International Law Commission International Law Commission

Last update: November 4, 2016

Fifty-fourth Session (2002)

The International Law Commission held its fifty-fourth session at Geneva, Switzerland, from 29 April to 7 June and 22 July to 16 August 2002 in accordance with General Assembly resolution 56/82 of 12 December 2001.

Topics considered in 2002 (chap. II of the Report)

Reservations to treaties (Summary | Analytical Guide)

The Commission, at its 2721st meetings on 17 May 2002, established a Drafting Committee, under the Chairmanship of Mr. Chusei Yamada. (see chap. IV)

The Commission subsequently adopted 11 draft guidelines dealing with formulation and communication of reservations and interpretative declarations.

The Commission also considered the Special Rapporteur's seventh report (A/CN.4/526, Add.1, Add.2 and Add.3) and referred a further 15 draft guidelines dealing with withdrawal and modification of reservations to the Drafting Committee.

Diplomatic protection (Summary | Analytical Guide)

The Commission considered the remaining portions of the Special Rapporteur's second report (A/CN.4/514, Corr.1 and Corr.2) relating to the exhaustion of local remedies rule, namely articles 12 and 13, as well as the third report covering draft articles 14 to 16 (A/CN.4/523), dealing with the exceptions to that rule, the question of the burden of proof and the so-called “Calvo” clause, respectively. The Commission also undertook a general discussion, inter alia, on the scope of the study and held several open-ended Informal Consultations on the issue of the diplomatic protection of crews and that of corporations and shareholders. (see chap. V)

At its 2712th on 30 April, the Commission established a Drafting Committee, under the Chairmanship of Mr. Chusei Yamada.

The Commission subsequently adopted articles 1 to 7 [8] on the recommendation of the Drafting Committee. It also referred to the Drafting Committee draft articles 14 (a), (b), (c) and (d) (both to be considered in connection with paragraph (a)), and (e)), concerning futility, waiver and estoppel, voluntary link, territorial connection and undue delay, respectively.

Unilateral acts of States (Summary | Analytical Guide)

The Commission considered part of the fifth report of the Special Rapporteur (A/CN.4/525, Add.1 and Add.2). In his report, the Special Rapporteur reviewed the progress made thus far on the topic and presented revised draft article 5 (a) to (h) on the invalidity of a unilateral act, as well as articles (a) and (b) on interpretation. In addendum 2 of his report, which the Commission did not consider, he proposed draft article 7 on Acta sunt servanda, draft article 8 on non-retroactivity, draft article 9 on territorial application, as well as a structure for the draft articles. (see chap. VI)

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) (Summary | Analytical Guide)

The Commission decided to resume the study of the second part of the topic and to establish a working group, under the chairmanship of Mr. P.S. Rao, to consider the conceptual outline of the topic. The report of the Working Group, which was adopted by the Commission, set out some initial understandings and presented views on the scope of the endeavour, as well as on the approaches which could be pursued. The Commission also appointed Mr. P.S. Rao as Special Rapporteur for the topic. (see chap. VII)

Responsibility of international organizations (Summary | Analytical Guide)

The Commission decided to include the topic in its programme of work and established a working group, under the chairmanship of Mr. Giorgio Gaja, to consider, inter alia, the scope of the topic. It further appointed Mr. Giorgio Gaja as Special Rapporteur for the topic. The Commission subsequently adopted the report of the Working Group, and approved its recommendation that the Secretariat approach international organizations with a view to collecting relevant materials on the topic. (see chap. VIII)

Fragmentation of international law: difficulties arising from the diversification and expansion of international law (Summary | Analytical Guide)

Tthe Commission decided to include the topic in its programme of work and established a study group, under the chairmanship of Mr. Bruno Simma. It subsequently adopted the report of the study group, inter alia, approving the proposed change of the title of the topic to “Fragmentation of international law: difficulties arising from the diversification and expansion of international law”, as well as the recommendation that the first study to be undertaken will be on the issue entitled “The function and scope of the lex specialis rule and the questions of 'self-contained regimes'”. (see chap. IX)

Shared Natural Resources (Summary | Analytical Guide)

The Commission also decided to include on its programme of work the topic on “Shared Natural Resources” and appointed Mr. Chusei Yamada as Special Rapporteur. The Commission further recommended the establishment of a working group under the chairmanship of the Special Rapporteur.

Cooperation with other bodies

  • The Commission heard a statement by the representative of the Inter-American Juridical Committee, Amb. Orlando Rebagliati, at its 2730th meeting, held on 5 June 2002.
  • The Commission heard a statement by the Secretary-General of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization, Mr. Wafik Z. Kamil, at its 2738th meeting, held on 30 July 2002. An exchange of views followed.
  • The President of the International Court of Justice, Judge Gilbert Guillaume, addressed the Commission at its 2739th meeting, held on 31 July 2002. He gave a detailed exposé of the work of the International Court of Justice, which was followed by a series of questions and answers.
  • The representative of the Council of Europe's Ad Hoc Committee of Legal Advisors on Public International Law (CAHDI), Mr. R. Benitez, addressed the Commission at its 2744th meeting, held on 9 August 2002. An exchange of views followed.

Other business

Other decisions and conclusions of the Commission
  • At its 2717th meeting on 8 May 2002, the Commission took note of the decision of the Planning Group to re-establish the Working Group on the Long-Term Programme of Work, to be chaired by Mr. Alain Pellet. (see chap. X)
  • The Commission also endorsed the suggestion of the Planning Group to include the following topics in its programme of work: International liability for injurious consequences arising out of acts not prohibited by international law, Responsibility of International Organizations, and Shared Natural Resources.
  • The Commission, at its 2717th meeting, held on 8 May 2002, appointed Mr. Gaja as Special Rapporteur for the topic of Responsibility of International Organizations.
  • At its 2727th meeting, held on 30 May 2002, the Commission appointed Mr. Yamada as Special Rapporteur for the topic of Shared Natural Resources.
  • At its 2743rd meeting, held on 8 August 2002, the Commission appointed Mr. P.S. Rao as Special Rapporteur for the topic “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)”.
Other

Date and place of the fifty-fifth session

The Commission decided to hold a 10-week split session, which was scheduled to take place at the United Nations Office in Geneva from 5 May to 6 June and from 7 July to 8 August 2003.