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The Fifty-Sixth Session of the International Law Commission

  • Michael J. Matheson

Extract

The International Law Commission held its fifty-sixdi session in Geneva from May 3 to June 4, and from July 5 to August 6, 2004, under the chairmanship of Teodor Melescanu of Romania. The Commission completed its first reading of draft principles on international liability for transboundary harm and draft articles on diplomatic protection, which have now been submitted for comment by states with a view to their completion in 2006. The Commission also continued its work on reservations to treaties, responsibility of international organizations, unilateral acts of states, fragmentation of international law, and shared natural resources. In addition, the Commission decided to start work next year on the effect of armed conflict on treaties and the expulsion of aliens, and to recommend adding a new topic—the obligation to prosecute or extradite—to its long-term program. The following is a summary of where each topic stands and what issues are likely to be most prominent at the Commission's 2005 session.

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1 Report of the International law Commission on the Work of Its Fifty-sixth Session (May 3-June 4 and July 5-August 6, 2004), UN GAOR 59th Sess., at 153-56, para. 175, UN Doc. A/59/10 (2004) [hereinafter 2004 Report]. Commission documents are available online at <http://www.un.org/law/ilc>.

2 Report of the International Law Commission on the Work of Its Fifty-third Session, UN GAOR, 56th Sess., Supp. No. 10, at 370-77, para. 97, UN Doc. A/56/10 (2001).

3 UN Doc. A/CN.4/531 (2003).

4 UN Doc. A/CN.4/540 (2004).

5 2004 Report, supra note 1, at 153-54.

6 UN Doc. A/CONF.151/5/Rev.l (1992), 31 ILM 874 (1992).

7 Id. at 878.

8 Id. at 879.

9 2004 Report, supra note 1, at 153.

10 Id. at 154, princ. 1.

11 2001 Report, supra note 2, at 43-59, para. 76.

12 2004 Report, supra note 1, at 154-55, princ. 2(a), (c).

13 Id. at 155, princ. 3.

14 Id. at 185, princ. 3, cmt. 1.

15 Id. at 155, princ. 4, paras. 1-5.

16 Id. at 155, princ. 5.

17 Id. at 156, princ. 6, paras. 1-3.

18 Id. at 156, princ. 7, paras. 1-2.

19 Id. at 156, princ. 8, paras. 1-3.

20 UN Doc. A/CN.4/538 (2004).

21 2004 Report, supra note 1, at 17-22.

22 UN Doc. A/CN.4/538, supra note 20, at 3-4, paras. 5-6.

23 Id. at 5, paras, 9-10.

24 Id. at 7, para. 14.

25 Id. at 19, Art. 26.

26 2004 Report, supra note I, at 22.

27 Id.

28 UN Doc. A/CN.4/538, supra note 20, at 21, art. 27.

29 The M/V “Saiga” (No. 2) Case (St. Vincent v. Guinea), Judgment, ITLOS Case No. 2, para. 104 (July 1, 1999), 38 ILM 1323, 1346 (1999), available at <http://www.itlos.org>, reported at 94 AJIL 140 (2000).

30 The “Juno Trader” (St. Vincent v. Guinea-Bissau), Prompt Release, ITLOS Case No. 13, Joint Separate Opinion of Judges Mensah and Wolfram, para. 10 (Dec. 18, 2004), available at <http://www.itlos.org>, noted that “the procedure for the prompt release of a ship under article 292 of the Convention . . . may be compared to diplomatic protection of persons” and that “it cannot easily be assumed that a change in ownership automatically leads to a change of the flag.”

31 2004 Report, supra note 1, at 22.

32 Id. at 20.

33 Id.

34 Id.

35 ICSID Case No. ARB(AF)/98/3, para. 225 (NAFTA Ch. 11 Arb. Trib. June 26, 2003), 42 ILM 811 (2003).

36 Statement of the Chairman of the Drafting Committee, 2806th Meeting of the ILC, May 28, 2004, at 4-5, available at <http://www.un.org/law/ilc>. There were doubts, for example, about whether continuity through resolution of the claim should be required if nationality changed as a result of succession or dissolution of a state, or through marriage in the case of natural persons.

37 2004 Report, supra note 1, paras. 235-68.

38 UN Doc. A/CN.4/544 (2004).

39 Id. at 2, para. 2.6.1.

40 2004 Report, supra note 1, at 263, para. 2.4.8.

41 UN Doc. A/CN.4/541 (2004).

42 2004 Report, supra note 1, at 99, paras. 1-2.

43 Id.

44 Id. at 100.

45 Id.

46 UN Doc. A/CN.4/542 (2004).

47 UN Doc. A/CN.4/L.663/Rev.l (2004), at 6, para. 12.

48 Id. at 7, para. 16.

49 Id. at 13-16, paras. 36-42.

50 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, opened for signature May 23, 1969, 1155 UNTS 331.

51 UN Doc. A/CN.4/L.663/Rev. 1, supra note 47, at 16-19, paras, 43-49.

52 Id. at 19-22, paras. 50-56.

53 Id. at 22-24, paras, 57-63.

54 UN Doc. A/CN.4/539 (2004); A/CN.4/539/Add.l (2004).

55 UN Doc. A/CN 4/539, supra note 54, at 4, para. 10.

56 Id. at 6, para. 16(a), (c).

57 Id. at 7, paras. 21,23.

58 Id. at 7-8, para. 24(1), (3).

59 Id. at 9, para. 29(1).

60 Id., para. 31(1).

61 Id. at 10, para. 33(2).

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