The Changing Form of the International Law Commission's Work
Evolutions in the Law of International Organizations, Roberto Virzo & Ivan Ingravallo eds., Brill | Nijhoff 2015
16 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2015
Date Written: March 2015
Two elements of the International Law Commission’s (ILC) procedure receive relatively little attention: its decision on the final form of its work and its recommendation to the UN General Assembly (GA) on what action the Assembly should take on its completed text. Though infrequently considered (at least in comparison to the substantive drafts it produces), this packaging is significant, as it frames how the Commission’s work will be conceptualized and evaluated upon completion. While the ILC Statute provides the Commission with flexibility in choosing the form and the action that it recommends to the GA, the Commission does not work in a vacuum. Because the impact of the Commission’s work depends on how that work is received (and because the ILC wants its work to be well-received), its decision to produce a certain type of text reflects its assessment of who its clients are and what legal products they desire. In other words, the Commission’s supply is a function of what it perceives as the demand. As this chapter will explain, the form of the ILC’s work is changing, reflecting larger trends in international lawmaking.
Keywords: International Law Commission, General Assembly, United Nations, Codification, Lawmaking
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation