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 : January 18, 2019 |

On January 15, 2019, the Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) acquitted Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé of all charges of crimes against humanity allegedly committed in the context of post-electoral violence in Côte d'Ivoire in 2010 and 2011. The two were accused of four charges of crimes against humanity: murder, rape, other inhumane acts, and persecution. The majority found that the Prosecutor had not proven several elements of the crimes charged, namely a “common plan” meant to keep Gbagbo in power, including crimes against civilians “pursuant to or in...


| By: Caitlin Behles : January 17, 2019 |

On January 15, 2019, the U.K. House of Commons voted by a large margin to reject Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal setting out the terms of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU. Members of Parliament voted 432 to 202 against the plan, resulting in the largest defeat for a sitting government in British history. Under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, the House of Commons is required to approve of a negotiated withdrawal agreement between the U.K. and EU before it can be implemented. Currently the U.K. is still planning to leave the EU by the March 29, 2019, deadline that was triggered...


| By: Caitlin Behles : December 21, 2018 |

On December 21, 2018, the UN Security Council passed a resolution that welcomed the meeting between the Yemeni government and the Houthis convened by the Special Envoy in Stockholm from December 6–13, 2018, and endorsed “the agreements reached by the parties on the city and governorate of Hodeidah and the ports of Hodeidah, Salif and Ras Issa; an executive mechanism on activating the prisoner exchange agreement; and a statement of understanding on Taiz, as set out in the Stockholm Agreement.” The Council called upon the parties to implement the Stockholm Agreement and authorized the...


| By: Caitlin Behles : December 20, 2018 |

On December 20, 2018, the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the UN Human Rights Office jointly released a report titled, “Desperate and Dangerous: Report on the human rights situation of migrants and refugees in Libya,” which details severe human rights violations faced by migrants and refugees within Libya as well as in attempting to make the Mediterranean Sea crossing on the northern coast. The report documents abuses faced by migrants and refugees as soon as they enter Libya, including “unlawful killings, torture and other ill-treatment, arbitrary detention and unlawful...


| By: Caitlin Behles : December 19, 2018 |

On December 19, 2018, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in Molla Sali v. Greece that applying Sharia law to an inheritance dispute against the wishes of the testator violated the European Convention on Human Rights. The case concerned the will of a Muslim Greek national, who had bequeathed his entire estate to his wife in a will drawn in accordance with Greek civil law, but the courts found the will void because Sharia law applies to those of Muslim faith in Greece. This caused the wife to be deprived of three-quarters of her inheritance and she argued that she had suffered...


| By: Caitlin Behles : December 17, 2018 |

On December 17, 2018, Polish President Andrzej Duda signed into law a bill that reinstates the Supreme Court judges who were removed from office under a prior law that the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ordered be halted while the case of the European Commission against Poland is decided by the Court. The case concerns domestic Polish legislation that lowered the retirement age for Supreme Court Justices to 65 and gives the Polish president discretion in extending the judges’ service, resulting in a forced early retirement of 27 of the 72 judges, which the European...


| By: Caitlin Behles : December 17, 2018 |

On December 17, 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in Commission v. Poland that Poland must immediately suspend implementation of the domestic legislation that lowers the retirement age for Supreme Court Justices to 65 and gives the Polish president discretion in extending the judges’ service, which would have resulted in the removal of nearly one-third of the Court’s judges. As noted in the press release, on October 2, 2018, the European Commission filed suit against Poland for infringing on EU law through the law, and on October 19, the Vice President of the...


| By: Caitlin Behles : December 14, 2018 |

On December 13, 2018, parties to the conflict in Yemen met in Sweden and agreed on a set of first steps toward finding a political solution to the conflict, setting them out in the Stockholm Agreement. Within the agreement, the parties agreed to the following: “1 - An agreement on the city of Hodeidah and the ports of Hodeidah, Salif and Ras Issa; 2 - An executive mechanism on activating the prisoner exchange agreement; 3 - A statement of understanding on Taïz.” Within the first agreement, the parties agreed to an “immediate cease-fire . . . in the city of Hodeidah, the ports of Hodeidah,...


| By: Caitlin Behles : December 13, 2018 |

On December 13, 2018, the UN Security Council unanimously passed a resolution calling for the “integrating UN support to police, justice and corrections areas into the mandates of peacekeeping operations and special political missions from the outset.” The Council noted efforts to assess the efficiency of peacekeeping operations and asked the Secretary-General to enhance the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations assistance to police and justice institutions, to promote coordinated efforts between UN country teams and other UN actors, ensure benchmarks for mission transitions are met,...


| By: Caitlin Behles : December 11, 2018 |

On December 10, 2018, the Full Court of the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in Wightman and Others v. Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union that the United Kingdom may unilaterally revoke its notification of intention to withdraw from the European Union. The Court stated that such a revocation would also mean that its status as a member state remains unchanged and the withdrawal procedure is closed. This possibility for unilateral revocation is open until a member state and the EU have concluded a withdrawal agreement that enters into force or until the...