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Last update: August 3, 2015

Analytical Guide to the Work of the International Law Commission

Draft code of crimes against the peace and security of mankind (Part II) — including the draft Statute for an international criminal court1

See also: Summary | Texts and Instruments

Mandate

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

  • 35th session of the International Law Commission (1983)
    • Compendium of relevant international instruments
    • Analytical paper pursuant to the request contained in paragraph 256 of the report of the Commission on the work of its 34th session.

Reports of the Working Group or Sub-Committee

  • 42nd session of the International Law Commission (1990)
    • Report of the Working Group Established by the Commission pursuant to the request from the General Assembly in paragraph 1 of its resolution 44/39
  • 44th session of the International Law Commission (1992)
    • Report of the Working Group on the question of an international criminal jurisdiction
  • 45th session of the International Law Commission (1993)
    • Report of the Working Group on a draft statute for an international criminal court2
    • Revised report of the Working Group on a draft statute for an international criminal court
  • A/CN.4/L.488 and Add.1 (Corr.1 and 2), 2, 3 and 4 (and Corr.1) (mimeograph)
  • A/CN.4/L.490 and Add.1 (ILC Report, A/48/10, 1993, annex)
  • ILC Report, A/48/10, 1993, chap. II(B)(3), paras. 98–100
  • 46th session of the International Law Commission (1994)
    • Report of the Working Group on a draft statute for an international criminal court
  • A/CN.4/L.491, Rev.1, Rev.2, Rev.2/Corr.1 and Rev.2/Add.1–3 (mimeograph)
  • ILC Report, A/49/10, 1994, chap. II(B)(I)(2), paras. 87 and 88, (see also paras. 77–91)
  • 47th session of the International Law Commission (1996)
    • Report of the Working Group for inclusion of wilful and severe damage to the environment as a war crime
  • ILC Report, A/51/10, 1996, chap. II(A), paras. 43 and 44

