International Law Commission International Law Commission

International Law Commission, July 2018. Photo: Antoine Tardy.
International Law Commission, July 2018.
The International Law Commission was established by the General Assembly, in 1947, to undertake the mandate of the Assembly, under article 13 (1) (a) of the Charter of the United Nations to "initiate studies and make recommendations for the purpose of ... encouraging the progressive development of international law and its codification".

In accordance with General Assembly resolution 74/186 of 18 December 2019, the International Law Commission was scheduled to hold its seventy-second session at the United Nations Office at Geneva from 27 April to 5 June and from 6 July to 7 August 2020 (11 weeks):

  • Due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, the General Assembly, on 12 August 2020, decided that the seventy-second session of the ILC will be postponed to 2021.
  • The members of the ILC held an informal meeting on 3 September 2020, pursuant to GA decision 74/566, at which time members, inter alia, made statements in memory of Alexander Yankov, former member of the ILC.
  • Seventy Years of the International Law Commission: Drawing a Balance for the Future, United Nations (ed.) (published by Brill) – now available.
  • The nomination period for the election to the International Law Commission, to be held in November 2021, is open (deadline: 1 June 2021).
  • The deadline for member States to submit comments on the topics "Protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts" and "Peremptory norms of general international law (jus cogens)" has been extended to 30 June 2021.
#ILC_2020

The following topics are on the programme of work of the Commission:

* Not scheduled to be considered at the seventy-second session in 2020.

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Recent Developments

Election of the ILC

27 October 2020 The nomination period for the election of the ILC has opened (deadline: 1 June 2021).

70 years of ILC

27 October 2020 Seventy Years of the International Law Commission: Drawing a Balance for the Future, United Nations (ed.) (published by Brill) – now available.

Informal meeting

3 September 2020 Members of the ILC held an informal meeting on 3 September 2020, at which time statements were made in memory of Alexander Yankov.

2020 Session of the ILC -- postponed

12 August 2020 Due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, the General Assembly adopted decision 74/566 by which it, inter alia, decided to hold the seventy-second session of the Commission in 2021, and decided that the terms of office of the current members should be extended by one year (until 31 December 2022).

General principles of law

26 June 2020 Second report on general principles of law by Marcelo Vázquez-Bermúdez, Special Rapporteur, has been issued (A/CN.4/741).

2020 Session of the ILC -- postponed

23 June 2020 Due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, the General Assembly, on 23 June 2020, decided that the seventy-second session of the ILC will be postponed.

General principles of law

23 June 2020 Memorandum by the Secretariat on the topic has been issued (A/CN.4/742).

Sea-level rise

18 June 2020 First issues paper by Bogdan Aurescu and Nilüfer Oral, Co-Chairs of the Study Group on the topic, has been issued (A/CN.4/740 and Add.1).

Succession of States & responsibility

27 May 2020 Fourth report on succession of States in respect of State responsibility, by Pavel Šturma, Special Rapporteur, has been issued (A/CN.4/743).

Immunity of State officials

24 April 2020 Eighth report on immunity of State officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction, by Concepción Escobar Hernández, Special Rapporteur, has been issued (A/CN.4/739).

Provisional application of treaties

14 April 2020 Sixth report on the provisional application of treaties by Juan Manuel Gómez-Robledo, Special Rapporteur, has been issued (A/CN.4/738).