26 October 2010
General Assembly
GA/L/3400

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-fifth General Assembly

Sixth Committee

20th Meeting (AM)


Problem of How Newly Emerging States Respond to Treaty Doubts Expressed

 

by Predecessors Is Discussed in Assembly’s Legal Committee

 


As Debate Continues on International Law Commission Report,

Delegates Say Difficult Issue of ‘Reservations’ Needs Further Study, Clarification


Examining the issues involved in objections to treaties as related to State succession would be a useful contribution to the future settlement of State succession issues, Slovenia’s representative said today as the Sixth Committee (Legal) continued its annual consideration of the report of the International Law Commission with a focus on draft guidelines on objections to treaties and other matters, including the Commission’s work methods.


The guidelines on how treaties were affected in the event of State succession were particularly important since there were few rules on the matter, Slovenia’s delegate went on.  The guidelines covered a broad spectrum of situations when succession occurred either by treaty or by the process of notification.  They also differentiated between newly emerging independent States, and those resulting when States either united or separated.  Thus, the guide represented the progressive development of international law based on the 1978 Vienna Convention on Succession of States in respect to treaties.


At first glance, the delegate of the United Kingdom agreed, the guidelines seemed to be in line with the Vienna Convention.  However, there was ambiguity about when a reservation went into effect and in the case of impermissible reservations, it was not clear that lack of objection could cure its nullity.  The crux of the issue concerned “severance of the reservation”, an issue on which States differed.  The Commission should clarify the matter and give consideration to how the guidelines could be given effect in practice.


On the legal effects of established reservations and the consequences of invalid reservations, Egypt’s representative said consideration should be given to whether a reserving State would become a party of a treaty if the reservation did not meet the standard of permissibility.  The present wording of the guideline on impermissibility, for example, would create confusion and leave a ratifying State with unintended consequences and an obligation to conditions to which it had not agreed.  That was the equivalent of asking a criminal to self-incriminate.


Who was to judge the validity of a reservation?, the representative of the Republic of Korea asked.  Nobody could judge the validity of reservations when States held different views on the matter.


Thailand’s representative, however, pointed out that a reservation was established when it met certain criteria.  To be established, a reservation had to be permissible, formulated by the appropriate procedure and accepted by contracting States or organizations.


On the other major theme today, concerning the Law Commission’s work methods, the representative of Netherlands noted that the working group on the matter had not met since 1996 but would be meeting again during the next session.  He also noted that the current work programme indicated a trend towards a differentiated approach to the development of individual topics rather than the view that the only appropriate outcome of the Commission’s work was codification in the form of a convention.


Japan’s delegate, however, said the Commission’s main task was to elaborate draft articles and not to conduct research.  He questioned the “proliferation” of study groups on specific and technical aspects of international law and said careful consideration should be given to choosing areas of international law that urgently needed elaboration, such as those related to the environment.


Saying the rule of law was the essence of the Commission’s work, India’s representative said interaction between the Commission and the Legal Committee was an important tool for both the progressive development of international law and for promoting the rule of law.  The symbiotic relationship between the Commission and the International Court of Justice did the same.  The Court relied on treaties as binding instruments and cited Commission outcomes as evidence of customary international law.  Conversely, the Commission took account of the jurisprudence developed through the Court’s decisions.  Together they provided the legal groundwork for national and international courts and tribunals.


Also speaking today were the representatives of Czech Republic, Italy, Portugal, Belarus, Belgium, Russian Federation, Romania, United States, France and Colombia.


In addition today, it was announced that two topics had emerged as subject for debate in the interactive dialogue between the Committee and the Commission.  One concerned reservations to treaties with a focus on effects of established reservations, consequences of invalid reservations and the question of impermissible reservations.  The other topic concerned the future of codification and the progressive development of international law with a focus on the interaction of Member States in the Legal Committee and the Commission.


The Committee will meet again at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow, Wednesday, 27 October, to continue its discussion of the Commission’s report.


Background


The Sixth Committee (Legal) met this morning to continue its annual consideration of the report of the International Law Commission with a focus on the introductory chapters, reservations to treaties and other topics.  (For background on the report and themes, see Press Release GA/L/3399 of 25 October.)


