International Law in Brief

By: Caitlin Behles | April 26, 2017 |

On April 13, 2017, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 2350, ending peacekeeping operations in Haiti that had been ongoing for thirteen years. The Security Council recognized the “major milestone towards stabilization achieved with the peaceful completion of the electoral process and return to constitutional order on 7 February 2017, and commend[ed] Haitian authorities, in particular the Haitian Provisional Electoral Council and the Haitian National Police (HNP), for their efforts towards ensuring elections were conducted in a credible and inclusive manner and held in a largely...

By: Caitlin Behles | April 25, 2017 |

On April 4, 2017, the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in Fahimian v. Bundesrepublik Deutschland that national authorities may refuse to grant a study visa to a third country national with a degree from a university subject to restrictive measures due to concerns over a potential threat to public security. According to the press release, the case concerned an Iranian student, Sahar Fahimian, who holds a Master of Science from an Iranian university that is the subject of restrictive measures from the EU and was denied a visa to pursue doctoral...

By: Caitlin Behles | April 24, 2017 |

On March 31, 2017, the Security Council adopted a resolution that strongly condemned the terrorist attacks and other rights violations taking place in the Lake Chad Basin Region in Africa, passing its first resolution addressing Boko Haram’s presence in the area. The Council expressed its “full support for the conflict-affected populations of the Region including displaced and host communities who are suffering from the ongoing security crisis, humanitarian emergency, and development deficits resulting from the violence by terrorist groups.” The Council encouraged governments in the region...

By: Caitlin Behles | April 24, 2017 |

On March 31, 2017, acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Security Council adopted a resolution renewing the mandate of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) until March 31, 2018. The Council called on all stakeholders in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), “including President Kabila, the presidential majority and the opposition, to swiftly implement the 31 December 2016 agreement” and requested that the government “ensure a transparent and credible electoral process, in fulfilment of their...

By: Caitlin Behles | April 23, 2017 |

On March 24, 2017, the Security Council adopted a resolution condemning the unlawful destruction of cultural heritage, religious sites and artefacts, and the smuggling of cultural property by terrorist groups during armed conflict. The Council noted that such acts can “exacerbate conflict and hamper post-conflict national reconciliation, thereby undermining the security, stability, governance, social, economic and cultural development of affected States.” The Council also affirmed that unlawful attacks against sites of cultural heritage “may constitute, under certain circumstances and...

By: Caitlin Behles | March 30, 2017 |

On March 22, 2017, Trial Chamber VII of the International Criminal Court (ICC) delivered its sentencing decision in Prosecutor v. Bemba. According to the press release, the Trial Chamber found Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, Aimé Kilolo Musamba, Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo, Fidèle Babala Wandu and Narcisse Arido guilty of offences against the administration of justice “related to the false testimonies of defence witnesses in another case against Mr Bemba before the ICC” in October 2016. The defendants received sentences ranging from six months to two years and six months. In making its...

By: Caitlin Behles | March 29, 2017 |

On March 16, 2017, an International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) Tribunal issued an award in Eli Lilly v. Canada that dismissed Eli Lilly’s claim against Canada over the alleged wrongful termination of its patents under the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Lilly’s suit revolved around the “promise utility doctrine” in Canadian law, which provides that patent owners must be able to demonstrate or adequately predict that a patent actually has the utility the patent application promised by the patent’s filing date. Lilly argued that this doctrine...

By: Caitlin Behles | March 29, 2017 |

On March 14, 2017, the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in Achbita v. G4S Secure Solutions NV and Bougnaoui v. Micropole SA that internal work regulations that prohibit visibly wearing political, philosophical or religious signs do not amount to direct discrimination. According to the press release, in Achbita, Samira Achbita was fired from her position as a receptionist for her refusal to stop wearing an Islamic headscarf at a company with regulations that prohibited employees “from wearing any visible signs of their political,...

By: Caitlin Behles | March 28, 2017 |

On March 14, 2017, the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in A, B, C, D v. van Buitenlandse Zaken that acts of armed forces during armed conflict governed by international humanitarian law may be considered terrorist acts for purposes of EU law. The case arose after Dutch authorities froze the assets of four individuals due to their ties to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)—which the Netherlands had concluded was a terrorist organization—while implementing Resolution 1373 of the UN Security Council aimed at preventing the financing of...

By: Caitlin Behles | March 28, 2017 |

On March 7, 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in X and X v État belge that EU member states are not required to grant entry visas based on humanitarian grounds to individuals who wish to enter their territory in order to apply for asylum, though they may do so based on their own national laws. The case concerned a Syrian family who claimed to be facing inhuman treatment in Aleppo and applied for visas at the Belgian embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, with the aim of entering Belgium to apply for asylum. According to the press release, Belgian authorizes denied the...