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 : April 16, 2020 |

On April 15, 2020, the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance published an executive summary of its annual report on Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreement and Commitments, as required by Section 403 of the Arms Control and Disarmament Act (22 U.S.C. § 2593a). The summary explains that, when evaluating state compliance, a number of factors are considered, including, "the nature and precise language of the obligations undertaken in the context of international law, information regarding the country’s activities...


| By: Emma Schoenberger : April 13, 2020 |
On March 13, 2020, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) rejected all three of the respondent's preliminary objections in Daniel W. Kappes and Kappes, Cassiday & Associates v. Republic of Guatemala. They released the full text of their decision on April 10, 2020. The claimants in the case allege that Guatemala has negatively impacted their Guatemalan company, Exmingua and that Guatemala has breached several provisions of the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement. The Republic of Guatemala raised three preliminary objections:...

| By: Emma Schoenberger : April 13, 2020 |
On April 9, 2020, the High Court of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Court of Appeal released its decision in Cases CACV 541, 542 & 583/2019 (jointly heard). A press summary from the Court states that it upheld the constitutionality of the Emergency Regulations Ordinance (ERO) as well as section 3(1)(b) of the Prohibition on Face Covering Regulation (PFCR) “relating to unauthorized assembly.” It ruled that sections 3(1)(c) and (d) and section 5 (which address public meeting, public procession, and police powers, respectively) were unconstitutional. The Court of First Instance...

| By: Emma Schoenberger : April 10, 2020 |

On April 6, 2020, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights issued its judgment in Azul Rojas Marín et al. v. Peru [in Spanish only], holding that sexual orientation and gender identity and expression are protected under the American Convention on Human Rights. According to a press release from the Court, the case involved the 2008 arrest without cause and subsequent beating and rape of , Azul Rojas Marín, a Peruvian citizen and member of the LGBTI community. The Court found that her detention was discriminatory and therefore illegal and arbitrary in violation of her right to...


| By: Emma Schoenberger : April 10, 2020 |

On April 7, 2020, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruled in Knox v. Deane and others that only appeals from the Court of Appeals can be entertained by the Court in its appellate jurisdiction. A press release explains that Mr. Knox’s late mother had received an order from the High Court regarding her estate. Mr. Knox, representing his mother after her death, appealed the decision to the Court of Appeal. In 2016, the “court reserved its decision” and has not made a judgement since. In his appeal to the CCJ, Mr. Knox argued that this “should be treated as if it were a dismissal...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : April 08, 2020 |

On April 8, 2020, the Council of Europe published a set of human rights guidelines on algorithms and automation. According to a press release from the Council of Europe, the guidelines are aimed at ensuring that state governments do not breach human rights in their "use, development or procurement of algorithmic systems." The guidelines also emphasize the importance of creating effective and transparent legal systems and regulatory frameworks that "prevent, detect, prohibit and remedy human rights violations" by the public and private sectors. The guidelines constitute an appendix in a...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : April 07, 2020 |

On April 7, 2020, the Organization of American States published a "Practical Guide to Inclusive Rights-Focused Responses to COVID-19 in the Americas." As explained in a press release from the OAS, the guide addresses the concern that situation for vulnerable people, such as women, indigenous peoples, and the LGBTI community, worsens in the context of emergency situations, such as the current pandemic. Therefore, the guide stresses the need for states to emphasize the protection of the right to health of vulnerable groups. It consists of ten chapters, each of which addresses specific groups...


| By: Emma Schoenberger : April 06, 2020 |
In Kukhalashvili and Others v. Georgia, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in favor of the applicants, stating that “[a] police operation to put down a riot in a prison used a disproportionate level of force.” The applicants were relatives of two men (A.B. and Z.K.) who had been inmates at Tbilisi Prison no. 5 in Georgia and were killed during a riot there in 2006. In their complaint, the applicants referred to ECHR Article 2 (right to life) and Article 13 (right to an effective remedy), arguing that “the State was responsible for the death of their relatives and that the...

| By: Emma Schoenberger : April 06, 2020 |

On January 24, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of President Trump and the U.S. government in Saifullah Abdullah Paracha v. Donald J. Trump, et al. On April 4, 2020, the Court made their decision available to the public. The petitioner, Mr. Paracha, was apprehended by the U.S. government in July of 2003 “on the belief that he had provided financial and other support to members of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.” After being interrogated at Bagram Air Force Base, he was taken to Guantanamo Bay and has been held there since. The Court’s decision...


| By: Emma Schoenberger : April 03, 2020 |
In 2015, in response to the refugee crisis in Europe, the European Union (EU) Council passed a number of decisions, which required the relocation of a specific number of refugees from Greece and Italy to the other EU member states. The EU Commission brought a case to the Court of Justice of the European Union against Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic for failing to relocate the required number of people; on April 2, 2020, in its judgment Commission v. Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, the Court ruled in favor of the Commission. According to a press release from the...