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 : February 06, 2019 |

On February 6, 2019, the twenty-nine member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) signed the Accession Protocol to allow the state that will be known as the Republic of North Macedonia to join NATO. The Accession Protocol will allow North Macedonia to take part in NATO activities as an invitee, and each NATO member will now have to ratify the protocol according to domestic procedures to finalize the process. This follows an agreement last month with Greece through which the two states agreed to change the name of the territory to the Republic of North Macedonia, ending a...


| By: Caitlin Behles : February 04, 2019 |

On February 4, 2019, the UN Human Rights Committee, the body that monitors states parties’ adherence to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), found in two decisions that Finland violated the rights of the Sami, an indigenous group that lives in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia. The Committee found that Finland had violated the Sami’s rights to political participation as an indigenous people when its Supreme Administrative Court improperly expanded the pool of eligible voters for the Sami Parliament by giving the right to vote to ninety-three individuals who...


| By: Caitlin Behles : February 04, 2019 |

On February 4, 2019, Russia announced that it would suspend its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty following the U.S. announced withdrawal from the treaty on February 1, 2019. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that the United States has been in breach of the treaty “since 1999, when it started testing combat unmanned aerial vehicles that have the same characteristics as land-based cruise missiles banned by the Treaty,” and called the U.S. accusations that Russia is in breach of the treaty “unfounded accusations.” President Putin stated, “Our US...


| By: Caitlin Behles : February 01, 2019 |

On February 1, 2019, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the United States will withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a nuclear arms control agreement between the United States and Russia that was signed in 1987. Pompeo announced that the withdrawal will become effective in six months, under the terms of Article 15 of the treaty. He stated that the U.S. is withdrawing because Russia has violated the terms of the treaty for years and is currently in “material breach of its treaty obligations not to produce, possess, or flight-test a ground-launched...


| By: Caitlin Behles : January 31, 2019 |

On January 31, 2019, in the just satisfaction case of Georgia v. Russia (I), the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights ordered Russia to pay compensation to over 1,500 Georgian nationals for violations of Article 4 of Protocol No. 4 (collective expulsion), Article 5 § 1 (unlawful deprivation of liberty), and Article 3 (inhuman and degrading conditions of detention) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case concerned a judgment on the merits from 2014 where the Court held that the Russian government implemented a coordinated policy in 2006 of arresting,...


| By: Caitlin Behles : January 31, 2019 |

On January 30, 2019, the UN Security Council passed a resolution through which it extended the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) until July 31, 2019. The resolution notes that Cyprus is in agreement about the need to extend UNFICYP’s mandate, and the Council welcomed Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders’ “commitment to support the process towards a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus, and the support provided by the Secretary-General and Secretary-General’s Special Representative Elizabeth Spehar.” The Council called upon all parties to actively engage to restart negotiations...


| By: Caitlin Behles : January 24, 2019 |

On January 24, 2019, the European Court of Human Rights ruled (available in French) in Knox v. Italy that Italy had violated the human rights of Amanda Knox, an American who had been studying in Italy in 2007 when her roommate was killed, in handling the proceedings that led to her conviction for malicious accusation. The case concerns the circumstances surrounding Knox’s accusation that a pub manager killed her roommate while she was being interrogated, after which he was found to be innocent and she was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for making a malicious accusation. As...


| By: Caitlin Behles : January 23, 2019 |

On January 23, 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in M.A, S.A. and A.Z v International Protection Appeals Tribunal and Others that an EU member state that has submitted its intention to withdraw from the EU must still accept asylum applicants due to its obligations under the Dublin III Regulation until withdrawal is final. The case concerns a family that lived in the U.K. and then moved to Ireland after their U.K. visas expired, where they applied for asylum. Ireland sought to return the family to the U.K., as applicants may be sent back to the first EU country...


| By: Caitlin Behles : January 21, 2019 |

On January 18, 2019, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) released a compendium of state and public comments on proposed amendments to ICSID’s procedural rules. The compendium includes all comments sent by states and public stakeholders on the proposed amendments prior to January 15, 2019, and they address the proposals made in the working paper ICSID released on August 3, 2018. The aim of the proposed amendments is “to further modernize, simplify, and streamline the ICSID rules for arbitration, conciliation, mediation and fact-finding,” and they address...


| By: Caitlin Behles : January 18, 2019 |

On January 16, 2019, the UN Security Council passed a resolution in which it created a Special Political Mission, the United Nations Mission to support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA), to support the ceasefire agreement between the Yemeni government and the Houthi militia reached in Sweden in December 2018 regarding the city and port of Hodeidah and the ports of Salif and Ras Issa. The Council gave UNMHA an initial mandate of six months and determined that it “will lead and support the Redeployment Coordination Commission tasked with overseeing the ceasefire, redeployment of forces and mine...