International Law Commission International Law Commission

Last update: November 4, 2016

Fifty-third Session (2001)

The International Law Commission held its fifty-third session at Geneva, Switzerland, from 23 April to 1 June and 2 July to 10 August 2001 in accordance with General Assembly resolution 55/152 of 12 December 2000.

Topics considered in 2001 (chap. II of the Report)

State responsibility (Summary | Analytical Guide)

Concerning the topic "State Responsibility", the Commission considered the fourth report of the Special Rapporteur (A/CN.4/517 and Add.1) as well as the comments and observations received from Governments (A/CN.4/515, Corr.1, Add.1, Add.2 and Add.3). (see chap. IV)

The Commission considered the report of the Drafting Committee on the topic of State responsibility and adopted, on second reading, the draft articles on Responsibility of States for internationally wrongful acts, at its 2683rd meeting held on 31 May 2001, and at its 2701st meeting held on 3 August 2001

  • Report of the Drafting Committee:
    • A/CN.4/L.602/Rev.1 and Corr.1
    • Statement of the Chairman of the Drafting Committee:
      • First statement made at the 2681st to 2683rd meetings, held from 29 to 31 May 2001.
      • Second statement made by Mr. Giorgio Gaja on behalf of the Chairman of the Drafting Committee, at the 2701st meeting, held on 3 August 2001.
  • Commentaries to the draft articles on Responsibility of States for internationally wrongful acts, adopted at the Commission's 2702nd to 2709th meetings, held from 6 to 9 August 2001.

The Commission decided, in accordance with article 23 of its Statute, to recommend to the General Assembly that it take note of the draft articles on responsibility of States for internationally wrongful acts in a resolution, and that it annex the draft articles to the resolution. The Commission decided further to recommend that the General Assembly consider, at a later stage, and in light of the importance of the topic, the possibility of convening an international conference of plenipotentiaries to examine the draft articles on responsibility of States for internationally wrongful acts with a view to adopting a convention on the topic.

International liability for injurious consequences arising out of acts not prohibited by international law (prevention of transboundary damage from hazardous activities) (Summary | Analytical Guide)

The Commission had before it the comments and observations of Governments (A/CN.4/516). The Commission considered the report of the Drafting Committee on the topic International Liability for injurious consequences arising out of acts not prohibited by International Law (Prevention of transboundary harm from hazardous activities) and adopted, on second reading, the draft articles on Prevention of transboundary harm from hazardous activities, at its 2675th meeting held on 11 May 2001. (see chap. V)

  • Report of the Drafting Committee:
  • Commentaries
    • The Commission adopted the commentaries to the draft articles on Prevention of transboundary harm from hazardous activities at its 2698th to 2701st meetings, held from 30 July to 3 August 2001.

It decided, in accordance with article 23 of its Statute, to recommend to the General Assembly the elaboration of a convention by the Assembly on the basis of the draft articles on Prevention of transboundary harm from hazardous activities.

Reservations to treaties (Summary | Analytical Guide)

With respect to the topic "Reservations to treaties", the Commission considered the portions of the fifth report of the Special Rapporteur (A/CN.4/508/Add.3, Add.3/Corr.1, and Add.4) which were not considered last year, and his sixth report (A/CN.4/518, Add.1, Add.2 and Add.3). (see chap. VI)

The Commission adopted 12 draft guidelines dealing with the formulation of reservations and interpretative declarations

The Commission also referred 13 draft guidelines dealing with form and notification of reservations and interpretative declarations to the Drafting Committee.

Diplomatic protection (Summary | Analytical Guide)

With regard to the topic "Diplomatic protection", the Commission considered the portions of the first report of the Special Rapporteur (A/CN.4/506/Add.1), dealing with the question of continuous nationality and transferability of claims which were not considered last year, and his second report dealing with the issue of the exhaustion of local remedies (A/CN.4/514, Corr.1 and Corr.2). The Commission referred draft articles 9, 10 and 11 dealing with the questions of continuous nationality and transferability of claims and the exhaustion of local remedies to the Drafting Committee. The Commission also established open-ended Informal Consultations to consider the question of continuous nationality and transferability of claims. (see chap. VII)

Unilateral acts of States (Summary | Analytical Guide)

As regards the topic "Unilateral acts of States", the Commission examined the fourth report of the Special Rapporteur (A/CN.4/519). The Special Rapporteur proposed draft articles (a) and (b) on the rules relating to the interpretation of unilateral acts. The Commission considered the oral report of the Chairman of the Working Group on the topic, Mr. Víctor Rodríguez Cedeño, and supported the proposal to submit a request to States for additional information on State practice relating to unilateral acts. (see chap. VIII)

Cooperation with other bodies

  • His Excellency, Judge Gilbert Guillaume, President of the International Court of Justice, addressed the Commission at its 2698th meeting, held on 30 July 2001. He gave a detailed exposé of the work of the International Court of Justice, which was followed by a question and answer session.
  • Dr. Gerardo Trejos Salas, representative of the Inter-American Juridical Committee, made a statement to the Commission at its 2673rd meeting, held on 4 May 2001.
  • The Representative of the Council of Europe's Committee of Legal Advisors on Public International Law (CAHDI), Mr. R. Benitez, addressed the Commission, at its 2700th meeting, held on 2 August 2001. His statement was followed by an exchange of views.
  • At its 2703rd meeting, held on 6 August 2001, 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.

Other business

Other decisions and conclusions of the Commission

(see chap. IX)

Drafting Committee

At its 2666th, 2669th and 2679th meetings on 24 April, 27 April and 23 May 2001, respectively, the Commission established a Drafting Committee, under the Chairmanship of Mr. Peter Tomka, for the following topics:

  • International liability for injurious consequences arising out of acts not prohibited by international law (Prevention of transbounday damage for hazardous activities)
  • State responsibility
  • Reservations to treaties
Working Groups
    • The Commission also established the following Working Groups:
      • Working Group on Commentaries on State responsibility (Chaired by Mr. T.V. Melescanu)
      • Open-ended informal consultations on diplomatic protection (Chaired by the Special Rapporteur, Mr. C.J.R. Dugard)
      • Open-ended Working Group on Unilateral Acts of States (Chaired by the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Mr. V. Rodriguez-Cedeño)
Other

Date and place of the fifty-fourth session

The Commission decided to hold a 10-week split session, which will take place at the United Nations Office at Geneva from 29 April to 7 June and from 22 July to 16 August 2002.