Reports of the Special Rapporteur

  • Preliminary discussions on: Scope of the draft; Methodology of the draft; Implementation of the Code.
    • First report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Doudou Thiam (35th session of the ILC (1983))
  • Dealt with the list of acts to be classified as offences against the peace and security of mankind. Recommended that the draft Code should include those offences covered by the draft prepared in 1954 by the Commission as well as certain violations of international law recognized by the international community since 1954, namely, colonialism, apartheid, the taking of hostages, mercenarism, the threat or use of violence against internationally protected persons, serious disturbance of the public order of the receiving country by a diplomat or an internationally protected person, the taking of hostages organized or encouraged by a State and acts causing serious damage to the environment.
    • Second Report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Doudou Thiam (36th session of the ILC (1984))
  • Possible outline for future code in two parts; specified category of individuals covered and defined an offence against peace and security of mankind. Examined offences in article 2; proposed four draft articles: "Scope of the present articles" (art.1), "Persons covered by the present articles" (art.2), "Definition of an offence against the peace and security of mankind" (art.3), and "Acts constituting an offence against peace and security of mankind" (art.4).
    • Third Report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Doudou Thiam (37th session of the ILC (1985))
  • Report divided into five parts: part I — Crimes against humanity, part II — War crimes, part III — Other offences (related offences), part IV — General principles, part V — Draft articles. Set of draft articles in part V contained revised texts of draft articles submitted at Commission's 37th session and a number of new draft articles.
    • Fourth Report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Doudou Thiam (38th session of the ILC (1986))
  • Revised texts of draft articles on introduction to draft code, including definition and characterization of offences against peace and security of mankind, and general principles. Eleven draft articles submitted with commentaries briefly describing questions raised.
    • Fifth Report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Doudou Thiam (39th session of the ILC (1987))
  • Crimes against the Peace in the 1954 draft code. New characterizations of acts as crimes against peace (colonial domination and mercenarism). Revised text of article 11 (acts constituting crimes against peace).
    • Sixth Report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Doudou Thiam (40th session of the ILC (1988))
  • Recasted draft article 13 (War crimes) and article 14 (Crimes against humanity) accompanied by comments summarizing debates.
    • Seventh Report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Doudou Thiam (41st session of the ILC (1989))
  • Report consisted of three parts: part I contained draft acts on complicity (art.15), conspiracy (art.16) and attempt (art.17); part II contained a draft provision on international drug trafficking; and part III dealt with the statute of an international criminal court.
    • Eighth Report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Doudou Thiam (42nd session of the ILC (1990))
  • Draft article Z on penalties applicable to all crimes against peace and security of mankind; draft provision on court's jurisdiction and on requirements for instituting criminal proceedings.
    • Ninth Report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Doudou Thiam (43rd session of the ILC (1991))
  • The question of the possible establishment of an international criminal jurisdiction. Part One: Consideration of certain objections to the possible establishment of an international criminal jurisdiction; Part Two: Possible draft provisions: the law to be applied, jurisdiction of the Court ratione materiae, complaints before the court, proceedings relating to compensation, handing over the subject of criminal proceedings to the court, the court and the double-hearing principle.
    • Tenth Report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Doudou Thiam (44th session of the ILC (1992))
  • The question of the draft statute of an international criminal court. Part One, on the creation of the court, deals with: establishment of the court; the court, judicial organ of the United Nations; seat of the court; applicable law; jurisdiction of the court; jurisdictional disputes; and judicial guarantees. Part Two, on organization and functioning, deals with: permanence of the jurisdiction of the court; residence of the President and the Registrar; rules of procedure; qualifications required; appointment of judges; election of the President and Vice-President(s); appointment of the Registrar; composition of a chamber of the court; compatibility with other functions; deprivation of office; diplomatic immunity; vacancy of a seat; solemn declaration; allowances, emoluments and salaries; and budget of the court. Part Three, on procedure, deals with: admission of a case to the court; intervention; prosecution; investigation; unacceptability of proceedings by default; handing over an accused person to the court; discontinuance of proceedings; detention under remand; hearings; minutes of hearings; judgement; penalties; remedies; execution of penalties; and right of pardon and conditional release.
    • Eleventh Report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Doudou Thiam (45th session of the ILC (1993))
  • Covered arts. 1 to 15. Focused only on the general part of the draft dealing with the definition of crimes against the peace and security of mankind, characterization and general principles. Reproduced, article by article, the general part of the draft adopted on first reading, each article being followed by comments from Governments and then by the Special Rapporteur's opinion and conclusions and recommendations on each article: definition (art.1), characterization (art.2), responsibility and punishment (art.3), motives (art.4), responsibility of States (art.5), obligation to try or extradite (art.6), non-applicability of statutory limitations (art.7), judicial guarantees (art.8), non bis in idem (art.9), non-retroactivity (art.10), order of a Government or a superior (art.11), responsibility of the superior (art.12), official position and responsibility (art.13), defences and extenuating circumstances (art.14), and extenuating circumstances (new art. 15)
    • Twelfth Report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Doudou Thiam (46th session of the ILC (1994))
  • Prepared for the second reading of the draft Code and focused on the crimes against the peace and security of mankind contained in Part II. Limiting the list of crimes to offences whose characterization as crimes against the peace and security of mankind was hard to challenge. Reproduced the draft articles adopted on first reading containing the definitions of six crimes against the peace and security of mankind comprising Part II, namely, aggression (art.15), genocide (art.19), systematic or mass violations of human rights (art.21), exceptionally serious war crimes (art.22), international terrorism (art.24) and illicit traffic in narcotic drugs (art.25). Each article was followed by comments from Governments and then by the Special Rapporteur's views and recommendations.
    • Thirteenth Report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Doudou Thiam (47th session of the ILC (1995))

Reports of the Drafting Committee

  • 39th session of the International Law Commission (1987)
    • Titles and texts adopted by the Drafting Committee: titles of chapter I and parts I and of II and of the draft; articles 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6
  • 40th session of the International Law Commission (1988)
    • Titles and texts adopted by the Drafting Committee: articles 4, 7, 8, 10, 11 and 12
  • 41st session of the International Law Commission (1989)
    • Titles and texts adopted by the Drafting Committee: articles 13, 14 and 15
  • 42nd session of the International Law Commission (1990)
    • Titles and texts adopted by the Drafting Committee: articles 16, 18 and X
  • 43rd session of the International Law Commission (1991)
    • Titles and texts of articles adopted by the Drafting Committee: Parts One and Two; articles 1–26
  • 47th session of the International Law Commission (1995)
    • Titles and texts adopted by the Drafting Committee on second reading: Parts One (arts.1, 2, 4, 5, 5 bis, 6, 6 bis, and 8–13) and Two (arts.15 and 19)
  • 48th session of the International Law Commission (1996)
    • Titles and texts adopted by the Drafting Committee on second reading at its 47th and 48th sessions: arts.1 to 18 (as adopted on second reading)
  • Titles and texts of articles on the Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind adopted by the International Law Commission at its forty-eighth session (1996)

