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 : October 24, 2019 |

On October 24, 2019, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled in J.D. and A. v. the United Kingdom that a reduction in housing benefits based on occupancy violated Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property) to the ECHR. A press release issued by the Court explains that the applicant in the case challenged UK housing benefits rules that require a reduction in housing benefits for under-occupation of social housing. The applicant, a victim of violent sexual crime,...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : October 23, 2019 |

On October 23, 2019, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced that it removed sanctions on Turkey imposed on October 14, 2019. According to a press release issued by the Treasury, the sanctions were removed following Turkey's ceasefire in its military operations in Syria, agreed on October 17. The October 14 sanctions were covered previously on International Law in Brief


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : October 21, 2019 |

The European Union (EU) and Norway have signed an agreement on interim dispute resolution in the event of trade disputes under the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The agreement is the second of its kind, the first having been established between the EU and Canada earlier this year. The agreements are an effort to address the long-standing blockage of appointments to the WTO Appellate Body, and to ensure the dispute resolution mechanisms are in place, should the WTO Appellate Body cease functioning completely.


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : October 17, 2019 |

On October 17, 2019, a Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled unanimously in G.B. and Others v. Turkey that Turkey violated ECHR Article 3 (prohibition on human and degrading treatment), Article 13 (right to an effective remedy), and Articles 5(1) & (4) (right to liberty and security & right to have lawfulness of detention decided speedily by a court). According to a press release issued by the Court, the case involved the four-month detention of a mother and her three children prior to their deportation from Turkey. In particular, the "Court found...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : October 16, 2019 |
On October 11, 2019, a tribunal of the International Centre for the Settlement of Disputes (ICSID) found the Government of Tanzania to be in breach of 1995 Implementation Agreement under which Tanzania made various undertakings and assurances in favor of Independent Power Tanzania Limited (IPTL), "including undertakings against discriminatory action and expropriation". Tanzania also "granted IPTL the exclusive right to design, finance, insure, construct, complete, own, operate and maintain" its facility in Tanzania. Tanzania also agreed to a guarantee to pay IPTL any unpaid costs owed to...

| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : October 14, 2019 |
President Trump signed an executive order on Monday, October 14, 2019, authorizing the U.S. Department of State and the Department of the Treasury to impose sanctions on Turkey, as a result of increased violence in northern Syria. The Executive Order imposes sanctions and visa bans on leading members of the Turkish Government, as well as the Government's Ministry of National Defence and Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources. A press release issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury stated that the Department is "prepared to impose additional sanctions on Government of Turkey...

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

At the UNHCR High-Level Segment on Statelessness held this week in Geneva, UN member states made over 300 pledges to tackle statelessness. A press release issued by the UNHCR revealed that pledges included commitments to accede or ratify the UN statelessness conventions, to improve naturalization processes for stateless people, to ensure universal birth registration, to provide protection to stateless people, and to reform national laws that require citizenship to be inherited from the father and not mother. As the UNHCR explains, it is now up to the UN member states to implement their...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : October 09, 2019 |

On October 3, the United States and the United Kingdom signed an "Agreement on Access to Electronic Data for the Purpose of Countering Serious Crime." Based on the "Clarifying Lawful 4 Overseas Use of Data Act," or the “CLOUD Act,” the Agreement permits law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and U.K. to require disclosure of electronic data in the context of serious crime. “Serious crime” includes an array of matters, such as terrorism and cybercrime. The Act requires the law enforcement agencies to acquire authorization before making demands concerning relevant data. According to a press...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : October 09, 2019 |

On October 8, the United States and Japan signed an agreement to ease tariffs on agricultural and industrial products. A press release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicates that the agreement “will provide America’s farmers and ranchers enhanced market access in our third largest agricultural export market” and “enable American producers to compete more effectively with countries that currently have preferential tariffs in the Japanese market.” Both parties must now take measures to implement the agreement.


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : October 08, 2019 |
On October 8, 2019, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) unanimously held that there had been a violation by two judges of the High Council of the Judiciary in Portugal of the applicants’ right to freedom of expression in Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. According to a press release from the ECtHR, the case of L.P. and Carvalho v. Portugal (in French only) involved two lawyers who had complained about improper, and in one case, defamatory and discriminatory, conduct by the judges in the context of two cases. In response, one judge successfully lodged a...