The International Law Commission (ILC) held its seventy-third session from April 18 to June 3 and from July 4 to August 5, 2022 in Geneva, under the chairmanship of Dire Tladi (South Africa). This session was the final one of the quinquennium, which originally would have occurred in the summer of 2021 but for the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the seventy-third session, the Commission completed the second reading of two topics: peremptory norms of general international law (jus cogens); and protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts. The Commission completed a first reading of the topic on immunity of state officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction. Progress was also made in developing draft guidelines on succession of states with respect to state responsibility and draft conclusions on general principles of law. Additionally, the Commission’s study group on sea- level rise in relation to international law continued its work, which focused this session on matters relating to statehood and to the protection of persons affected by sea-level rise.
The Commission also added three topics to its agenda: settlement of international disputes to which international organizations are parties; prevention and repression of piracy and armed robbery at sea; and subsidiary means for the determination of rules of international law. Further, the Commission added to its long-term work program a topic on non-legally binding international agreements. One unusual aspect of the session was that the election of the membership for the next quinquennium took place as originally scheduled in November 2021, but those elected will not commence their terms until 2023.
GW Paper Series
Murphy, Sean D., Peremptory Norms of General International Law (Jus Cogens) (Revisited) and Other Topics: The Seventy-Third Session of the International Law Commission, American Journal of International Law, vol. 117 (forthcoming 2023).