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Last update: August 19, 2016

Analytical Guide to the Work of the International Law Commission

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The Analytical Guide to the Work of the International Law Commission is designed to assist the researcher interested in the work of the Commission. Initially published in print as the Analytical Guide to the Work of the International Law Commission, 1949 to 1997, the Guide is organized by topics, subdivided into categories and stages of consideration within the Commission; thus tracking the development of each topic on its programme of work from inception to conclusion.

A brief description of the Commission's work is provided, together with hyperlinked references to source material including the Yearbook of the International Law Commission, the Report of the International Law Commission, and the reports of the various Special Rapporteurs. Links are further provided to the respective summary of the consideration of individual topics and subtopics, as well as to information on the texts, instruments and final reports adopted by the Commission in connection with each topic.

Select a topic from the following list, which is organized according to the outline adopted in the Report on the Long-Term Programme of Work in 1996 (reproduced in Annex II of the Report of the International Law Commission of that year, document A/51/10).

See also: Periods during which topics were on the Agenda of the International Law Commission

Sources of International Law

Topics completed

1.1 Law of treaties
1.2 Treaties concluded between States and international organizations or between two or more international organizations
1.3 Most-favoured-nation clause (Part One)
  Most-favoured-nation clause (Part Two)
1.4 Ways and means for making the evidence of customary international law more readily available
1.5 Extended participation in general multilateral treaties concluded under the auspices of the League of Nations
1.6 Reservations to multilateral conventions
1.7 Review of the multilateral treaty-making process
1.8 Reservations to treaties
1.9 Fragmentation of international law: difficulties arising from the diversification and expansion of international law
1.10 Effects of armed conflicts on treaties

Topics under consideration

1.11 Subsequent agreements and subsequent practice in relation to interpretation of treaties
1.12 Provisional application of treaties
1.13 Identification of customary international law
1.14 Jus cogens

Subjects of International Law

Topics discontinued

2.1 Fundamental rights and duties of States

Succession of States

Topics commenced and sub-divided

3.1 Succession of States and Governments1

Topics completed

3.2 Succession of States in respect to treaties
3.3 Succession of States in respect of matters other than treaties
3.4 Nationality in relation to the succession of States

State Jurisdiction/Immunity from Jurisdiction

Topics completed

4.1 Jurisdictional immunities of States and their property

Topics under consideration

4.2 Immunity of State officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction

Law of International Organizations

Topics completed

5.1 Representation of States in their relations with international organizations

See also: Responsibility of international organizations

Topics discontinued

5.2 Status, privileges and immunities of international organizations, their officials, experts, etc.

Position of the Individual in International Law

Topics completed

6.1 Nationality including statelessness
6.3 Protection of persons in the event of disasters

See also: Expulsion of aliens

Topics not pursued further

6.2 Right of asylum

International Criminal Law

Topics completed

7.1 Formulation of the Nürnberg Principles
7.2 Question of international criminal jurisdiction
7.3 Draft code of offences against the peace and security of mankind (Part I)
7.4 Draft code of crimes against the peace and security of mankind (Part II) — including the draft statute for an international criminal court
7.6 Obligation to extradite or prosecute (aut dedere aut judicare)

Topics commenced and incorporated elsewhere

7.5 Question of defining aggression2

Topics under consideration

7.7 Crimes against humanity

See also: Immunity of State officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction

Law of International Spaces

Topics completed

8.1 Law of the sea — régime of the high seas
8.2 Law of the sea — régime of the territorial sea
8.3 Law of the non-navigational uses of international watercourses
8.5 Shared natural resources (Law of Transboundary Aquifers)

Topics discontinued

8.4 Juridical régime of historic waters, including historic bays
8.6 Shared natural resources (oil and gas)

Topics under consideration

8.7 Protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts
8.8 Protection of the atmosphere

Law of International Relations

Topics commenced and sub-divided

9. International liability for injurious consequences arising out of acts not prohibited by international law3

Topics completed

9.1 Diplomatic intercourse and immunities
9.2 Consular intercourse and immunities
9.3 Special missions
9.4 Question of the protection and inviolability of diplomatic agents and other persons entitled to special protection under international law
9.5 Status of the diplomatic courier and the diplomatic bag not accompanied by the diplomatic courier
9.6 State responsibility
9.7 International liability for injurious consequences arising out of acts not prohibited by international law (prevention of transboundary damage from hazardous activities)
9.8 Diplomatic protection
9.9 Unilateral acts of States
9.10 International liability for injurious consequences arising out of acts not prohibited by international law (international liability in case of loss from transboundary harm arising out of hazardous activities)
9.11 Responsibility of international organizations
9.12 Expulsion of aliens

Settlement of Disputes

Topics completed

10.1 Arbitral procedure

See also: Peaceful settlement of disputes

Long-term Programme of Work

11.1 Future topics