International Law Commission International Law Commission

Last update: July 15, 2015

Fifty-sixth Session (2004)

The International Law Commission held its fifty-sixth session at Geneva, Switzerland, from 3 May to 4 June and 5 July to 6 August 2004 in accordance with General Assembly resolution 58/77 of 9 December 2003.

Topics considered in 2004 (chap. II of the Report)

Diplomatic protection (Summary | Analytical Guide)

The Commission considered the fifth report of the Special Rapporteur on the topic, Mr. John Dugard, (A/CN.4/538) at its 2791st to 2796th meetings, held from 3 to 11 May 2004. (see chap. IV)

At its 2792nd meeting, held on 4 May 2004, the Commission established a drafting committee, under the chairmanship of Mr. Rodríguez Cedeño, on the topic. At its 2794th meeting, held on 6 May, the Commission referred draft article 26 together with the alternative formulation for article 21 to the Drafting Committee. At its 2796th meeting, held on 11 May 2004, the Commission recommended that the Drafting Committee consider elaborating a provision on the connection between the protection of ships crews and diplomatic protection.

At its 2806th meeting, held on 28 May 2004, the Commission considered the report of the Chairman of the Drafting Committee (A/CN.4/L.647 and Add.1); Statement by the Chairman of the Drafting Committee, made (in Spanish)) and adopted, on first reading, a complete set of draft articles on Diplomatic protection (article 1 (Definition and scope/Définition et champ d'application), article 2 (Right to exercise diplomatic protection/Droit d'exercer la protection diplomatique), article 3 (Protection by the State of nationality/Protection par l'État de la nationalité), article 4 (State of nationality of a natural person/État de la nationalité d'une personne physique), article 5 (Continuous nationality/Continuité de la nationalité), article 6 (Multiple nationality and claim against a third State/Multiple nationalité et réclamation à léncontre d'un État tiers), article 7 (Multiple nationality and claim against a State of nationality/Multiple nationalité et réclamation à l'encontre d'un État de nationalité), article 8 (Stateless persons and refugees/Apatrides et réfugiés), article 9 (State of nationality of a corporation/État de nationalité d'une société), article 10 (Continuous nationality of a corporation/Continuité de la nationalité d'une société), article 11 (Protection of shareholders/Protection des actionnnaires), article 12 (Direct injury to shareholders/Atteinte directe aux droits des actionnnaires), article 13 (Other legal persons/Autres personnes morales), article 14 (Exhaustion of local remedies/Épuisement des recours internes), article 15 (Category of claims/Catégorie de réclamations), article 16 (Exceptions to the local remedies rule/Exceptions à la règle de l'épuisement des recours internes), article 17 (Actions or procedures other than diplomatic protection/Actions ou procedures autres que la protection diplomatique), article 18 (Special treaty provisions/Dispositions conventionnelles spéciales) and article 19 (Ships' crews/Équipages des navires)).

Responsibility of international organizations (Summary | Analytical Guide)

The Commission considered the second report of the Special Rapporteur on the topic, Mr. Giorgio Gaja, (A/CN.4/541) at its 2800th to 2803rd meeting, held from 18 to 25 May 2004. (see chap. V)

At its 2803rd meeting, held on 25 May 2004, the Commission established a drafting committee, under the chairmanship of Mr. Rodríguez- Cedeño, on the topic. At the same meeting, the Commission referred draft articles 4 to 7 to the Drafting Committee.

At its 2610th meeting, held on 4 June 2004, the Commission considered the report of the Chairman of the Drafting Committee (A/CN.4/L.648 and Corr.1) and adopted on first reading the following draft articles: Article 4 (General rule on attribution of conduct to an international organization/Règle générale en matière d'imputation d'un comportement à une organisation internationale), article 5 (Conduct of organs or agents placed at the disposal of an international organization by a State or another international organization/Comportement des organes ou agents mis à la disposition d'une organisation internationale par un État ou une autre organisation internationale), article 6 (Excess of authority or contravention of instructions/Excès de pouvoir ou comportement contraire aux instructions), article 7 (Conduct acknowledged and adopted by an international organization as its own/Comportement reconnu et adopté comme sien par une organisation internationale).

Shared natural resources (Summary | Analytical Guide)

The Commission considered the second report of the Special Rapporteur on the topic, Mr. Chusei Yamada, (A/CN.4/539 and Add.1) at its 2797th to 2799th meetings, held from 12 to 14 May 2004. (see chap. VI)

The Commission decided to establish a Working Group on Transboundary Groundwater at its 2797th meeting, held on 12 May 2004.

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 considered the second report of the Special Rapporteur on the topic, Mr. Pemmaraju Sreenivasa Rao, (A/CN.4/540) at its 2804th to 2805th and 2807th to 2809th meetings, held from 26 May to 3 June 2004. (see chap. VII)

The Commission decided to establish a Working Group on the topic at its 2809th meeting, held on 3 June 2004. The Special Rapporteur, Mr. P. S. Rao, introduced the report of the Working Group (A/CN.4/L.661), at the 2815th meeting, held on 9 July 2004. At the same meeting, the Commission established a drafting committee, under the chairmanship of Mr. Rodríguez Cedeño, on the topic. The Commission took note of the report of the Working Group and referred the eight draft principles proposed by the Working Group to the Drafting Committee.

