International Law in Brief


International Law in Brief (ILIB) is forum that provides updates on current developments in international law from the editors of ASIL's International Legal Materials.
| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : September 29, 2020 |

The African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights has published summaries of seven recent judgments (two in French only at time of writing). Summaries currently available in English include:

App. No. 011/2015 – Christopher Jonas v. United Republic of Tanzania Judgment on reparations arising from a merits decision in 2017 concerning violation of Article 7(1)(c) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Charter) for failing to provide the Applicant with free legal assistance during his trial.

App. No. 033/2015 – James Wanjara and Others v. United...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : September 29, 2020 |

The African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights published its Revised Rules of Court, which were adopted on September 1, 2020, and entered into force on September 25, 2020. According to the Court, the new Rules "seek to enhance the effectiveness of the Court by, among other things, facilitating access to the Court, improving the management of cases as well as ensuring better implementation of the decisions of the Court." The new Rules can be accessed here.


| By: Emma Schoenberger : September 28, 2020 |

In a statement released on September 22, 2020, Thomas Andrews, UN Special Rapporteur, “called for an immediate ceasefire in Rakhine State [Myanmar].” Andrews highlighted the rising number of children who had been killed in the conflict and the impact of COVID-19 on the upcoming election. The press release states “that the government is imposing ‘vague and subjective criteria’ to restrict the right to freedom of expression for political candidates” and that Andrews has “‘seen no evidence that …[it] is … prepared to facilitate the right to vote for hundreds of thousands of … Rohingya.’” In...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : September 24, 2020 |

On September 24, 2020, the Prosecutor's Office of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers announced that the Office has arrested Mr. Salih Mustafa, former senior commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army, in connection with alleged war crimes. Mr. Mustafa will be detained in the Specialist Chamber's detention facilities in The Hague and will be brought before the pre-trial judge "without undue delay."


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : September 22, 2020 |

On September 22, 2020, the International Court of Justice announced that it intends to obtain an expert opinion under Article 67(1) of the Court's Rules, in the case concerning Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo (Democratic Republic of the Congo v. Uganda). According to a press release from the Court, the opinion is sought in relation to the question of reparations in the above case, following the Court's December 2005 judgment on the merits in which it found that Uganda had violated several provisions of international human rights and humanitarian law and that the DRC...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : September 17, 2020 |

On September 8, 2020, the President of the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone granted Augustine Gbao early release, with a three-month delay. Gbao was convicted on fourteen counts of crimes against humanity by the Court on March 2, 2009, and sentenced to twenty-five years of imprisonment on April 8, 2009. The Court’s Practice Direction on Conditional Early Release permits consideration for early release if certain conditions are fulfilled. According to a press release from the Court, in this case, the Court ordered Gbao to “undergo specific training geared to his understanding of and...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : September 16, 2020 |

On September 15, 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) interpreted for the first time Regulation 2015/2120, which enshrines the principle of net neutrality. In its judgment in Joined Cases C-807/18 and C-39/19 Telenor Magyarország Zrt. v Nemzeti Média-és Hírközlési Hatóság Elnöke, the Court was asked to give a preliminary ruling in relation to an internet service provider’s “zero tariff” service packages. According to a press release from the Court, Telenor, established in Hungary, offered its customers two “preferential access” packages under which “data traffic...


| By: Emma Schoenberger : September 15, 2020 |

On September 10, 2020, Trial Chamber II of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon released a decision confirming its jurisdiction to hear the case against Salim Jamil Ayyash. Mr. Ayyash was previously indicted and found guilty by the Tribunal for his involvement in “the Hariri attack.” This second case relates to Mr. Ayyash’s alleged involvement in “three attacks against prominent Lebanese political figures” that the prosecution asserts “are ‘connected’ to the 14 February 2005 attack with killed Mr Hariri.” The defense filed a preliminary motion challenging the Pre-Trial Judge’s finding that the...


| By: Emma Schoenberger : September 15, 2020 |

On September 8, 2020, Yusuf Finyanus and Ali Hassan Khalil (former Lebanese government officials) were sanctioned by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) “pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended.” A press release by the Department of the Treasury explains that both individuals used their positions within the Lebanese government for “personal gain” and to “[provide] material support to Hizballah.” These latest sanctions are part of an ongoing effort by the Treasury to “[disrupt] … the full range of Hizballah’s illicit financial activity.” A JURIST article states that...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : September 08, 2020 |

On September 3, 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued its judgment in Supreme v. SHAPE. The facts of the case involved the nonpayment for fuel under contractual arrangements between a group of private entities (Supreme) and two NATO entitles (SHAPE and JFCB) under which Supreme supplied fuel to SHAPE for a NATO mission in Afghanistan. On the basis of the Brussels Ibis Regulation (1215/2012/EU), Supreme brought suit before the Dutch courts for non-payment, but the NATO entities argued that they were immune from suit because of their status as...