International Law in Brief

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...

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

On February 2, 2017, a Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights ruled in Navalnyy v. Russia that Russian authorities repeatedly violated the human rights of Aleksey Navalnyy, an activist and political opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, by arbitrarily arresting him, unlawfully depriving him of liberty, and subjecting him to unfair trial. According to the press release, Navalnyy was arrested on two occasions in the wake of Putin’s 2012 election during peaceful protests, held arbitrarily and without justification, and subjected to trials “not based on an acceptable...

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

On January 31, 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in Commissaire général aux réfugiés et aux apatrides v. Mostafa Lounani that an application for asylum could be rejected if the asylum seeker has participated in the activities of a terrorist network, even though the individual did not commit an act of terror. According to the press release, Mostafa Lounani applied to the Belgian authorities for refugee status in 2010 after his arrest in 2006 for participating in the activities of a terrorist organization by providing logistical support to the group. He alleged...

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

On January 27, 2017, the President Donald Trump signed an executive order temporarily banning entry into the U.S. for nationals from seven countries with Muslim-majority populations for ninety days. According to reports, multiple courts throughout the U.S. issued provisional orders halting implementation of the travel ban for those on their way to the U.S. or already on U.S. soil. Cases will proceed in the courts that issued that injunctions in the coming weeks, and the government can appeal the orders. ASIL President Lucinda Lowe made a public statement regarding the executive order,...

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

On January 27, 2017, the United Nations Security Council, acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, issued a resolution requiring all member states to continue to take the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply of arms and related material into the Central African Republic (CAR) until January 31, 2018. The resolution exempts arms intended for some groups, including, the African Union-Regional Task Force, European Union Missions, and French Forces deployed in the CAR. The resolution also authorizes member states to seize, register, and dispose of any...

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

On January 27, 2017, the World Trade Organization (WTO) issued a panel report in Russia — Anti-Dumping Duties on Light Commercial Vehicles from Germany and Italy. The panel concluded that Russian duties applied to light commercial vehicles imported from Italy and Germany were in violation of WTO law. According to a press release by the European Union, “Russia failed to observe a number of WTO rules when introducing the anti-dumping duties in 2013” including “excluding certain domestic producers from their calculations” and disregarding “the overcapacity in the Russian LCV sector,...

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

On January 24, 2017, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in Paradiso and Campanelli v. Italy that the removal of a child born via gestational surrogacy from the intended parents, who had no biological relation to the child, was not in contradiction to Article 8 (right to private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case dealt with the placement of a child born in Russia following a gestational surrogacy contract between a Russian woman and an Italian couple into foster care due to the couple’s “suspected . . . misrepresentation of civil status, use...