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: Justine N. Stefanelli : November 12, 2019 |

On November 12, 2019, the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union (C.J.E.U.) ruled for the first time on the scope of EU member states' right to reduce or withhold material reception conditions in the event of a serious breach of the rules of the accommodation center, or as a result of seriously violent behavior. Case C-233/18 Haqbin concerned Mr. Zibair Haqbin, an Afghan national who arrived in Belgium as an unaccompanied minor and made an application for international protection. He was housed in a reception center, but after a fight with other residents, he...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : November 11, 2019 |

On November 8, 2019, the International Court of Justice (I.C.J.) found that it has jurisdiction to hear claims made by Ukraine against the Russian Federation alleging violations of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (1999) (ICSFT) and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965) (CERD). In September, Russia raised preliminary objections to the jurisdiction of the Court and the admissibility of Ukraine's application. As to the latter, the I.C.J. also ruled that Ukraine's claims were admissible....


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : November 11, 2019 |

On November 7, 2019, the International Criminal Court's Trial Chamber VI sentenced Bosco Ntaganda to 30 years in prison in connection with his July 8, 2019, conviction of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo between 2002 and 2003. According to a press release from the Court, the Chamber imposed a specific sentence for each of Ntaganda's crimes. However, because the conditions for imposing a life sentence were not met, the Chamber could only impose a total of 30 years' imprisonment, in accordance with the Rome Statute. His nearly six years...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : November 11, 2019 |

The Court of Justice of the European Union (C.J.E.U.) announced on November 7, 2019, the opening up access to documents previously only available to the Judicial Network of the EU. According to the Court, "[t]he main objective...is to share and centralise information and documents relevant to the application, dissemination and study of EU law, as interpreted and applied not only by the Court of Justice of the European Union but also by national courts and tribunals" and "to promote mutual knowledge and understanding of the laws and systems of the Member States from a comparative law...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : November 05, 2019 |

On November 5, 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union (C.J.E.U.) held in Case C-192/18 Commission v. Poland, that Poland breached EU rules on equal pay for equal work, equal treatment in social security schemes, and non-discrimination. According to a press release issued by the Court, a Polish law of July 12, 2017, lowered the retirement age for prosecutors, judges of ordinary courts, and judges of the Supreme Court to 60 years for women, and 65 years for men. The retirement age had previously been 67 for both men and women. This is the second infringement action brought...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : November 04, 2019 |

On November 4, 2019, the United States officially submitted its notice to the United Nations that it intends to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. In a statement released by the U.S. Department of State, Secretary of State Pompeo indicated that President Trump made the decision to withdraw "because of the unfair economic burden imposed on American workers, businesses, and taxpayers by U.S. pledges made under the Agreement." He noted that the United States "will continue to work with our global partners to enhance resilience to the impacts of climate change and prepare for and respond to...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : November 04, 2019 |

On November 4, 2019, The United Nations Security Council adopted Presidential Statement No. 13 on Guinea-Bissau. The Council expressed "full support" for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and African Union Communiques on developments in Guinea-Bissau from October 23 and 30 (respectively), and condemned the recent violence in Guinea-Bissau that resulted in the death of one civilian and the injury of several others. The Council urged the political actors in the state "to show upmost restraint, refrain from all forms of violence or incitement to hatred, and to resort to...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : October 30, 2019 |

The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) published the award in Case No. ARB/17/23, CMC Muratori Cementisti CMC Di Ravenna SOC. Coop.; CMC Muratori Cementisti CMC Di Ravenna SOC. Coop. A.R.L. Maputo Branch; and CMC Africa Austral, LDA v. Republic of Mozambique. The case involved a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) dated December 14, 1998, between Italy and Mozambique. The dispute relates to the reconstruction of part of the north-south highway in Mozambique. The Claimants entered into an agreement with Mozambique to undertake the work, but, after its...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : October 30, 2019 |

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) published its 2018-19 Annual Report on October 30, 2019. The Report notes that the workload of the Court has "grown considerably," and that "the Registry has sought to maintain a high level of efficiency and quality in its work." During the period under review, the ICJ delivered judgments in three cases, issued one Advisory Opinion, and handed down 16 orders. As of July 31, 2019, there were 16 cases on the Court's List. The Report highlighted the "crucial role" the ICJ plays in maintaining and promoting the rule of law and noted that "[e]verything...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : October 29, 2019 |

The German Public Prosecutor's office announced [in German] on October 29, 2019, that it has filed charges against two Syrian nationals for crimes against humanity. According to the Guardian's coverage, the two individuals were arrested in February 2019, as a result of a coordinated operation by German and French police. Anwar Raslan has been indicted with crimes against humanity, murder, rape, and severe sexual assault in connection with a prison investigative unit known as Branch 251 that was run by Raslan. The other individual, Eyad al-Gharib, has been charged with aiding the commission...