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 : June 01, 2018 |

On May 31, 2018, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in Abu Zubaydah v. Lithuania that Lithuania violated the European Convention on Human Rights when it participated in the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) secret detainee program. According to the press release, the applicant, Abu Zubaydah, alleged that “Lithuania had let the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) transport him onto its territory under the secret extraordinary rendition programme and had allowed him to be subjected to ill-treatment and arbitrary detention in a CIA detention ‘black site.’” Abu...


| By: Caitlin Behles : June 01, 2018 |

On May 31, 2018, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in Al Nashiri v. Romania that Romania violated the European Convention on Human Rights when it assisted the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) with its secret detainee program. According to the press release, the applicant, Abd Al Rahim Husseyn Muhammad Al Nashiri, alleged that Romania let the CIA “transport him under the secret extraordinary rendition programme onto its territory and had allowed him to be subjected to ill-treatment and arbitrary detention in a CIA detention ‘black site.’” Although the Court had no...


| By: Caitlin Behles : May 25, 2018 |

On May 24, 2018, UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced the release of a new disarmament agenda titled, “Securing our Common Future: An Agenda for Disarmament,” which discusses the elimination of nuclear weapons and other deadly weapons. In the report, Guterres lists his main aims in disarmament discussions with member state: “[R]esuming dialogue and negotiations for nuclear arms control and disarmament; extending the norms against nuclear weapons and their proliferation; and preparing for a world free of nuclear weapons.” The report also discusses three priority areas: weapons of...


| By: Caitlin Behles : May 21, 2018 |

On May 21, 2018, the UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution to send an independent, international commission of inquiry to investigate the violence in the Gaza Strip between Palestinian civilian protestors and Israeli forces. The resolution came at the close of a special session on the deteriorating human rights situation taking place there and was passed with twenty-nine in favor, two against, and fourteen abstentions. The commission will be tasked with investigating  violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, to establish the facts of the...


| 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...