Comments by Governments

  • 34th session of the International Law Commission (1982)
    • Comments and observations received from Governments pursuant to General Assembly resolution 36/106 of 10 December 1981
  • 35th session of the International Law Commission (1983)
    • Comments and observations of Governments received pursuant to General Assembly resolution 37/102
  • 37th session of the International Law Commission (1985)
    • Observations of Member States and intergovernmental organizations received pursuant to General Assembly resolution 39/80
  • 39th session of the International Law Commission (1987)
    • Observations of Member States received pursuant to General Assembly resolution 41/75
  • 42nd session of the International Law Commission (1990)
    • Observations of Member States received pursuant to General Assembly resolution 43/164 and 44/32
  • 45th session of the International Law Commission (1993)
    • Comments and observations received from Governments on the draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind, adopted on first reading by the Commission
    • Comments and observations received from Governments on the report of the Working Group on the question of an international criminal jurisdiction
  • 46th session of the International Law Commission (1994)
    • Comments of Governments on the report of the Working Group on a draft statute for an international criminal court

Other

  • 47th session of the International Law Commission (1995)
    • Proposal by Mr. E. Vargas Carreño (Article 21)
  • 48th session of the International Law Commission (1996)
    • Proposal by Mr. Christian Tomuschat on crimes against the environment

