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 : June 02, 2017 |

On May 16, 2017, the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights released a report entitled “National Case Law on Freedom of Expression.” According to the press release, the report provides “an overview of a number of key judicial decisions adopted in the last four years by national supreme courts in Latin America and the Caribbean” and aims “to strengthen the capacity of national courts and to consolidate the role of judiciary’s as key players in protecting the rights of freedom of expression and access to public information...


| By: Caitlin Behles : June 02, 2017 |

On May 16, 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that the EU cannot conclude a free trade agreement with Singapore as it currently stands, without the participation of the member states. According to the press release, the European Commission submitted a request to the Court to assess whether the EU has exclusive competence allowing it to sign and conclude a trade agreement between the EU and Singapore that the parties initialed in 2013. The Court held “that the free trade agreement with Singapore cannot, in its current form, be concluded by the EU alone, because some of...


| By: Caitlin Behles : June 01, 2017 |

On May 10, 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in Chavez-Vilchez v. Raad van bestuur van de Sociale verzekeringsbank that a state may potentially be required to provide a third-country national with a right of residence if that individual has a minor child who is an EU citizen. According to the press release, the Court noted that Article 20 of the Treaty on the Functioning on the European Union “precludes national measures, including decisions refusing a right of residence to the family members of an EU citizen, which have the effect of depriving EU citizens of...


| By: Caitlin Behles : June 01, 2017 |

On May 1, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Venezuela v. Helmerich & Payne International Drilling Co. that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act’s (FSIA) expropriation exception applies only if the property at issue was “taken in violation of international law” and that a nonfrivolous-argument standard is inconsistent with the FSIA. The case concerned a claim by an American parent company and its Venezuelan subsidiary that Venezuela had unlawfully expropriated the subsidiary’s oil rigs when it nationalized them, with Venezuela arguing that its sovereign immunity barred U.S...


| By: Caitlin Behles : April 26, 2017 |

On April 19, 2017, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) delivered its order on Ukraine’s request for provisional measures in the case Application of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Ukraine v. Russian Federation), rejecting Ukraine’s request for provisional measures to halt Russia’s support for rebels in eastern Ukraine and allowing measures requiring Russia to refrain from discrimination against the Crimean Tatar community. According to...


| By: Caitlin Behles : April 26, 2017 |

On April 13, 2017, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 2350, ending peacekeeping operations in Haiti that had been ongoing for thirteen years. The Security Council recognized the “major milestone towards stabilization achieved with the peaceful completion of the electoral process and return to constitutional order on 7 February 2017, and commend[ed] Haitian authorities, in particular the Haitian Provisional Electoral Council and the Haitian National Police (HNP), for their efforts towards ensuring elections were conducted in a credible and inclusive manner and held in a largely...


| By: Caitlin Behles : April 25, 2017 |

On April 4, 2017, the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in Fahimian v. Bundesrepublik Deutschland that national authorities may refuse to grant a study visa to a third country national with a degree from a university subject to restrictive measures due to concerns over a potential threat to public security. According to the press release, the case concerned an Iranian student, Sahar Fahimian, who holds a Master of Science from an Iranian university that is the subject of restrictive measures from the EU and was denied a visa to pursue doctoral...


| By: Caitlin Behles : April 24, 2017 |

On March 31, 2017, the Security Council adopted a resolution that strongly condemned the terrorist attacks and other rights violations taking place in the Lake Chad Basin Region in Africa, passing its first resolution addressing Boko Haram’s presence in the area. The Council expressed its “full support for the conflict-affected populations of the Region including displaced and host communities who are suffering from the ongoing security crisis, humanitarian emergency, and development deficits resulting from the violence by terrorist groups.” The Council encouraged governments in the region...


| By: Caitlin Behles : April 24, 2017 |

On March 31, 2017, acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Security Council adopted a resolution renewing the mandate of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) until March 31, 2018. The Council called on all stakeholders in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), “including President Kabila, the presidential majority and the opposition, to swiftly implement the 31 December 2016 agreement” and requested that the government “ensure a transparent and credible electoral process, in fulfilment of their...


| By: Caitlin Behles : April 23, 2017 |

On March 24, 2017, the Security Council adopted a resolution condemning the unlawful destruction of cultural heritage, religious sites and artefacts, and the smuggling of cultural property by terrorist groups during armed conflict. The Council noted that such acts can “exacerbate conflict and hamper post-conflict national reconciliation, thereby undermining the security, stability, governance, social, economic and cultural development of affected States.” The Council also affirmed that unlawful attacks against sites of cultural heritage “may constitute, under certain circumstances and...