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Last update: July 15, 2015

Summaries of the Work of the International Law Commission

Expulsion of aliens

See also: Analytical Guide | Texts and Instruments

At its fifty-second session, in 2000, the Commission, on the basis of the recommendation of a Working Group on the long-term programme of work, identified the topic “Expulsion of aliens” for inclusion in its long-term programme of work.1

The General Assembly, in resolution 55/152 of 12 December 2000, took note of the Commission’s report concerning its long-term programme of work. In resolution 56/82 of 12 December 2001, the Assembly requested the Commission to further consider the topic, having due regard to comments made by Governments.

At its fifty-sixth session, in 2004, the Commission decided to include the topic “Expulsion of aliens" in its programme of work and to appoint Mr. Maurice Kamto as Special Rapporteur for the topic.2

The General Assembly, in resolution 59/41 of 2 December 2004, endorsed the Commission’s decision to include the topic in its programme of work.

At its fifty-seventh session, in 2005, the Commission had before it the preliminary report of the Special Rapporteur3 setting out an overall view of the subject, while highlighting the legal problems which it raised and the methodological difficulties related to its consideration.4

At its fifty-eighth session, in 2006, the Commission had before it the second report of the Special Rapporteur for the topic, Mr. Maurice Kamto,5 and a memorandum prepared by the Secretariat.6 The Commission decided to consider the second report at its next session in 2007.7

At its fifty-ninth session, in 2007, the Commission considered the second and third8 reports of the Special Rapporteur, dealing, respectively, with the scope of the topic and definition (two draft articles), and with certain general provisions limiting the right of a State to expel an alien (five draft articles).9

The General Assembly, in its resolution 62/66 of 6 December 2007, invited Governments to provide information to the International Law Commission on the topic.

At its sixtieth session, in 2008, the Commission considered the fourth report of the Special Rapporteur.10 The first part of the report dealt with the issues raised by the expulsion of persons having dual or multiple nationalities and the second part adressed the problem of loss of nationality and denationalizarion in relation to expulsion. Following the debate on the report, the Commission established a Working Group under the Chairship of Mr. Donald M. McRae to consider these two issues.11 The Working Group determined that there was no need to have separate draft articles on these matters since the necessary clarifications will be made in the commentaries to the draft articles.

At the sixty-first session in 2009, the Commission had before it the fifth report of the Special Rapporteur12 and comments and information received from Governments up to that point.13 The Special Rapporteur presented to the Commission a revised and restructured version of draft articles 8 to 14, taking into account the plenary debate. The Special Rapporteur then submitted to the Commission a document containing a set of draft articles on protection of the human rights of persons who have been or are being expelled, revised and restructured in the light of the plenary debate.14 He also submitted a new draft workplan with a view to restructuring the draft articles (A/CN.4/618).15 The Commission decided to postpone its consideration of the revised draft articles to its sixty-second session.16

At the sixty-second session in 2010, the Commission had before it the draft articles on the protection of the human rights of persons who have been or are being expelled, as revised and restructured by the Special Rapporteur;17 the new draft workplan presented by the Special Rapporteur with a view to structuring the draft articles;18 and the sixth report presented by the Special Rapporteur.19 The Commission likewise had before it comments and information received thus far from Governments.20 It decided to refer to the Drafting Committee draft articles 8 to 15 on the protection of the human rights of persons who have been or are being expelled, originally contained in the fifth report,21 as subsequently revised and restructured by the Special Rapporteur;22 draft articles A and 9, as contained in the sixth report of the Special Rapporteur;23 draft articles B1 and C1, as contained in the addendum to the sixth report,24 as well as draft articles B and A1, as revised by the Special Rapporteur during the session.25

At the sixty-third session in 2011, the Commission had before it addendum 2 to the sixth report of the Special Rapporteur,26 which completed the consideration of the expulsion proceedings and considered the legal consequences of expulsion, as well as his seventh report,27 which provided an account of recent developments in relation to the topic and proposed a restructured summary of the draft articles. The Commission also had before it comments and information received thus far from Governments.28 It decided to refer to the Drafting Committee29 draft articles D1, E1, G1, H1, I1 and J1 as contained in addendum 2 to the sixth report of the Special Rapporteur; draft article F1, also contained in the same addendum, as revised by the Special Rapporteur during the session;30 and draft article 8 on "Expulsion in connection with extradition" as revised by the Special Rapporteur during the sixty-second session in 2010.31 The Commission also decided to refer to the Drafting Committee the restructured summary of the draft articles as contained in the seventh report of the Special Rapporteur.