Reports of the International Law Commission

  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its thirty-fourth session, 3 May to 23 July 1982
    • The Commission resumed consideration of the topic and decided to accord it the necessary priority within its five year programme. It appointed Mr. Doudou Thiam as Special Rapporteur and established a Working Group to be chaired by the Rapporteur.
    • Discussion in Plenary: 1745th meeting (14 July 1982)
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its thirty-sixth session, 7 May to 27 July 1984
    • The Commission, after considering the Special Rapporteur's second report, noted that the first stage of its work was largely confined to collecting raw material. It also formulated relevant conclusions with regard to the content ratione personae of the draft code, the first stage of its work on the draft code, and the content ratione materiae of the draft code. It expressed, inter alia, its intention to limit the scope ratione personae of the draft code to individuals, without prejudice to subsequent consideration of the possible application to States of the notion of international criminal responsibility, and to begin by drawing up a provisional list of offences while bearing in mind the drafting of an introduction summarizing the general principles of international criminal law relating to offences against the peace and security of mankind. The offences which were mentioned for possible inclusion in the Code include, in addition to the offences covered in the 1954 draft, colonialism, apartheid, serious damage to the environment, economic aggression, the use of atomic weapons and mercenarism.
    • Discussion in Plenary: 1816th, 1817th, 1818th, 1819th, 1820th, 1821st, 1822nd, 1823rd and 1824th meetings (9 to 21 May 1984)
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its thirty-seventh session, 6 May to 26 July 1985
    • Referred to the Drafting Committee draft article 1, the first alternative of draft article 2, both alternatives of draft article 3, and alternatives of Section A of draft article 4. Owing to lack of time, the Drafting Committee was not able to take up the draft articles.
    • Discussion in Plenary: 1879th, 1880th, 1881st, 1882nd, 1883rd, 1884th, 1885th, 1886th, 1887th, 1888th and 1889th meetings (9 to 28 May 1985)
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its thirty-ninth session, 4 May to 17 July 1987
    • Considered the fifth report of the Special Rapporteur. Referred to Drafting Committee draft articles 1 to 11. Recommended change of title topic, in English. Provisionally adopted articles 1 to 3, 5 and 6 with commentaries.
    • Discussion in Plenary: 1992nd, 1993rd, 1994th, 1995th, 1996th, 1997th, 1998th, 1999th, 2000th and 2001st meetings (6 to 21 May 1987), and 2031st, 2032nd and 2033rd meetings (10 to 13 July 1987)
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its fortieth session, 9 May to 29 July 1988
    • Provisionally adopted article 4 (Obligation to try or extradite), article 7 (Non bis in idem), article 8 (Non-retroactivity), article 10 (Responsibility of the superior), article 11 (Official position and criminal responsibility) and article 12 (Aggression), with commentaries.
    • Discussion in Plenary: 2053rd, 2054th, 2055th, 2056th, 2057th, 2058th, 2059th, 2060th and 2061st meetings (31 May to 14 June 1988), 2082nd, 2083rd, 2084th and 2085th meetings (20 to 22 July 1988)
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its forty-first session, 2 May to 21 July 1989
    • Provisionally adopted articles 13 (threat of aggression), 14 (intervention) and 15 (colonial domination and other forms of alien domination), with commentaries. Agreed that each crime should be dealt within a separate provision.
    • Discussion in Plenary: 2096th, 2097th, 2098th, 2099th, 2100th, 2101st and 2102nd meetings (3 to 16 May 1989), 2106th and 2107th meetings (23 and 24 May 1989) and 2134th, 2135th and 2136th meetings (11 to 13 July 1989)
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its forty-second session, 1 May to 20 July 1990
    • Referred revised texts of draft articles 15, 16, 17, X and Y to the Drafting Committee. Established a Working Group to deal with the statute on international criminal court. Provisionally adopted articles 16 (International terrorism), 18 (Recruitment, use, financing and training of mercenaries) and X (Illicit traffic in narcotic drugs), with commentaries.
    • Discussion in Plenary: 2150th, 2151st, 2152nd, 2153rd, 2154th, 2155th, 2156th, 2157th, 2158th and 2159th meetings (2 to 17 May 1990), 2189th meeting (9 July 1990), 2192nd, 2193rd and 2194th meetings (12 to 13 July 1990), 2196th and 2197th meetings (16 and 17 July 1990), and 2198th meeting (17 July 1990)
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its forty-fourth session, 4 May to 24 July 1992
    • The Commission considered the tenth report of the Special Rapporteur, established a Working Group to consider the question of an international criminal jurisdiction, considered its report containing a summary with specific recommendations, an in extenso report examining and analysing a number of issues related to the possible establishment of an international criminal jurisdiction, as well as an appendix. It decided to include the report of the Working Group as an annex to its report on the session and accepted as a basis for its future work propositions enumerated in para.396 of Part A of the report of the Working Group and the broad approach which is set out in the report.
    • Discussion in Plenary: 2254th, 2255th, 2256th, 2257th, 2258th, 2259th, 2260th, 2261st, 2262nd, 2263rd and 2264th meetings (held between 5 May and 22 May 1992), 2284th, 2285th, 2286th and 2287th meetings (held between 14 July and 17 July 1992)
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its forty-fifth session, 3 May to 23 July 1993
