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 : September 20, 2021 |

Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has decided, in a Communiqué issued on September 16, to impose sanctions on coup leaders in Mali (for a coup which occurred in May) and Guinea (for this month's coup). The Communiqué imposes sanctions and travel bans on members of the National Committee for Reconciliation and Development (CNRD) and their families, as well as freezes their assets; it upholds the suspension of Guinea from ECOWAS governing bodies; it calls for presidential and legislative elections to be held within six months and prohibits members of the CNRD from taking...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : September 20, 2021 |

On Friday, September 17, 2021, President Biden issued an Executive Order imposing sanctions in relation to the ongoing crisis in Ethiopia. According to a statement on the Executive Order from President Biden, the sanctions "target those responsible for, or complicit in, prolonging the conflict in Ethiopia, obstructing humanitarian access, or preventing a ceasefire." The statement notes the "determin[ation]" of the United States "to push for a peaceful resolution of this conflict" and the United States' continued efforts "to press for a negotiated ceasefire, an end to abuses of innocent...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : September 16, 2021 |

On September 15, 2021, Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court granted the Prosecutor's request to open an investigation into the situation in the Philippines. The case concerns crimes allegedly committed there between November 2011 and March 2019 in the context of a "war on drugs" campaign. According to a press release from the Court, the Chamber found that the facts at present indicate that "the so-called 'war on drugs' campaign cannot be seen as a legitimate law enforcement operation, and the killings neither as legitimate nor as mere excesses in an otherwise legitimate...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : September 16, 2021 |

On Tuesday, September 14, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) affirmed the April decision of Pre-Trial Chamber II permitting victims to participate in the trial of Mahamat Said Abdel Kani. According to a press release from the Court, the "Appeals Chamber found that the approach adopted by the Pre-Trial Chamber for transmitting victims' applications for participation to the parties and admitting victims to participate in the proceedings is in principle an adequate tool to ensure the fairness and expeditiousness of the proceedings, while at the same time respecting...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : September 02, 2021 |

On Monday, August 30, 2021, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution on the situation in Afghanistan. The Council condemned the "deplorable attacks" near the Hamid Karzi Airport in Kabul and "[d]emand[ed] that Afghan territory not be used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter or train terrorists, or to plan or to finance terrorist attacks." It called on "all parties to allow full, safe, and unhindered access for the United Nations" and other humanitarian actors and encouraged the reaching of an "inclusive, negotiated political settlement . . . that responds to the desire of...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : August 25, 2021 |

The working group established under the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) has proposed a mandate, terms of reference, and method of work for itself. The proposed mandate states that the Working Group will collect information, develop a recommended set of initial principles, and study the existing legal framework with regard to "activities in the exploration, exploitation and utilization of space resources." It will also evaluate whether it would be beneficial to expand the existing legal framework, identify areas for further study, and make recommendations for next...


| By: Olivia Beech : August 23, 2021 |

On August 13, 2021, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) issued a press release concerning a decision made in June of this year regarding reelection processes, in response to a question submitted by Colombia. This decision concerned the question of whether unlimited reelection terms are lawful in the context of Inter-American human rights policy and the notion of representative democracy. The Court’s key arguments were the following: 1) reelection is not a singular human right; 2) the ban on this practice is both justified and supported by the rule of law; 3) the loss for...


| By: Justine N. Stefanelli : August 12, 2021 |

On August 10, 2021, the Government of Sudan deposited an instrument of ratification for the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel (CAT), Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and an instrument of accession to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED). Sudan is the 172nd party to the CAT and the 64th party to the ICPPED. Sudan's ratification of the CAT included a declaration that it will not be bound by Article 30(1) relating to the settlement of disputes under the Convention. Similarly, its accession to the ICPPED...


| 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...