International Law Commission International Law Commission

Last update: July 28, 2017

Analytical Guide to the Work of the International Law Commission

Effects of armed conflicts on treaties

See also: Summary | Texts and Instruments

Mandate

Studies undertaken by the Secretariat and Reports of the Secretary-General

  • 57th session of the International Law Commission (2005)
    • Memorandum prepared by the Secretariat

Reports of the Working Group or Sub-Committee

  • 59th session of the International Law Commission (2007)
    • Report of the Working Group
  • 60th session of the International Law Commission (2008)
    • Report of the Working Group

Reports of the Special Rapporteur

  • Proposed a set of 14 draft articles providing an overall view of the topic and of the issues it involves.
    • First report of the Special Rapporteur, Ian Brownlie (57th session of the ILC (2005))
  • Consideration of draft articles 1 to 7 (as proposed at the 57th session), in light of comments and observations made in the International Law Commission in 2005, and in the Sixth Committee at the Sixtieth session of the General Assembly in 2005.
    • Second report of the Special Rapporteur, Ian Brownlie (58th session of the ILC (2006))
  • Consideration of draft articles 1 to 5, 5 bis, 6, 6 bis, 7 to 14.
    • Third report of the Special Rapporteur, Ian Brownlie (59th session of the ILC (2007))
  • Procedure for suspension and termination of treaties.
    • Fourth report of the Special Rapporteur, Ian Brownlie (60th session of the ILC (2008))
  • Review of the draft articles on the effects of armed conflicts on treaties, as adopted on first reading, on the basis of comments received from Governments.
    • First report of the Special Rapporteur, Lucius Caflisch (62nd session of the ILC (2010))

Reports of the Drafting Committee

  • 60th session of the International Law Commission (2008)
    • Texts of draft articles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 [5 bis],1 7 [5], 8, 9 [8 bis], 10 [8 ter], 11 [8 quater], 12 [9], 13 [10], 14 [11], 15, 16 [12], 17 [13], 18 [14] provisionally adopted on first reading by the Drafting Committee on 4 June 2008
    • Drafting Committee Chairman's statement of 6 June 2008
  • Texts of draft articles 5 and 13 and annex provisionally adopted on first reading by the Drafting Committee on 9 and 10 July 2008
  • Drafting Committee Chairman's statement of 17 July 2008
  • 63rd session of the International Law Commission (2011)
    • Titles and texts of the draft articles on the effects of armed conflicts on treaties adopted by the Drafting Committee on second reading
    • Drafting Committee Chairman's statement of 17 May 2011

Comments by Governments

  • 62nd session of the International Law Commission (2010)
    • Comments and information received from Governments

Other

  • 60th session of the International Law Commission (2008)
    • Note by the Chairperson of the Working Group on the Effects of Armed Conflicts on Treaties
  • 63rd session of the International Law Commission (2011)
    • Note on the recommendation to be made to the General Assembly about the draft articles on the Effects of armed conflicts on treaties, by Mr. Lucius Caflisch, Special Rapporteur
  • 63rd session of the International Law Commission (2011)
    • Note on draft article 5 and the annex to the draft articles, by Mr. Lucius Caflisch, Special Rapporteur

