CYIL vol. 13 (2022)

CYIL 13 ȍ2022Ȏ THE WORK OF THE INTERNATIONAL LAW COMMISSION AT THE FINAL YEAR… THE WORK OF THE INTERNATIONAL LAW COMMISSION AT THE FINAL YEAR OF ITS QUINQUENNIUM Pavel Šturma * 1. Introduction After one year of the unfortunate interruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and one session conducted in a hybrid format (2021), the UN International Law Commission was back to Geneva, where it usually meets. Nevertheless, it is not possible to say that its 73 rd session was just a business as usual. First of all, this year is the final year of the quinquennium, which lasted exceptionally six years due to the canceled session in 2020. Second, the session was longer (12 weeks), as the Commission aimed at finalizing several topics on a second or first reading. Finally, the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic was still present, in particular at the stage of planning and during the first weeks of the session in April 2022. It means that the programme of the session (its first part) was drafted in a way to fit the expected hybrid format. This had, like in 2021, some implications of the use of time (i.e., shorter meetings, two hours instead of the usual three) and the allocation of meetings of the Drafting Committee in the afternoon only. Fortunately, during the end of April, most members of the Commission arrived in Geneva to attend the physical meetings and just few of them had to rely on a virtual platform (Zoom). This made it possible to reach an agreement with the UN services in Geneva (interpretation) so that the Commission reverted to its usual schedule after two weeks. The first part of its 73 rd session started on 18 April and lasted until 3 June 2022. It met in Geneva and via Zoom. The second part took place between 4 July and 5 August 2022. At its first meeting on 18 April 2022, the Commission elected the Chairperson of the ILC and other officers of the Bureau of the 73 rd session. 1 The allocation of time (7 weeks and 5 weeks) reflected the need to do a large amount of work in the plenary and the Drafting Committee during the first part. This allows the Special Rapporteurs writing or amending their commentaries to the respective draft articles, guidelines, or conclusions as adopted by the Drafting Committee and the Commission as a whole. 2. The topics on the Agenda of the ILC In 2022, the Commission had a total number of six topics on the agenda. During the 12-week session, the ILC was able to discuss the following topics: Peremptory norms of general international law ( jus cogens ), Protection of the environment in relation to armed * Prof. JUDr. Pavel Šturma, DrSc., is Head of the Department of International Law, Faculty of Law, Charles University in Prague, senior research fellow at the Institute of Law of the Czech Academy of Sciences, President of the Czech Society of International Law and member of the UN International Law Commission. He is a co author of the textbook Public International Law and author of many publications on codification of international law, international criminal law, human rights and international investment law. 1 Chairperson: Mr. Dire D. Tladi (South Africa), First Vice-Chairperson: Sir Michael Wood (United Kingdom), Second Vice-Chairperson: Mr. Marcelo Vázquez-Bermúdez (Ecuador), Chair of the Drafting Committee: Mr. Ki Gab Park (Republic of Korea), Rapporteur: Mr. Pavel Šturma (Czech Republic).


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