International Law in Brief

By: Caitlin Behles | October 19, 2017 |

On September 28, 2017, United Nations Environment released its report “Towards a Pollution-Free Planet,” which is meant to serve as call to action for governments, businesses, local authorities, civil society, and individuals with the aim of preventing and reducing pollution globally. The report is broken into three parts: “In Part 1 . . . the evidence on pollution is presented. Part 2 discusses ongoing responses, challenges to effective actions, and the opportunities that existing multilateral environmental agreements and the Sustainable Development Goals provide to reduce pollution. Part...

By: Caitlin Behles | September 28, 2017 |

On September 23, 2017, the Special Chamber of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) delivered its judgment in the Dispute Concerning Delimitation of the Maritime Boundary Between Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire in the Atlantic Ocean (Ghana/Côte d'Ivoire). In 2014, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire agreed to submit the dispute concerning their maritime boundary to an ITLOS Special Chamber. The disputed area includes a number of oil and gas fields, and each party advocated for different methodologies in delineating the maritime boundary between their states. The Special Chamber...

By: Caitlin Behles | September 28, 2017 |

On September 21, 2017, the UN Security Resolution adopted Resolution 2379 in which it asked the UN Secretary-General to create an independent Investigative Team, led by a Special Advisor, “to support domestic efforts to hold ISIL (Da’esh) accountable by collecting, preserving, and storing evidence in Iraq of acts that may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed by the terrorist group ISIL (Da’esh) in Iraq.” The Council requested that the team work to collect evidence so that it will have “the broadest possible use before national courts, and complementing...

By: Caitlin Behles | September 28, 2017 |

On September 20, 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in Giorgio Fidenato and Others that EU member states and the European Commission may not adopt emergency measures regarding a genetically modified product where it is not clear that the product is likely to constitute a serious health or environmental risk. The case concerns the Italian government’s request to the European Commission to implement emergency measures prohibiting the cultivation of genetically modified maize MON 810 in light of two new scientific studies on the matter. The Commission determined...

By: Caitlin Behles | September 22, 2017 |

On September 12, 2017, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) released a report titled “Measures Aimed at Reducing the Use of Pretrial Detention.” The press release notes that “the arbitrary and illegal use of pretrial detention is a chronic problem in the region” and “is one of the most serious and widespread problems facing member states of the Organization of American States (OAS) in regard to the respect for and guarantee of the rights of persons deprived of liberty.” The purpose of the report is to follow up on a 2013 report on pretrial detention, to analyze the gains...

By: Caitlin Behles | September 22, 2017 |

On September 12, 2017, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) passed a resolution on “Human Rights and the Fight Against Impunity and Corruption.” The press release notes that the IACHR decided to issue the resolution to highlight the fight against impunity and corruption and their links to human rights, as well Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales’s expulsion of Iván Velásquez, the head of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (ICIG), from the state. The IACHR states in the resolution that “the establishment of effective mechanisms to eradicate corruption...

By: Caitlin Behles | September 22, 2017 |

On September 11, 2017, the International Law Commission (ILC) released its 2017 Report, which summarizes the work of the ILC at its sixty-ninth session. The ILC notes that the report “includes information concerning the organization of the session, the progress of work and the future work of the Commission on the topics given substantive consideration during the session, the texts of draft articles and commentaries adopted by the Commission during the session, any procedural recommendations of the Commission calling for a decision on the part of the General Assembly as well as other...

By: Caitlin Behles | September 22, 2017 |

On September 11, 2017, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 2375, imposing new sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and condemning Pyongyang’s nuclear test on September 2. The Council stated that test was conducted “in flagrant disregard” of the Security Council’s resolutions, and it reaffirmed that the DPRK must “not conduct any further launches that use ballistic missile technology, nuclear tests, or any other provocation.” The sanctions include bans on natural gas sales, textile exports, as well as limits on refined petroleum and crude oil. The Council also...

By: Caitlin Behles | September 08, 2017 |

On September 6, 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union dismissed complaints in Slovakia and Hungary v. Council brought by the two states against provisional measures that required the mandatory relocation of asylum seekers in Italy and Greece. The press release states that the Council of the European Union adopted a decision in 2015 that provides for the relocation of asylum seekers from Italy and Greece to other EU member states, which Slovakia and Hungary argued was done through a faulty procedural process and was neither necessary nor suitable for addressing the...

By: Caitlin Behles | September 08, 2017 |

On September 6, 2017, the Human Rights Council released a report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic. The Commission stated it its report that violence throughout Syria continues in violation of international humanitarian and human rights law and that it is primarily affecting civilian populations. The report notes that “warring parties continued to lay sieges and instrumentalized humanitarian aid in order to erode the viability of civilian support bases and compel surrender.” The Commission also found that terrorist and armed groups had “...