Statements on Reservations to Treaties


PAVEL ŠTURMA ( Czech Republic) said that with the adoption of the Guide to Practice next year and its introduction into practice, States and international organizations would be provided with guidance in this area of international law.  He supported the distinction made by the Special Rapporteur between the purported effects and the actual effects in regards to the legal effects of reservations and interpretative declaration.  These distinctions noted that such effects were not necessarily identical and depended on the validity and permissibility of the reservation, as well as on the reactions of other interested States or international organizations.  He also welcomed the relevant guideline on exceptions to the general principle of reciprocal application of a reservation, which operated in view of the nature of the obligation or the purpose of the treaty, with human rights treaties being the most typical in this area.


He said he supported the distinction between the effects of an objection and those of an acceptance.  The practice subsequent to the Vienna Convention had confirmed that simple objections with “minimum-effect” were used as a rule and objections with “maximum-effect” as an exception.  The relevant guideline addressing the consequence of an invalid reservation filled one of the most “serious gaps” in the Vienna Conventions, spelling out the basic principle that an invalid reservation had no legal effect.


GIORGIO MARAPODI ( Italy) said the Commission’s unprecedented progress this year on reservation to treaties showed the advantage of devoting considerable time to a subject.  The Commission should therefore use the same method in future whenever possible, and could devote much of next year’s time to the subject of immunity of State officials.  During the year, the Commission had clarified that, in its opinion, the deadline for making objections to impermissible reservations was not restricted by the time-limit set out in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.  He argued that, given the high number of treaties and reservations, it was difficult for the relevant department to pay prompt attention to statements made by other contracting States, particularly when they contained ambiguous language.


Moreover, the impermissible character of a reservation may become clear only after a certain amount of time has elapsed.  There was some merit in the practice followed by several States in which they reacted to impermissible reservations irrespective of any deadline set out for objections in the Vienna Convention.


In closing, he pointed out that the 1978 Vienna Convention on Succession of States in respect of Treaties had attracted few ratifications and accessions, and State practice often did not follow it.  The variety of State practice inevitably affected the values of guidelines written based on the idea that what is stated in the Convention corresponded to general international law.


MIGUEL DE SERPA SOARES ( Portugal) expressed disappointment that the topic “immunity of State officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction” was not discussed for the second consecutive year without a clear explanation.  There had been a call for identifying other subjects for the Commission’s future work, in order to address the international community’s current needs.  In that regard, he suggested that the Commission address the subject of “Hierarchy in International Law” and related issues.  Recent developments in jurisprudence had reflected the growing complexity and dispersion of the international legal order; thus the issue should be addressed in a legal context.


On the issue of “reservations to treaties”, he commended the Commission for having provisionally adopted the entire set of draft guidelines of the Guide to Practice on Reservations to Treaties.  He then noted that the draft guidelines could take a stance on the correctness of the depository practice, as seen with regard to draft guideline 4.2.2.  It would be important to not void the effects of the Vienna Conventions in favour of a divergent practice, he stressed.  Moreover, the Guide could provide a more precise definition of the moment when the author became a contracting State or organization.


Continuing, he said he concurred with the view that the nullity of a reservation also affected its author’s consent to be bound by the treaty with respect to draft guideline 4.5.2.  The starting point, he said, should be the assumption that a treaty does not enter into force for the author of a null reservation.  The principle of consent remained the cornerstone of that subject matter.


VLADIMIR CHUSHEV ( Belarus) welcomed the adoption of the Guide to Practice on reservation to treaties, noting that the topic was one of the most complex issues in the law of treaties.  Furthermore, the Commission’s work contributed to the theory of law of treaties and he expressed appreciation for the steps taken to achieve maximum clarity in the guidelines.  The approach chosen by the Commission, in his view, would not lead to difficulties in implementation.  The relevant article addressing the effects on an established reservation presented a good balance.  However, he requested modification which would provide authors of such reservations with the opportunity to understand the expected effect of reservation when formulating it.  This modification would strengthen sovereign equality in the process of States becoming parties to treaties.


He also said that it was productive to consider the issue of interpretative declarations in any instruments related to a treaty with the aim to eradicate ambiguity.  He commended the efforts of the Commission in filling a legal lacuna in this regard and he said that the Commission should carry out codification and progressive development in the area of the legal regime of the interpretative declaration; it would be productive to have more detailed guidelines on this issue.


