Peremptory Norms of General International Law (Jus Cogens) and Other Topics: The Seventy-First Session of the International Law Commission

American Journal of International Law, vol.114, p. 68 (2020 Forthcoming)

GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2020-66

GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2020-66

21 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2020

See all articles by Sean D. Murphy

Sean D. Murphy

George Washington University - Law School

Date Written: September 14, 2020

Abstract

This essay analyzes the outcome of the International Law Commission (ILC)’s seventy-
first session, held from April 29 to June 7 and from July 8 to August 9, 2019 in Geneva, under
the chairmanship of Pavel Šturma (Czech Republic). Notably, the Commission completed the
first reading of its topic on peremptory norms of general international law (jus cogens). The
Commission also completed the first reading of its topic on protection of the environment in
relation to armed conflict and completed the second reading of its topic on crimes against
humanity. Progress was also made in developing draft articles on succession of states with
respect to state responsibility, draft articles on immunity of state officials from foreign criminal
jurisdiction, and draft conclusions on general principles of law. Additionally, the Commission
held informal consultations concerning model clauses for its topic on provisional application of
treaties, the first reading of which was completed in the seventieth session and the second
reading of which is expected during the seventy-second session in 2020.

The Commission added to its agenda a topic on sea-level rise in relation to international
law, which is being addressed in the context of a study group rather than by use of a special
rapporteur. It also added two new topics to its long-term work program: (1) reparation to
individuals for gross violations of international human rights law and serious violations of
international humanitarian law; and (2) prevention and repression of piracy and armed robbery at
sea.

Keywords: International Law Commission, preemptory norms, jus cogens, environment and armed conflict, crimes against humanity, atmosphere, immunity, general principles of law, state responsibility, succession of States

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Murphy, Sean D., Peremptory Norms of General International Law (Jus Cogens) and Other Topics: The Seventy-First Session of the International Law Commission (September 14, 2020). American Journal of International Law, vol.114, p. 68 (2020 Forthcoming), GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2020-66, GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2020-66, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3693121

Sean D. Murphy (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Law School ( email )

2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States
202-994-8763 (Phone)
202-994-5654 (Fax)

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