International Law Commission International Law Commission

Last update: July 15, 2015

Analytical Guide to the Work of the International Law Commission

Fundamental rights and duties of States

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)
    • Preparatory Study concerning a draft Declaration on the Rights and Duties of States
  • A/CN.4/2 and Add.1 (United Nations publications, Sales No.: 1949.V.4)
  • ILC Report, A/925 (A/4/10), 1949, part II, para. 45

Reports of the Working Group or Sub-Committee

  • 1st session of the International Law Commission (1949)
    • Draft Declaration on the Rights and Duties of States — As proposed by the Sub-Committee on the draft Declaration

Reports of the Special Rapporteur

None

Reports of the Drafting Committee

None

Comments by Governments

None

Other

  • 1st session of the International Law Commission (1949)
    • Table of equivalents as between the Articles of the Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Nations Adopted by the American Institute of International Law and the Draft Declaration on the Rights and Duties of States proposed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Panama
  • Draft Declaration on the Rights and Duties of States — Summary of action taken by the Commission with regard to the Draft (A/CN.4/2)
  • A/CN.4/W.2 and Rev.1–4 (mimeograph)
  • Draft Declaration on the Rights and Duties of States — Summary of action taken by the Commission after second reading of the Draft
  • A/CN.4/W.7 (mimeograph)
  • Draft Declaration on the Rights and Duties of States — Summary of action taken by the Commission after third reading of the Draft

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 draft declaration presented by Panama and several related documents the Commission prepared the draft Declaration on Rights and Duties of States in the form of fourteen articles with commentaries. The Commission observed that "the rights and duties set forth in the draft Declaration are formulated in general terms, without restriction or exception, as befits a declaration of basic rights and duties. The articles of the draft Declaration enunciate general principles of international law, the extent and the modalities of the application of which are to be determined by more precise rules."
    • Discussion in plenary: 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th meetings (21 April to 5 May 1949), 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th and 25th meetings (12 to 23 May 1949), and 29th and 30th meetings (27 to 31 May 1949)

General Assembly Action

  • Resolution 375 (IV) of 6 December 1949
    • Commended the draft declaration to the continuing attention of Member States and of jurists of all nations. Resolved to transmit the draft Declaration to Member States for consideration, and requested them to provide comments on whether any further action should be taken, and, if so, the exact nature of the document to be aimed at and the future procedure to be adopted in relation to it.
 

Final Outcome

International Law Commission (1st session, 1949)

  • Decided to submit the draft Declaration to the General Assembly stating that it was for the Assembly to decide what further course of action should be taken in relation to the draft Declaration and, in particular, whether it should be transmitted to Member Governments for comments.

General Assembly (6th session, 1951)

  • Resolution 596 (VI) of 7 December 1951
    • As the number of States which had given their comments and suggestions was considered too small to form the basis of any definite decision regarding the draft Declaration on Rights and Duties of States, the General Assembly decided to postpone consideration of the matter "until a sufficient number of States have transmitted their comments and suggestions, and in any case to undertake consideration as soon as a majority of the Member States have transmitted such replies".