International Law in Brief

By: Caitlin Behles | August 01, 2017 |

On July 10, 2017, an Arbitral Tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration issued its Award on Compensation in the matter of the Arctic Sunrise arbitration between Russia and the Netherlands, ordering Russia to pay €5.4 million in damages to the. In 2015, the Tribunal had issued its Award on the Merits, finding Russia had breached its obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea by boarding the Greenpeace ship, Arctic Sunrise, without the Netherland’s consent and detaining the environmental activists on board (the Arctic 30). According to the...

By: Caitlin Behles | August 01, 2017 |

On July 7, 2017, a conference of states at the United Nations adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The press release states that the Treaty “prohibits a full range of nuclear-weapon-related activities, such as undertaking to develop, test, produce, manufacture, acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, as well as the use or threat of use of these weapons.” The treaty was adopted by a vote of 122 in favor, one against (Netherlands), and one abstention (Singapore), and is also “the first multilateral legally-binding instrument for...

By: Caitlin Behles | August 01, 2017 |

On July 6, 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in Toshiba v. Commission to uphold a €61.44 million fine on Toshiba (including a further amount of €4.65 million joint and severally with Mitsubishi) for its participation in a cartel on the market for gas insulated switchgear (GIS) between 1988 and 2004. According to the press release, the “undertakings which participated in the cartel concluded an agreement with a view to coordinating their commercial activity worldwide and developed a quota system aimed at determining the market shares which each group could...

By: Caitlin Behles | August 01, 2017 |

On July 4, 2017, the International Criminal Court (ICC) Pre-Trial Chamber II decided in Prosecutor v. Al-Bashir not to refer South Africa to the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) or the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in regard to its failure to arrest Omar Al-Bashir while he was in South Africa. Although Sudan is not a party to the Rome Statute, the UNSC referred the situation in Darfur, Sudan, to the ICC and the Court may consequently exercise jurisdiction over crimes committed in Darfur or by its nationals from July 1, 2002 onwards. According to the press release, the...

By: Caitlin Behles | August 01, 2017 |

On June 29, 2017, an Arbitral Tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration issued a final award on the territorial and maritime dispute between Croatia and Slovenia regarding three issues: “(a) the course of the maritime and land boundary between the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Slovenia, (b) Slovenia’s junction to the High Sea and (c) the regime for the use of the relevant maritime areas.” According to the press release, the Tribunal fixed the territorial boundaries in more than twenty areas, using as their basis the cadastral boundaries that the Austrian Empire established...

By: Caitlin Behles | August 01, 2017 |

On June 29, 2017, the UN Security Council passed a resolution extend until November 15, 2018 the mandate of the Expert Panel on Libya and a set of sanctions related to illicit petroleum exports. According to the press release, the unanimously adopted resolution also added “‘attacks against United Nations personnel’ to the criteria for the ongoing travel bans and freezing of assets affecting individuals and entities in the conflict-wracked North African nation.” The current sanctions are “applicable to those deemed as engaging in or supporting acts that threatened Libya’s peace, stability...

By: Caitlin Behles | June 29, 2017 |

On June 27, 2017, the grand chamber of the European Court of Human Rights ruled in Medžlis Islamske Zajednice Brčko and Others v. Bosnia and Herzegovina that there had been no violation of the right to freedom of expression in a finding of defamation against four NGOs for the publication of a letter containing untrue allegations about the entertainment editor of a public radio station. According to the press release, the NGOs had sent the letter to “the highest authorities of their district complaining about a person’s application for the post of director of Brčko District’s multi...

By: Caitlin Behles | June 28, 2017 |

On June 27, 2017, the European Commission fined Google €2.42 billion for breaching EU antitrust rules. According to the press release, the European Commission determined that “Google has abused its market dominance as a search engine by giving an illegal advantage to another Google product, its comparison shopping service.” The fact sheet notes that while market dominance is not illegal in the EU, “dominant companies have a special responsibility not to abuse their powerful market position by restricting competition, either in the market where they are dominant or in separate markets.” The...

By: Caitlin Behles | June 27, 2017 |

On June 23, 2017, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution directing the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to send a team of international experts to investigate alleged human rights violations and abuses in the central Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). According to the press release, the resolution requests the international experts be sent “to collect and preserve information, to determine the facts and circumstances in accordance with international standards and practice concerning alleged human rights violations and abuses, and violations...

By: Caitlin Behles | June 26, 2017 |

On June 14, 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in Stichting Brein v. Ziggo that making available an online platform for sharing copyright-protected works may constitute copyright infringement. According to the press release, the case concerned two internet providers in the Netherlands, who were asked to block the domain names and IP addresses of “The Pirate Bay,” a platform that allows users to share and upload files that may be copyright-protected. The Court noted that under an EU Directive “any act by which a user, with full knowledge of the relevant facts,...