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Deacons | April 2006

On 2 November 2005, the Legislative Council enacted the Revenue (Abolition of Estate Duty) Ordinance ("RAEDO"). It came into operation on 11 February 2006. RAEDO, among other things: (i) abolishes estate duty as proposed in the 2005 - 2006 Budget; and (ii) empowers the Secretary for Home Affairs ("SHA") to release money from bank accounts of deceased persons and allow inspection of bank safe deposit boxes ...

The Cabinet Office's Better Regulation Executive (BRE) is currently undertaking a review of penalties for businesses that fall foul of the law and business should ensure their views are heard. This spring, a consultation paper will be released which will be the final opportunity for stakeholders and interested parties to contribute to the review before it makes its recommendations to the Government in late 2006 ...

March of 2006 will make a mark in history as the date in which the people of Bolivia have manifested, through the National Congress, their irrevocable and unequivocal decision of modifying the political structure of the Republic by simultaneously calling to a Constituent Assembly, with the purpose of designing a new Political Constitution, and to a binding referendum on departmental autonomies. Six presidents have passed since the beginning of the new millennium ...

Scotland's new procurement regulations came into force on 31 January 2006, meaning the country is covered by a separate set of procurement rules than the rest of the UK. This is a major change from the previous regime. The Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations and the Utilities Contracts (Scotland) Regulations, both 2006, were introduced to ensure the procurement regime in Scotland complies with the European Union's new directives on procurement in the public and utilities sectors ...

Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP | February 2006

On 13 December 2005, the European Court of Justice ("ECJ") found Marks and Spencer plc ("M&S") could claim group tax relief from UK tax authorities in relation to the losses incurred by its former European subsidiaries that had ceased trading in Belgium, France and Germany in 2001. M&S argued that just as UK resident companies in a group may set off their profits and losses among themselves, so the same should be possible for the losses of foreign subsidiaries ...

In order to speed up the application in Mexico of the concept of “immunity” proposed in a recent bill containing amendments to the Federal Economic Competition Law (the “Law”), a full session of the Commission, on January 26, 2006, approved the “Internal Policies to Grant Immunity to Those Cooperating in Investigations of Monopolistic Practices.” The policy will work as follows: 1 ...

On December 1, 2005, the second paragraph of section III of Article 31 of the Income Tax Law became effective and requires taxpayers seeking to deduct the purchase of gasoline to pay with the taxpayer’s check payable to the seller, with a credit, debit or services card, or with a prepaid card, authorized by the Tax Administration Service. On January 25, 2006 a new amendment to Rule 3.4 ...

Great fanfare surrounded the introduction of the Freedom of Information Act and the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 a year ago. The FOI legislation was hailed as a success in changing the culture of government. But while most public sector organisations have now come to grips with the workings of the FOI legislation, many have overlooked an associated set of regulations that came into effect at the start of this summer ...

Deacons | January 2006

The 18th Session of the Standing Committee of the 10th National People’s Congress adopted the amended Company Law of the of the People’s Republic of China on 27 October 2005. President Hu Jintao promulgated the Law on the same date. The Law, which enters into effect on 1 January 2006, is a significant reform of the Company Law. It simplifies company establishment requirements and statutorily expands the rights of shareholders in PRC companies ...

Deacons | January 2006

At the 18th Session of the Standing Committee of the 10th National People’s Congress held on 27 October 2005 amendments to the Securities Law of the of the People’s Republic of China were adopted. The amendments, which were promulgated by President Hu Jintao on 27 October 2005 and enter into effect on 1 January 2006, represent a significant reform of the Law which was first promulgated in 1999 ...

Deacons | January 2006

At the 18th Session of the Standing Committee of the 10th National People’s Congress held on 27 October 2005 amendments were adopted to the Individual Income Tax Law of the People's Republic of China. The amendments were promulgated by President Hu Jintao on 27 October 2005 and enter into effect on 1 January 2006. Tax free allowance A first amendment raises the tax free allowance applicable to wages and salaries from RMB 800 to RMB 1,600 ...

Deacons | January 2006

The State Council passed the Regulations of the People's Republic of China for the Administration of Production Licences for Industrial Products on 29 June 2005. The Regulations were promulgated by premier Wen Jiabao on 9 July 2005 and entered into effect on 1 September 2005. The Regulations repeal the Trial Regulations for Industrial Product Production Permits promulgated by the State Council on 7 April 1984 ...

