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: Justine N. Stefanelli : October 14, 2020 |

On Monday, October 12, 2020, the Israeli Cabinet unanimously approved the Abraham Accords Peace Agreement with the United Arab Emirates. According to a press release, Prime Minister Netanyahu called the Agreement "historic" and noted that it "is the first peace agreement that Israel has signed in over 25 years." He further stated that

This agreement is different from its predecessors in that Israel is not conceding any territory whatsoever. Second, the economic component in it is very dominant, and the economic aspects will be very good for all citizens of Israel. Third, this...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : October 13, 2020 |

On October 13, 2020, the Third Section of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) issued its judgment in Zakharov and Varzhabetyan v. Russia, a case implicating Articles 3 (degrading treatment and effective investigation) and 11 (freedom of peaceful assembly). The applicants in the case were part of a political rally at Bolotnaya Square in Russia on May 6, 2012, which led to a skirmish between the police and the protestors, which eventually was dispersed by the police. According to a Case Information Note from the Court, the applicants had alleged that they were hit on the head...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : October 01, 2020 |

The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control has issued regulations implementing the Administration's Executive Order from earlier this year (covered by ILIB), blocking the property of certain persons associated with the International Criminal Court. The Regulations are being published in an "abbreviated" form, and will be supplemented by further, more detailed regulations in the future. The Regulations (in their current form) consist of nine subparts, including 14 defined terms.


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : September 30, 2020 |

A bill was introduced in the Senate last week, aimed at "requir[ing] a determination as to whether crimes committed against the Rohingya in Burma amount to genocide; to the Committee on Foreign Relations." The bill was introduced by Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts. Congress.gov does not currently house a copy of the bill, or a summary, but you can sign up for alerts on the progress of the bill. We will also update this webpage once the text is available.


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : September 29, 2020 |

The African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights has published summaries of seven recent judgments (two in French only at time of writing). Summaries currently available in English include:

App. No. 011/2015 – Christopher Jonas v. United Republic of Tanzania Judgment on reparations arising from a merits decision in 2017 concerning violation of Article 7(1)(c) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Charter) for failing to provide the Applicant with free legal assistance during his trial.

App. No. 033/2015 – James Wanjara and Others v. United...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : September 29, 2020 |

The African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights published its Revised Rules of Court, which were adopted on September 1, 2020, and entered into force on September 25, 2020. According to the Court, the new Rules "seek to enhance the effectiveness of the Court by, among other things, facilitating access to the Court, improving the management of cases as well as ensuring better implementation of the decisions of the Court." The new Rules can be accessed here.


| By: Emma Schoenberger : September 28, 2020 |

In a statement released on September 22, 2020, Thomas Andrews, UN Special Rapporteur, “called for an immediate ceasefire in Rakhine State [Myanmar].” Andrews highlighted the rising number of children who had been killed in the conflict and the impact of COVID-19 on the upcoming election. The press release states “that the government is imposing ‘vague and subjective criteria’ to restrict the right to freedom of expression for political candidates” and that Andrews has “‘seen no evidence that …[it] is … prepared to facilitate the right to vote for hundreds of thousands of … Rohingya.’” In...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : September 24, 2020 |

On September 24, 2020, the Prosecutor's Office of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers announced that the Office has arrested Mr. Salih Mustafa, former senior commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army, in connection with alleged war crimes. Mr. Mustafa will be detained in the Specialist Chamber's detention facilities in The Hague and will be brought before the pre-trial judge "without undue delay."


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : September 22, 2020 |

On September 22, 2020, the International Court of Justice announced that it intends to obtain an expert opinion under Article 67(1) of the Court's Rules, in the case concerning Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo (Democratic Republic of the Congo v. Uganda). According to a press release from the Court, the opinion is sought in relation to the question of reparations in the above case, following the Court's December 2005 judgment on the merits in which it found that Uganda had violated several provisions of international human rights and humanitarian law and that the DRC...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : September 17, 2020 |

On September 8, 2020, the President of the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone granted Augustine Gbao early release, with a three-month delay. Gbao was convicted on fourteen counts of crimes against humanity by the Court on March 2, 2009, and sentenced to twenty-five years of imprisonment on April 8, 2009. The Court’s Practice Direction on Conditional Early Release permits consideration for early release if certain conditions are fulfilled. According to a press release from the Court, in this case, the Court ordered Gbao to “undergo specific training geared to his understanding of and...