Reports of the International Law Commission

  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its fifty-sixth session, 3 May to 4 June and 5 July to 6 August 2004
    • Decided to include the topic in its current programme of work and appointed Ian Brownlie as Special Rapporteur.
    • Discussion in Plenary: 2830th meeting (6 August 2004)
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its fifty-seventh session, 2 May to 3 June and 11 July to 5 August 2005
    • The Commission had before it the first report of the Special Rapporteur containing an entire set of draft articles and providing an overall view of the topic. The Commission also had before it a memorandum prepared by the Secretariat entitled, “The effect of armed conflict on treaties: an examination of practice and doctrine”. The Commission endorsed the Special Rapporteur's suggestion that the Secretariat be requested to circulate a note to Governments requesting information about their practice with regard to the topic, in particular more contemporary practice.
    • Discussion in plenary: 2834th, 2835th, 2836th, 2837th, 2838th, 2839th, 2840th meetings (6 to 18 May 2005) and 2866th meeting (5 August 2005)
  • ILC Report, A/60/10, 2005, chap. V, paras. 108–191
  • See the website of the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly and the topical summary of debate in the Sixth Committee (A/CN.4/560)
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its fifty-eighth session, 1 May to 9 June and 3 July to 11 August 2006
    • The Commission had the second report of the Special Rapporteur before it.
    • Discussion in plenary: 2895th, 2896th, 2897th and 2898th meetings, from 18 to 21 July 2006.
  • ILC Report, A/61/10, 2006, chap. X, paras. 178–211
  • See the website of the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly and the topical summary of debate in the Sixth Committee (A/CN.4/577, Add.1 and Add.2)
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its fifty-ninth session, 7 May to 5 June and 9 July to 10 August 2007
    • The Commission had before it the third report of the Special Rapporteur (A/CN.4/578). At the 2928th meeting, on 31 May 2007, the Commission decided to establish a working group, under the chairmanship of Mr. Lucius Caflisch, to provide further guidance regarding several issues which had been identified in the Commission’s consideration of the Special Rapporteur’s third report. At its 2946th meeting, on 2 August 2007, the Commission adopted the report of the Working Group.
    • At the 2946th meeting, the Commission decided to refer to the Drafting Committee draft articles 1 to 3, 5, 5 bis, 7, 10 and 11, as proposed by the Special Rapporteur in his third report, together with the recommendations of the Working Group, as well as draft article 4, as proposed by the Working Group.
    • The Commission also approved the recommendation of the Working Group that the Secretariat circulate a note to international organizations requesting information about their practice with regard to the effect of armed conflict on treaties involving them.
    • Discussion in plenary: 2926th, 2927th, 2928th, and 2929th meetings, from 29 May to 1 June 2007, and the 2946th meeting, held on 2 August 2007.
  • ILC Report, A/62/10, 2007, chap. VII, paras. 266–324
  • See the website of the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly and the topical summary of debate in the Sixth Committee (A/CN.4/588)
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its sixtieth session, 5 May to 6 June and 7 July to 8 August 2008
    • The Commission decided, at its 2964th meeting on 16 May 2008, to re-establish the Working Group on the Effects of Armed Conflicts on Treaties, under the chairmanship of Mr. Lucius Caflisch, to complete its consideration of several issues which had been identified in the Commission’s consideration of the Special Rapporteur’s third report during the fifty-ninth session in 2007.
    • The Working Group had before it the fourth report of the Special Rapporteur (A/CN.4/589), which was referred to it by the plenary, dealing with the question of the procedure for suspension or termination, a Note prepared by the Chairperson of the Working Group (A/CN.4/L.721) on the question of the applicability of articles 42 to 45 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, as well as a compilation of comments and observations received from international organizations (A/CN.4/592 and Add.1).
    • At the 2968th meeting, on 29 May 2008, the Commission decided to refer to the Drafting Committee draft articles 8, 8 bis, 8 ter, 8 quater, 9 and 14, as proposed by the Working Group, as well as draft articles 12 and 13, as proposed by the Special Rapporteur, together with the recommendations of the Working Group contained in its report.
    • At the 2993rd and 2994th meetings, on 6 August 2008, the Commission adopted a set of commentaries to the draft articles on the effects of armed conflicts on treaties, on first reading. At the 2993rd meeting, on 6 August 2008, the Commission decided, in accordance with articles 16 to 21 of its Statute to transmit the draft articles, through the Secretary-General, to Governments for comments and observations, with the request that such comments and observations be submitted to the Secretary-General by 1 January 2010.
    • Discussion in plenary: 2973rd and 2980th meetings, on 6 June and 17 July 2008, 2993rd and 2994th meetings, on 6 August 2008.
  • ILC Report, A/63/10, 2008, chap. V, paras. 55–66
  • See the website of the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly and the topical summary of debate in the Sixth Committee (A/CN.4/606 and Add.1)
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its sixty-first session, 4 May to 5 June and 6 July to 7 August 2009
    • The Commission, at its 3012th meeting on 29 May 2009, decided to appoint Mr. Lucius Caflisch as Special Rapporteur for the topic.
  • ILC Report, A/64/10, 2009, chap. XIII.A.1, para. 229
  • See the website of the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly and the topical summary of debate in the Sixth Committee (A/CN.4/620 and Add.1)
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its sixty-second session, 3 May to 4 June and 5 July to 6 August 2010
    • The Commission had before it the first report of the Special Rapporteur (A/CN.4/627 and Add.1), containing his proposals for the reformulation of the draft articles as adopted on first reading, taking into account the comments and observations of Governments. The Commission also had before it a compilation of written comments and observations received from Governments (A/CN.4/622 and Add.1).
    • The Commission considered the Special Rapporteur’s report at its 3051st to 3056th meetings, held from 26 May to 3 June 2010, as well as at the 3058th to 3061st meetings held from 5 to 8 July 2010.
    • Discussion in plenary: 3051st, 3052nd, 3053rd, 3054th, 3055th and 3056th meetings (26 May to 3 June 2010), and 3058th, 3059th, 3060th and 3061st meetings (5 to 8 July 2010).
  • ILC Report, A/65/10, 2010, chap. VI, paras. 184–289
  • See the website of the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly and the topical summary of debate in the Sixth Committee (A/CN.4/638)
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its sixty-third session, 26 April to 3 June and 4 July to 12 August 2011
    • The Commission considered the report of the Drafting Committee (A/CN.4/L.777 and Corr.1) at its 3089th meeting, held on 17 May 2011, and adopted the entire set of draft articles on the effects of armed conflicts on treaties, on second reading, at the same meeting.
    • At its 3116th to 3117th meetings, held on 2 and 3 August 2011, the Commission adopted the commentaries to the aforementioned draft articles.
    • At its 3118th meeting, held on 5 August 2011,381 the Commission decided, in accordance with article 23 of its Statute, to recommend to the General Assembly: (a) to take note of the draft articles on the effects of armed conflicts on treaties in a resolution, and to annex them to the resolution; (b) to consider, at a later stage, the elaboration of a convention on the basis of the draft articles.
    • Discussion in plenary: 3089th meeting (17 May 2011), and 3116th, 3117th and 3118th meetings (2, 4 and 5 August 2011).
  • ILC Report, A/66/10, 2011, chap. VI, paras. 89–101
  • See the website of the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly and the topical summary of debate in the Sixth Committee (A/CN.4/650 and Add.1)

