International Law in Brief

International Law in Brief (ILIB) is a forum that provides updates on current developments in international law from the editors of ASIL's International Legal Materials.
| By: Joseph McGuire : November 13, 2020 |

On November 10, 2020, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court held that the Republic of Guinea violated the human rights of protesters at a 2012 conflict in the village of Zoghota. The conflict resulted in six deaths and the unlawful arrest, injury, or torture of 15 others. The conflict was a result of demonstrations against the abusive practices of a nearby iron-ore mining project. According to Reuters, the Court found that, "Guinea violated the right to life, the right not to be subject to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment, the right not to be arrested or...

| By: Joseph McGuire : November 11, 2020 |

On November 10, 2020, International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda warned the UN Security Council that the failure of States and parties to arrest and surrender fugitives constitutes a “major stumbling block” in obtaining justice for atrocity crime victims throughout Libya. While the warring Libyan parties signed a ceasefire agreement on October 23, 2020, the Prosecutor noted two investigations and “deeply disturbing” reports of recent actions that constitute crimes under the Rome Statutes. Prosecutor Bensouda stated, “Victims of atrocity crimes in Libya must be...

| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : November 05, 2020 |

The International Court of Justice published its report for the period August 1, 2019 to July 31, 2020. At fifty pages, the bulk of the report is focused on the Court's judicial activities during this period. The report indicates that the Court issued three judgments; indicated provisional measures in one case; and handed down seven procedural orders. As indicated in the summary of the report:

The pending contentious cases concern eight States from the Group of Asian and Pacific States, eight from the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States, six from the Group of African States...

| By: Joseph McGuire : November 04, 2020 |

The U.S. has officially left the Paris Climate Agreement. President Trump announced his intention to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement in 2017. However, the Agreement prohibited any country from providing a notice of withdrawal until three years after the date of ratification—in the case of the U.S., November 4, 2016. The Trump Administration formally notified the United Nations of the U.S.’s intention to withdraw from the Agreement in November 2019. Due to the 12-month notice requirement in the Agreement, the U.S.’s withdraw officially went into effect today.

The Paris...

| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : October 23, 2020 |

On October 21, 2020, the Organization of American States (OAS) General Assembly adopted two resolutions on the right to free and fair elections. The first, aimed at Nicaragua, specifically focuses on "restoring democratic institutions and respect for human rights . . . through free and fair elections." The OAS General Assembly expresses concern that Nicaragua has not implemented a number of measures previously agreed upon, such as the release of all political prisoners, and it "not[ed] with alarm" the use of legislation to intimidate political opponents, in particular, pro-democracy groups...

| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : October 20, 2020 |

The United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU) have sanctioned Russia over the poisoning of Alexei Navalny in August of this year. Both sets of sanctions targeted six individuals and the State Scientific Research Institute for Organic Chemistry and Technology, and include a travel ban and asset freeze. As reported by JURIST, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has indicated that "Russia will respond in kind" and refutes the reasoning behind the imposition of the sanctions.

| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : October 14, 2020 |

On Monday, October 12, 2020, the Israeli Cabinet unanimously approved the Abraham Accords Peace Agreement with the United Arab Emirates. According to a press release, Prime Minister Netanyahu called the Agreement "historic" and noted that it "is the first peace agreement that Israel has signed in over 25 years." He further stated that

This agreement is different from its predecessors in that Israel is not conceding any territory whatsoever. Second, the economic component in it is very dominant, and the economic aspects will be very good for all citizens of Israel. Third, this...

| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : October 13, 2020 |

On October 13, 2020, the Third Section of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) issued its judgment in Zakharov and Varzhabetyan v. Russia, a case implicating Articles 3 (degrading treatment and effective investigation) and 11 (freedom of peaceful assembly). The applicants in the case were part of a political rally at Bolotnaya Square in Russia on May 6, 2012, which led to a skirmish between the police and the protestors, which eventually was dispersed by the police. According to a Case Information Note from the Court, the applicants had alleged that they were hit on the head...

| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : October 01, 2020 |

The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control has issued regulations implementing the Administration's Executive Order from earlier this year (covered by ILIB), blocking the property of certain persons associated with the International Criminal Court. The Regulations are being published in an "abbreviated" form, and will be supplemented by further, more detailed regulations in the future. The Regulations (in their current form) consist of nine subparts, including 14 defined terms.

| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : September 30, 2020 |

A bill was introduced in the Senate last week, aimed at "requir[ing] a determination as to whether crimes committed against the Rohingya in Burma amount to genocide; to the Committee on Foreign Relations." The bill was introduced by Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts. does not currently house a copy of the bill, or a summary, but you can sign up for alerts on the progress of the bill. We will also update this webpage once the text is available.