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: Emma Schoenberger : April 20, 2020 |
On April 20, 2020, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) announced via press release that Robert Spano (Iceland) would be succeeding Linos-Alexandre Sicilianos (Greece) as president of the Court on May 18, 2020. Spano received a combined BA and Masters degree in Law from University of Iceland in 1997 and his Magister Juris from University of Oxford in 2000. Since then, he has served in various roles, including as Vice-Dean and Dean of University of Iceland’s Faculty of Law, Editor of the Law Review of the Lawyers’ Association of Iceland, and member of Iceland’s Judicial Supervisory...

| By: Emma Schoenberger : April 17, 2020 |
On April 14, 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decided that “the district court lacked personal jurisdiction over the defendants” in Shabtai Scott Shatsky et al. v. Palestine Liberation Organization, et al. The suit was brought by “[t]he American victims of a 2002 suicide bombing in the West Bank and their families” against the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority. To make its decision, the Court of Appeals (CA) reviewed whether or not the summary judgment issued by the district court was final (and therefore...

| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : April 16, 2020 |
On April 14, 2020, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights issued a press release regarding its statement, "COVID-19 and Human Rights: The problems and challenges must be addressed from a Human Rights perspective and with respect for international obligations” (adopted on April 9, 2020). The statement encourages states to ensure that their responses to COVID-19 (especially those that “may impair or restrict the enjoyment and exercise of human rights”) are in-line with the rule of law, the state’s international obligations, and respect for the human rights of all individuals. The statement...

| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : April 16, 2020 |

On April 15, 2020, the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance published an executive summary of its annual report on Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreement and Commitments, as required by Section 403 of the Arms Control and Disarmament Act (22 U.S.C. § 2593a). The summary explains that, when evaluating state compliance, a number of factors are considered, including, "the nature and precise language of the obligations undertaken in the context of international law, information regarding the country’s activities...


| By: Emma Schoenberger : April 13, 2020 |
On March 13, 2020, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) rejected all three of the respondent's preliminary objections in Daniel W. Kappes and Kappes, Cassiday & Associates v. Republic of Guatemala. They released the full text of their decision on April 10, 2020. The claimants in the case allege that Guatemala has negatively impacted their Guatemalan company, Exmingua and that Guatemala has breached several provisions of the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement. The Republic of Guatemala raised three preliminary objections:...

| By: Emma Schoenberger : April 13, 2020 |
On April 9, 2020, the High Court of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Court of Appeal released its decision in Cases CACV 541, 542 & 583/2019 (jointly heard). A press summary from the Court states that it upheld the constitutionality of the Emergency Regulations Ordinance (ERO) as well as section 3(1)(b) of the Prohibition on Face Covering Regulation (PFCR) “relating to unauthorized assembly.” It ruled that sections 3(1)(c) and (d) and section 5 (which address public meeting, public procession, and police powers, respectively) were unconstitutional. The Court of First Instance...

| By: Emma Schoenberger : April 10, 2020 |

On April 6, 2020, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights issued its judgment in Azul Rojas Marín et al. v. Peru [in Spanish only], holding that sexual orientation and gender identity and expression are protected under the American Convention on Human Rights. According to a press release from the Court, the case involved the 2008 arrest without cause and subsequent beating and rape of , Azul Rojas Marín, a Peruvian citizen and member of the LGBTI community. The Court found that her detention was discriminatory and therefore illegal and arbitrary in violation of her right to...


| By: Emma Schoenberger : April 10, 2020 |

On April 7, 2020, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruled in Knox v. Deane and others that only appeals from the Court of Appeals can be entertained by the Court in its appellate jurisdiction. A press release explains that Mr. Knox’s late mother had received an order from the High Court regarding her estate. Mr. Knox, representing his mother after her death, appealed the decision to the Court of Appeal. In 2016, the “court reserved its decision” and has not made a judgement since. In his appeal to the CCJ, Mr. Knox argued that this “should be treated as if it were a dismissal...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : April 08, 2020 |

On April 8, 2020, the Council of Europe published a set of human rights guidelines on algorithms and automation. According to a press release from the Council of Europe, the guidelines are aimed at ensuring that state governments do not breach human rights in their "use, development or procurement of algorithmic systems." The guidelines also emphasize the importance of creating effective and transparent legal systems and regulatory frameworks that "prevent, detect, prohibit and remedy human rights violations" by the public and private sectors. The guidelines constitute an appendix in a...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : April 07, 2020 |

On April 7, 2020, the Organization of American States published a "Practical Guide to Inclusive Rights-Focused Responses to COVID-19 in the Americas." As explained in a press release from the OAS, the guide addresses the concern that situation for vulnerable people, such as women, indigenous peoples, and the LGBTI community, worsens in the context of emergency situations, such as the current pandemic. Therefore, the guide stresses the need for states to emphasize the protection of the right to health of vulnerable groups. It consists of ten chapters, each of which addresses specific groups...