HUSSEIN MUBARAK ( Egypt) said the International Law Commission was an important element in the maintenance of international peace and security.  Its coordination with other bodies should continue to be strengthened.  It was also vital that the Commission’s report be made available at least a month before being considered in the Legal Committee, which could be accomplished either by the Commission meeting earlier or the Committee taking up the report later in the session.  That was essential because the report was voluminous, the text of the guidelines on reservations to treaties was virtually adopted with only a year until adoption, and the issues involved in the legal effects of reservations were important, particularly with regard to succession.


On the substance of the Commission’s report, he said he agreed with the approach that the guidelines on reservations to treaties were based on the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties but did not depart from it.  Written comments would be submitted before the end of January, particularly with regards to the guidelines dealing with the legal effects of established reservations and the consequences of invalid reservations.  Matters to be considered included whether a reserving State would become a party to a treaty if the reservation did not meet the standard of permissibility.  The present wording of the guideline on the consequences of invalid reservations, for example, would create confusion and would leave a ratifying State with unintended consequences and an obligation to conditions on which there had been no agreement, as if asking a criminal to self-incriminate.  The text should clarify the issues involved in nullification and ratification.


On other matters, he said he agreed with the topics the Commission intended to take up and that regional organizations should be consulted in the Commission’s consideration of the item on “settlement of disputes clauses”.


PATRICK DURAY ( Belgium) commented on several point regarding the topic “reservations to treaties”, specifically on the effects of established reservations and the consequences of an invalid reservation.  Giving an overview of the relevant articles, he expressed his appreciation for the two-part structure regarding the effect of the establishment of a reservation on the entry into force of a treaty.  In that regard, he said that when doubts persisted, it would be preferable that the threshold be triggered only by taking into account States that hadn’t taken a reservation or had made an established reservation.  Furthermore, he noted that opposition to a reservation was not equivalent to the non-acceptance of the reservation.  Rather, the State might be clarifying its need to study from the perspective of taking a position later on.


With regard to the article addressing the consequences of an invalid reservation, he said this did not govern the acceptance of an invalid reservation.  Thus, he welcomed the Commission’s effort to fill this gap.  The article was devoid of legal effect and was indeed founded on the practice of the States.  The absence of the legal effect did not depend on the reaction of States.  Continuing, he proposed that further consideration be given to the theory of “severability”.  He urged the Commission to further consider other topics of importance to his country, including, the “obligation to extradite or prosecute” and the “immunity of State officials” as such work would greatly benefit States.


NATALIA SILKINA ( Russian Federation) regretted that the many documents prepared by the Commission and acknowledged by States and international organizations were not legally binding international instruments, in particular the draft articles on “State responsibility” and “diplomatic protection”.  Other issues, including “effects of armed conflicts on international treaties”, among others, were also of interest and equally important.  On the subject of financial support for the Special Rapporteur’s which had been raised, she said support for their work should be re-examined within the Committee’s framework, with a request to the Secretary-General to provide a more detailed option of support than previously submitted.  States should also consider the possibility of financing the work of the Special Rapporteur’s.


Turning to the topic of “reservations to the international treaties”, she said that the Commission was able to answer the questions on how an existing reservation would be executed between the parties to an international treaty and what would be the consequences of a reservation that did not conform to the conditions of validity.  Many of these provisions could be deducted from the Vienna Conventions although they were not explicitly stated in there.  She stressed the importance to make a clear distinction between the reservations conforming to the conditions of validity and invalid reservations, and also pointed out that some viewed the legal consequences and effects of these different reservations as identical, which was an “obvious paradox”.  The presumption of nullity of an invalid reservation, as reflected in the draft articles, was an approach which clarified the regime of reservations and set the possible options for States formulating such reservations, as well as protecting the treaties themselves from unpredictable and undesirable changes resulting from invalid reservations.


ANDRAŽ ZIDAR ( Slovenia) said he supported the decision by the Law Commission to continue discussing the issue of “settlement of dispute clauses” at its next session.  The Commission’s reiteration of its commitment to the rule of law was also welcome since the issue was essential for the coherent development of international law, which could be achieved only by enhanced cooperation between international courts, tribunals and institutions, and between those bodies and States.  The relationship between the Commission and the International Court of Justice enhanced the promotion of the rule of law through the consistent application of international rules and by demonstrating a common approach to international law.  Enhanced cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations would further enhance the rule of law.


