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: Caitlin Behles : May 11, 2018 |

On May 11, 2018, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights ruled in APDF & IHRDA v. Republic of Mali that certain provisions of the Malian Persons and Family Code were inconsistent with provisions of the Protocol to African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (the Maputo Protocol). The Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA) and Malian partner Association pour le Progrès et la Défense des Droits des Femmes (APDF) filed the case, arguing that Mali’s Persons and Family Code violated the Maputo Protocol in regard to...


| By: Caitlin Behles : May 08, 2018 |

On May 8, 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the United States will withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and reinstate U.S. nuclear sanctions on the Iranian regime. The P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States), the European Union (EU), and Iran completed the JCPOA on July 14, 2015, in order to impose restrictions on Iran’s civilian nuclear enrichment program and allow access for international inspectors to monitor Iran’s compliance with the agreement. In October 2017, Trump announced that he would not recertify...


| By: Caitlin Behles : April 25, 2018 |

On April 24, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Jesner v. Arab Bank that foreign corporations may not be sued under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS). Victims of terrorist attacks that took place in Israel and Palestinian territories between 1995 and 2005 brought the case and argued that Jordan-based Arab Bank had used its New York branch to assist in terrorist financing. Victims filed suit under the Alien Tort Statute, which gives federal courts jurisdiction over “any civil action by an alien for a tort only, committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United...


| By: Caitlin Behles : April 25, 2018 |

On April 24, 2018, the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in MP v. Secretary of State for the Home Department that individuals tortured in their country of origin are eligible for “subsidiary protection” if there is a real risk of inadequate physical and psychological care upon their return to that state. According to the press release, the Court found that under EU law, the fact that an individual who had been previously tortured by his country of origin, but would no longer be at risk of torture if returned, is not sufficient for receiving...


| By: Caitlin Behles : April 20, 2018 |

On April 19, 2018, U.S. District Judge Paul S. Diamond sentenced Mohammed Jabbateh, a former Liberian commander who had spent the last twenty years living in Pennsylvania, to thirty years  in prison (the statutory maximum) after he was found guilty in October of two counts of fraud in immigration documents and two counts of perjury. According to the Department of Justice press release, Jabbateh, who was also known as “Jungle Jabbah,” had served as a commander in the United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy during Liberia’s first civil war from 1992 to 1995 and “committed various...


| By: Caitlin Behles : April 20, 2018 |

On April 19, 2018, Judge Tanya Chutkan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a preliminary injunction enjoining the transfer of an American citizen held without charge by the U.S. military in Iraq to a third country, potentially Saudi Arabia.  The injunction comes in response to a request from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which is representing the detainee, referred to as John Doe. Doe has been held at a military facility in Iraq for more than seven months and is a dual U.S.-Saudi citizen who surrendered in September 2017 to Syrian Democratic Forces...


| By: Caitlin Behles : April 17, 2018 |

On April 17, 2018, the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice for the European Union ruled in Commission v. Poland that Poland’s logging of the Puszcza Białowieska Natura 2000 site violated the Habitats Directive and the Birds Directive under European Union law. According to the press release, the European Commission calls the site “one of the best preserved natural forests in Europe, characterised by large quantities of old trees, in particular trees a century old or more, and dead wood,” and in 2007 the Commission designated it as a “site of Community importance” due to the...


| By: Caitlin Behles : April 16, 2018 |

On April 13, 2018, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Bangladesh regarding the voluntary returns of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar once conditions are improved. According to the press release, the MOU “established a framework of cooperation between UNHCR and Bangladesh on the safe, voluntary, and dignified returns of refugees in line with international standards.” It concerns the more than 670,000 Rohingyas that have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh since the onset of violence last year, as well as the estimated 200,000...


| By: Caitlin Behles : April 13, 2018 |

On April 12, 2018, the Council of Europe extended sanctions against Iran for human rights violations for one additional year, until April 13, 2019. The current restrictive measures include “a travel ban and an asset freeze against 82 people and one entity” and “a ban on exports to Iran of equipment which might be used for internal repression and of equipment for monitoring telecommunications.”  These measures concerning human rights violations were first put in place in 2011 and differ from the sanctions against Iran concerning targeting nuclear proliferation activities, which were...


| By: Caitlin Behles : April 13, 2018 |

On April 12, 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in A, S v. Staatssecretaris van Veiligheid en Justitie that under the EU Directive on Family Reunification an unaccompanied minor retains the right to family reunification even if he or she reaches the age of majority while awaiting results of the asylum procedure. According to the press release, the Court held that “minors” are considered to be “nationals of non-EU countries and stateless persons who are below the age of 18 at the moment of their entry into the territory of a Member State and of the introduction...