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: Erin K. Lovall : August 23, 2019 |

On June 27, 2019, the World Trade Organization circulated its panel report in the United States –Certain Measures Relating to the Renewable Energy Sector case, DS510. In January 2017, India requested the establishment of a WTO panel to consider the following eleven issues: “(1) incentives granted and/or maintained contingent upon the use of domestic over imported goods under Renewable Energy Cost Recovery Incentive Payment Program (RECIP) in the State of Washington; (2) incentives granted and/or...


| By: Erin K. Lovall : August 23, 2019 |

On August 9, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued in an opinion in the United States v. Assa case, Case No. 17-3658. In this case, the Second Circuit affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded for further proceedings a district court decision regarding civil forfeiture of a foreign state’s property. The district court had determined that Assa Co. Ltd. and Assa Corporation were serving as a front for the central bank of Iran, and therefore as a...


| By: Erin K. Lovall : August 19, 2019 |

On July 17, 2019, the International Criminal Court Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) released its Strategic Plan for 2019–2021 (Plan). The OTP stated that it “has been closely assessing and taking stock of its performance, including internal and external factors that act as either drivers or inhibitors of that performance.  With the new Strategic Plan, the Office will build on the strengths of the previous Strategic Plan (2016–2018), by continuing with investigative and prosecutorial approaches that have produced results in court, making amendments on the basis of lessons learnt,...


| By: Erin K. Lovall : August 19, 2019 |

On July 6, 2019, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) issued a provisional measures order in the M/T “San Padre Pio” Case (Switzerland v. Nigeria). In a press release issued by ITLOS, the Tribunal summarized the facts of the case by stating that on January 23, 2018, the Nigerian Navy seized the MT “San Padre Pio, a motor tanker flying the Swiss flag while it was “engaged in one of several ship-to-ship transfers of gasoil” (para. 30) in Nigeria’s exclusive economic zone. The ship was moved to Port Harcourt in Nigeria and the sixteen crew...


| By: Erin K. Lovall : August 19, 2019 |

On July 9, 2019, the Second Section of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) released its judgment in the Romeo Castaño v. Belgium case. The ECtHR held unanimously that Belgium had not upheld its obligations under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) when it decided not to execute European Arrest Warrants (EAWs) issued by Spanish authorities seeking surrender of an individual who had been charged with terrorism and murder and who was located in Belgium. In 1981, Colonel Ramón Romeo was murdered by an ETA commando. In 2013, one of the suspects, N.J.E.,...


| By: Erin K. Lovall : August 09, 2019 |

On August 8, 2019, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the UN body for assessing the science related to climate change, released a new special report, Climate Change and Land. The Report focuses on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems. The experts authoring the report  highlighted that the rise in global temperatures, which are linked to increasing pressures on fertile soil, risk jeopardizing food security for the planet. According to the Report, agriculture,...


| By: Erin K. Lovall : August 09, 2019 |

On August 7, 2019, the U.S. Army and Marine Corps published a new manual, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Land Warfare ((Army Field Manual (FM) 6-27/Marine Corps Tactical Publication (MCTP) 11-10C), replacing the FM 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, which was published in 1956. The Handbook “provides a general description of the law of land warfare for Soldiers and Marines, delineated as statements of doctrine and practice, to guide the land forces in conducting disciplined military operations in accordance with the rule of law.” The Handbook sets forth useful...


| By: Erin K. Lovall : August 09, 2019 |

On July 17, 2019, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) rendered its final judgment in the Jadhav Case (India v. Pakistan). In May 2017, India instituted proceedings at the ICJ against Pakistan asserting that Pakistan had violated the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR) when it detained  Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, an Indian national. In its Application, India stated that Jadhav was taken by Pakistan from Iran on suspicion of espionage and sabotage activities. India claimed that Indian authorities were not informed of Jadhav’s detention until twenty-two days after his...


| By: Caitlin Behles : July 29, 2019 |

On July 29, 2019, the High Court of England and Wales Queen's Bench Division ruled against civil liberties group Liberty in its challenge to the “bulk hacking” powers granted to the U.K. government in the 2016 Investigatory Powers Act (IPA), which allow intelligence agencies to conduct mass surveillance of electronic devices and to extract and store information. Liberty argued that such powers were “too wide” and “lack the ‘minimum safeguards’ established by the European Court of Human Rights for secret surveillance regimes.” However, the Court determined that Parliament had considered the...


| By: Caitlin Behles : July 16, 2019 |

On July 16, 2019, Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court released its written decision in the case of The Prosecutor v. Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goud, in which it listed the full reasons for the oral decision it made on January 15, 2019, acquitting Gbagbo and Blé Goudé from all charges of crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Côte d'Ivoire in 2010 and 2011. As noted in the press release, the majority determined that the Prosecutor had presented an “unbalanced narrative” that ignored essential information, making it impossible to fully understand what...