Moving on to “reservations to treaties”, he noted that this year’s work had focused on central issues, including the legal effects of reservations and interpretative declarations, acceptances and objections to reservations and reactions to interpretative declarations.  He said the elaboration of the text on the consequences of an invalid reservation and the nullity of an invalid reservation was of great significance since the Vienna Conventions were silent on both the issue of interpretative declarations and the effects of invalid reservations.  The presumption of the severability of an invalid reservation together with the conditions for applying the presumption was a novel attempt toward legal stability.  There now existed a coherent set of rules that differentiated between the effects and consequences of valid and invalid reservations.  While the nullity of an invalid reservation depended on the reservation and not the reactions it elicited, objections to invalid reservations were important both for the reservations dialogue and for bringing the matter to the attention of the bodies assessing the validity of the reservation.


He said examination of the issues relative to succession of States was of particular importance since there was a dearth of applicable rules.  The guidelines aimed to regulate a broad spectrum of possible situations occurring from succession either by treaty or by way of notification.  The guidelines also differentiated between newly independent States and those in which succession was a result of a uniting or separation of States.  Thus, the guide in great part represented the progressive development of international law based on the 1978 Vienna Convention on Succession of States in respect to treaties and as such, would be a useful contribution to the future settlement of succession issues.


ALINA OROSAN ( Romania) expressed regret that the subject of “immunities of State officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction” had not been debated this year by the Commission, and said that she looked forward to the future reports and debates, which would be “ample” because of the topic’s complexity.  Turning to the topic “reservations to treaties”, she commended the sixteen years of “impressive work” of the Special Rapporteur and welcomed the conclusion of this topic during the next year.  The Commission had, she said, filled some gaps left by the Vienna Conventions, and had addressed, among others, the issues of the legal effects of reservations to treaties, of objections to reservations, interpretative declarations and invalid reservations.


On a preliminary analysis of the effects of an established reservation, she said she offered her agreement with the commentaries and subsequent language of the draft guideline.  She noted that there was a distinction between the provisions of the Vienna Convention regarding the date the author of a reservation would become a party to the specific treaty and the practical application of the provisions.  With regard to the nullity of an invalid reservation, which she said was “purely objective” and did not depend on the reactions of States, she said it was helpful for States to respond, in order to clarify the legal relationship between the reserving State and the State reacting, a stance reflected in the relevant draft guidelines and commentaries.  Thus, the text on the consequences of the invalid reservations, based on a preliminary evaluation, helped clarify the issue.


DANIEL BETHLEHEM ( United Kingdom) noted that the working group on the Law Commission’s working methods had not met since 1996, but would be meeting again at the next session.  The current programme of work demonstrated a trend towards a differentiated approach to the development of individual topics rather than the view that the only appropriate outcome of the Commission’s work should be codification in the form of a convention.  The articles on “state responsibility” and those on “diplomatic protection” were in their appropriate form, just as the guidelines were on “reservations to treaties”.  He said the selection of new topics would continue to be a challenge, but the objective in that regard should be to both look for new topics and also to end discussion on others.  The work on the “immunity of State officials” should continue.  Discussion of the item on “settlement of disputes clauses” should examine options involving international organizations, given that the International Court of Justice was unavailable as a forum in those situations.


He noted that delegations had recommended during the earlier discussion of “universal jurisdiction” that the issue be handed to the Commission for consideration as part of its work on the obligation to extradite or prosecute.  He said that would not be useful or helpful.   The Commission hoped to complete its work on reservations to treaties by next year, and yet delegations had not had enough time to consider the text.  On the topic of responsibility of international organizations, there was insufficient time to consider commentaries and work on the subject should be postponed.


On the subject of “reservations to treaties”, he said he would comment on two aspects of the guidelines:  the effect of established reservations and the effect of invalid reservations.  At first glance, the guideline on the effects of established reservations seemed to take into consideration the other relevant international instruments related to the question.  Nevertheless, there was legal ambiguity about when a reservation went into effect.  Likewise, it was not clear that lack of objection could cure the nullity of an impermissible reservation.  Consideration should be given as to how the guidelines could be given effect in practice.


KRIANSAK KITTICHAISAREE ( Thailand) said he would return to the subject of ‘reservations to treaties’ in the future.  The concept behind an established reservation was that a reservation met certain criteria, meaning that the reservation was permissible, had been formulated by the appropriate procedures and had been accepted by contracting States or organizations.   The guidelines as formulated by the Law Commission drew on the Vienna Convention and they covered the situation of an invalid reservation being accepted by another state.  The guidelines on the effects of an established reservation had been appropriately included and covered areas such as consent to be bound and nullity.  The guidelines on the status of the author of an invalid reservation should take into account the intention of the reservation and the State’s consent to assume obligations.


