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: Michael G. Bergin, Jr. : November 15, 2023 |

The former President, Prime Minister, and Finance Minister of Sri Lanka have been found to have breached the public’s trust for their mismanagement of the country’s economy. Their mismanagement had led to an economic crisis and what the Court described on page nine of its decision as “a total breakdown of [the] economic and social life of the entire society.” JURIST has reported that the Court found the officials, Gotabaya, Mahinda, and Basil Rajapaksa (who also happen to be brothers), in violation of Article 12(1) of the Sri Lankan Constitution. Article 12(1) states that “all persons are...


| By: Michael G. Bergin, Jr. : November 15, 2023 |

The European Union has condemned the increasing violence and atrocities being committed by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in the Western Darfur region of Sudan. The EU cited “credible eyewitness reports” of major attacks on the Masalit community in recent days which resulted in over one thousand deaths. The EU statement noted that “these atrocities are seemingly part of a wider ethnic cleansing campaign conducted by the RSF,” a campaign which began with an initial wave of violence in June. The statement reminded those involved of their international legal duties owed to the people within...


| By: Michael G. Bergin, Jr. : October 17, 2023 |

The OECD and G20 recently announced the release of a new Multilateral Convention (MLC) that will implement OECD Pillar One and address tax challenges created by globalization and digitalization. According to the release, the new convention “reallocate[es] taxing rights to market jurisdictions” for the share of profits made by large enterprises operating in their markets “regardless of physical presence,” it “repeals and prevents proliferation of digital service taxes…, secures measures to avoid double taxation, and enhances stability and certainty in the international tax system.” The MLC...


| By: Michael G. Bergin, Jr. : October 13, 2023 |

On October 9, 2023, the World Health Organization and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) issued a joint publication on mental health and human rights for legislators, policymakers, professionals, and advocacy groups. The three overarching goals of the guidance are “to support countries to transform their mental health systems and services, increase equality and justice in mental health care, and prevent, detect, or remedy human rights violations in mental health care settings.” In their press release, the OHCHR noted that human rights violations...


| By: Michael G. Bergin, Jr. : October 13, 2023 |

Within days of Hamas’s attack on Israel and Israel’s declaration of war, the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory issued a statement detailing “clear evidence” of war crimes having been committed by Israel, Hamas, and other armed groups participating in the violence. A JURIST report on October 11, 2023, outlined the Commission’s statement and quoted the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ reminder to all sides of the conflict to keep international humanitarian law in mind and “take constant care to spare the civilian population and...


| By: Michael G. Bergin, Jr. : September 27, 2023 |

The latest investigations undertaken by the UN Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine have found “widespread and systematic” torture conducted by Russia’s armed forces against “persons accused of being informants of the Ukrainian armed forces.” As reported by JURIST on September 26, 2023, the Commission had travelled to Ukraine ten separate times and met with survivors of Russian atrocities before reporting their findings to the Human Rights Council. The Commission noted numerous instances of torture committed throughout Kherson and Zaporizhzhia in “various detention cent[er]s controlled by...


| By: Michael G. Bergin, Jr. : September 15, 2023 |

On September 8, 2023, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed claims brought by U.S. nationals against the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) and the Promoting Security and Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act (PSJVTA). As reported by Maggie Gardner in Transnational Litigation Blog, the Second Circuit’s decisions in Fuld v. Palestine Liberation Organization and Waldman v. Palestine Liberation Organization, declared the PSJVTA unconstitutional “because it asserts personal jurisdiction based on activity that cannot be understood as...


| By: Michael G. Bergin, Jr. : September 06, 2023 |

On June 20, 2023, the United States Treasury Department announced that it had designated for sanctions Major General James Nando and Governor Alfred Futuyo of South Sudan for their involvement in sexual violence related to the ongoing conflict in that country. As reported by JURIST, the sanctions “block their access to any US assets and prevents US nationals from doing business with them.” The designations come following a Presidential Memorandum, enacted in November of 2022, in which President Biden called for accountability for conflict related sexual violence, and United Nations...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : September 01, 2023 |

On August 22, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child published General Comment No. 26 on children's right and the environment with a special focus on climate change. According to a summary by the Committee, the "Committee emphasizes the urgent need to address the adverse effects of environmental degradation, with a special focus on climate change, on the enjoyment of children’s rights, and clarifies the obligations of States to address environmental harm and climate change." Running at 20 pages in length, the Comment includes sections on the evolution of international law on human...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : August 22, 2023 |

On August 14, 2023, the Montana First Judicial District Court invalidated a state law based on the right to a clean and healthful environment in the Montana Constitution. As reported by JURIST, Held v. Montana addresses the Montana Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) and its prohibition on considering GHG emissions in the context of energy and mining project reviews. According to the Court, the prohibition violates the Montana Constitution because it "categorically limits" what the government can consider in order to safeguard the environment. Moreover, the state failed to produce "...