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Over its life, the U.N. International Law Commission has developed various ways of “packaging” its work product. Multiple techniques are available for balancing the Commission’s roles in advancing the codification and progressive development of international law – choices about the format of the project, about how to characterize the project in the associated commentary, and about the recommendation to the U.N. General Assembly on what should be done with the completed project. While creative use of such techniques to suit the particular topics on the Commission’s agenda is to be welcomed, the Commission’s authority and legacy ultimately will turn on whether States and other relevant actors view the Commission as adhering to its statutory role or perceive it as aggregating to itself the role of legislator.

GW Paper Series

GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2012-109; GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2012-109

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