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 : May 29, 2019 |

On May 29, 2019, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights delivered its first judgment in infringement proceedings under Article 46 § 4 (binding force and execution of judgments) of the European Convention, finding the Azerbaijan had not fulfilled its obligations from a 2014 ruling in which the Court ordered the state to unconditionally release political activist Ilgar Mammadov. As noted in the press release, the Court determined “that the Government had taken only limited steps to implement the judgment, which had not amounted to Azerbaijan acting in ‘good faith’ or in a...


| By: Caitlin Behles : May 28, 2019 |

On May 28, 2019, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights released a report titled, “The Price is Rights: The Violation of the Right to an Adequate Standard of Living in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea” (DPRK). As noted in the press release, the report “highlights how the public distribution system in the DPRK has been broken for over two decades and how, as people seek to eke out a living in a legally precarious parallel economy, they are  exposed to arbitrary arrest, detention, and extortion.” The report was based on 214 accounts from escapees of North Korea from...


| By: Caitlin Behles : May 27, 2019 |

On May 25, 2019, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) prescribed provisional measures ordering Russia to release three Ukrainian naval vessels and their twenty-four servicemen in relation to the Case Concerning the Detention of Three Ukrainian Naval Vessels (Ukraine v. Russian Federation). The matter concerns Ukraine’s claim that Russia violated the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea regarding its coastal rights in the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov, and the Kerch Strait, when it detained the three vessels and their servicemen in November 2018. Ukraine requested...


| By: Caitlin Behles : May 15, 2019 |

On May 15, 2019, the U.K. Supreme Court ruled in R (Privacy International) v. Investigatory Powers Tribunal and others that that the extent of the U.K. government’s power to hack into internet services is subject to judicial review. The case concerned whether the British Parliament was sufficiently clear in drafting an “ouster” clause in an attempt to keep the decisions of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), which oversees challenges to the U.K. intelligence services, from review by other courts. It was instigated in the aftermath of Edward Snowden’s disclosures of the U.K....


| By: Caitlin Behles : May 06, 2019 |

On May 6, 2019, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court confirmed Pre-Trial Chamber II’s decision that Jordan had not complied with its obligations under the Rome Statute when it failed to arrest Omar Al-Bashir while he was on Jordanian territory in March 2017 in regard to the arrest warrant against Al-Bashir for five counts of crimes against humanity, two counts of war crimes, and three counts of genocide. The Appeals Chamber held that there is no Head of State immunity under customary international law and that Head of State immunity is also inapplicable in this situation...


| By: Caitlin Behles : April 30, 2019 |

On April 30, 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in Opinion 1/17 of the Court that the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism under the EU-Canada free trade agreement, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), is compatible with EU law. The provision at issue creates a mechanism that would allow investors to enforce rights against the host state of an investment before an international arbitration tribunal and the aim was to establish an “Investment Court System” (ICS). As noted in the press releases, in 2017, Belgium requested an opinion from...


| By: Caitlin Behles : April 23, 2019 |

On April 23, 2019, the UN Security Council passed a resolution calling on all parties to armed conflict around the world to implement concrete commitments to combatting sexual violence during conflict. The Council noted its deep concern regarding “the full range of threats and human rights violations and abuses experienced by women and girls in armed conflict and post-conflict situations,” and reiterated “its demand for the complete cessation with immediate effect by all parties to armed conflict of all acts of sexual violence and its call for these parties to make and implement specific...


| By: Caitlin Behles : April 12, 2019 |

On April 12, 2019, Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) unanimously rejected the Prosecutor’s request to open an investigation into alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes in Afghanistan, determining that “an investigation into the situation in Afghanistan at this stage would not serve the interests of justice.” The Prosecution’s request for an investigation concerns potential crimes that have taken place in the context of the armed conflict currently taking place in Afghanistan, including crimes against humanity by the Taliban and their affiliated Haqqani...


| By: Caitlin Behles : April 10, 2019 |

On April 10, 2019, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Right released its first Advisory Opinion under the new Protocol No. 16 to the European Convention on Human Rights on “the recognition in domestic law of a legal parent-child relationship between a child born through a gestational surrogacy arrangement abroad and the intended mother.” Under Protocol No. 16, the “highest courts and tribunals” of state parties may request an Advisory Opinion on “questions of principle relating to the interpretation or application of the rights and freedoms defined in the Convention or the...


| By: Caitlin Behles : April 10, 2019 |

On April 10, 2019, the U.K. Supreme Court ruled in Vedanta Resources PLC and Another v. Lungowe and Others that Zambian citizens may sue a Zambian mining corporation and its British parent company in the United Kingdom. The case concerns claims brought by 1,826 Zambian citizens who allege that their health and farming activities have been harmed due to the discharge of toxic matter from Nchanga Copper Mine in Zambia into the waterways they use for drinking and irrigating crops. They argue that Konkola Copper Mines, the Zambian company, and Vedanta, the parent company...