At its 2822nd meeting, held on 23 July 2004, the Commission considered the report of the Drafting Committee (A/CN.4/L.662) and adopted on first reading the preamble and a complete set of draft principles (Principle 1 (Scope of application/Champ d'application), Principle 2 (Use of terms/Termes employés), Principle 3 (Objective/Objectif), Principle 4 (Prompt and adequate compensation/Indemnisation prompte et adéquate), Principle 5 (Response measures/Mesures d'intervention), Principle 6 (International and domestic remedies/Recours internes et internationaux), Principle 7 (Development of specific international regimes/Élaboration de régimes internationaux spéciaux) and Principle 8/Implementation/Application)).

Unilateral acts of States (Summary | Analytical Guide)

The Commission considered the seventh report of the Special Rapporteur on the topic, Mr. Rodríguez Cedeño, (A/CN.4/542) at its 2811th to 2813th and 2815th to 2818th meetings, held from 5 to 16 July 2004. (see chap. VIII)

The Commission decided to establish a Working Group on the topic, under the chairmanship of Mr. Alain Pellet, at its 2818th meeting, held on 16 July 2004.

Reservations to treaties (Summary | Analytical Guide)

The Commission considered the ninth report of the Special Rapporteur on the topic, Mr. Alain Pellet, (A/CN.4/544) at its 2820th to 2822nd meetings, held from 21 to 23 July 2004. (see chap. IX)

At its 2808th meeting, held on 2 June 2004, the Commission established a drafting committee, under the chairmanship of Mr. Rodríguez Cedeño, on the topic.

At its 2810th meeting, held on 4 June 2004, the Commission considered the report of the Drafting Committee on Reservations to treaties (A/CN.4/L.649) and adopted on first reading the following draft guidelines: 2.3.5 (Widening of the scope of a reservation/Aggravation de la portée d'une réserve), 2.4.9 (Modification of an interpretative declaration/Modification d'une déclaration interprétative), 2.4.10 (Limitation and widening of the scope of a conditional interpretative declaration/Atténuation et aggravation de la portée d'une déclaration interprétative conditionnelle), 2.5.12 (Withdrawal of an interpretative declaration/Retrait d'une déclaration interprétative) and 2.5.13 (Withdrawal of a conditional interpretative declaration/Retrait d'une déclaration interprétative conditionnelle).

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

The Study Group of the Commission considered the Preliminary report on the Study on the Function and Scope of the lex specialis rule and the question of self-contained regimes, as well as outlines on the Study on the Application of Successive Treaties relating to the same subject matter (article 30 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties); on the Study concerning the modification of multilateral treaties between certain of the parties only (article 41 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties); on the Study on the Interpretation of Treaties in the light of “any relevant rules of international law applicable in relations between parties” (article 31 (3) (c) of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties); and the Study on Hierarchy in International Law: jus cogens, obligations erga omnes, Article 103 of the Charter of the United Nations, as conflict rules. (see chap. X)

Cooperation with other bodies

  • The Director General of Legal Affairs of the Council of Europe addressed the Commission at its 2799th meeting, held on 14 May 2004. An exchange of views followed.
  • The President of the International Court of Justice, Mr. Jiuyong Shi, addressed the Commission at its 2813th meeting, on 7 July 2004, following which an exchange of views was held.
  • The Commission heard a statement by the Secretary General of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization, Ambassador Dr. Wafik Z. Kamil, at its 2816th meeting, on 13 July 2004. An exchange of views followed.
  • The Commission heard a statement by the Representative of the Inter-American Juridical Committee, Dr. Felipe Paolillo at its 2819th meeting, held on 20 July 2004. An exchange of views followed.

Other business

Visit of the Acting Legal Counsel
  • The Acting Legal Counsel, Mr. Ralph Zacklin, made a statement at the 2811th meeting, held on 5 July 2004, informing the Commission of the activities of the Office of Legal Affairs and recent developments of international law in the context of the United Nations.
Other decisions and conclusions of the Commission
  • At its 2823rd meeting, held on 27 July 2004, the Commission took note of the report of the Planning Group and, inter alia, agreed with the recommendation of the Planning Group that the topic “Obligation to extradite or prosecute (aut dedere aut judicare)” be included in the Commission’s long-term programme of work. A preliminary outline presenting the topic was annexed to the Commission's report. (see chap. XI)
  • At the 2830th meeting, held on 6 August 2004, the Commission considered the selection of new topics for inclusion in the Commission’s current programme of work and decided to include two new topics, namely “Expulsion of aliens” and “Effects of armed conflicts on treaties”.
  • At the same meeting, the Commission decided to appoint Mr. Maurice Kamto, Special Rapporteur for the topic “Expulsion of aliens” and Mr. Ian Brownlie, Special Rapporteur for the topic “Effects of armed conflicts on treaties”.
Other

Date and place of the fifty-seventh session

The Commission decided to hold a 10-week split session which will be held at the United Nations Office at Geneva from 2 May to 3 June and 4 July to 5 August 2005.