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 : March 27, 2019 |

On March 26, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Sudan v. Harrison et al. against victims and their families of the USS Cole bombing, holding that a lower court could not issue a default judgment against Sudan because it had been improperly served. The case concerns the bombing of the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen, in 2000, which killed seventeen crew members, after which Al Qaeda claimed responsibility and the victims sued Sudan for giving material support to Al Qaeda for the bombing. When suing under an exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, there are four methods of...


| By: Caitlin Behles : March 26, 2019 |

On March 26, 2019, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in Berdzenishvili and Others v. Russia that Russia must compensate Georgian citizens in amounts ranging from EUR 2,000 to EUR 15,000 for violations of their human rights due to the administrative practice of arrest, detention, and expulsion in October 2006. In its judgment on the merits from March 2017, nineteen applicants brought charges against Russia after authorities instituted identity checks on Georgian nationals, arrested and detained them, and gave orders for their administrative expulsion from Russia. As noted in...


| By: Caitlin Behles : March 25, 2019 |

On March 25, 2019, Judge Mary T. Moreau in Alberta, Canada, decided in Khadr v. Warden of Bowden Institution that the war crimes sentence of a Canadian man, Omar Ahmed Khadr, who the United States previously detained at Guantanamo Bay, has expired. Khadr was captured in Afghanistan in 2002 when he was fifteen years old, pled guilty to crimes committed in Afghanistan in order to receive a sentence of eight years in 2010, was transferred to Canada in 2012 to continue serving his sentence, and was given judicial interim release in 2015. Since then Khadr has recanted and appealed his...


| By: Caitlin Behles : March 22, 2019 |

On March 20, 2019, the European Commission fined Google €1.49 billion for breaching EU antitrust rules regarding abusive practices in online advertising. The European Commission stated that Google abused its market dominance by using its position to include in a number of clauses in contracts with website owners that restricted how and whether they could show competitors’ search ads on their search results pages. These competitors were then not able to compete on the merits, “because there was an outright prohibition for them to appear on publisher websites or because Google reserved for...


| By: Caitlin Behles : March 22, 2019 |

On March 20, 2019, the Appeals Chamber of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals set aside Radovan Karadžić’s prior sentence of forty years and imposed a life sentence. Karadžić was convicted of genocide, crimes against humanity, and violations of the laws or customs of war in March 2016 by a Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and sentenced to forty years in prison. His crimes relate to war crimes he committed during the 1990s conflicts in the Balkans, in particular the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 Bosnian Serbs and the...


| By: Caitlin Behles : March 18, 2019 |

On March 18, 2019, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights released a report on “Police Violence Against Afro-descendants in the United States.” The Commission reviewed the situation of structural discrimination against African Americans in the United States, looking specifically at issues of disparity and racial bias by the police and within the criminal justice system. The Commission noted that the issues within the report impact both domestic civil rights issues, as well as international human rights obligations regarding non-discrimination, use of force, and access to justice....


| By: Caitlin Behles : March 11, 2019 |

On March 11, 2019, a UN panel of experts released the final report on its work, finding that North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs “remain intact and the country continues to defy Security Council resolutions through a massive increase in illegal ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products and coal.” The panel found that North Korea had violated the arms embargo and had tried to supply small arms and light weapons to groups in Yemen, Libya, and Sudan. It also noted that “financial sanctions remain some of the most poorly implemented and actively evaded measures of the...


| By: Caitlin Behles : February 28, 2019 |

On February 28, 2019, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 2458 (2019), in which it extended the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS) until February 8, 2020, and endorsed the Secretary-General’s recommendations for its reconfiguration with the aim of completing its tasks by the end of 2020. The Council supported a reprioritization of UNIOGBIS’s tasks into three phases, so that in Phase I, the electoral phase, it will remain as configured and support legislative and presidential elections scheduled for 2019; in Phase II, the post-...


| By: Caitlin Behles : February 27, 2019 |

On February 27, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Jam v. International Finance Corp. that under the International Organizations Immunities Act of 1945 (IOIA), international organizations are afforded the same immunity from suit given to foreign governments under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 (FSIA). The question before the Court was whether the IOIA, “which affords international organizations the ‘same immunity’ from suit that foreign governments have,” grants international organizations immunity equivalent to that which foreign states were entitled in 1945, or...


| By: Caitlin Behles : February 26, 2019 |

On February 26, 2019, the Security Council passed Resolution 2456 (2019) in which it expressed its increased concern regarding the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Yemen and “all instances of hindrances to the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance, including limitations on the delivery of vital goods to the civilian population of Yemen.” Acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, the Security Council extended the travel ban, arms embargo, and economic sanctions against individuals or entities threatening the peace and stability of Yemen until February 26, 2020. The Council...