Symposia on the ILC’s Work

70th Anniversary Celebration of the ILC

The FIU Law Review and Professor Charles C. Jalloh hosted The Role and Contributions of the ILC to the Development of International Law, a Symposium celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the International Law Commission.

The International Law Commission’s past, present, and future was assessed from the perspective of progressive development and codification of international law. Leading scholars and practitioners of international law from around the world convened to interrogate how the foundational pillars of “progressive development” and “codification” of international law took concrete expression in the mandate and practice of the ILC. This 70th Anniversary Symposium reviewed the key accomplishments of the ILC over its 70 years, its distinctive features, and celebrated the Commission’s contributions to the establishment of a rule-based international legal order.

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AJICJ Special Issue on Crimes Against Humanity

 In 2014, the International Law Commission (“ILC”), a subsidiary expert body established by the UN General Assembly, added the topic “Crimes against Humanity” onto its program of work and appointed Prof. Sean Murphy (USA) as Special Rapporteur. Five years later, in 2019, the ILC completed the second reading of its draft articles on the prevention and punishment of crimes against humanity. The Commission submitted its final text, with commentaries, to the UN General Assembly with a recommendation that States either elaborate a convention in the UN or convene a diplomatic conference to negotiate a convention based on the draft articles. 

In the subsequent fall 2019 Sixth Committee debate, many States welcomed the ILC draft articles and endorsed one or the other of the ILC recommendations. Austria offered to host the diplomatic conference in Vienna. However, citing various reasons including concerns about the definition of the crime and a parallel initiative promoting a mutual legal assistance treaty for core crimes, a number of other States expressed some doubts. In the end, the General Assembly adopted Resolution 74/187, on 18 December 2019, in which it took note of the ILC draft articles and decided to include the topic in the provisional agenda of its 75th (2020) session with the view to continuing to examine the ILC recommendation. 

In view of the potential significance of this proposed new treaty to the international community’s fight against impunity, and its likely role as a useful complement to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide adopted by the General Assembly on 9 December 1948, the African Journal of International Criminal Justice published a special issue bringing bring together leading scholars and practitioners of international criminal law to review the fall 2019 Sixth Committee debate on the ILC draft crimes against humanity convention. The primary goal of this issue to examine, at a technical level, the concerns expressed by States that opposed specific aspects of the ILC draft text and recommendation as well as discuss elements of the ILC’s work more broadly. 

Click here to read the Special Issue