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 : June 19, 2018 |

On June 19, 2018, U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN Nikki Halley announced that the United States was withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council (HRC). Haley stated that the United States called for reform of the HRC a year ago and “made a good-faith effort to resolve the problems” they saw within the Council, but that progress had not been made since then. In her statement, Haley noted that U.S. complaints include the election of states that are human rights abusers to the Council, the failure to respond to human rights abuses by states on the Council, and the Council’s bias...


| By: Caitlin Behles : June 18, 2018 |

On June 17, 2018, the prime ministers of Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia signed an agreement regarding the name of the former Yugoslav Republic, which has been a point of contention and troubled relations for decades. The agreement stipulates that the mutually agreed name will be “Republic of North Macedonia” or “North Macedonia,” and that it will be used for all purposes, both domestically and internationally. The agreement stipulates that once the agreement enters into force, the Former Yogoslav Republic of Macedonia will request admission to international...


| By: Caitlin Behles : June 14, 2018 |

On June 14, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Animal Science Products, Inc. v. Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. that U.S. federal courts deciding matters of foreign law should give consideration to a foreign government’s explanation of its law, but that courts are not required to give such submissions conclusive effect. The case concerned a multidistrict class action lawsuit brought by U.S. vitamin purchasers against Chinese vitamin sellers that had agreed to fix vitamin prices and create a supply shortage on exports to the United States in violation of U.S. law....


| By: Caitlin Behles : June 13, 2018 |

On June 13, 2018, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights released its report titled, “Contribution of Parliaments to the Work of the Human Rights Council and Its Universal Periodic Review.” The report focuses on the role of parliaments in the field of human rights and includes “contains recommendations regarding the setting up of a parliamentary human rights committee and the strengthening of engagement with the international human rights mechanisms, especially the universal periodic review.” Included within this are a draft set of “Principles on Parliaments and Human...


| By: Caitlin Behles : June 13, 2018 |

On June 12, 2018, Trial Chamber VII of the International Criminal Court (ICC) decided to order interim release under specific conditions for Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, the former vice-president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This comes on the heels of the Appeals Chamber’s decision to acquit Bemba from the charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity on June 8, 2018, though he remained in detention due to his conviction for offenses against the administration of justice in another case. According to the press release, the Trial Chamber determined that the legal requirements...


| By: Caitlin Behles : June 13, 2018 |

On June 8, 2018, the International Criminal Court (ICC) Appeals Chamber decided to acquit Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo from the charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The decision reverses Trial Chamber III’s decision of March 21, 2016, which had concluded that Bemba was criminally responsible for the crimes against humanity of murder and rape and the war crimes of murder, rape and pillaging committed by the Mouvement de libération du Congo troops in the Central African Republic. The Appeals Chamber held that Trial Chamber III had erred in the judgment in two respects: It...


| By: Caitlin Behles : June 06, 2018 |

On June 6, 2018, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued its judgment on France’s preliminary objections in the case of Immunities and Criminal Proceedings (Equatorial Guinea v. France), deciding that the case may move forward. According to the press release, the Court found that it has jurisdiction, on the basis of the Optional Protocol to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations concerning the Compulsory Settlement of Disputes, to rule on the part of Equatorial Guinea’s application concerning whether a luxury building in Paris owned by the son of Equatorial Guinea's...


| By: Caitlin Behles : June 05, 2018 |

On June 5, 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in Relu Adrian Coman and Others v. Inspectoratul General pentru Imigrӑri and Others that the term “spouse” under EU law regarding freedom of residence must include spouses of the same sex. The case concerns a Romanian national who married an American national in Brussels and sought the right to reside within Romania for his husband based on the EU directive on the exercise of freedom of movement, but was denied because Romania does not recognize marriage between persons of the same sex and he cannot be classified as...


| By: Caitlin Behles : June 01, 2018 |

On May 31, 2018, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in Abu Zubaydah v. Lithuania that Lithuania violated the European Convention on Human Rights when it participated in the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) secret detainee program. According to the press release, the applicant, Abu Zubaydah, alleged that “Lithuania had let the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) transport him onto its territory under the secret extraordinary rendition programme and had allowed him to be subjected to ill-treatment and arbitrary detention in a CIA detention ‘black site.’” Abu...


| By: Caitlin Behles : June 01, 2018 |

On May 31, 2018, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in Al Nashiri v. Romania that Romania violated the European Convention on Human Rights when it assisted the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) with its secret detainee program. According to the press release, the applicant, Abd Al Rahim Husseyn Muhammad Al Nashiri, alleged that Romania let the CIA “transport him under the secret extraordinary rendition programme onto its territory and had allowed him to be subjected to ill-treatment and arbitrary detention in a CIA detention ‘black site.’” Although the Court had no...