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International: WTO Considers Waiving Certain Intellectual Property Protections for the Prevention, Containment, and Treatment of COVID-19

(Mar. 24, 2021) At a meeting on March 10-11, 2021, the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Council (TRIPS Council) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) continued its consideration of a waiver from the implementation, application, and enforcement of several sections of the TRIPS Agreement in relation to the prevention, containment, and treatment of COVID-19. […]

International: Former Child Workers Sue Chocolate Companies Alleging Forced Labor in Cocoa Supply Chains

(Mar. 4, 2021) On February 12, 2021, the Washington, D.C.-based nongovernmental organization International Rights Advocates (IRAdvocates) filed a federal class action lawsuit on behalf of eight former child workers who allege they were trafficked from Mali and forced to harvest cocoa in Côte d’Ivoire beginning in 2011. The lawsuit accuses several multinational chocolate producers of […]

International: International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea Confirms Sovereignty of Mauritius over Chagos Archipelago

(Feb. 23, 2021) On January 28, 2021, in its Judgment on Preliminary Objections in the Dispute Concerning Delimitation of the Maritime Boundary between Mauritius and the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) rejected the Maldives’ challenges to the Tribunal’s jurisdiction. The judgment was rendered by the […]

International: New ICSID Caseload Statistics Reveal Trends in Arbitral Appointments and Case Distribution

(Feb. 22, 2021) On January 28, 2021, the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) published its caseload statistics for the first six months of 2020 (FY2020). Some had predicted that disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic would have a significant impact on the number and type of investment disputes brought to ICSID […]

International: United Nations Welcomes Loosening of Sanctions in Gulf Region

(Feb. 17, 2021) On January 5, 2021, United Nations (U.N.) Secretary-General António Guterres issued a statement welcoming the news that Saudi Arabia had lifted the economic and political sanctions it had imposed on Qatar since 2017. Guterres was joined two days later by U.N. Special Rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures and human rights Alena Douhan, […]

United States: Appeals Court Rules Property Claims out of Early 20th Century Acts of Genocide Do Not Satisfy Jurisdictional Requirements in Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act

(Feb. 5, 2021) On September 24, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a lower court’s decision dismissing a complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), 28 U.S.C. § 1602 et seq. (Rukoru v. Federal Republic of Germany, No. 19-609 (2d Cir. Sept. 24, […]

Mexico: Amendment Reforming National Security Law Approved

(Jan. 25, 2021) On December 15, 2020, the House of Representatives of the Mexican Congress (Cámara de Diputados) in a plenary session approved an amendment to the National Security Law. The reform was approved with 329 votes in favor, 98 against, and 40 abstentions. The bill had already been approved by the Senate and, with […]

South Korea: Amended Law Criminalizes Sending Leaflets to North Korea by Balloon

(Jan. 19, 2021) On December 14, 2020, the South Korean National Assembly passed a bill to amend the Development of Inter-Korean Relations Act (Act No. 7763, Dec. 29, 2005). The amendment, Act No. 17763, was published in Gwanbo (official gazette) on December 29, 2020. The amendment added a provision that prohibits acts that violate an […]

European Union: Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime Enters into Force

(Jan. 12, 2021) On December 7, 2020, the European Union (EU) enacted its Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime to hold perpetrators of serious human rights violations and abuses accountable. The sanctions regime enables the EU to implement targeted restrictive measures no matter who is responsible for the respective infringements or where they occur. The EU […]

Australia: New Legislative Framework for Federal Assessments of Arrangements between State or Territory Governments and Foreign Governments Receives Assent

(Dec. 17, 2020) On December 10, 2020, Australia’s Foreign Relations (State and Territory Arrangements) Bill 2020 (Cth) (the act) received assent, having been passed by the Commonwealth (i.e., federal) Parliament on December 3, 2020. A bill containing consequential amendments to other legislation was also passed on December 8 and received assent on December 10. According […]