International Law in Brief


International Law in Brief (ILIB) is a forum that provides updates on current developments in international law from the editors of ASIL's International Legal Materials.
| By: Şeymanur Yönt : October 15, 2021 |

On October 13, 2021, over one hundred countries adopted Kunming Declaration on biodiversity. The countries made several commitments related to biodiversity such as ensuring an effective global biodiversity framework, developing and updating the national biodiversity strategies, strengthening the sustainable use of biodiversity, and enhancing “the global legal framework.” The Declaration will be submitted to the United Nations Environment Assembly during the second part of its fifth session, which will take place in early 2022.


| By: Şeymanur Yönt : October 14, 2021 |

On October 12, 2021, the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and inhumane treatment presented his report on the “significance of accountability to the absolute and non-derogable prohibition of torture and ill-treatment.” The report explained accountability of the state and the individual, accountability and prevention, accountability and reparation, and key challenges to accountability such as denial, obstruction, and torture and ill-treatment as a form of punishment. The Special Rapporteur made several recommendations, including criminalization of torture and ill-treatment, overcoming...


| By: Şeymanur Yönt : October 14, 2021 |

On October 12, 2021, the UN Human Rights Committee found that Paraguay violated the indigenous community’s right to traditional lands by failing to prevent and control the toxic contamination of traditional lands. As set out in a UN press release, the Committee’s decision [currently available in Spanish only] follows the complaint by the Campo Agua’e indigenous community about the use of fumigation, i.e., using chemical smoke to kill pests, in a close commercial farm. The community complained that the process killed their animals and plants, and had an adverse impact on the environment....


| By: Şeymanur Yönt : October 13, 2021 |

On October 11, 2021, the OHCHR concluded its forty-eighth regular session. During the session, the OHCHR adopted twenty-five resolutions, including resolutions related to Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Somalia, and Libya, as well as on human rights and climate change, and the right to a safe, clean, healthy, and sustainable environment. In addition, the OHCHR appointed Special Rapporteurs on Afghanistan, Burundi, and on human rights and climate change.


| By: Şeymanur Yönt : October 13, 2021 |

On October 12, 2021, the ICJ decided the dispute on the maritime boundary between Somalia and Kenya. The ICJ, in its judgment which is in favor of Somalia’s claims, ruled that Somalia, not Kenya, should control most of the disputed triangle of water in the Indian Ocean. However, the court refused Somalia’s request for reparation for Kenya’s breach of its international obligations in the disputed area, and found that “Kenya has not violated its international obligations through its maritime activities in the disputed area.”


| By: Şeymanur Yönt : October 13, 2021 |

On October 5, 2021, the OHCHR recognized the right to a safe, clean, healthy, and sustainable environment as a human right. The OHCHR encouraged states to build capacities to protect the environment, to share good practices, and to adopt relevant policies. The OHCHR further invited the UN General Assembly to consider the matter.

 


| By: Şeymanur Yönt : October 12, 2021 |

On October 7, 2021, as reported by JURIST, the Polish Constitutional Tribunal (Tribunal) ruled that some provisions of the EU treaties are in breach of Poland’s constitution, which has primacy over EU law. In response to the Tribunal, the European Commission reaffirmed in a statement that “EU law has primacy over national law, including constitutional provisions; and all rulings of the ECJ are binding on all Member States’ authorities, including national courts.” Furthermore, the Commission stated that it will analyze the ruling in detail and will decide on the further steps.


| By: Şeymanur Yönt : October 12, 2021 |

On October 5, 2021, CoE Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) published its conclusions on Russia’s and Latvia’s implementation of ECRI’s recommendations. In its conclusions, ECRI expressed its concern about Russia’s non-implementation of recommendations related to investigating complaints against the police and abolishing the legal ban on the provision of information about homosexuality in minors. ECRI also found insufficient the measures taken in Latvia to address hate crimes. The published conclusions constitute an interim follow-up to the reports of Russia and Latvia which...


| By: Şeymanur Yönt : October 06, 2021 |

On October 4, 2021, the Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Libya stated that there are reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity and war crimes have been committed in Libya. The UN Human Rights Council established the Mission by resolution 43/39 to investigate human rights violations and abuses in Libya since the beginning of 2016. Following its investigation, the Mission shared its report which included findings on conduct of hostilities, extrajudicial killings, violations in the context of deprivation of liberty, sexual and gender-based violence, and the situation of...


| By: Şeymanur Yönt : October 01, 2021 |

On September 30, 2021, the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe adopted Resolution 2404 to address migrant and asylum seeker arrivals from Belarus. The Parliamentary Assembly expressed its concern about the increased migration and asylum pressures at the Belarus border with Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland. The Assembly described the pressure as Belarus’s instrumentalization of migration as a response to EU sanctions against Belarus. The Parliamentary Assembly emphasized the importance of effective border management as well as the rights of migrants and asylum seekers. The Assembly...