    • The Commission considered the eleventh report of the Special Rapporteur and the report of the Working Group established by the Commission on a draft statute for an international criminal court and felt that, in principle, the proposed draft articles provided a basis for examination by the General Assembly at its forty-eighth session. It furthermore decided that the draft articles should be transmitted, through the Secretary-General, to Governments with a request that their comments be submitted to the Secretary-General by 15 February 1994, to provide guidance for the work of the Commission with a view to completing the elaboration of the draft statute at the forty-sixth session of the Commission in 1994.
    • Discussion in Plenary: 2298th, 2299th, 2300th, and 2301st meetings (17 to 28 May 1993), 2303rd meeting, and 2325th and 2326th meetings (21 and 22 July 1993)
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its forty-sixth session, 2 May to 22 July 1994
    • The Commission re-established the Working Group on a draft statute for an international criminal court and entrusted it with the task of reviewing the text drafted the previous year. The Commission received three reports from the Working Group at the current session, the last of which contained the text of a draft statute accompanied by commentaries; the final version of the report was examined at the 2374th to 2376th meetings, (held on 21 and 22 July 1994). The Commission adopted the draft statute and the commentaries thereto. It decided to recommend to the General Assembly that it convene an international conference of plenipotentiaries to study the draft statute and to conclude a convention on the establishment of an international criminal court.
    • The Commission started the second reading of the draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind adopted on first reading at its forty-third session. It had before it the twelfth report of the Special Rapporteur (A/CN.4/460), which covered draft articles 1 to 15. After considering these articles in plenary, the Commission referred them to the Drafting Committee, it being understood that the work on the draft Code and on the draft statute for an international criminal court should be coordinated by the Special Rapporteur and by the Chairmen and members of the Drafting Committee and of the Working Group on a draft statute.
    • Discussion in Plenary: 2329th, 2330th, 2331st, 2332nd, 2333rd and 2334th meetings (3 to 9 May 1994), 2344th, 2345th, 2346th and 2347th (27 May and 2 June 1994), 2349th and 2350th meetings (3 to 7 June 1994), 2356th, 2357th, 2358th, 2359th, 2360th and 2361st meetings (24 June to 5 July 1994), and 2374th, 2375th and 2376th meetings (21 and 22 July 1994)
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its forty-seventh session, 2 May to 21 July 1995
    • The Commission, after considering the Special Rapporteur's thirteenth report, decided to refer to the Drafting Committee arts. 15, 19, 21 and 22, on the understanding that, in formulating those articles, the Committee would bear in mind and at its discretion deal with all or part of the elements of the following draft arts. as adopted on first reading: 17, 18, 20, 23 and 24. Consultations would continue as regards arts. 25 and 26. As regards the latter article, the Commission decided to establish a working group that would meet at the beginning of the forty-eighth session to examine the possibility of covering in the draft Code the issue of wilful and severe damage to the environment. The Commission received from the Drafting Committee the texts of arts. adopted on second reading by the Committee: Parts One (arts.1, 5, 5 bis, 6, 6 bis, and 8–13) and Two (arts.15 and 19). It noted that the recommendations of the Committee were of interim character as some of the articles might call for review and should in any event be accompanied with commentaries. It deferred the final adoption of the above arts. until after the completion of the remaining arts. and took note of the report of the Chairman of the Committee.
    • Discussion in Plenary: 2379th, 2380th, 2381st, 2382nd, 2383rd, 2384th, 2385th, 2386th and 2387th meetings (3 May to 19 May 1995), 2404th meeting (22 June 1995), and 2408th, 2409th and 2410th meetings (30 June to 4 July 1995)
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its forty-eighth session, 6 May to 26 July 1996
    • The Commission decided by a vote to refer to the Drafting Committee only the text prepared by the Working Group for inclusion of wilful and severe damage to the environment as a war crime. The Commission, after considering the report of the Drafting Committee, adopted the final text of a set of 20 draft articles constituting the code of crimes against the peace and security of mankind, together with commentaries, (A/CN.4/L.532 and Corr.1,2 (Spanish) and 3; see also A/51/10, para.50) and with the understanding that, in order to reach consensus, the Commission had considerably reduced the scope of the Code. It is understood that the inclusion of certain crimes in the Code does not affect the status of other crimes under international law, and that the adoption of the Code does not in any way preclude the further development of this important area of law. The Commission after having considered various forms which the draft Code could take (these include an international convention, incorporation of the Code in the statute of an international criminal court; or adoption of the Code as a declaration by the General Assembly), recommended that the Assembly select the most appropriate form which would ensure the widest possible acceptance of the draft Code.
    • Discussion in Plenary: 2430th and 2431st meetings (17 and 21 May 1996), 2437th, 2438th, 2439th, 2440th, 2441st, 2442nd, 2443rd, 2444th, 2445th, 2446th, 2447th, 2448th and 2449th meetings (6 June to 3 July), 2453rd and 2454th meetings (4 and 5 July 1996), and 2461st meeting (16 July 1996)4

