International Law Commission International Law Commission

Last update: July 15, 2015

Analytical Guide to the Work of the International Law Commission

Ways and means for making the evidence of Customary International Law more readily available

See also: Summary | Texts and Instruments

Mandate

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

  • 1st session of the International Law Commission (1949)
    • Ways and means of making the evidence of customary international law more readily available
  • A/CN.4/6 and Corr.1 (United Nations publication, Sales No.: 1949.V.6)
  • ILC Report, A/925 (A/4/10), 1949, part I, chap. V, para. 35
  • 1st session of the International Law Commission (1949)
    • Working Paper based on Part III of the preparatory work done by the Secretariat upon ways and means of making the evidence of customary international law more readily available
  • 2nd session of the International Law Commission (1950)
    • Comments on Judge Hudson's Working Paper, presented by the Secretariat

Reports of the Working Group or Sub-Committee

None

Reports of the Special Rapporteur

  • Scope, evidence and availability of customary international law.
    • Working paper by the Special Rapporteur, Manley O. Hudson (2nd session of the ILC (1950))

Reports of the Drafting Committee

None

Comments by Governments

None

Other

None

Reports of the International Law Commission

  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its first session, 12 April to 19 June 1949
    • On the basis of the two documents before it, the Commission drew attention to the two methods of making the evidence of customary international law more readily available, viz. the collection and publication of documents concerning State practice, and the collection of decisions of national and international courts on questions of international law. The Commission also considered the possibility of assembling texts of national legislation relevant to international law. The Chairman accepted an invitation to present a paper on the subject at the Commission's second session in 1950.
    • Discussion in plenary: 31st to 32nd meetings (1 to 2 June 1949)
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its second session, 5 June to 29 July 1950
    • Completed consideration of the topic and submitted a report to the General Assembly containing specific ways and means suggested by the Commission.
    • Discussion in plenary: 40th meeting (6 June 1950)

General Assembly Action

None

Final Outcome

International Law Commission (2nd session, 1950)

  • Recommended that the General Assembly should authorize the Secretariat to prepare the following publications: a) a Juridical Yearbook, setting forth, inter alia, significant legislative developments in various countries, arbitral awards by ad hoc international tribunals, and significant decisions of national courts relating to problems of international law; b) a Legislative Series containing the texts of current national legislation on matters of international interest, and particularly legislation implementing multilateral international agreements; c) a collection of the constitutions of all States, with regular supplementary volumes; d) a list of the publications issued by Governments of all States containing the texts of treaties concluded by them, supplemented by a list of the principal collections of treaty texts published under private auspices; e) a consolidated index of the League of Nations Treaty Series; f) occasional index volumes of the United Nations Treaty Series; g) a repertoire of the practice of the United Nations with regard to questions of international law; h) additional series of the Reports of International Arbitral Awards, of which a first series had already been published in three volumes. The Commission also recommended that the Registry of the International Court of Justice should publish occasional digests of the Court Reports; that the General Assembly should call to the attention of Governments the desirability of their publishing digests of their diplomatic correspondence and other materials relating to international law; and that the General Assembly give consideration to the desirability of an international convention concerning the general exchange of official publications relating to international law and relations.

General Assembly

  • Resolution 487 (V) of 12 December 1950
    • Invited the Secretary-General to consider and report to the General Assembly upon the recommendations of the Commission in this regard in the light of the discussion and suggestions made in the Sixth Committee1
 

1 The Commission took note of General Assembly resolution 487 (V) of 12 December 1950 at its 124th meeting on 13 July 1951. The General Assembly has since authorized the Secretary-General to issue most of the publications suggested by the Commission.