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: Emma Schoenberger : September 08, 2020 |

On September 4, 2020, the Council of Europe’s (CoE) Committee of Ministers released “[t]he latest case-by-case decisions on the implementation of judgments and decisions from the European Court of Human Rights.” A summary of the cases reviewed can be found here. According to a press release from the CoE, “[t]he Committee adopted 19 decisions … including four Interim Resolutions” and four Final Resolutions. Among the Final Resolutions adopted was a decision “to close infringement proceedings launched against Azerbaijan for failing to implement a judgment concerning opposition politician...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : September 02, 2020 |

On September 2, 2020, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, and Stef Blok, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands issued a joint statement regarding their intention to intervene into The Gambia v. Myanmar case before the International Court of Justice. The statement, available in full here, states that "In bringing this application to the ICJ, The Gambia took a laudable step towards ending impunity for those committing atrocities in Myanmar and upholding this pledge. Canada and the Netherlands consider it our obligation to...


| By: Emma Schoenberger : August 31, 2020 |

On August 18, 2020, the Council of Europe’s (COE) anti-corruption body (GRECO) released an evaluation of Russia and, on August 26, 2020, the Council’s anti-money laundering body (MONEYVAL) released an evaluation of the Czech Republic.

GRECO’s evaluation of Russia assessed its compliance with 22 recommendations relating to “[c]orruption prevention in respect of members of parliament, judges and prosecutors.” Russia has shown improvement in areas such as the creation of “clear and objective criteria for the assignment of cases to prosecutors” and “initial training and on-going...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : August 28, 2020 |

On August 23, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued its decision in Mitchell v. U.S., denying a certificate of appealability to the petitioner who sought a motion to vacate his conviction and sentence of death. The petitioner, Lezmond Mitchell, argued that his conviction and sentence must be vacated in light of an August 12, 2020, report by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that concluded that Mr. Mitchell's trial and sentence were a violation of his rights under the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man. Specifically, he argued that the...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : August 28, 2020 |

Seven members have been elected to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) by the states parties to the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea and will be sworn in on October 1 in a virtual ceremony. In addition to re-electing Judge Attard and Judge Kulyk, the following new members were elected: Ms. Kathy-Ann Brown (Jamaica), Ms. Ida Caracciolo (Italy), Mr. Jielong Duan (China), Ms. María Teresa Infante Caffi (Chile), and Mr. Maurice Kamga (Cameroon). They will serve a nine-year (renewable) term from October 1. The election process, which takes place every three years, is...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : August 25, 2020 |

The Government of Canada has appealed against the July 22 decision of the Federal Court of Canada in Canadian Council for Refugees v. Canada (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship) (previously covered on ILIB), which held that the country’s Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) with the United States violates the Canadian Charter Rights and Freedoms. According to a statement issued by the Honorable Bill Blair, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the appeal alleges that "there are factual and legal errors in some of the Federal Court's key findings" and that "it...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : August 18, 2020 |

On August 18, 2020, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon pronounced its judgment (see also a summary of the judgment) in Ayyash et al. The case concerned the February 14, 2005, attack against the former Prime Minister of Lebanon, Rafik Hariri who, along with 21 others, was killed by explosives. The Trial Chamber unanimously found the accused, Salim Jamil Ayyash, guilty of five offenses, including conspiracy to commit a terrorist act and the intentional homicide of Mr. Hariri. The other three accused persons were found not guilty. According to a press release from the Tribunal, the Trial...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : August 10, 2020 |

A joint press statement has been issued by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, and the European Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, on the initiation of a discussion on how to enhance the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework to comply with the judgment of the Court of Justice of the EU in Schrems II (covered previously in ILIB) on July 16 of this year, which declared the framework invalid. The statement reads:

The European Union and the United States recognize the vital importance of data protection and the significance of cross-border data...


| By: Emma Schoenberger : August 10, 2020 |

On August 5, 2020, the Plenary of the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court voted in favor of an injunction that requires “the federal government to adopt measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 in the indigenous communities.” The Federal Supreme Court website lists the measures included in the injunction: “the creation of sanitary barriers and a situation room, the removal of invaders and the presentation of a confrontation plan.” The purpose of the sanitary barrier is to ensure isolation of indigenous people in order to prevent further spread; the purpose of the situation room is to ensure...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : August 04, 2020 |
The U.S. Commission on Unalienable Rights, announced last July by Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, published its Draft Report on July 16, 2020. The Commission’s task is “to furnish advice to the Secretary for the promotion of individual liberty, human equality, and democracy through U.S. foreign policy.” As such, the Commission decided to first engage in a review of the principles that have shaped America’s distinctive, dynamic rights tradition over the years” and compare those principles to the international principles in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The resulting Draft...