General Assembly Action

  • Resolution 59/41 of 2 December 2004
    • Endorsed the Commission's decision to include the topic in its programme of work.
  • See the website of the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly and the topical summary of debate in the Sixth Committee (A/CN.4/549 and Add.1)
  • Resolution 60/22 of 23 November 2005
    • Invited Governments to provide information to the International Law Commission on the topic.
  • See the website of the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly and the topical summary of debate in the Sixth Committee (A/CN.4/560)
  • Resolution 62/66 of 6 December 2007
    • Reiterated its invitation to Governments, within the context of chapter III of the 2005 report of the International Law Commission, to provide information to the Commission regarding State practice, in particular more contemporary practice on the topic "Effects of armed conflicts on treaties".
  • See the website of the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly and the topical summary of debate in the Sixth Committee (A/CN.4/588)
  • Resolution 63/123 of 11 December 2008
    • Expressed its appreciation to the International Law Commission...in particular for...the completion of the first reading of the draft articles on the topic.
    • Drew the attention of Governments to the importance for the International Law Commission of having their comments and observations by 1 January 2010 on the draft articles and commentaries on the topic.
  • See the website of the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly and the topical summary of debate in the Sixth Committee (A/CN.4/606 and Add.1)

Final Outcome

International Law Commission (63rd session, 2011)

  • The Commission adopted the draft articles on the effects of armed conflicts on treaties, on second reading, with commentaries.
  • The Commission decided, in accordance with article 23 of its Statute, to recommend to the General Assembly: (a) to take note of the draft articles on the effects of armed conflicts on treaties in a resolution, and to annex them to the resolution; (b) to consider, at a later stage, the elaboration of a convention on the basis of the draft articles.
 

General Assembly

  • See the website of the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly and the topical summary of debate in the Sixth Committee (A/CN.4/650 and Add.1)
  • Resolution 66/99 of 9 December 2011
    • Welcomed the conclusion of the work of the International Law Commission on the effects of armed conflicts on treaties and its adoption of the draft articles and a detailed commentary on the subject;
    • Took note of the articles on the effects of armed conflicts on treaties, presented by the International Law Commission, the text of which was annexed to the resolution, and commended them to the attention of Governments without prejudice to the question of their future adoption or other appropriate action;
    • Decided to include in the provisional agenda of its sixty-ninth session (2014) an item entitled “Effects of armed conflicts on treaties”, with a view to examining, inter alia, the question of the form that might be given to the articles.
  • See the website of the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly and the topical summary of debate in the Sixth Committee (A/CN.4/650 and Add.1)
  • Resolution 69/125 of 10 December 2014
    • Commended once again the articles on the effects of armed conflicts on treaties to the attention of Governments without prejudice to the question of their future adoption or other appropriate action;
    • Requested the Secretary-General to invite Governments to submit written comments on any future action regarding the articles;
    • Decided to include in the provisional agenda of its seventy-second session the item entitled “Effects of armed conflicts on treaties”, with a view to examining, inter alia, the question of the form that might be given to the articles.
  • See the website of the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly