International Law Commission International Law Commission

Last update: July 26, 2021
#ILC_2021

Seventy-second Session (2021)

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, the General Assembly, on 12 August 2020, decided to postpone the seventy-second session of the ILC to 2021. Subsequently, the General Assembly, in resolution 75/135 of 15 December 2020, decided that the International Law Commission will hold its seventy-second session at the United Nations Office at Geneva from 26 April to 4 June and from 5 July to 6 August 2021 (11 weeks).

Topics being considered in 2021

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

The Commission considered the eighth report of the Special Rapporteur on the topic (A/CN.4/739), at its 3520th to 3521st and 3523rd to 3528th meetings, from 12 to 14 and 17 to 21 May 2021. The Commission decided to refer draft articles 17 and 18, as proposed by the Special Rapporteur in her eighth report, to the Drafting Committee on the topic, together with the comments and suggestions made during the debate.

At the 3530th meeting, held on 3 June 2021, the Chair of the Drafting Committee presented the report of the Drafting Committee on “Immunity of State officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction” (A/CN.4/L.953).  The Commission first considered the Report of the Drafting Committee on “Immunity of State officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction” (A/CN.4/L.940) which had been taken note of at the seventy-first session, and adopted draft article 8 ante (Application of Part Four/Application de la quatrième partie). Thereafter, the Commission considered the report of the Drafting Committee for 2021 and adopted the texts and titles of the following draft articles: 8 (Examination of immunity by the forum State/Examen de la question de l’immunité par l’État du for), 9 (Notification of the State of the official/Notification à l’État du représentant), 10 (Invocation of Invocation of immunity/Invocation de l’immunité) and 11 (Waiver of immunity/Renonciation à l’immunité).

See also: Comments by Governments

Provisional application of treaties (Summary | Analytical Guide)

The Commission considered the sixth report of the Special Rapporteur on the topic, Mr. Juan Manuel Gomez Robledo, (A/CN.4/738) at its 3514th and 3516th to 3521st meetings, held from 4 to 14 May 2021. The Commission further decided to refer to the Drafting Committee the text of the draft guidelines on “Provisional application of treaties” together with the draft model clauses, as proposed by the Special Rapporteur in his sixth report, together with the comments and suggestions made during the debate.

At the 3530th meeting, held on 3 June 2021, the Chair of the Drafting Committee presented the report of the Drafting Committee on “Provisional application of treaties” (A/CN.4/L.952).  The Commission took note of the report.

See also: Comments by Governments

Protection of the atmosphere (Summary | Analytical Guide)

The Commission considered the sixth report of the Special Rapporteur on the topic, Mr. Shinya Murase, (A/CN.4/736) at its 3508th to 3510th and 3512th to 3514th meetings, held from 26 April to 4 May 2021. The Commission further decided to refer to the Drafting Committee the text of the draft guidelines with the draft preamble on “Protection of the atmosphere”, as proposed by the Special Rapporteur in his sixth report on the topic, together with the comments and suggestions made during the debate.

At the 3529th meeting, held on 27 May 2021, the Chair of the Drafting Committee presented the report of the Drafting Committee on “Protection of the atmosphere” (A/CN.4/L.951).  The Commission considered the report and adopted the preamble and the following draft guidelines on second reading: 1 (Use of terms/Définitions), 2 (Scope/Champ d’application), 3 (Obligation to protect the atmosphere/Obligation de protéger l’atmosphère), 4 (Environmental impact assessment/Évaluation de l’impact sur l’environnement), 5 (Sustainable utilization of the atmosphere/Utilisation durable de l’atmosphère), 6 (Equitable and reasonable utilization of the atmosphere/Utilisation équitable et raisonnable de l’atmosphère), 7 (Intentional large-scale modification of the atmosphere/Modification intentionnelle à grande échelle de l’atmosphère), 8 (International cooperation/Coopération internationale), 9 (Interrelationship among relevant rules/Relations entre règles pertinentes), 10 (Implementation/Mise en œuvre), 11 (Compliance/Contrôle du respect), 12 (Dispute settlement/Règlement des différends).

See also: Comments by Governments

Succession of States in respect of State responsibility (Summary | Analytical Guide)

The Commission considered the Report of the Drafting Committee on “Succession of States in respect to State responsibility” (A/CN.4/L.939/Add.1) which had been taken note of at the seventy-first session, at its 3528th meeting held on 21 May 2021, and adopted draft articles 7 (Acts having a continuing character/Faits ayant un caractère continu), 8 (Attribution of conduct of an insurrectional or other movement/Attribution du comportement d’un mouvement insurrectionnel ou autre) and 9 (Cases of succession of States when the predecessor State continues to exist/Cas de succession d’États dans lesquels l’État prédécesseur continue d’exister).

See also: Comments by Governments

General principles of law (Summary | Analytical Guide)

See also: Comments by Governments

Sea-level rise in relation to international law (Summary | Analytical Guide)

The Study Group on Sea-level rise in relation to International Law held its first 4 meetings, from 1 to 4 June 2021.

See also: Comments by Governments

Cooperation with other bodies

Other business

  • 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.
  • At is 3511th meeting, held on 29 April 2021, the Commission elected Mr. Mathias Forteau (France) to fill the casual vacancy following the resignation of Mr. Georg Nolte (A/CN.4/744 + Add.1).
  • The Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and United Nations Legal Counsel, Mr. Miguel de Serpa Soares, made a statement via Zoom at the 3540th meeting, held on 14 July 2021, 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.
  • The President of the International Court of Justice, Judge Joan E. Donoghue, addressed the Commission via Zoom at the 3548th meeting, held on 22 July 2021. An exchange of views followed.

Date and place of the seventy-third session