As the Sixth Committee (Legal) concluded its seventy‑fourth session today by taking action via its tradition of consensus on 12 draft resolutions, 1 draft decision and 3 requests for observer status, several delegates expressed regret over a lack of forward progress in the development of international law, while others distanced themselves from certain provisions in those texts because of terminology or tacit endorsements of certain mechanisms.
After hearing the oral reports of its working groups, the Sixth Committee (Legal) today approved without a vote three draft resolutions concerning international trade law and one on transboundary harm and allocation of loss.
Delegates urged the International Law Commission to proceed with caution on their work addressing “Succession of States in respect of State responsibility” due to a dearth of State practice in this area and a need for consistency with the Commission’s previous work in adjacent fields, as the Sixth Committee (Legal) concluded its consideration of Cluster III from that body’s annual report today. (For background, see Press Release GA/L/3610.)
As the Sixth Committee (Legal) concluded consideration of Cluster II from the International Law Commission’s Report, delegates expressed varying opinions about the draft principles on “Protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts”, with some cautioning against the broad scope of the drafts while others stating that the provisions furthered the international community’s efforts to safeguard the environment.
In response to the evolution of international law and the expansion of international society, the International Court of Justice has creatively employed the primary sources of law applicable in cases before the Court — international customary law and general principles of law — the Court’s President told delegates today during his annual address to the Sixth Committee.
Delegate after delegate commended the International Law Commission for including “Sea‑level rise in relation to international law” in its programme of work and called for urgent action to address the legal implications of climate change and its effects on maritime borders, as the Sixth Committee (Legal) concluded consideration of the first cluster of topics from the Commission’s annual report and took up the second cluster.
Continuing its debate today on Cluster I from the report of the International Law Commission, Sixth Committee (Legal) delegates dissented on the Commission’s inclusion of dispute-settlement mechanisms and a non-exhaustive list in its draft conclusions on “Peremptory norms of general international law (jus cogens)”. (For background, see Press Releases GA/L/3605 and GA/L/3606.)
After approving without a vote a request for observer status, the Sixth Committee (Legal) continued its consideration of Cluster I of the International Law Commission’s report, with delegates debating if a convention based on the draft articles on “Crimes against humanity” was appropriate and, if so, whether the time was right for such an instrument.
As the Sixth Committee (Legal) began its consideration of the International Law Commission report today, speakers addressed the first of three clusters of topics, critiquing the Commission’s working methods and offering competing views about the future of draft articles and conclusions on “Crimes against humanity” and “Peremptory norms of general international law” (jus cogens).
The global demand for legal training met by the Programme of Assistance in the Teaching, Study, Dissemination and Wider Appreciation of International Law must be matched by funding for its activities, the Sixth Committee (Legal) heard today as it began its consideration of the Programme.
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