At the sixty-fourth session in 2012, the Commission had before it the eighth report of the Special Rapporteur,32 which provided a survey of the comments made by States and the European Union on the topic of expulsion of aliens during the debate on the report of the Commission in the Sixth Committee at the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly; it then set out some final observations by the Special Rapporteur. The eighth report also raised the question of the final form that the Commission’s work on the topic would take. The Commission subsequently adopted on first reading a set of 32 draft articles on the expulsion of aliens. The Commission decided, in accordance with articles 16 to 21 of its Statute, to transmit the draft articles, through the Secretary-General, to Governments for comments and observations, with the request that such comments and observations be submitted to the Secretary-General by 1 January 2014.

At the sixty-sixth session in 2014, the Commission had before it the ninth report of the Special Rapporteur,33 containing his proposals for reformulating the draft articles adopted on first reading in the light of the comments and observations of Governments.34 The Commission considered the ninth report of the Special Rapporteur and instructed the Drafting Committee to commence the second reading of the entire set of draft articles on the basis of the proposals of the Special Rapporteur, taking into account the comments and observations of Governments and the debate in the plenary on the Special Rapporteur’s report. Following its consideration of the report of the Drafting Committee, the Commission subsequently adopted the draft articles on the expulsion of aliens, on second reading, together with commentaries. The Commission decided, in accordance with article 23 of its Statute, to recommend to the General Assembly: (a) to take note of the draft articles on the expulsion of aliens in a resolution, to annex the articles to the resolution, and to encourage their widest possible dissemination; (b) to consider, at a later stage, the elaboration of a convention on the basis of the draft articles.

The work of the Commission on the topic as described above proceeded in accordance with the successive resolutions adopted by the General Assembly under the item relating to the report of the International Law Commission.35

1 See Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-fifth Session, Supplement No. 10 (A/55/10), paras. 726–728 and 729 (4). For the syllabus on the topic, see ibid., annex (4).

2 See Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-ninth Session, Supplement No. 10 (A/59/10), para. 364.

3 Document A/CN.4/554. (see Analytical Guide)

4 See Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixtieth Session, Supplement No. 10 (A/60/10), paras. 242–274.

5 Document A/CN.4/573 and Corr.1. (see Analytical Guide)

6 Document A/CN.4/565. (see Analytical Guide)

7 See Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixty-first Session, Supplement No. 10 (A/61/10), para. 252.

8 Document A/CN.4/581. (see Analytical Guide)

9 See Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixty-second Session, Supplement No. 10 (A/62/10), para. 15

10 Document A/CN.4/594. (see Analytical Guide)

11 See Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixty-third Session, Supplement No. 10 (A/63/10),paras. 170 and 171.

12 Document A/CN.4/611 and Corr.1. (see Analytical Guide)

13 Document A/CN.4/604. (see Analytical Guide)

14 Document A/CN.4/617. (see Analytical Guide)

15 Document A/CN.4/618. (see Analytical Guide)

16 See Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixty-fourth Session, Supplement No. 10 (A/64/10), para. 91.

17 Document A/CN.4/617. (see Analytical Guide)

18 Document A/CN.4/618. (see Analytical Guide)

19 Document A/CN.4/625 and Add.1. (see Analytical Guide)

20 Documents A/CN.4/604 and A/CN.4/628. (see Analytical Guide)

21 Document A/CN.4/611. (see Analytical Guide)

22 Document A/CN.4/617. (see Analytical Guide)

23 Document A/CN.4/625. (see Analytical Guide)

24 Document A/CN.4/625/Add.1. (see Analytical Guide)

25 See Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixty-fifth Session, Supplement No. 10 (A/65/10), footnotes 1260 and 1269, respectively.

26 Document A/CN.4/625/Add.2. (see Analytical Guide)

27 Document A/CN.4/642. (see Analytical Guide)

28 Documents A/CN.4/604, and A/CN.4/628 and Add.1. (see Analytical Guide)

29 See Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixty-sixth session, Supplement No. 10 (A/66/10), para. 212.

30 Ibid., footnote 534.

31 See Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixty-fifth session, Supplement No. 10 (A/65/10), footnote 1268.

32 Document A/CN.4/651. (see Analytical Guide)

33 Document A/CN.4/670. (see Analytical Guide)

34 Document A/CN.4/669 and Add.1. (see Analytical Guide)

35 General Assembly resolutions 55/152 of 12 December 2000, 56/82 of 12 December 2001; 59/41 of 2 December 2004; 60/22 of 23 November 2005; 62/66 of 6 December 2007; 64/114 of 16 December 2009 and 67/92 of 14 December 2012.