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 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 Settlment 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 favour of Independent Power Tanzania Limited (IPTL), "including undertakings against discriminatory action and exproproation". Tanzania also "granted IPTL the exclusive right to design, finanec, 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...

| 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...