International Law in Brief

By: Caitlin Behles | March 27, 2017 |

On February 28, 2017, the General Court of the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in JingAo Solar Co. Ltd v. Council of the European Union to uphold a set of duties that the European Council imposed on solar panel imports from China. According to the press release, the duties stemmed from a European Commission investigation in 2012 and 2013—which revealed that companies were selling the panels well below normal market value—and were imposed to mitigate damage from the unfair commercial practice to the EU industry. The Court found that lawmakers didn’t err in assigning...

By: Caitlin Behles | March 27, 2017 |

On February 22, 2017, the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) entered into force after achieving the required acceptance from two-thirds of the WTO’s 164 members for the agreement to take effect. According to the WTO, the TFA “contains provisions for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit. It also sets out measures for effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues. It further contains provisions for technical assistance and capacity...

By: Caitlin Behles | March 27, 2017 |

On February 23, 2017, the World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body issued its report in “Russian Federation – Measures on the Importation of Live Pigs, Pork and Other Pig Products from the European Union,” upholding a previous ruling that found Russia had illegally embargoed European live pigs, pork, and other pig products in violation of international trade laws. According to the summary, Russia imposed the ban in January 2014 in response to the outbreak of African Swine Fever in the EU and argued that it was in line with the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement and the non-...

By: Caitlin Behles | March 27, 2017 |

On February 22, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Life Technologies Corp. v. Promega Corp. that supplying one component of a patented multicomponent invention produced outside the United States does not infringe that patent. The Court noted that a supplier may be liable for copyright infringement for supplying “all or a substantial portion of the components of the invention,” and held that the term “substantial” was to be viewed as a quantitative assessment and must be more than one part. The case relates to a DNA genetic testing toolkit patented by Promega, who sued the...

By: Caitlin Behles | March 27, 2017 |

On February 22, 2017, the Co-Investigating Judges at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia issued a joint closing order in Case 004/01 dismissing the proceedings against Im Chaem for alleged crimes committed during the Cambodian genocide between 1975 and 1979. According to the press release, the case was dismissed “because according to their evaluation of the evidence collected during the investigation, Im Chaem is not subject to the ECCC’s personal jurisdiction, which means she was neither a senior leader nor otherwise one of the most responsible officials of the Khmer...

By: Eric A. Heath | March 17, 2017 |

On February 13, 2017, a federal judge in Alexandria, Virginia, issued a preliminary injunction against parts of the Trump administration’s executive order (EO) barring entry of nationals from seven predominately-Muslim countries into the United States. The injunction only applies to Virginia residents, Virginia students, and employees of Virginia schools. Rejecting the government’s argument that the ban was not religiously motivated, the opinion stated that “[t]he Commonwealth has produced unrebutted evidence supporting its position that it is likely to succeed on an Establishment Clause...

By: Eric A. Heath | March 17, 2017 |

On February 9, 2017, the High Court of Kenya ruled against the attempted closure of Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp. According to a news report on the decision, the Court determined that the closure would be “tantamount to an act of group persecution.” The government argued that the camp had lost its humanitarian nature and was used to plan and attack by the Somalia-based al-Shabab terrorist group. Dadaab was established in 1991 for refugee fleeing conflict in Somalia. The government plans to appeal the ruling.

By: Eric A. Heath | March 16, 2017 |

On February 8, 2017, the Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe rejected a legal challenge to President Robert Mugabe’s presidency that claimed he had violated the constitution and was unfit for office due to his advanced age. According to a news article on the ruling, the Court based its rejection on the applicant’s failure to follow proper filing procedures because Mugabe had not been personally served with papers. The applicant, Promise Mkwananzi, who is a political activist, has thirty days to refile. Under the laws of Zimbabwe “if the top court finds that a sitting president has violated...

By: Eric A. Heath | February 10, 2017 |

On February 3, 2017, a U.S. federal judge in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) halting the entirety of the Trump administration’s executive order (EO) barring entry of nationals from seven predominately-Muslim countries into the United States. This TRO follows other provisional orders that prevented the implementation of the EO against travelers from the banned countries that were already on U.S. soil or on their way to the U.S. On February 4, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the Justice Department’s request for an immediate reinstatement of the ban and requested...

By: Eric A. Heath | February 10, 2017 |

On February 2, 2017, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled on preliminary objections in Maritime Delimitation in the Indian Ocean (Somalia v. Kenya), determining that it has jurisdiction over a maritime border dispute between Kenya and Somalia. According to the Court summary, Somalia instituted proceedings against Kenya in 2014, requesting that the Court  “determine, on the basis of international law, the complete course of the single maritime boundary dividing all the maritime areas appertaining to Somalia and to Kenya in the Indian Ocean, including the continental shelf...