General Assembly Action

  • Resolution 37/102 of 16 December 1982
    • Invited the Commission to continue its work with a view to elaborating the draft Code of Offences against the Peace and Security of Mankind. It also requested the Commission, in conformity with resolution 36/106, to submit a preliminary report to the General Assembly at its thirty-eighth session bearing, inter alia, on the scope and structure of the draft Code, and reiterated the invitation to Member States and relevant international intergovernmental organizations to present or update their comments and observations on the draft Code.
 
  • Resolution 38/138 of 19 December 1983
    • Recommended that the Commission should continue its work on all the topics in its current programme.
 
  • Resolution 38/132 of 19 December 1983
    • The assembly invited the Commission to continue its work on the elaboration of the draft Code of Offences against the Peace and Security of Mankind by elaborating, as a first step, an introduction in conformity with paragraph 67 of its report on the work of its thirty-fifth session, as well as a list of the offences in conformity with paragraph 69 of that report.
 
  • Resolution 39/80 of 13 December 1984
    • Requested the Commission to continue its work on the elaboration of the draft Code by elaborating an introduction as well as a list of the offences. Requested the Secretary-General to seek the views of Member States and intergovernmental organizations regarding the conclusions contained in paragraph 65 of the report of the Commission and to include them in a report to be submitted to the General Assembly at its fortieth session with a view to adopting, at the appropriate time, the necessary decision thereon.
 
  • Resolution 40/69 of 11 December 1985
    • Requested the Secretary-General to seek the views of Member States and the intergovernmental organizations regarding the outline of the future code proposed by the Special Rapporteur.
 
  • Resolution 41/75 of 3 December 1986
    • Requested the Secretary-General to seek the views of Member States regarding the conclusions contained in paragraph 185 of the report of the ILC on the work of its 38th session.
 
  • Resolution 42/151 of 7 December 1987
    • Agreed to change topic title to read "Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind". Requested the Secretary-General to seek the views of Member States regarding conclusions contained in paragraph 69(1)(I) of the Commission's report on the work of its 35th session. Further requested the Secretary-General to include views received from Member States in accordance with above in a report to be submitted to General Assembly at its 43rd session.
 
  • Resolution 43/164 of 9 December 1988
    • Requested Secretary-General to continue to seek the views of Member States regarding conclusions contained in paragraph 69(c)(I) of the Commission's report on the work of its 35th session. Also requested Secretary-General to include the views received from Member States in accordance with above in a report to be submitted to the General Assembly at its 44th session.
 
  • Resolution 44/32 of 4 December 1989
    • Requested Secretary-General to continue to seek the views of Member States regarding conclusions contained in paragraph 69(c)(I) of the Commission's report on the work of its 35th session. Also requested Secretary-General to include the views received from Member States in accordance with above in a report to be submitted to the General Assembly at its 45th session.
 
  • Resolution 44/39 of 4 December 1989
    • Requested the Commission, when considering at its forty-second session the draft code of crimes against the peace and security of mankind, to address the question of establishing an international criminal court or other international criminal trial mechanism with jurisdiction over persons alleged to have committed crimes which may be covered under such a code, including persons engaged in illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs across national frontiers, and to devote particular attention to that question in its report on that session.
 
  • Resolution 45/41 of 28 November 1990
    • Invited the Commission, within the framework of the draft code, to consider further and analyse the issues raised in the report concerning the question of an international criminal jurisdiction.
 
  • Resolution 46/54 of 9 December 1991
    • Expressed its appreciation to the International Law Commission for the work accomplished at the session, in particular for the completion, inter alia, of the provisional draft articles on the draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind. Invited the Commission, within the framework of the draft code, to consider further and analyse the issues raised in the report concerning the question of an international criminal jurisdiction.
 
  • Resolution 47/33 of 25 November 1992
    • Invited States to submit to the Secretary-General, if possible before the forty-fifth session of the ILC, comments on the report of the Working Group on the question of an international criminal jurisdiction; requested the Commission to continue its work on this question by undertaking the project for the elaboration of a draft statute for an international criminal court as a matter of priority, on the basis of the report of the Working Group, taking into account the views expressed during the debate in the Sixth Committee as well as any written comments received from States, and to submit a progress report to the Assembly at its forty-eighth session; Urged Governments to present in writing their comments and observations by 1 January 1993.
 
