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 : April 17, 2018 |

On April 17, 2018, the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice for the European Union ruled in Commission v. Poland that Poland’s logging of the Puszcza Białowieska Natura 2000 site violated the Habitats Directive and the Birds Directive under European Union law. According to the press release, the European Commission calls the site “one of the best preserved natural forests in Europe, characterised by large quantities of old trees, in particular trees a century old or more, and dead wood,” and in 2007 the Commission designated it as a “site of Community importance” due to the...


| By: Caitlin Behles : April 16, 2018 |

On April 13, 2018, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Bangladesh regarding the voluntary returns of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar once conditions are improved. According to the press release, the MOU “established a framework of cooperation between UNHCR and Bangladesh on the safe, voluntary, and dignified returns of refugees in line with international standards.” It concerns the more than 670,000 Rohingyas that have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh since the onset of violence last year, as well as the estimated 200,000...


| By: Caitlin Behles : April 13, 2018 |

On April 12, 2018, the Council of Europe extended sanctions against Iran for human rights violations for one additional year, until April 13, 2019. The current restrictive measures include “a travel ban and an asset freeze against 82 people and one entity” and “a ban on exports to Iran of equipment which might be used for internal repression and of equipment for monitoring telecommunications.”  These measures concerning human rights violations were first put in place in 2011 and differ from the sanctions against Iran concerning targeting nuclear proliferation activities, which were...


| By: Caitlin Behles : April 13, 2018 |

On April 12, 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in A, S v. Staatssecretaris van Veiligheid en Justitie that under the EU Directive on Family Reunification an unaccompanied minor retains the right to family reunification even if he or she reaches the age of majority while awaiting results of the asylum procedure. According to the press release, the Court held that “minors” are considered to be “nationals of non-EU countries and stateless persons who are below the age of 18 at the moment of their entry into the territory of a Member State and of the introduction...


| By: Caitlin Behles : April 13, 2018 |

On April 11, 2018, the Appeals Chamber of the UN Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) issued its judgment on the Prosecution’s appeal of Vojislav Šešelj’s acquittal, reversing in part, and dismissing the remainder of the appeal. As the press release notes, “the Appeals Chamber entered convictions against Mr. Šešelj under Counts 1, 10, and 11 of the Indictment for instigating deportation, persecution (forcible displacement), and other inhumane acts (forcible transfer) as crimes against humanity, as well as for committing persecution, based on a violation of the right to...


| By: Caitlin Behles : April 11, 2018 |

On April 10, 2018, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) published a report titled, “Abuse Behind Bars: Arbitrary and Unlawful Detention in Libya,” detailing the extent of arbitrary and unlawful detention taking place in Libya. The report states that “[a]rmed groups across Libya, including those affiliated with the State, hold thousands of men, women and children in prolonged arbitrary and unlawful detention, and subject them to torture and other human rights violations and abuses.” Since hostilities broke out again in Libya in...


| By: Caitlin Behles : April 06, 2018 |

On April 4, 2018, the UN Human Rights Committee, the body that monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), released a report finding that Maldives violated ex-President Mohamed Nasheed’s right to a fair trial and concluding that the state must let stand for office. According to the press release, “UN human rights experts found that the judicial proceedings in which Mr. Nasheed was convicted were based on vague legislation, contained serious flaws and violated his right to a fair trial under the [ICCPR]” and that the restrictions placed on...


| By: Caitlin Behles : March 28, 2018 |

On March 22, 2018, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) ruled in Anudo v. The United Republic of Tanzania, in its first case concerning the right to nationality, that Tanzania had violated the complainant’s right not to be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality, right not to be arbitrarily expelled, and right to be heard by a judge. Anudo Ochieng Anudo, a Tanzanian national born in the state, argued that he was detained and deported by Tanzanian officials to Kenya in 2012 because they claimed his citizenship documents were fraudulent after he refused to pay a...


| By: Caitlin Behles : March 28, 2018 |

On March 21, 2018, the Assembly of the African Union passed a decision at its Tenth Extraordinary Session, held from March 17–21, 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda, to create the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Leaders from forty-four African states signed the agreement, although fifty-five African states had been involved in negotiations on the AfCFTA since 2015. The agreement’s aim is to “[c]reate a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments, and thus pave the way for accelerating the establishment of the Continental...


| By: Caitlin Behles : March 20, 2018 |

On March 20, 2018, the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that that the ne bis in idem principle, an individual’s right not be prosecuted or punished twice for the same offense, may be restricted in order to protect EU financial interests and markets. According to the press release, in Menci, a case concerning an individual’s failure to pay VAT for a year, and Garlsson Real Estate and Others, a case concerning market manipulation, the Court held that in situations like these with potential administrative and criminal penalties “there could...