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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 26

CONSTRUCTION OF NORTH DAKOTA OIL PIPELINE TEMPORARILY HALTED

Country: United States

After months of protests, the D.C. Circuit temporarily enjoined further construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline within 20 miles of Lake Oahe in North Dakota while it considers whether to order a longer delay. This follows a September 9 U.S. district court ruling that allowed construction of the pipeline to continue, denying a petition brought by the Standing Rock Sioux. Despite the district court's ruling, DOI, DOJ, and the U.S.

INVESTIGATION FINDS INVESTOR-STATE DISPUTE SETTLEMENT UNDERMINES ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS

Country: Indonesia

The Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) is an international arbitration procedure inserted into thousands of international treaties as a means to resolve disputes between countries and the foreign corporations operating within them. The system is written into thousands of trade and investment treaties, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership. But according to a BuzzFeed News investigation, under typical ISDS provisions, only companies are permitted to bring suit against the countries in which they work; countries cannot sue corporations.

INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT TO PROSECUTE ENVIRONMENTAL CRIMES

Companies and politicians engaging in environmental destruction and illegal land-grabbing could now be held accountable under international law. The International Criminal Court (ICC) recently announced it would start addressing crimes linked to environmental harms, the illegal exploitation of natural resources, and the “unlawful dispossession of land.” Some believe that this ruling may permit the ICC to prosecute climate change cases, as deforestation, increased carbon dioxide emissions, and illegal land-grabs are closely linked in many parts of the world.