Fifty-second Session (2000)
The International Law Commission held its fifty-second session at Geneva, Switzerland, from 1 May to 9 June and 10 July to 18 August 2000 in accordance with General Assembly resolution 54/111 of 9 December 1999.
Topics considered in 2000 (chap. II of the Report)
State responsibility (Summary | Analytical Guide)
Concerning the topic "State Responsibility", the Commission considered the third report of the Special Rapporteur (A/CN.4/507, Add.1, Add.1/Corr.1, Add.2, Add.2/Corr.1, Add.2/Corr.2, Add.3, Add.3/Corr.1 and Add.4) containing his proposals for Part Two (legal consequences of an internationally wrongful act of a State), as well as for a new Part Two bis (the implementation of State responsibility) and Part Four (general provisions), of the draft articles. The Commission decided to refer the draft articles in chapters I (general principles), II (the forms of reparation) and III (serious breaches of obligations to the international community as a whole) of Part Two, chapters I (invocation of the responsibility of a State) and II (countermeasures) of Part Two bis, and Part Four to the Drafting Committee. The Commission took note of the report of the Drafting Committee. (see chap. IV)
Diplomatic protection (Summary | Analytical Guide)
With regard to the topic "Diplomatic protection", the Commission considered the first report of the Special Rapporteur (A/CN.4/506, Corr.1 and Add.1), dealing with issues of definition and scope of topic, the nature and conditions under which diplomatic protection may be exercised, in particular the requirement of nationality and the modalities for diplomatic protection, addressed in articles 1 to 8. To follow up on the discussions and the suggestions made in the Plenary, the Commission referred articles 1, 3 and 6 to open-ended informal consultations chaired by the Special Rapporteur. Taking into account the report of informal consultations, the Commission referred draft articles 1, 3 and 5 to 8 to the Drafting Committee. (see chap. V)
Unilateral acts of States (Summary | Analytical Guide)
As regards the topic "Unilateral acts of States", the Commission examined the third report of the Special Rapporteur (A/CN.4/505). The Special Rapporteur proposed a new draft article 1 on definition of unilateral acts, the deletion of the previous draft article 1 on the scope of the draft articles, a new draft article 2 on the capacity of States to formulate unilateral acts, a new draft article 3 on persons authorized to formulate unilateral acts on behalf of the State and a new draft article 4 on subsequent confirmation of an act formulated by a person not authorized for that purpose. He also proposed the deletion of previous draft article 6 on expression of consent and a new draft article 5 on the invalidity of unilateral acts. The Commission decided to refer new draft articles 1 to 4 to the Drafting Committee and new draft article 5 to the Working Group on Unilateral Acts of States. See also: Replies from Governments to the questionnaire - Report of the Secretary-General (A/CN.4/511). (see chap. VI)
Reservations to treaties (Summary | Analytical Guide)
With respect to the topic "Reservations to treaties", the Commission considered the fifth report of the Special Rapporteur (A/CN.4/508, Add.1, Add.2, Add.3 and Add.4) concerning the alternatives to reservations and interpretative declarations and the formulation, modification and withdrawal of reservations and interpretative declarations. The Commission adopted five draft guidelines (report of the Drafting Committee: A/CN.4/L.599) pertaining to reservations made under exclusionary clauses, unilateral statements made under an optional clause, unilateral statements providing for a choice between the provisions of a treaty and alternatives to reservations and interpretative declarations. (see chap. VII)
International liability for injurious consequences arising out of acts not prohibited by international law (prevention of transboundary damage from hazardous activities) (Summary | Analytical Guide)
With regard to the topic of "International liability for injurious consequences arising out of acts not prohibited by international law (prevention of transboundary damage from hazardous activities)", the Commission established a Working Group to examine the comments and observations made by States on the draft articles on the sub-topic of prevention which had been adopted on first reading by the Commission in 1998 (See: Report of the Secretary-General (A/CN.4/509). On the basis of the discussion in the Working Group, the Special Rapporteur presented his third report (A/CN.4/510) containing a draft preamble and a revised set of draft articles on prevention, along with the recommendation that they be adopted as a framework convention. Furthermore, the third report addressed questions such as the scope of the topic, its relationship with liability, the relationship between an equitable balance of interests among States concerned and the duty of prevention, as well as the duality of the regimes of liability and State responsibility. The Commission considered the report and decided to refer the draft preamble and draft articles contained therein to the Drafting Committee. (see chap. VIII)
- Mr. Brynmor Pollard made a statement on behalf of the Inter-American Juridical Committee, at the 2648th meeting of the Commission, held on 28 July 2000.
- At its 2654th meeting, held on 10 August 2000, the Commission heard a statement by the Secretary-General of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Committee, Mr. Wafik Zaher Kamil. An exchange of views followed.
- The representative of the Council of Europe's Ad Hoc Committee of Legal Advisors on Public International Law (CAHDI) addressed the Commission at its 2655th meeting, held on 11 August 2000.
- His Excellency, Judge Gilbert Guillaume, President of the International Court of Justice, addressed the Commission at its 2658th meeting, held on 15 August 2000. He gave a detailed exposé of the work of the International Court of Justice, which was followed by a question and answer session.
Other decisions and conclusions of the Commission
- At its 2664th meeting on 18 August, the Commission considered and endorsed the Planning Groups report. (see chap. IX)
- The Commission agreed with the conclusions of the Planning Group that the following topics were appropriate for inclusion in the long-term programme of work:
- The syllabuses on topics recommended for inclusion in the long-term programme of work of the Commission were annexed to the Commission's report.
Since the next session of the Commission was the last of its quinquennium, the Commission was of the view that the requirements of its work made it essential to hold a 12-week split session, at the United Nations Office at Geneva from 23 April to 1 June and from 2 July to 10 August 2001.