ELI Primary Menu

Skip to main content

International developments reported in the current issue of ELR's Weekly Update appear below. For previously reported international news, please use the filter function on the left. For older material reported between 2000 and 2010, visit the Weekly Update Archives.

Current International Update

Volume 46, Issue 20

SPAIN’S HIGH COURT UPHOLDS VOLKSWAGEN LIABILITY FOR EMISSIONS FRAUD

Country: Spain

A Spanish court ruling declared Volkswagen’s parent company, Volkswagen Group, liable for any charges over emissions fraud. This decision makes the Germany-based corporation responsible in court rather than its smaller affiliates. Spanish affiliate companies include Seat, Volkswagen-Audi España, and Volkswagen Navarra. Initial proceedings against Volkswagen began in October, after Volkswagen admitted to cheating diesel emissions tests in the United States with illegal software.

ISLAND NATIONS CONSIDER NEW PACIFIC CLIMATE TREATY

Country: Fiji, Solomon Islands

Fourteen Pacific Island countries are considering an expansive new climate treaty at the annual leaders’ summit of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF). Pacific Island nations are considered some of the most vulnerable to climate change effects and have pushed strongly for significant climate action. The proposed legal model, written by the Pacific Island Climate Action Network, would be the first international treaty to ban or phase out fossil fuels.

HAGUE COURT LIMITS CHINA'S JURISDICTION IN SOUTH CHINA SEA

Country: China, Phillipines

The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague declared China in violation of Philippine sovereign rights in the South China Sea. The dispute was taken to the PCA in January of 2013 by the Philippines after the Chinese Navy seized Scarborough Shoal, a chain of reefs and rocks off of a Philippine island. Under the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, only natural islands that can sustain human habitation would qualify for legitimate Chinese territorial jurisdiction of surrounding waters (up to 200 nautical miles in an exclusive economic zone).