International Law Commission International Law Commission

Last update: November 19, 2015

Sixty-second Session (2010)

In accordance with General Assembly resolution 64/114 of 16 December 2009, the International Law Commission will hold its sixty-second session at the United Nations Office at Geneva from 3 May to 4 June and 5 July to 6 August 2010 (10 weeks).

Topics considered in 2010 (chap. II of the Report)

Reservations to treaties (Summary | Analytical Guide)

As regards the topic "Reservations to treaties", the Commission had before it addendum 2 to the fourteenth report (A/CN.4/614/Add.2) as well as the fifteenth and sixteenth reports (A/CN.4/624, Add.1 and Add.2; and A/CN.4/626 and Add.1, respectively) of the Special Rapporteur. (see chap. IV)

Addendum 2 to the fourteenth report and the fifteenth report considered the legal effects of reservations, acceptances of reservations and objections to reservations, as well as the legal effects of interpretative declarations and reactions thereto. Following a debate in plenary on these reports, the Commission referred 37 draft guidelines to the Drafting Committee. The sixteenth report considered the issue of reservations, objections to reservations, acceptances of reservations and interpretative declarations in relation to the succession of States. Following a debate in plenary, the Commission referred 20 draft guidelines, as contained in that report, to the Drafting Committee.

The Commission provisionally adopted 59 draft guidelines, together with commentaries, including 11 draft guidelines which it had been provisionally adopted by the Drafting Committee at the sixty-first session and which deal with the freedom to formulate objections and with matters relating to the permissibility of reactions to reservations and of interpretative declarations and reactions thereto. The Commission thus completed the provisional adoption of the set of draft guidelines with commentaries (consolidated version).

See also: Drafting Committee Chairman's statement (26 May 2010, 4 June 2010, 8 July 2010 and 27 July 2010)

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

The Commission would particularly welcome comments from States and international organizations on the draft guidelines adopted this year (see document A/CN.4/L.764/Add.2) and draws their attention in particular to the draft guidelines in sections 4.2 (Effects of an established reservation) and 4.5 (Consequences of an invalid reservation) of the Guide to Practice (chap. IV, sect. C.2).

Expulsion of aliens (Summary | Analytical Guide)

Concerning the topic "Expulsion of aliens", the Commission had before it document A/CN.4/617, containing a set of draft articles on the protection of the human rights of persons who have been or are being expelled, revised and restructured by the Special Rapporteur in the light of the debate which had taken place in plenary during the sixty-first session of the Commission. The Commission referred the revised draft articles 8 to 15, as contained in that document, to the Drafting Committee. The Commission also had before it the sixth report of the Special Rapporteur (A/CN.4/625 and Add.1), which considered collective expulsion, disguised expulsion, extradition disguised as expulsion, the grounds for expulsion, detention pending expulsion and expulsion proceedings. Following a debate in plenary, the Commission referred to the Drafting Committee draft articles A, 9, B1 and C1, as contained in the sixth report, and draft articles B and A1 as revised by the Special Rapporteur during the session. The Commission also had before it a new draft work plan with a view to restructuring the draft articles (A/CN.4/618), which had been presented by the Special Rapporteur to the Commission at its sixty-first session (2009), as well as comments and information received thus far from Governments (A/CN.4/604 and A/CN.4/628). (see chap. V)

See also: Drafting Committee Chairman's progress report (23 July 2009)

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

As regards the topic "Effects of armed conflicts on treaties", the Commission commenced the second reading of the draft articles on the effects of armed conflicts on treaties (which had been adopted on first reading at its sixtieth session (2009)) on the basis of the first report of the Special Rapporteur (A/CN.4/627 and Add.1). Following a debate in plenary on the report of the Special Rapporteur, the Commission referred all the draft articles, and the annex, proposed by the Special Rapporteur to the Drafting Committee. (see chap. VI)

Protection of persons in the event of disasters (Summary | Analytical Guide)

In relation to the topic "Protection of persons in the event of disasters", the Commission had before it the third report of the Special Rapporteur (A/CN.4/629), dealing with the humanitarian principles of neutrality, impartiality and humanity, as well as the underlying concept of respect for human dignity. The report also considered the question of the primary responsibility of the affected State to protect persons affected by a disaster on its territory, and undertook an initial consideration of the requirement that external assistance be provided on the basis of the consent of the affected State. Following a debate in plenary, the Commission decided to refer draft articles 6 to 8, as proposed by the Special Rapporteur, to the Drafting Committee. The Commission also adopted draft articles 1 to 5, which it had taken note of at its sixty-first session (2009), together with commentaries. (see chap. VII)

The Commission subsequently took note of four draft articles provisionally adopted by the Drafting Committee, relating to the humanitarian principles in disaster response, the inherent human dignity of the human person, the obligation to respect the human rights of affected persons, and the role of the affected State, respectively (A/CN.4/L.776).

See also: Drafting Committee Chairman's statement (20 July 2010).