  • Resolution 48/31 of 9 December 1993
    • Invited States to submit to the Secretary-General by 15 February 1994, written comments on the draft articles proposed by the Working Group on a draft statute for an international criminal court; Requested the Commission to continue its work as a matter of priority on this question with a view to elaborate a draft statute, if possible at its forty-sixth session in 1994, taking into account the views expressed during the debate in the Sixth Committee as well as any written comments received from States; requested the Commission to resume at its forty-sixth session the consideration of the draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind.
  • See topical summary of debate in the Sixth Committee (A/CN.4/457)
  • Resolution 49/51 of 9 December 1994
    • Expressed its appreciation to the Commission for the completion of a draft statute for an international criminal court; urging the Commission to resume, at its forty-seventh session, the consideration of the draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind in such a manner that the second reading of the draft Code might be completed before the end of the current term of office of the members of the Commission.
  • Resolution 50/45 of 11 December 1995
    • Urging the Commission to resume at its forty-eighth session the work on the draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind in such a manner that the second reading of it may be completed at that session.
  • See topical summary of debate in the Sixth Committee (A/CN.4/472 and Add.1)

Final Outcome

(a) Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind

International Law Commission (48th session, 1996)

  • The Commission adopted the final text of a set of 20 draft articles constituting the code of crimes against the peace and security of mankind, with commentaries, with the understanding that, with a view to reaching consensus, the Commission had considerably reduced the scope of the Code. The Commission after having considered various forms which the draft Code could take (these include an international convention, incorporation of the Code in the statute of an international criminal court; or adoption of the Code as a declaration by the General Assembly), recommended that the Assembly select the most appropriate form which would ensure the widest possible acceptance of the draft Code.

 

  • ILC Report, A/51/10, 1996, chap. II(2), paras. 46–48

General Assembly

  • Resolution 51/160 of 16 December 1996
    • Expressed its appreciation to the Commission for the completion of the final draft articles on the draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind; drew the attention of the States participating in the Preparatory Committee on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court to the relevance of the draft Code to their work; and requested the Secretary-General to invite Governments to submit, before the end of the fifty-third session of the Assembly, their written comments and observations on action which might be taken in relation to the draft Code.

 

(b) Establishment of an International Criminal Court

International Law Commission (46th session, 1994)

  • The Commission adopted the draft statute for an international criminal court and the commentaries thereto. It decided to recommend to the General Assembly that it convene an international conference of plenipotentiaries to study the draft statute and to conclude a convention on the establishment of an international criminal court.

General Assembly

  • Resolution 49/53 of 9 December 1994
    • Decided to establish an ad hoc committee to review the major substantive and administrative issues arising out of the draft statute prepared by the Commission and to consider arrangements for the convening of an international conference of plenipotentiaries. Invited States to submit to the Secretary-General, before 15 March 1995, written comments on the draft statute for an international criminal court, and requested the Secretary-General to invite such comments from relevant international organs.3
  • Resolution 50/46 of 11 December 1995
    • Decided to establish a preparatory committee to discuss further the major issues arising out of the draft statute prepared by the Commission, with a view to preparing a widely acceptable consolidated text of a convention for an international criminal court.4
  • Resolution 51/207 of 17 December 1996
    • Decided to hold a diplomatic conference of plenipotentiaries in 1998 with a view to finalizing and adopting a convention on the establishment of an international criminal court. The Assembly also decided that the Preparatory Committee would meet in 1997 and 1998 in order to complete the drafting of the text for submission to the Conference.
  • Resolution 52/160 of 15 December 1997
    • Decided to hold the United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, open to all States Members of the United Nations or members of specialized agencies or of the International Atomic Energy Agency, at Rome from 15 June to 17 July 1998. The Assembly further requested the Preparatory Committee to continue its work in accordance with General Assembly resolution 51/207 and, at the end of its sessions, to transmit to the Conference the text of a draft convention on the establishment of an international criminal court prepared in accordance with its mandate.5
 

1 The topic had previously been considered by the International Law Commission during the period 1950–1954. See Part I.

2 New name for the Working Group on the question of an international criminal jurisdiction — decided by the Commission at its 2300th meeting on 25 May 1993.

3 The Ad Hoc Committee on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court met from 3 to 3 to 13 April and from 14 to 25 August 1995.

4 The Preparatory Committee for the Establishment of the International Criminal Court, met on 25 March to 12 April 1995 and from 12 to 30 August 1996. The Committee's mandate was further extended by resolution 51/207 of 17 December 1996, and four further meetings were held on: 11 to 21 February 1997, 4 to 15 August 1997, 1 to 12 December 1997, and 16 March to 3 April 1998 during which time the Committee completed the preparation of the draft Statute of an International Criminal Court, which was transmitted to the Conference.

5 The United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court was held at Rome, from 15 June to 17 July 1998, resulting in adoption of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court on 17 July 1998.