency of its application.

We found that, in addition to Sudan, apostasy is a capital offense in Afghanistan, Brunei, Mauritania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. However, our research indicated that, by and large, an apostasy charge or conviction can be vacated if the person denounces his or her new faith and returns to Islam.

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