International Law Commission International Law Commission

Last update: January 4, 2018

Analytical Guide to the Work of the International Law Commission

Peremptory norms of general international law (Jus cogens)*

* At its sixty-ninth session, in 2017, the Commission decided to change the title of the topic from “jus cogens” to “peremptory norms of general international law (jus cogens).

See also: Summary | Texts and Instruments

Mandate

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

None

Reports of the Working Group or Sub-Committee

None

Reports of the Special Rapporteur

  • Overview of debate in the Sixth Committee on the topic, discussion of the methodological approach, the historical evolution of the concept of jus cogens, the legal nature of jus cogens, the form of the Commission’s product, proposals for draft conclusions 1 to 3, and future work.
    • First report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Dire Tladi (68th session of the ILC (2016))
  • Consideration of criteria for jus cogens: a norm of general international law, and recognition an acceptance. Proposals for draft conclusions 4 (Criteria for jus cogens), 5 (Jus cogens norms as norms of general international law), 6 (Acceptance and recognition as a criterion for the identification of jus cogens), 7 (International community of States as a whole), 8 (Acceptance and recognition), and 9 (Evidence of acceptance and recognition).
    • Second report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Dire Tladi (69th session of the ILC (2017))

Reports of the Drafting Committee

 
 

Comments by Governments

 

Other

None

Reports of the International Law Commission

  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its sixty-eighth session, 2 May–10 June and 4 July–12 August 2016
    • The Commission had before it the first report of the Special Rapporteur (A/CN.4/693).
    • The Commission considered the first report at its 3314th to 3317th, and 3322nd and 3323rd meetings, from 4 to 8, and 18 and 19 July 2016.
    • At its 3323rd meeting, on 19 July 2016, the Commission referred draft conclusions 1 and 3, as contained in the Special Rapporteur’s first report, to the Drafting Committee.
    • At its 3342nd meeting, on 9 August 2016, the Chairperson of the Drafting Committee presented an interim report of the Drafting Committee on “Jus cogens”, containing the draft conclusions it provisionally adopted at the sixty-eighth session.
    • Discussion in Plenary: 3314th, 3315th, 3316th, 3317th (4 to 8 July), 3322nd, 3323rd (18 and 19 July) and 3342nd (9 August 2016) meetings.
  • ILC Report, A/71/10, 2016, chap. IX, paras. 97–138
  • See the website of the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly and the topical summary of debate in the Sixth Committee (A/CN.4/703)
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its sixty-ninth session, 1 May–2 June and 3 July–4 August 2017
    • The Commission had before it the second report of the Special Rapporteur (A/CN.4/706).
    • The Commission considered the second report at its 3368th to 3370th, and 3372nd to 3374th meetings, from 3 to 5, and 11 to 13 July 2017.
    • At its 3374th meeting, on 13 July 2017, the Commission referred draft conclusions 4 to 9, as contained in the Special Rapporteur’s second report, to the Drafting Committee. At the same meeting, the Commission decided to change the title of the topic from “Jus cogens” to “Peremptory norms of general international law (jus cogens)”.
    • At its 3382nd meeting, on 26 July 2017, the Chairperson of the Drafting Committee presented an interim report of the Drafting Committee on “Peremptory norms of general international law (jus cogens)”, containing the draft conclusions that it had provisionally adopted at the sixty-ninth session. The report was presented for information only, and was made available on the website of the Commission.
    • Discussion in Plenary: 3368th, 3369th, 3370th, 3372nd, 3373rd, 3374th (3 to 13 July 2017), and 3382nd (26 July 2017) meetings.
  • ILC Report, A/72/10, 2017, chap. VIII, paras. 142–210
  • See the website of the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly

General Assembly Action

  • Resolution 70/236 of 23 December 2015
    • Took note of the decision of the International Law Commission 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.4/689)

Final Outcome

Work in progress