International Law Commission International Law Commission

Last update: December 11, 2019

Summaries of the Work of the International Law Commission

General principles of law

See also: Analytical Guide | Texts and Instruments

At its seventieth session, in 2018, the International Law Commission decided to include the topic "General principles of law" in its programme of work, on the basis of the recommendation of the Working Group on the long-term programme of work. The Commission decided to appoint Mr. Marcelo Vázquez-Bermúdez as Special Rapporteur for the topic.

At its seventy-first session, in 2019, the Commission had before it the first report of the Special Rapporteur,1> which addressed the scope of the topic and the main issues to be addressed in the course of the work of the Commission. The report also addressed previous work of the Commission related to general principles of law and provided an overview of the development of general principles of law over time, as well as an initial assessment of certain basic aspects of the topic. Three draft conclusions were proposed. The Commission decided to refer draft conclusions 1 to 3, as contained in the Special Rapporteur’s first report, to the Drafting Committee, taking into account the views expressed in the plenary. The Commission subsequently received an oral interim report of the Drafting Committee on draft conclusion 1, provisionally adopted by the Drafting Committee. The report was presented for information only.

The work of the Commission on the topic as described above has been proceeding in accordance with the resolutions adopted by the General Assembly under the item relating to the report of the International Law Commission.2

1 See document A/CN.4/732.

2 General Assembly resolution 73/265 of 22 December 2018