CYIL vol. 14 (2023)

CYIL 14 (2023) THE WORK OF THE INTERNATIONAL LAW COMMISSION AT THE BEGINNING … THE WORK OF THE INTERNATIONAL LAW COMMISSION AT THE BEGINNING OF ITS NEW QUINQUENNIUM Pavel Šturma * 1. Introduction This year, when the International Law Commission met in Geneva at its 74 th session (24 April 2023), it was not business as usual. Even if the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the work of the Commission seems to be far away, the Commission in its new composition issued from the elections in the autumn 2021 has changed considerably. It is possible to say that this change, with 18 new members, constitutes one of the most significant moments of discontinuity in the history of the Commission. However, discontinuity in membership should not have a major impact on the substantive agenda of the Commission. The topics placed on its programme in the past that have not yet been completed so far continue to be discussed. The first part of its 74 th session started on 24 April and lasted until 2 June 2023. The second part took place between 3 July and 4 August 2023. At its first meeting on 24 April 2023, the Commission elected the Chairpersons of the ILC and other officers of the Bureau of the seventy-second session. 1 This year, for the first time in the history, the Commission was chaired two women, elected on behalf of the WEOG. The allocation of time (6 weeks and 5 weeks) reflected the wish of Special Rapporteurs to do much work in the plenary and the Drafting Committee during the first part of the session. The plenary debate on all current topics, based on the reports presented, and most of the work of the Drafting Committee took place in 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 2023, the Commission had a total number of six topics on the agenda. During the 11-week session, the ILC was able to discuss the following topics: “General principles of law”, “Settlement of international disputes to which international organizations are parties”, “Prevention and repression of piracy and armed robbery at sea”, “Subsidiary means for the determination of rules of international law”, and “Sea-level rise in relation to international * Prof. JUDr. Pavel Šturma, DrSc., is professor at 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 former member and chairperson 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 Chairpersons: Ms. Nilüfer Oral (Turkey) and Ms. Patricia Galvão Teles (Portugal), First Vice-Chairperson: Mr. Marcelo Vázquez-Bermúdez (Ecuador), Second Vice-Chairperson: Mr. Charles Chernor Jalloh (Sierra Leone), Chair of the Drafting Committee: Mr. Mārtinš Paparinskis (Latvia), Rapporteur: Mr. Hong Thao Nguyen (Viet Nam).


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