The Dutch government has given an official apology to transgender and intersex people affected by a law that forced them to undergo surgery and sterilisation in order to be officially recognised in their gender. Some 2,000 people are thought to have been impacted by the law, introduced in 1985 and in force until as recently as 2014.
Four websites blocked in Azerbaijan are suing the country’s government in the European Court of Human Rights. The plaintiffs accuse the state of violating several articles of the European Convention. Also pending a decision is a case initiated by the Election Monitoring Center, whose work was banned in 2008.
Thousands of Spanish police officers protested against a proposed reform of a security law which they say will hamper their ability to do their work. Government has proposed reforms including no longer classifying the taking of photographs or making of recordings of police at demonstrations as a serious offence. Under the changes, police will also have to use less harmful materials at protests after a number of people were seriously injured by rube bullets fired by officers.
A move by the EU Commission to restrict asylum rights at the bloc's external border with Belarus has come in for sharp criticism, some members of the European Parliament called the new approach unacceptable, especially given the decreasing numbers of asylum-seekers at the border. Meanwhile, a controversial border protection law has already come into force in Poland.
The French parliament has voted to make school bullying a criminal offence punishable by up to three years in prison, as MPs said society needed a wake-up call on the seriousness of children targeting their peers. The draft measure was approved by the lower house o and will now go to the upper house, the Senate.
The Selvagens Islands Nature Reserve, created 50 years ago in Portugal’s Madeira archipelago, is home to a unique ecosystem. A newly adopted legal framework makes it the largest protected marine area in Europe and the North Atlantic. The purpose of establishing marine protected areas is to allow the ecosystem to recover and renew itself.
The European Commission decided to end legal proceedings against Germany over a controversial constitutional court ruling, after receiving assurances from Berlin that the supremacy of EU law is being respected. The Commission said it was "appropriate" to close the case because Germany had "formally declared" that it recognizes the supremacy of EU law and the authority of the bloc's highest juridical body, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), "whose decisions are final and binding
Users of class A drugs in the UK would face losing their passports or driving licences under proposals reportedly set to be unveiled. Boris Johnson is to launch a 10-year plan to tackle drug-related crime, which will include travel bans, harsher sentences for drug dealers and measures to break up county lines gangs
The European Commission wants to amend one of the EU's founding texts to more forcefully fight violence against women, LGBTQ+ and other minorities. The Commission is set to sign off on a plan to criminalise hate speech and violence through EU-wide rules. The rules would enable the Commission to put forward laws to punish misogyny and anti-LGBTQ+ abuse online and offline. The proposal comes in the wake of social movements like the #MeToo campaign and Black Lives Matter protests.
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