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 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...

| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : October 03, 2019 |
On October 3, 2019, the Fifth Section of the European Court of Human Rights gave its judgment in Pastörs v. Germany. A press release issued by the Court stated that the case concerned untrue statements intentionally made to defame Jewish people. The Court held that such statements are not protected by Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (on freedom of expression) and are, in fact, “contrary” to its values. The Court further held that, “the…statements affected the dignity of the Jews to the point that they justified a criminal response” at the...

| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : October 03, 2019 |
On October 3, 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union (C.J.E.U.) issued its judgment in Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek v. Facebook Ireland Ltd., interpreting the EU E-Commerce Directive at the request of the Austrian Supreme Court. According to a press release from the C.J.E.U., host providers, such as Facebook, maybe ordered to remove or block access to information which it stores, the content of which is identical or equivalent to the content of information previously declared as unlawful. In addition, it may be required to remove or to block access to such information on a...

| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : October 02, 2019 |
On October 1, 2019, the International Bar Association (IBA) and the World Bank published a joint report titled, “A Tool for Justice: A Cost in Benefit Analysis of Legal Aid”. According to a press release from the IBA, the report surveyed over 50 cost benefit studies on legal aid programs worldwide, across both civil and common law jurisdictions, including the U.S., Bangladesh, and South Africa. The report concludes that “improving legal aid services is as important for economic growth as providing functioning hospitals, schools and roads.” It goes on to explain that, “[t]he cost of problems...

| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : October 01, 2019 |

On October 1, 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union (E.C.J.) issued its judgment in Case C-673/17, Planet49, following a request for a preliminary ruling from the Bun​desgerichtsof  (Federal Court of Justice) in Germany. According to a press release from the Court, the German court asked the E.C.J. to interpret Directive 2002/58/EC on the protection of e-communications privacy. In particular, the E.C.J. was asked whether requiring users to deselect a pre-checked checkbox to refuse their consent to cookies satisfies the meaning of “consent” in the Directive. In...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : September 27, 2019 |

On September 27, 2019, the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights announced verdicts in four cases under the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights ('the Charter'). In Godfrey Antony and Another v. United Republic of Tanzania, the Applicants challenged their sentences of 30 years for conspiracy to commit a felony and armed robbery, and alleged that the Respondent State unlawfully failed to provide them with free legal representation and discriminated against them under Article 7 of the Charter. 

Shukurani Mango and Others v. United Republic of Tanzania ...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : September 25, 2019 |

On September 25, 2019, at its 30th meeting, the Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Organization of American States (OAS), adopted a resolution primarily aimed at identifying individuals and entities associated with the Nicolas Maduro regime. In addition to strengthening efforts to identify those linked with the regime, the resolution includes elements of enhanced legal, judicial, and police cooperation and involvement of national financial intelligence units in the identification of regime associates. The Ministers will meet again within two months of the date of the...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : September 24, 2019 |

On September 24, 2019, the UK Supreme Court unanimously held in R (Miller) v. The Prime Minister that Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to suspend, or prorogue, the UK Parliament was unlawful. The judgment affirmatively responded to the question of whether the matter was justiciable because of its political nature. As noted in both the judgment and an official summary of the judgment, the Court further held that the decision to suspend Parliament was "unlawful because it had the effect of frustrating or preventing the ability of parliament to carry out its constitutional...


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

On September 23, 2019, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the first Political Declaration on healthcare, titled "Universal Health Coverage: Moving Together to Build a Healthier World". The Declaration is aimed at reaffirming the commitment of U.N. member states to "achieve universal health coverage by 2030" in recognition that health is a key part of implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Declaration commits states to a number of actions relating to promoting active and healthy lifestyles, affordable health financing policies, high-quality and affordable...


| By: Erin K. Lovall : September 16, 2019 |

On September 12, 2019, the Supremo Tribunal de Justiça (Supreme Court, Portugal), issued a judgment in the Cofemel - Sociedade de Vestuário, SA v. G-Star Raw CV case, Case-683/17 (in Spanish). The Court of Justice of the European Union Press Release 109/19 summarized the Court’s findings. The dispute concerned an accusation by G-Star that Cofemel was “producing and selling jeans, sweatshirts and t-shirts copying some of its own designs.” The Court discussed its settled case law that “any original subject matter constituting the expression of its author’s own intellectual creation can be...