Deacons | January 2006

The State Administration for Taxation issued the Reply of the State Administration of Taxation on Issues relating to Tax Refund for Reinvestment by Foreign Investors on 20 October 2005. The Reply explains the conditions under which a foreign investment enterprise (“FIE”) can obtain a rebate on its enterprise income tax (“EIT”) for re-investment of its profits if such re-investment is made in instalments or in phases ...

Deacons | January 2006

The State Council Information Office and the Ministry of Information Industry issued the Regulations for the Administration of Internet News Information Services on 25 September 2005. The Regulations, which entered into effect on the date of their promulgation, impose licensing and recordal requirements on providers of online news information services in China ...

Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP | December 2005

Great fanfare surrounded the introduction of the Freedom of Information Act and the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 a year ago. The FOI legislation was hailed as a success in changing the culture of government. But while most public sector organisations have now come to grips with the workings of the FOI legislation, many have overlooked an associated set of regulations that came into effect at the start of this summer ...

Lawson Lundell LLP | December 2005

On December 6, 2005 the British Columbia Supreme Court handed down its decision in the case of Hupacasath First Nation v. British Columbia(1). In this decision, the court held that Crown’s duty to consult with first nations, as articulated by the Supreme Court of Canada in Haida Nation(2) and Taku River,(3) extends to government decisions regarding planning, development and use of private land ...

Lawson Lundell LLP | December 2005

TABLE OF CONTENTS I. Introduction II. Recent and Proposed Governance Changes III. Institutional Scrutiny and Accountability IV. Inherent Governance Tensions V. Governance Regulation I. Introduction Corporate governance continues to be a hot topic. In Canada, we are at the stage of implementing a number of initiatives that have been enacted to follow the US lead in the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation ...

Deacons | November 2005

Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China which is governed by the Basic Law which forms a mini constitution for Hong Kong. Under the Basic Law, Hong Kong enjoys a high degree of autonomy except in relation to matters such as defence or foreign affairs. It has its own executive, legislative and independent judicial power including that of final adjudication ...

In Nicaragua, we did not have a Tributary Code as a unique legal body, the attributions of the Tributary Administration and the regulation of the different tributary procedures, the rights and duties of the contributor, were dispersed in our legislation existing in several cases, inapplicable norms, conflicts of application of the same, lack of adaptation to the actual technological recourses, among others ...

Kocian Solc Balastik | November 2005

Judgement of the European Court of Justice in case C-287/03 – Commission v. Belgium, dated 12 May 2005 The decision follows an action of the Commission against Belgium for breach of Article 49 of the EC Treaty providing for the free movement of services. The Commission alleged that the way in which the prohibition of a “linked offer” under Belgian law was applied constituted an obstacle to free movement ...

Lawson Lundell LLP | November 2005

On November 24, 2005, the Supreme Court of Canada handed down its decision in the case of Mikisew Cree First Nation v. Canada (Minister of Canadian Heritage).(1) In the decision, the Supreme Court confirmed that, while governments have the power under treaties to authorize land uses which infringe on treaty rights, the exercise of that power imposes on governments a duty to consult where the taking up of land adversely affects those rights ...

Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP | November 2005

The Scottish Parliament has set out a concrete timetable for business rates to be cut in Scotland to the level of those in England by April 2007 in a bid to boost competitiveness. Finance Minister, Tom McCabe, confirmed the timetable for this equalisation in a statement to the Scottish Parliament on 6 October 2005, outlining plans to stagger its implementation. It is proposed the reduction occurs over a two-year period ...

British industry is undergoing a period of unprecedented regulatory reform as part of a government drive to reduce the costs and burdens on business. Over the next year, it will become clearer how effective this reform will be. Following independent recommendations from the Hampton Review and the Better Regulation Task Force (BRTF), Chancellor Gordon Brown launched the Better Regulation Action Plan in May 2005 with the aim of boosting flexibility and enterprise ...

Lawson Lundell LLP | September 2005

BRITISH COLUMBIA LEGAL UPDATE Prepared for 39th Annual Canadian Property Tax Association National Workshop Cross Canada Legal Panel September 25 – 28, 2005 INTRODUCTION The following is an overview of legislative changes and caselaw developments in British Columbia property assessment and taxation since last September’s session. The review is not intended to be exhaustive, but instead to provide a cross-section of topical cases which may be of interest both to the B.C ...

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