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 : August 12, 2021 |

On August 9, 2021, an indigenous peoples' group called the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples from Brazil (APIB) requested that the International Criminal Court (ICC) investigate the alleged genocide and crimes against humanity perpetrated by Jair Bolsonaro, President of Brazil. As report by JURIST, APIB's complaint is focused on social and environmental policies that are, in its view "systematic and anti-indigenous," such as the "dismantling of public structures for social and environmental protection" which, according to APIB, has led to an "escalation of invasions in Indigenous Lands,...


| By: Olivia Beech : July 28, 2021 |

On June 22, 2021, a judgment was issued by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) regarding the case of Joanna Reczkowicz and the Polish government, which had been filed almost two years prior. On August 6, 2019, Joanna Reczkowicz, a barrister and Polish citizen, formally issued a complaint against the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court, which she believed had failed to remain objective in its handling of her case. In 2017, she was suspended due to a compromise of bar ethics, which lasted for a period of three years. When this issue was readdressed, Reczkowicz felt it was not...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : July 21, 2021 |

On July 16, 2021, the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights issued an advisory opinion on the right to participate in the government of one's country in the context of an election held during a public health emergency or a pandemic, such as the COVID-19 crisis. Filed by the Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU) in June 2020, the request sought the Court's opinion on a number of issues relating to the impact of a health emergency on electoral processes in African Union member states. According to a press release from the Court, the Court grouped the issues identified by the PALU into three...


| By: Olivia Beech : July 21, 2021 |

On July 15, 2021, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled in favor of permitting workplaces to prohibit the wearing of articles of clothing that display religious or political alignment. The issue in IX and MH Müller Handels GmbH v. WABE eV and MJ originated from an incident involving two female employees that refused to remove their dressings that indicated their identity as practicing Muslims. Two exterior courts (Labour Court of Hamburg and the Federal Labour Court of Germany) sought the perspective of the CJEU to determine whether the termination of their...


| By: Olivia Beech : July 19, 2021 |

On June 2, 2021, the Intern-American Court of Human Rights was referred a case from the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights concerning Fabio Gadea Mantilla, a former candidate in the 2011 Nicaraguan presidential race. According to a press release from the OAS, it was contested that the country possessed the primary responsibility of securing and upholding Gadea Mantilla’s right to become an electoral candidate, which it failed to accomplish. This is in reference to his past participation in 2011, where he was listed as a prime candidate for the presidency. In March of 2011, the...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : July 19, 2021 |

The European Union (EU) Commission has adopted a proposal for the EU's accession to the 2019 Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters (the 2019 Hague Judgment Convention). Though there is a framework for the recognition and enforcement of judgments from EU member states, EU citizens can have difficulties having judgments obtained in the EU enforced outside of the EU. The 2019 Hague Judgment Convention would, in the words of Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders, "improve legal certainty and save citizens and companies time and...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : July 15, 2021 |

On July 13, 2021, a Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) unanimously found a violation of the Article 8 right to respect for private and family life by Russia and its refusal to permit a same-sex couple from having their relationship formally acknowledged. The case of Fedotova v. Russia concerned three same-sex couples in Russia whose notices of intent to marry were rejected by local registry offices. The three couples unsuccessfully challenged the refusals in domestic courts and then brought the case to the ECtHR alleging violations of Article 8 as well as...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : July 06, 2021 |

On July 2, 2021, the U.S. announced that it was imposing additional sanctions on the Myanmar military regime. A statement by Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken issued on that same date indicated that the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Assets Control designated 22 people under Executive Order 14014. The statement also noted that the Department of Commerce added Wanbao Mining Ltd., two of its subsidiaries, and King Royal Technologies to its entities list because of their "revenue and/or other support to the Burmese military." Secretary Blinken stated, "[t]oday's measures...


| By: Olivia Beech : July 02, 2021 |

A group of legal experts, in a collaborative effort to confront environmental destruction, have proposed an amendment to the ICC Rome Statute that would add the crime of ‘ecocide’ to the Court’s jurisdiction. The proposal defines ‘ecocide’ as “unlawful or wanton acts committed with knowledge that there is a substantial likelihood of severe and either widespread or long-term damage to the environment being caused by those acts.” As reported by JURIST, the legal experts believe that the policies and precedents that are currently in place to address similar issues are “inadequate.” While the...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : June 17, 2021 |

On June 17, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its judgment in Nestle USA Inc. v. Doe, a case involving six individuals from Mali who alleged that they were trafficked into Ivory Coast as children to produce cocoa. They sued Nestle USA Inc. and Cargill Inc. under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) arguing that Nestle’s and Cargill’s purchase of cocoa from farms located in Ivory Coast, and their financial and technical support to those farms, amounted to aiding and abetting child slavery. The District Court dismissed the suit because the activities at issue took place overseas. The...