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 : December 19, 2018 |

On December 19, 2018, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in Molla Sali v. Greece that applying Sharia law to an inheritance dispute against the wishes of the testator violated the European Convention on Human Rights. The case concerned the will of a Muslim Greek national, who had bequeathed his entire estate to his wife in a will drawn in accordance with Greek civil law, but the courts found the will void because Sharia law applies to those of Muslim faith in Greece. This caused the wife to be deprived of three-quarters of her inheritance and she argued that she had suffered...


| By: Caitlin Behles : December 17, 2018 |

On December 17, 2018, Polish President Andrzej Duda signed into law a bill that reinstates the Supreme Court judges who were removed from office under a prior law that the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ordered be halted while the case of the European Commission against Poland is decided by the Court. The case concerns domestic Polish legislation that lowered the retirement age for Supreme Court Justices to 65 and gives the Polish president discretion in extending the judges’ service, resulting in a forced early retirement of 27 of the 72 judges, which the European...


| By: Caitlin Behles : December 17, 2018 |

On December 17, 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in Commission v. Poland that Poland must immediately suspend implementation of the domestic legislation that lowers the retirement age for Supreme Court Justices to 65 and gives the Polish president discretion in extending the judges’ service, which would have resulted in the removal of nearly one-third of the Court’s judges. As noted in the press release, on October 2, 2018, the European Commission filed suit against Poland for infringing on EU law through the law, and on October 19, the Vice President of the...


| By: Caitlin Behles : December 14, 2018 |

On December 13, 2018, parties to the conflict in Yemen met in Sweden and agreed on a set of first steps toward finding a political solution to the conflict, setting them out in the Stockholm Agreement. Within the agreement, the parties agreed to the following: “1 - An agreement on the city of Hodeidah and the ports of Hodeidah, Salif and Ras Issa; 2 - An executive mechanism on activating the prisoner exchange agreement; 3 - A statement of understanding on Taïz.” Within the first agreement, the parties agreed to an “immediate cease-fire . . . in the city of Hodeidah, the ports of Hodeidah,...


| By: Caitlin Behles : December 13, 2018 |

On December 13, 2018, the UN Security Council unanimously passed a resolution calling for the “integrating UN support to police, justice and corrections areas into the mandates of peacekeeping operations and special political missions from the outset.” The Council noted efforts to assess the efficiency of peacekeeping operations and asked the Secretary-General to enhance the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations assistance to police and justice institutions, to promote coordinated efforts between UN country teams and other UN actors, ensure benchmarks for mission transitions are met,...


| By: Caitlin Behles : December 11, 2018 |

On December 10, 2018, the Full Court of the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in Wightman and Others v. Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union that the United Kingdom may unilaterally revoke its notification of intention to withdraw from the European Union. The Court stated that such a revocation would also mean that its status as a member state remains unchanged and the withdrawal procedure is closed. This possibility for unilateral revocation is open until a member state and the EU have concluded a withdrawal agreement that enters into force or until the...


| By: Caitlin Behles : December 10, 2018 |

On December 10, 2018, world leaders adopted the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, an agreement prepared through the United Nations that seeks to address all dimensions of international migration. The UN notes that this is the first “global cooperation framework for sharing responsibility to protect the world’s 258 million people on the move—3.4 per cent of its population—and supporting the host communities working to accommodate them.” The Compact is a non-legally binding, cooperative framework that has twenty-three objectives concerning migration at local, national,...


| By: Caitlin Behles : November 27, 2018 |

On November 27, 2018, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in Alekseyev and Others v. Russia that Russia had violated Article 11 (right to freedom of assembly); Article 13 (right to an effective remedy); and Article 14 (right not to be discriminated against) of the European Convention on Human Rights due to Russian authorities refusal to approve requests to hold LGBT rallies. The case involved fifty-one applications, brought by a number of Russian Nationals, who had all submitted notices of their intent to hold public rallies on LGBT rights and were rejected by the initial...


| By: Caitlin Behles : November 27, 2018 |

On November 27, 2018, the United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic released a report entitled, “Death Notifications in the Syrian Arab Republic,” in which it discusses the high number of missing and detained people within Syria and stresses the need to account for the fate and whereabouts these individuals. As noted in the press release, the Commission was mandated by the Human Rights Council to investigate and record all violations of international law since March 2011 within Syria. The report notes that arbitrary detention is widespread...


| By: Caitlin Behles : November 19, 2018 |

On November 16, 2018, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia delivered its judgment in Case 002/02, convicting former senior Khmer Rouge leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan of genocide, crimes against humanity, and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and sentencing them to life in prison. The Court found that Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan participated in a joint criminal enterprise during the Cambodian genocide, with crimes taking place between April 1975 and January 1979 that included genocide of the Vietnamese, murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation,...