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

As regards the topic "The obligation to extradite or prosecute (aut dedere aut judicare)", the Commission reconstituted the Working Group. The Working Group continued its discussions with the aim of specifying the issues to be addressed to further facilitate the work of the Special Rapporteur. It had before it a Survey of multilateral conventions which may be of relevance for the Commission's work on the topic, prepared by the Secretariat (A/CN.4/630), and a working paper prepared by the Special Rapporteur (A/CN.4/L.774) containing some observations and suggestions based on the general framework proposed in 2009 and drawing upon the survey by the Secretariat. (see chap. VIII)

Immunity of State officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction (Summary | Analytical Guide)

Concerning the topic "Immunity of State officials", the Commission did not consider it in the course of the present session. (see chap. IX)

Treaties over time (Summary | Analytical Guide)

In relation to the topic "Treaties over time", the Commission reconstituted the Study Group on Treaties over time. The Study Group began its work on the aspects of the topic relating to subsequent agreements and practice, on the basis of an introductory report prepared by its Chairman on the relevant jurisprudence of the International Court of Justice and of arbitral tribunals of ad hoc jurisdiction. A variety of issues relating to the significance and role of subsequent agreements and practice in the interpretation of treaties, and possibly also in their modification, were touched upon in the discussions. (see chap. X)

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

The Commission, in its consideration of the topic "Treaties over time", attempts to clarify the practical and legal significance of "subsequent agreements" and the "subsequent practice" of the parties as a means of the interpretation and application of treaties (article 31 (3) (a) and (b) of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties). A detailed description of the topic "Treaties over time" is contained in Annex A to the report of the Commission on its sixtieth session (2008) (A/63/10).

For this purpose, the Commission requests States to provide it with one or more examples of "subsequent agreements" or "subsequent practice" which are or have been particularly relevant in the interpretation and application of their treaties.

In this context, the Commission would also be interested in instances of interpretation which involved taking into account other factors arising after the entry into force of the treaty (factual or legal developments).

Most-favoured-nation clause (Summary | Analytical Guide)

As regards the topic "The Most-favoured-nation clause", the Commission reconstituted the Study Group on the Most-Favoured-Nation clause. The Study Group considered and reviewed the various papers prepared on the basis of the framework which had been agreed upon in 2009 including a catalogue of MFN provisions and papers on the 1978 draft articles, the practice of GATT AND WTO, the work of OECD and UNCTAD on MFN, and the "Maffezini" issue, and set out a programme of work for next year. (see chap. XI)

Shared natural resources (Summary | Analytical Guide)

In relation to the topic "Shared natural resources", the Commission once more established the Working Group on Shared natural resources. The Working Group continued its assessment on the feasibility of future work on oil and gas on the basis of a working paper (A/CN.4/621). The working group considered all aspects of the matter, taking into account the views of governments, including as reflected in the working paper, as well as in light of its previous discussions. The Commission endorsed the recommendation of the Working Group that the Commission should not take up the consideration of the oil and gas aspects of the topic "Shared natural resources". (see chap. XII)

Cooperation with other bodies

  • The representative of the Inter-American Juridical Committee, Mr. Freddy Castillo Castellanos, addressed the Commission at its 3047th meeting, held on 19 May 2010. An exchange of views followed.
  • The President of the International Court of Justice, Judge Hisashi Owada, addressed the Commission at the 3062nd meeting, held on 9 July 2010, which was followed by an exchange of views.
  • The Secretary-General of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization, Mr. Rahmat Bin Mohamad, addressed the Commission at its 3064th meeting, held on 14 July 2010. An exchange of views followed.
  • The Director of Legal Advice and Public International Law of the Council of Europe, Mr. Manuel Lezertua, and the Chair of the Committee of Legal Advisers on Public International Law (CAHDI), Mr. Rolf Einar Fife, addressed the Commission at its 3067th meeting, held on 20 July 2010. An exchange of views followed.

Other business

Other decisions and conclusions of the Commission

Concerning "Other matters", the Commission, pursuant to its 2009 decision, devoted a discussion to "Settlement of disputes clauses". It had before it a Note on Settlement of disputes clauses, prepared by the Secretariat (A/CN.4/623). The Commission decided to continue debate on the issue under "Other matters" at its next session. It was also agreed that a member of the Commission would prepare a working paper for that purpose. The Commission set up the Planning Group to consider its programme, procedures and working methods. The Working Group on the Long-term programme of work was reconstituted. (see chap. XIII)

Other
  • The Commission held a special commemorative segment, in the memory of Sir Ian Brownlie, during its 3037th plenary meeting, on 4 May 2010.
  • The Legal Counsel of the United Nations, Ms. Patricia O'Brien, made a statement at the 3038th meeting, held on 5 May 2010, 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. An exchange of views followed.

Date and place of the sixty-third session

The Commission decided that its sixty-third session be held in Geneva from 26 April to 3 June and 4 July to 12 August 2011.