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 : February 09, 2018 |

On February 7, 2018, Polish President Andrzej Duda signed legislation that prohibits blaming Poland for Holocaust crimes committed by Nazi Germany. The legislation is an amendment of the Act on the Institute of National Remembrance Act and imposes a prison sentence of up to three years for falsely attributing Holocaust crimes to Poland. The press release from the office of the president states that “the President will now refer the new legislation to the Constitutional Tribunal, for an assessment of whether it puts undue restrictions on freedom of speech.” President Duda noted in his...


| By: Caitlin Behles : February 09, 2018 |

On February 2, 2018, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled in joined cases Maritime Delimitation in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean and Land Boundary in the Northern Part of Isla Portillos to set the maritime boundaries between Costa Rica and Nicaragua in the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean, as well as a land boundary in a sandbar between the countries. The Court held that Costa Rica has sovereignty over the whole northern part of Isla Portillos, including its coast, except for Harbor Head Lagoon and the sandbar separating it from the Caribbean Sea; that...


| By: Caitlin Behles : February 02, 2018 |

On February 1, 2018, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) overturned the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) suspension for twenty-eight Russian athletes and partially upheld appeals for eleven other Russian athletes. In the wake of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, the IOC found that forty-three Russian athletes had committed anti-doping rule violations during the games, and they were subsequently disqualified, their medals were declared forfeit, and they were determined to be ineligible to participate in all subsequent Olympic Games. All but one appealed the decision to the CAS,...


| By: Caitlin Behles : February 01, 2018 |

On January 30, 2018, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2399 and extended the sanctions regime against the Central African Republic (CAR) until January 31, 2019. Acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, the Council extended an arms embargo, travel ban, and asset freeze on certain individuals designated by the Sanctions Committee. As noted in the press release, the “arms embargo would not apply to supplies intended solely for the support or use by the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), European...


| By: Caitlin Behles : February 01, 2018 |

On January 30, 2018, the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights adopted their first Joint General Comment, which concerns ending child marriage. The Joint General Comment notes that the “prevalence of child marriage and its impacts are a major concern on the African continent,” despite being prohibited under regional African law. It also explains state party obligations stemming from Article 6(b) of the Maputo Protocol and Article 21(2) the African Children’s Charter, and “describes legislative,...


| By: Caitlin Behles : January 31, 2018 |

On January 26, 2018, the State Council Information Office of China published a white paper titled, “China’s Arctic Policy,” which is the state’s first official Arctic policy. In it, China states that it “is an active participant, builder and contributor in Arctic affairs” and that the purpose of the paper is “to expound its basic positions on Arctic affairs, to elaborate on its policy goals, basic principles and major policies and positions regarding its engagement in Arctic affairs, . . . and to work with the international community to safeguard and promote peace and stability in, and the...


| By: Caitlin Behles : January 26, 2018 |

On January 25, 2018, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) issued its decision in K.Y.M. v. Denmark, concluding that Denmark violated the International Convention on the Rights of the Child by failing to consider the best interests of a child when assessing the risk of the child being subjected to female genital mutilation if returned to Somalia with her mother. The CRC highlighted interpretations from its general comments to note that “State parties have an obligation under article 19 of the Convention to prohibit, prevent and respond to all forms of...


| By: Caitlin Behles : January 25, 2018 |

On January 25, 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in F v. Bevándorlási és Állampolgársági Hivatal that a state may not order an asylum seeker to be subjected to a psychological test in order to determine his or her sexual orientation. The case concerned a Nigerian national, F, who stated in his asylum application to Hungary that “that he had a well-founded fear of being persecuted in his country of origin on account of his homosexuality,” and was rejected after a state-commissioned psychologist “concluded that it was not possible to confirm F’s assertion...


| By: Caitlin Behles : January 24, 2018 |

On January 24, 2018, the EU's Commission on Competition announced a €997 million antitrust fine against Qualcomm for abusing its dominant market position in regard to LTE baseband chipsets—technology that enables smartphones and tablets to connect to cellular networks. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager stated that Qualcomm illegally shut out competitors from the market by paying billions of U.S. dollars to Apple “on the condition that Apple would exclusively use Qualcomm's baseband chipsets in all its iPhones and iPads.” The European Commission stated that Qualcomm abused its dominant...


| By: Caitlin Behles : January 23, 2018 |

On January 22, 2018, the Permanent Mission of Turkey to the United Nations sent a letter to the UN Security Council laying out its justification for its military intervention against the Kurdish-populated region of Afrin in Syria (Operation Olive Branch) as self-defense in terms of Article 51 of the UN Charter. In the letter, Turkey states that its national security of “has been under direct threat from the Syria-based terrorist organizations, among which Deash and the PKK/KCK Syria affiliate, PYD/YPG, are at the top of the list,” and that “[t]he recent increase in rocket attacks and...