DARIN JOHNSON ( United States) said he would raise questions on recent work done about invalid or impermissible reservations, which might deserve further consideration.  The report included the recently proposed guideline that even if a reservation was invalid, if no party objected to it after being expressly informed of its invalidity by the depositary at the request of a party, the reservation “shall be deemed permissible.”  This seemed impractical, since it was unlikely another State would ask the depositary to bring attention to the fact a reservation was invalid but not object to it.  He also had concerned suggestions of a new approach regarding consequences for an invalid reservation that was not collectively accepted by the parties to a treaty.  It was the long-standing view of the United States that an attempt to assign an obligation expressly not undertaken by a country, even if based on an invalid reservation, was inconsistent with the fundamental principle of consent, which was the foundation of the law of treaties.


It was worth noting that draft guidelines left the reserving State that made an invalid reservation with only two choices:  to become a party without the benefit of the reservation consistent with the presumption, or to refrain from becoming party to the treaty at all.  That did not allow for the possibility that the objecting State may prefer to have a treaty relationship even with the invalid reservation than no treaty relationship at all, he said.  There were times when it may be more practical to continue to have a treaty relationship with a State, despite the existence of an impermissible reservation; while that was not an ideal scenario, it was important not to rule it out.  The draft guidelines address an issue not clearly articulated in the Vienna Conventions and on which there were widely carrying views, and thus no customary international rules to codify.  Under such circumstances, substantial caution in the approach was warranted and perhaps more time should be devoted to this issue.


EDWIGE BELLIARD ( France), thanking the Special Rapporteur for his work, said the Guide to Practice would be an important tool for States and that her country would submit their comments by the deadline in 2011.  Turning to the relevant article on the acceptance of impermissible reservations, she said collective acceptance was not taken into consideration; thus, acceptance of an impermissible reservation would be impermissible.  It was difficult to understand the justification of the affirmation that the invalid reservation would be deemed valid if all States would accept it.


She then turned to the relevant guidelines on the legal effects on interpretative declarations, stating that conditions of entering into force required clarification regarding States or organizations.  The relevant guidelines seemed to contradict the relevant article in the Vienna Convention of 1969, because the guidelines said that a State would only become a contracting State once the reservation had been established.  She said that establishing a reservation only had consequences on the reserving and the accepting States, but not on the entry into force.  The objection, even if it was widened, did not prevent the treaty from entering force for the State presenting the reservation.  Concluding, she said that the topic of “immunity of State officials from foreign jurisdiction” warranted further study and codification, and she regretted it had not been considered this year.


LIESBETH LIJNZAAD (Netherlands) on the topic “reservations of treaties” said she agreed with the comparison of two alternatives that the Special Rapporteur presented, one described as the “severability of an impermissible reservation from the reserving State’s consent to be bound” and the other representing “pure consensualism” which denied the entry into force of a treaty for the author of that reservation.  She commended the Special Rapporteur’s effort in trying to find a middle way by formulating a relevant article that would address this matter; however, the potential solution provided seemed “distant” and she questioned whether this area should be included in the Guide to Practice.


On the issue of reservations of treaties in the case of succession, she noted that the 1978 Vienna Convention on this issue distinguished between two categories of “successor” States in respect to treaties — one on States emerging from former colonies and the other of States uniting or separating.  A gap on States uniting and separating was evident, and one that the relevant draft articles were attempting to rectify.  Furthermore, this latter category of successor State was subject to the continuity of the treaty obligations of its predecessor, which was not based on practice at the time of drafting in 1978.  However, after 1989, a large number of separating territories in Eastern Europe applied the clean slate rule.  This approach, which was relevant to the Guide for Practice, was absent.  She noted that only a small number of recent cases were represented in the relevant draft guidelines.  Concluding, she expressed regret that the Commission had not been able to consider the Special Rapporteur’s report on “immunity of State officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction” and she urged that this be given priority in the Commission’s work.


