International Law Commission International Law Commission

Last update: November 30, 2015

Fifty-eighth Session (2006)

In accordance with General Assembly resolution 60/22 of 23 November 2005, the International Law Commission held its fifty-eighth session at the United Nations Office at Geneva from 1 May to 9 June and 3 July to 11 August 2006 (12 weeks).

Topics considered in 2006 (chap. II of the Report)

Diplomatic protection (Summary | Analytical Guide)

The Commission considered the seventh report of the Special Rapporteur on the topic (A/CN.4/567). The Commission subsequently completed the second reading on the topic (see A/CN.4/L.684, Corr.1 and Corr.2). The Commission decided, in accordance with article 23 of its Statute, to recommend to the General Assembly the elaboration of a convention on the basis of the draft articles on Diplomatic Protection. (see chap. IV)

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 third report of the Special Rapporteur (A/CN.4/566). The Commission subsequently completed the second reading of the topic (A/CN.4/L.686 and Corr.1). The Commission decided, in accordance with article 23 of its Statute, to recommend that the General Assembly endorse the draft principles by a resolution and urge States to take national and international action to implement them. (see chap. V)

Shared natural resources (Summary | Analytical Guide)

The Commission established a Working Group on Transboundary Groundwaters to complete the consideration of the draft articles submitted by the Special Rapporteur in his third report (A/CN.4/551, Corr.1 and Add.1); referred 19 revised draft articles to the Drafting Committee; and subsequently adopted on first reading a set of draft articles on the law of transboundary aquifers (A/CN.4/L.688, Corr.1 and Corr.2), together with commentaries. (see chap. VI)

  • Statement of the Chairman of the Drafting Committee
Specific issues on which comments would be of particular interest to the Commission (chap. III of the Report)

In view of its completion on first reading of the draft articles on the law of transboundary aquifers, the Commission would welcome from Governments:

  • Their comments and observations on all aspects of the draft articles;
  • Their comments and observations on all the commentaries to the draft articles;
  • Their views on the final form of the draft articles.

Responsibility of international organizations (Summary | Analytical Guide)

The Commission considered the fourth report of the Special Rapporteur (A/CN.4/564, Add.1 and Add.2) and adopted 14 draft articles (A/CN.4/L.687, Add.1 and Add.1/Corr.1), together with commentaries, dealing with circumstances precluding wrongfulness and with the responsibility of a State in connection with the act of an international organization. (see chap. VII)

  • Statement of the Chairman of the Drafting Committee (part 1) (part 2)
Specific issues on which comments would be of particular interest to the Commission (chap. III of the Report)

The Commission would welcome comments and observations from Governments and international organizations on draft articles 17 to 30, in particular on those relating to responsibility in case of provision of competence to an international organization (draft article 28) and to responsibility of a State member of an international organization for the internationally wrongful act of that organization (draft article 29).

The Commission would also welcome views from Governments and international organizations on the two following questions, due to be addressed in the next report:

  • Do members of an international organization that are not responsible for an internationally wrongful act of that organization have an obligation to provide compensation to the injured party, should the organization not be in a position to do so?
  • According to article 41, paragraph 1, of the draft articles on Responsibility of States for internationally wrongful acts, when a State commits a serious breach of an obligation under a peremptory norm of general international law, the other States are under an obligation to cooperate to bring the breach to an end through lawful means. Should an international organization commit a similar breach, are States and also other international organizations under an obligation to cooperate to bring the breach to an end?

Reservations to treaties (Summary | Analytical Guide)

The Commission considered the second part of the Special Rapporteur's tenth report (A/CN.4/558, Add.1 and Add.2) and referred to the Drafting Committee 16 draft guidelines dealing with the definition of the object and purpose of the treaty and the determination of the validity of reservations. The Commission also adopted 5 draft guidelines dealing with the validity of reservations (A/CN.4/L.685 and Corr.1), together with commentaries. In addition, the Commission reconsidered 2 draft guidelines dealing with the scope of definitions and the procedure in case of manifestly invalid reservations which were previously adopted, in light of new terminology. (see chap. VIII)

  • Statement of the Chairman of the Drafting Committee
Specific issues on which comments would be of particular interest to the Commission (chap. III of the Report)

The Commission recommended that the Secretariat, in consultation with the Special Rapporteur on reservations to treaties, organize a meeting, during the fifty-ninth session of the Commission, with United Nations experts in the field of human rights, including representatives of monitoring bodies, in order to hold a discussion on issues relating to reservations to human rights treaties. In that perspective, the Commission would appreciate receiving the views of Governments on adjustments that they would consider it necessary or useful to introduce in the "Preliminary conclusions of the International Law Commission on Reservations to Normative Multilateral Treaties including Human Rights Treaties", adopted by the Commission at its forty ninth session (in 1997).

