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 : September 21, 2018 |

On September 21, 2018, the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda decided to close the preliminary examination into the situation in Gabon. In September 2016, the government of Gabon sent the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) a referral regarding alleged crimes that had been taking place in Gabon surrounding the presidential election since May 2016. In the referral, the Gabonese government “alleged that opposition leader and former presidential candidate, Mr. Jean Ping, incited his supporters to commit genocide during his 2016 presidential campaign” and that opposition...


| By: Caitlin Behles : September 18, 2018 |

On September 18, 2018, a Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights ruled in Lachiri v. Belgium that there had been a violation of Article 9 (freedom of thought, conscience and religion) of the European Convention on Human Rights when a woman was excluded from a courtroom after refusing to remove her hijab. As noted in the press release, the Court found that banning the woman, who was not a state representative, “had amounted to a ‘restriction’ on the exercise of her right to manifest her religion.” While the Court held that the restriction pursued the legitimate aim of “...


| By: Caitlin Behles : September 17, 2018 |

On September 17, 2018, the International Criminal Court (ICC) Trial Chamber VII delivered its re-sentencing decision for Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, Aimé Kilolo Musamba, and Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo, following the ICC Appeals Chamber judgment that had reversed the initial sentences against the men in March 2018. As noted in the press release, the Chamber “sentenced M. Bemba to one year imprisonment and fined him EUR 300,000. M. Kilolo and M. Mangenda were sentenced each to a total of 11 months of imprisonment. M. Kilolo was also fined EUR 30,000.” Because of the time they had already...


| By: Caitlin Behles : September 07, 2018 |

On September 6, 2018, International Criminal Court (ICC) Pre-Trial Chamber I held that the Court may exercise jurisdiction over the alleged deportation of the Rohingya people from Myanmar to Bangladesh. As noted in the press release, the Chamber held that although acts concerning the “alleged deportation of members of the Rohingya people occurred on the territory of Myanmar (which is a State not party to the Statute), the Court may nonetheless exercise its jurisdiction, since an element of this crime (the crossing of a border) occurred on the territory of Bangladesh (which is a State party...


| By: Caitlin Behles : August 29, 2018 |

On August 27, 2018, the UN Human Rights Council released the Report of Independent International Fact-Finding Mission (Mission) on Myanmar concerning the recent alleged human rights violations by military and security forces in Myanmar, and particularly in Rakhine State. The Mission concluded that the gross human rights violations and abuses committed in Kachin, Rakhine, and Shan States “undoubtedly amount to the gravest crimes under international law” and that “Myanmar has a heavy responsibility to remedy the situation as a matter of the utmost urgency.” As noted in the press release, the...


| By: Caitlin Behles : August 17, 2018 |

On August 16, 2018, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) granted precautionary measures to migrant children separated from their families as a result of recent U.S. immigration policies. As noted in the press release, the IACHR issued two resolutions in which it “reiterated that, under the principle of complementarity, the State, through its domestic authorities, is primarily responsible for protecting the human rights of the persons under its jurisdiction” and requested information from the United States regarding reunification of these families. The Commission noted that...


| By: Caitlin Behles : August 16, 2018 |

On August 15, 2018, the Israeli Military Advocate General (MAG) released a report providing an update on their investigation of the Israeli military “Operation Protective Edge,” launched in 2014 in the Gaza Strip during the seven-week conflict between Israel and Palestine. The report provides the MAG’s findings on fighting in the city of Rafah on August 1, 2014, also known as “Black Friday,” during which Hamas militants ambushed three Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers during a humanitarian ceasefire and Israel responded with attacks that resulted in the death of over 110 Palestinians...


| By: Caitlin Behles : August 14, 2018 |

On August 13, 2018, the International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh (ICTB) sentenced five people to death for crimes against humanity during the state’s 1971 war of independence from Pakistan. The three-member panel unanimously found the men guilty of “abduction, confinement, torture, murder, and rape” and “responsible for the offences as enumerated in the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973 committed in violation of international humanitarian law in the territory of Bangladesh in 1971, during the war of liberation.” The Tribunal found that the convicted men were also part of the...


| By: Caitlin Behles : August 02, 2018 |

On August 1, 2018, the Protocol No. 16 to the European Convention on Human Rights entered into force for the ten member states that have signed and ratified it: Albania, Armenia, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Lithuania, San Marino, Slovenia and Ukraine. As noted in the press release, “Protocol No. 16 enables the highest national courts and tribunals, as designated by the member States concerned, to request the Court to give advisory opinions on questions of principle relating to the interpretation or application of the rights and freedoms defined in the Convention or the Protocols...


| By: Caitlin Behles : July 26, 2018 |

On July 25, 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that organisms obtained by mutagenesis—“a set of techniques which make it possible to alter the genome of a living species without the insertion of foreign DNA”—are to be considered genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and are subject to the EU GMO Directive. However, organisms obtained by mutagenesis that have a long safety record in a number of applications are exempt, though member states may individually subject them to obligations within the Directive or otherwise, as long as they are in compliance with EU law. As...