International Law in Brief


International Law in Brief (ILIB) is a forum that provides updates on current developments in international law from the editors of ASIL's International Legal Materials.
| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : May 20, 2022 |

On May 19, 2022, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court denied the appeal of Mr. Mahamat Said Abdel Kani against a Trial Chamber decision to maintain his detention pending his trial for alleged crimes against humanity (imprisonment or other severe deprivation of liberty; torture; persecution; enforced disappearance and other inhumane acts) and war crimes (torture and cruel treatment). Said Abdel Kani alleged that the Trial Chamber based its decision to maintain detention on "theoretical and abstract risks" regarding the likelihood that he could, and would be helped to,...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : May 16, 2022 |

On Thursday, May 12, the United Nations Human Rights Council passed a resolution (A/HRC/S-34/L.1) to begin an investigation into whether war crimes have been committed by Russia in Ukraine. According to a UN press release, the resolution was adopted by a vote of 33 in favor, two against, and 12 abstentions. The Council reiterated its demand that hostilities be ceased and asked that the Independent International Commission of Inquiry begin an investigation into events taking place in late February and March in several regions in Ukraine. The resolution also implores Russia to give...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : May 05, 2022 |

Today, May 5, 2022, Advocate General Kokott issued her opinion in Case C-61/21 Ministre de la Transition écologique and Premier ministre, which arose from French proceedings instituted by a resident of Paris seeking to obtain compensation for ill health allegedly caused by France's air pollution. According to a press release from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the Court had found Paris had been breaching the limit values set by the EU for nitrogen dioxiode and particulate matter since 2010. The Administrative Court of Appeal in Versailles, where this case...


| By: Kehinde Winful and Justine Stefanelli : April 29, 2022 |

On April 28, 2021, President Biden announced a proposal for a comprehensive legislative package that “[would] enhance the United States Government’s authority to hold the Russian government and Russian oligarchs accountable for President Putin’s war against Ukraine.” The proposals “establish new authorities for the forfeiture of property linked to Russian kleptocracy, allow the government to use the proceeds to support Ukraine, and further strengthen related law enforcement tools.” In addition, the package aims to “improve the United States’ ability to use forfeited oligarch funds to...


| By: Kehinde Winful : April 29, 2022 |

On April 27, 2022, The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution (to be posted once published at: https://www.un.org/en/ga/76/resolutions.shtml) that requires the General Assembly to meet every time a veto is used by the Security Council. Speaking on the resolution at the Assembly’s meeting, Ambassador Christian Wenaweser stated, “[t]he draft resolution before the Assembly today creates a standing mandate for the Assembly to be convened automatically, within ten working days, every time a veto has been cast in the Security Council.” The resolution is said to be an expression of...


| By: Kehinde Winful : April 19, 2022 |

On April 18, 2022, the UN published a joint letter written written on February 16, 2022, by several UN Special Rapporteurs and addressed to the Australian Government asking it to take action in relation to the rescue of 46 Australian citizens who were currently being held in different camps in North-Eastern Syria. The letter expressed deep concern for the citizens who are said to have been “held and […] deprived of their liberty without any judicial process.” The letter listed the names of the Australian citizens being held, including the names of the minor children who are being held...


| By: Kehinde Winful : April 15, 2022 |

On April 11, 2022, the UN  announced via a press release concerns expressed by Special Rapporteur on the rights to peaceful assembly and of association, Clément Nyaletsossi Voule, “about restrictions on Brazilians’ rights to full and active social and political participation.” Voule “urged the State to create and maintain a safe and enabling environment that is conducive to the exercise of the rights to peaceful assembly and association.” The announcement also voiced concern about the frequent excessive use of force by law enforcement officials and human rights violations during protests....


| By: Kehinde Winful : April 12, 2022 |

On April 2, 2022, after a second official visit to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, ICC Prosecutor, Karim A.A. Khan QC announced that more steps would be taken to deepen cooperation and accelerate the independent work in relation to the Situation in Venezuela following a decision from last year. This announcement came after the Government of Venezuela expressed that the conditions for an investigation had still not been met. ICC Prosecutor, Karim A.A. Khan QC stated that he “welcome[d] the tangible steps that [had been] taken” that allowed his office “to strengthen its work with...


| By: Kehinde Winful : April 12, 2022 |

On April 2, 2022, India and Australia signed “The India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement” (IndAus ECTA) which eliminated tariffs on over 85 percent of Australian good exports to India. The Indian and Australian Ministers also expressed their views on the  growing strength of the relationship between the two countries before signing of the agreement. Calling it a “watershed moment for our bilateral relations . . . the Prime Minister said that signing of IndAus ECTA in such a short span of time reflect[ed] the depth of the mutual confidence between the two countries.”


| By: Kehinde Winful : March 31, 2022 |

On March 30, 2022, Britain's Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, announced Britain's withdrawal of its judges from Hong Kong’s top court. According to the announcement, the decision came as a result of the fact that “since the imposition of the National Security Law in 2020, China has continued to use this legislation to undermine the fundamental rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong.” Noting that “China’s actions include restrictions on freedom of expression, the stifling of opposition voices, and the criminalising of dissent,” the Foreign Secretary said, “the situation has reached a...