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 : March 19, 2018 |

On March 15, 2018, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled in Naït-Liman v. Switzerland that Swiss courts were not obligated to take up a case involving a Tunisian man who alleged that he was tortured in Tunisia in 1992, and that there was no violation of Article 6 § 1 (right of access to a court) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case concerns a Tunisian national, Abdennacer Naït-Liman, who alleges that he was detained and tortured in Tunis on the orders the then Minister of the Interior, A.K., and was later granted political asylum in Switzerland in 1995....


| By: Caitlin Behles : March 14, 2018 |

On March 13, 2018, the Supreme Court of India ruled in Bar Council of India v. A.K. Balaji And Ors. that foreign attorneys may not practice law within the state on a permanent basis. The Court held that foreign attorneys and firms may only advise clients in India on matters pertaining to foreign laws on a temporary “fly in, fly out basis.” The Court defined this expression as covering only “a casual visit not amounting to ‘practice.’” Determining whether a foreign attorney was conforming to this standard “for the purpose of giving legal advice to their clients in India regarding...


| By: Caitlin Behles : March 12, 2018 |

On March 8, 2018, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued its judgments on the verdict and sentence in the case The Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, Aimé Kilolo Musamba, Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo, Fidèle Babala Wandu and Narcisse Arido. The five accused were found guilty of offenses against the administration of justice by Trial Chamber VII in October 2016 for corruptly influencing witnesses and soliciting false testimonies in the case of The Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo before the ICC. According to the press release, the...


| By: Caitlin Behles : March 12, 2018 |

On March 8, 2018, eleven Asia-Pacific states (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam) signed a trade agreement titled the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a multilateral free trade agreement that updates its previous iteration as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Much of the original TPP has been kept in the CPTPP, though twenty-two provisions from the TPP were suspended or otherwise changed. The Agreement will allow for freer trade and investment access among its members and is...


| By: Caitlin Behles : March 09, 2018 |

On March 6, 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in Slowakische Republik v. Achmea BV that an arbitration clause in a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) between the Netherlands and Slovakia violated European Union law. The case concerned arbitration proceedings between Achmea, a Netherlands insurance group that initiated the proceedings, and Slovakia, which had prohibited the type of insurance services that Achmea undertook to provide in Slovakia and later argued that the arbitration clause was in violation of several provisions of the Treaty on the Functioning of...


| By: Caitlin Behles : February 27, 2018 |

On February 26, 2018, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention released its Revised Deliberation No. 5 on Deprivation of Liberty of Migrants, in which the Group discusses its “criteria for determining whether the deprivation of liberty of asylum seekers and immigrants might be arbitrary.” It provides a series of explanations regarding the various rights of migrants under international law as they concern the deprivation of liberty on matters such as the length of detention, the right to asylum, challenging detention, rights during detention, and the prohibition of non-refoulement. As...


| By: Caitlin Behles : February 23, 2018 |

On February 22, 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in European Commission v. Poland that Poland had breached EU air quality standards and “persistently exceeded” pollutant limits set under a 2008 EU directive for the protection of human health. The press release notes that the European Commission brought the case because Poland was not in compliance with the daily and annual limit values for PM10, “a mixture of organic and non-organic substances present in the air [that] may contain toxic substances such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, heavy metals, dioxin...


| By: Caitlin Behles : February 22, 2018 |

On February 21, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Rubin v. Islamic Republic of Iran that U.S. victims of a foreign terrorist attack could not rely on a provision of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) to collect damages from Iran by seizing Iranian antiquities held by the University of Chicago. The case concerns a $71.5 million default judgment against Iran to victims and relatives of victims of a 1997 suicide bombing by Hamas in Jerusalem for the state’s role in supporting Hamas. Plaintiffs brought suit under §1605A of the FSIA, an exception to general immunity...


| By: Caitlin Behles : February 16, 2018 |

On February 12, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) published a report on the human rights situation in Venezuela, entitled “Democratic Institutions, the Rule of Law and Human Rights in Venezuela.” According to the press release, the IACHR decided to draft the report due to the “marked deterioration in terms of the exercise of human rights in Venezuela, and the grave political, economic, and social crisis in the country.” The report analysis spans the last two years, with particular focus on 2017, and focuses on four main areas: “democratic institutions; social protest...


| By: Caitlin Behles : February 09, 2018 |

On February 8, 2018, the U.K. Supreme Court ruled in R (on the application of Bancoult No 3) v. Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs that a Wikileaks cable leaked by whistleblower Chelsea Manning should have been admitted into evidence before the Administrative Court, but that it would not have affected the outcome of the case in this instance. The case concerns a challenge by the Chagos Refugees Group (CRG) on behalf of Chagos islanders that were expelled from the island in the 1960s and 70s, arguing against the British government’s decision to create a marine...