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 06, 2019 |

On May 6, 2019, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court confirmed Pre-Trial Chamber II’s decision that Jordan had not complied with its obligations under the Rome Statute when it failed to arrest Omar Al-Bashir while he was on Jordanian territory in March 2017 in regard to the arrest warrant against Al-Bashir for five counts of crimes against humanity, two counts of war crimes, and three counts of genocide. The Appeals Chamber held that there is no Head of State immunity under customary international law and that Head of State immunity is also inapplicable in this situation...


| By: Caitlin Behles : April 23, 2019 |

On April 23, 2019, the UN Security Council passed a resolution calling on all parties to armed conflict around the world to implement concrete commitments to combatting sexual violence during conflict. The Council noted its deep concern regarding “the full range of threats and human rights violations and abuses experienced by women and girls in armed conflict and post-conflict situations,” and reiterated “its demand for the complete cessation with immediate effect by all parties to armed conflict of all acts of sexual violence and its call for these parties to make and implement specific...


| By: Caitlin Behles : April 12, 2019 |

On April 12, 2019, Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) unanimously rejected the Prosecutor’s request to open an investigation into alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes in Afghanistan, determining that “an investigation into the situation in Afghanistan at this stage would not serve the interests of justice.” The Prosecution’s request for an investigation concerns potential crimes that have taken place in the context of the armed conflict currently taking place in Afghanistan, including crimes against humanity by the Taliban and their affiliated Haqqani...


| By: Caitlin Behles : April 10, 2019 |

On April 10, 2019, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Right released its first Advisory Opinion under the new Protocol No. 16 to the European Convention on Human Rights on “the recognition in domestic law of a legal parent-child relationship between a child born through a gestational surrogacy arrangement abroad and the intended mother.” Under Protocol No. 16, the “highest courts and tribunals” of state parties may request an Advisory Opinion on “questions of principle relating to the interpretation or application of the rights and freedoms defined in the Convention or the...


| By: Caitlin Behles : April 10, 2019 |

On April 10, 2019, the U.K. Supreme Court ruled in Vedanta Resources PLC and Another v. Lungowe and Others that Zambian citizens may sue a Zambian mining corporation and its British parent company in the United Kingdom. The case concerns claims brought by 1,826 Zambian citizens who allege that their health and farming activities have been harmed due to the discharge of toxic matter from Nchanga Copper Mine in Zambia into the waterways they use for drinking and irrigating crops. They argue that Konkola Copper Mines, the Zambian company, and Vedanta, the parent company...


| By: Caitlin Behles : April 10, 2019 |

On April 10, 2019, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea issued its judgment in The M/V “Norstar” Case (Panama v. Italy), finding that Italy violated the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and awarded Panama $285,000 with interest to compensate for the loss of the M/V “Norstar.” The case concerns Italy’s detention of the Panamanian-flagged vessel the M/V “Norstar” after Italy requested that Spanish authorities seize the vessel while it was anchored in Spain in connection with allegations against eight individuals for smuggling and tax evasion. The Tribunal...


| By: Caitlin Behles : April 05, 2019 |

On April 5, 2019, the World Trade Organization released its Panel report on “Russia – Measures Concerning Traffic in Transit,” in which it reviewed for the first time the national security exception contained in Article XXI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (GATT). In the dispute, Ukraine challenged the legality of Russian measures restricting the transit of the Ukrainian goods meant for Central Asia through Russian territory, while Russia argued that the transit restrictions are justified under the national security exception as “necessary for the protection of its...


| By: Caitlin Behles : March 29, 2019 |

On March 28, 2019, the East African Court of Justice ruled in Media Counsel of Tanzania and Others v. Attorney General of Tanzania that multiple sections of Tanzania’s 2016 Media Services Act violated the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community in regard to freedom of the press and freedom of expression. Three civil society media organizations brought the claim, arguing that several provisions of the Act create “an unjustified restriction on the freedom of expression.” In particular, they argued that the Act violates freedom of expression by restricting certain...


| By: Caitlin Behles : March 28, 2019 |

On March 28, 2019, in Germany v. Commission, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) annulled a decision by the European Commission and set aside the General Court’s judgment concerning orders for Germany to recover aid it had given certain industries that were heavy users of energy in the form of an exemption from a green energy surcharge in 2012. The case concerns a German law in which the state guaranteed producers of electricity from renewable sources a higher than market price, supported through a surcharge on energy suppliers. Germany capped the surcharge for...


| By: Caitlin Behles : March 28, 2019 |

On March 28, 2019, the UN Security Council passed a resolution aimed at increasing efforts counter and criminalize terrorist financing. Acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, the Council directed states to ensure that their domestic laws ensure the ability to prosecute, as serious criminal offenses, the provision or collection or funds or other resources with the intention or knowledge that they will be used to support terrorists or terrorist organizations. The Council determined that member states shall ensure domestic counter-terrorism measures are consistent with their obligations...