ÁLVARO SANDOVAL BERNAL ( Colombia) called for an exploration of support mechanisms for the work of the Law Commission and its special Rapporteur’s.  He said the issue of the “responsibility of international organizations” called for a deeper examination of the issues and the difficulties generated by the lack of practice in the area.  Differences between the regimes for responsibility of States and of international organizations should also be studied to achieve a fair balance between the two articles.  In the event that that proved impossible, the concrete issues arriving from the responsibility of international organizations should be the focus.


Turning to other topics, he said the focus of “reservations to treaties” should be on State practice.  The issue on “expulsion of aliens” was complex in terms of codification in context of customary law.  Work on the important issue should continue, however, so that related topics could be clarified.  The item on “protection of persons in the event of disaster” should be considered in light of the compiled impact of national legislation, international agreements and the practice of both States and non-State actors.  Situations of armed conflicts should not be included in the scope.


He said it was premature to take on the question of oil and gas within the context of “shared natural resources”.   Work on the “obligation to prosecute or extradite” should take into account the importance of that principle as a tool in fighting impunity.  Channels of communication must be opened on the important topic of the “immunity of State officials” from criminal prosecution.  Finally, work should continue on the “most favoured nation clause”, “treaties over time” and “diplomatic protection”.


YASUMASA NAGAMINE (Japan), commending the efforts of the Law Commission, expressed concerns as to whether or not the its work fully covered the mainstream issues of international law, and inquired as to whether the Commission had been fully engaged with the crucial needs of the present-day international community.  He said both these concerns related to the working methods of the Commission.


As the Commission’s main task was to elaborate draft articles, rather than conduct research, he questioned the “proliferation” of study groups focusing on specific and technical aspects of international law at the Commission.  To this end, he said that careful consideration was needed in choosing areas of international law that urgently needed elucidation, or the elaboration of concrete legal rules.


In that regard, he noted a proposal had been submitted to the Commission on the environmental protection of the atmosphere.  It was an item requiring urgent and coordinated actions of both States and non-State actors around the world.  With the exception of the draft articles on the “law of transboundary aquifers”, to be discussed next year in the Committee, the Commission had not taken up any topic on international environmental law since the conclusion of the topic on International Liability for Injurious Consequences arising out of Acts not Prohibited by International Law.  The proposal before the Commission on atmospheric environment warranted consideration and he expressed hope that the elaboration of relevant rules of international law in this area, which remained to be codified, be explored.


BACK KYUNG-WHA (Republic of Korea) commended the Commission for its achievements over the past sixty years which contributed to the “daily conduct of international relations”.  Although the Commission should be careful in adding new topics to its agenda, she observed that there were new topics that were essential in dealing with the problems of today’s society, in particular Internet-related international crimes.  She recommended that these new topics be addressed either with feasibility studies conducted by the Secretariat, or the establishment of an open-ended working group.


Thanking the Special Rapporteur for his work on “reservations to treaties”, she said that caution should be exercised when trying to add new elements to the existing Vienna Conventions.  As reservations and interpretative declarations had different purposes, she supported the relevant draft article that distinguished interpretative declarations from reservations, by characterizing it as an element to be taken into account when interpreting treaties.  With regard to the consequences of an invalid reservation, she questioned who could judge the validity.  The validity of reservations had been one of the most complicated issues on the topic.  There was no body that could judge the validity of reservations by one State when other States held different views on the issue.


JANARDAN DWIVEDI ( India) said the rule of law constituted the essence of the Commission’s work.  The debates between Commission members and those of the Legal Committee were important tools for both the progressive development of international law and the promotion of the rule of law at the national and international levels.  In turn, the relationship between the Commission and the International Court of Justice was symbiotic, with the Court relying on treaties as binding instruments and citing other Commission outcomes as evidence of customary international law.  Conversely, the Commission had taken into account the jurisprudence developed through the Court’s decisions when formulating draft articles.  All those rules, in turn, provided the legal groundwork for national and international courts and tribunals.


On “reservations to treaties”, he said the Commission had kept within the framework of the Vienna convention except in the case of impermissible reservations.  Under the proposed guideline in such a case, the reserving State became a party to the treaty without benefit of the reservation unless it clearly indicated it did not wish to be bound by the treaty in such circumstances.  The concept was a cause of serious concern since it could bring uncertainty to international treaty relations.


In conclusion, he welcomed improvements to the Commission’s website and the conduct of its work.  He called for the restoration of honorariums to the Special Rapporteur’s.


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