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 : December 10, 2018 |

On December 10, 2018, world leaders adopted the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, an agreement prepared through the United Nations that seeks to address all dimensions of international migration. The UN notes that this is the first “global cooperation framework for sharing responsibility to protect the world’s 258 million people on the move—3.4 per cent of its population—and supporting the host communities working to accommodate them.” The Compact is a non-legally binding, cooperative framework that has twenty-three objectives concerning migration at local, national,...


| By: Caitlin Behles : November 27, 2018 |

On November 27, 2018, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in Alekseyev and Others v. Russia that Russia had violated Article 11 (right to freedom of assembly); Article 13 (right to an effective remedy); and Article 14 (right not to be discriminated against) of the European Convention on Human Rights due to Russian authorities refusal to approve requests to hold LGBT rallies. The case involved fifty-one applications, brought by a number of Russian Nationals, who had all submitted notices of their intent to hold public rallies on LGBT rights and were rejected by the initial...


| By: Caitlin Behles : November 27, 2018 |

On November 27, 2018, the United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic released a report entitled, “Death Notifications in the Syrian Arab Republic,” in which it discusses the high number of missing and detained people within Syria and stresses the need to account for the fate and whereabouts these individuals. As noted in the press release, the Commission was mandated by the Human Rights Council to investigate and record all violations of international law since March 2011 within Syria. The report notes that arbitrary detention is widespread...


| By: Caitlin Behles : November 19, 2018 |

On November 16, 2018, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia delivered its judgment in Case 002/02, convicting former senior Khmer Rouge leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan of genocide, crimes against humanity, and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and sentencing them to life in prison. The Court found that Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan participated in a joint criminal enterprise during the Cambodian genocide, with crimes taking place between April 1975 and January 1979 that included genocide of the Vietnamese, murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation,...


| By: Caitlin Behles : November 15, 2018 |

On November 15, 2018, the United Nations Security Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) until May 15, 2019, while also reducing UNISFA’s troop ceiling and increasing its police presence. Acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, the Council decreased UNISFA’s troop ceiling from 4,500 to 4,140 and increased its authorized police ceiling from 50 to 345 police personnel. The Council also decided to renew UNISFA’s mandated tasks related to the protection of its personnel, facilities, equipment, and any civilians under any imminent threat...


| By: Caitlin Behles : November 14, 2018 |

On November 14, 2018, the United Nations Security Council, acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, lifted the arms embargo, travel ban, assets freeze, and targeted sanctions on Eritrea, while also renewing sanctions against Somalia. The Council noted its support for Somalia’s efforts to reduce threats to peace and security posed by Al-Shabaab and affiliates linked to ISIL, while also condemning violations of the arms embargo in Somalia, including when this results in supplies reaching these groups. The Council also ended the mandate of the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group, to take...


| By: Caitlin Behles : November 14, 2018 |

On November 13, 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in Levola Hengelo BV v Smilde Foods BV that the taste of food cannot be classified as a “work” as referred to in Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament in order to be eligible for copyright protection. The case concerns Dutch food retailer Levola, which brought suit against a rival company, Smilde, when they began making a spreadable cream cheese dip with fresh herbs similar to their own and argued that Smilde infringed its copyright in the taste of the dip because the rival dip is a reproduction of...


| By: Caitlin Behles : November 08, 2018 |

On November 7, 2018, Senior U.S. District Judge Roslyn O. Silver sentenced Ahmed Alahmedalabdaloklah, aka Ahmad Ibrahim Al-Ahmad, of Syria, to life in prison plus 30 years for crimes related to bomb construction in Iraq. The Department of Justice (DOJ) press release states that he “was found guilty by a federal jury on March 16, 2018 of conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, conspiring to maliciously damage or destroy United States property by means of an explosive, aiding and abetting other persons to possess a destructive device in furtherance of a crime of violence, and...


| By: Caitlin Behles : November 06, 2018 |

On November 6, 2018, the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released a joint report entitled, “Unearthing Atrocities: Mass Graves in Territory Formerly Controlled by ISIL,” which documents the discovery of an estimated 202 mass graves containing the remains of thousands of victims in areas formerly controlled by ISIL in Iraq. The report notes that an exact figure is difficult to determine, but that the smallest grave site found contained eight bodies, while the largest had thousands. It also highlights the difficulties...


| By: Caitlin Behles : November 05, 2018 |

On November 5, 2018, the United States re-imposed all sanctions on Iran that had been lifted or waived under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The Treasury Department stated that November 4 marked the last day of the 180-day wind-down period after the president announced the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA on May 8, 2018. The Treasury Department noted that the sanctions “will target critical sectors of Iran’s economy, such as the energy, shipping and shipbuilding, and financial sectors” and that as part of the re-imposition “OFAC sanctioned more than 700 individuals, entities...