Sixth Committee (Legal) — 69th session

Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its sixty-sixth session
(Agenda item 78)

Documentation

Summary of work

Background (source: A/69/100)

The International Law Commission was established by the General Assembly at its second session, in 1947, with a view to giving effect to Article 13, paragraph 1 (a), of the Charter and with the objective of promoting the progressive development of international law and its codification (resolution 174 (II)).

The statute of the Commission, annexed to resolution 174 (II), was subsequently amended (resolutions 485 (V), 984 (X), 985 (X) and 36/39). The Commission consists of 34 members elected for a term of five years. The last election was held at the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly (decision 66/506).

At its sixty-eighth session, the General Assembly expressed its appreciation to the Commission for the work accomplished at its sixty-fifth session, recommended that the Commission continue its work on the topics in its current programme; drew the attention of Governments to the importance for the Commission of having their views on the various aspects of the topics on the agenda of the Commission, in particular on all the specific issues identified in chapter III of its report, regarding the topics “Immunity of State officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction”, “Formation and evidence of customary international law”, “Provisional application of treaties” and “Protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts”; drew the attention of Governments to the importance of having their comments and observations by 1 January 2014 on the draft articles and commentaries on the topic “Expulsion of aliens”, adopted on first reading by the Commission at its sixty-fourth session; noted the inclusion of the topics “Protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts” and “Protection of the atmosphere” in the programme of work of the Commission and encouraged it to continue the examination of the topics that are in its long-term programme of work; noted the inclusion of the topic “Crimes against humanity” in the long-term programme of work of the Commission; and invited the Commission to continue to give priority to the topics “Immunity of State officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction” and “The obligation to extradite or prosecute (aut dedere aut judicare)” (resolution 68/112).

Consideration at the sixty-ninth session

The Sixth Committee considered the item at its 19th to 27th and 29th meetings, on 27, 28, 29, 31 October, and 3, 5 and 14 November 2014 (see A/C.6/69/SR.19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 and 29).

The Chair of the International Law Commission at its sixty-sixth session introduced the report of the Commission on the work of that session: chapters I to V and XIV at the 19th meeting, on 27 October, chapters VI to IX at the 21st meeting, on 29 October, and chapters X to XIII at the 25th meeting, on 3 November.

Statements were made by the representative of: Costa Rica (on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC)), the European Union, Finland (on behalf of the Nordic countries), the Russian Federation, Austria, Switzerland, Canada, Peru, Romania, Portugal, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Germany, Ireland, Tonga (on behalf of the Pacific Small Island Developing States), the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, China, Poland, Singapore, Slovenia, Japan, Chile, Israel, Thailand, Slovakia, Belarus, El Salvador, Croatia, South Africa, the United States of America, Algeria, Indonesia, Greece, the Islamic Republic of Iran, New Zealand, Spain, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Cuba, India, Belarus, the Russian Federation, Denmark (on behalf of the Nordic countries), Austria, the Federated States of Micronesia, France, Italy, Australia, Hungary, Palau, Cyprus, Mongolia, Sudan, Viet Nam, Norway (on behalf of the Nordic countries), Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Jamaica and Kazakhstan. A statement was also made by the observer of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Mr. Georg Nolte, Special Rapporteur for the topic “Subsequent agreements and subsequent practice in relation to the interpretation of treaties”, Mr. Shinya Murase, Special Rapporteur for the topic “Protection of the atmosphere”, and Ms. Marie Jacobsson, Special Rapporteur for the topic “Protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts”, made statements.

A summary of the discussions on this agenda item may be found in the Topical summary of the discussion held in the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly, during its sixty-ninth session, prepared by the Secretariat (forthcoming).

Action taken by the Sixth Committee

At the 29th meeting, on 14 November, the representative of Peru, on behalf of the Bureau, introduced two draft resolutions respectively entitled “Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its sixty-sixth session” (A/C.6/69/L.14) and “Expulsion of aliens” (A/C.6/69/L.15).

At the same meeting on 14 November, the Committee adopted draft resolutions A/C.6/69/L.14 and A/C.6/69/L.15 without a vote.

By the terms of draft resolution A/C.6/69/L.14, the General Assembly would, among other things, express its appreciation to the Commission for the work accomplished at its sixty-sixth session. Furthermore, the General Assembly would, inter alia, take note of the inclusion by the Commission of a new topic in its programme of work, namely the topic “Crimes against humanity”, and encourage the Commission to continue the examination of the topics that are in its long-term programme of work. The General Assembly would also take note of the inclusion of the topic “Jus cogens” in the long-term programme of work of the Commission. By the terms of draft resolution A/C.6/69/L.15, the General Assembly would welcome the conclusion of the work of the International Law Commission on the expulsion of aliens and its adoption of the draft articles and a detailed commentary on the subject, express its appreciation to the International Law Commission for its continuing contribution to the codification and progressive development of international law, take note of the recommendation of the International Law Commission contained in paragraph 42 of its report on the work of its sixty-sixth session and decide that the consideration of this recommendation shall be continued at the seventy-second session of the General Assembly.

Related links

 

Quick Links

Key Documents

Resources