Unilateral acts of States (Summary | Analytical Guide)

The Commission considered the ninth report of the Special Rapporteur (A/CN.4/569 and Add.1) which contained 11 draft principles and reconstituted the Working Group on Unilateral Acts with the mandate to elaborate conclusions and principles on the topic. The Commission adopted a set of 10 guiding principles (A/CN.4/L.703), together with commentaries, relating to unilateral declarations of States capable of creating legal obligations and commended the guiding principles to the attention of the General Assembly. (see chap. IX)

Effects of armed conflicts on treaties (Summary | Analytical Guide)

The Commission considered the second report of the Special Rapporteur (A/CN.4/570 and Corr.1). (see chap. X)

Obligation to extradite or prosecute (aut dedere aut judicare) (Summary | Analytical Guide)

The Commission considered the preliminary report of the Special Rapporteur (A/CN.4/571). (see chap. XI)

Specific issues on which comments would be of particular interest to the Commission (chap. III of the Report)

The Commission would welcome any information that Governments may wish to provide concerning their legislation and practice with regard to this topic. particularly more contemporary ones. If possible, such information should concern:

  • International treaties by which a State is bound, containing the obligation to extradite or prosecute, and reservations made by that State to limit the application of this obligation;
  • Domestic legal regulations adopted and applied by a State, including constitutional provisions and penal codes or codes of criminal procedures, concerning the obligation to extradite or prosecute (aut dedere aut judicare);
  • Judicial practice of a State reflecting the application of the obligation aut dedere aut judicare;
  • Crimes of offences to which the principle of the obligation aut dedere aut judicare is applied in the legislation or practice of a State.

The Commission would also welcome any further information that Governments may consider relevant to the topic.

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

The Commission considered the report of the Study Group and took note of its forty-two conclusions (A/CN.4/L.702), which it commended to the attention of the General Assembly. The report and its conclusions were prepared on the basis of an analytical study finalized by the Chairman of the Study Group, which summarized and analysed the phenomenon of fragmentation taking account of studies prepared by various members of the Study Group itself (A/CN4/L.682 and Corr.1). The Commission requested that the analytical study be made available on its web site and be published in its Yearbook. (see chap. XII)

Cooperation with other bodies

  • The Commission heard a statement by the Secretary-General of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization, Ambassador Dr. Wafik Z. Kamil, at the 2898th meeting, held on 21 July 2006.
  • The President of the International Court of Justice, Ms. Rosalyn Higgins, addressed the Commission at its 2899th meeting, on 25 July 2006.
  • The Director General of Legal Affairs of the Council of Europe addressed the Commission at its 2904th meeting, held on 3 August 2006.
  • The Commission heard a statement by the Representative of the Inter-American Juridical Committee, Mr. Jean-Paul Hubert, at the 2904th meeting, held on 3 August 2006.

Other business

Other decisions and conclusions of the Commission

With regard to the long-term programme of work, the Commission would welcome the views of Governments on the following:

In 1978, the Commission adopted the draft articles on most-favoured clauses. In view of the circumstance at the time, the General Assembly took no action in respect to this draft, which clearly is out of date in many aspects today. Some members of the Commission believe that the topic should not be reopened in the Commission at this time, in that the basic policy differences that caused the General Assembly to take no action on the Commission's draft articles have not yet been resolved, and should first be dealt with in international forums that have the necessary technical expertise and policy mandate. Other members consider that, given the changes in the international situation and the continued importance of the most favoured-nation-clause in contemporary treaties, in particular in the fields of trade law and international investments, the time has come to undertake further work on the question and therefore to include the topic in the Commission's long-term programme of work. (see chap. XIII)

Other
  • The Legal Counsel of the United Nations, Mr. Nicolas Michel, made a statement at the 2895th meeting, held on 18 July 2006, 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.
  • International Law Seminar

Date and place of the fifty-ninth session

The Commission decided that the fifty-ninth session of the Commission be held in Geneva from 7 May to 8 June and 9 July to 10 August 2007.