Responding to New Needs through Codification and Progressive Development

Part of the Nijhoff Law Specials book series (Nijhoff Law Specials)


I have been assigned the formidable honour of presenting a “keynote address” on the general theme of this Forum, “Multilateral Treaty-Making”. This is, indeed, formidable since this theme is not only extremely vast but already largely explored — if only by the two quite stimulating colloquiums organized on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the International Law Commission in New York in October 19971 and in Geneva in April 1998.2 The danger then is that I am afraid that I will not be able to escape the commonplace and platitudes — although this may be what is expected in a “keynote address”.


Progressive Development Keynote Address Geneva Convention Vienna Convention Hague Convention 
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  1. 1.
    Making Better International Law - The International Law Commission at 50 (Proceedings of the United Nations Colloquium on Progressive Development and Codification of International Law,(United Nations, New York, 1998), Sales n° E/F.98 V.5, XI-451 pp.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    International Law Commission, Round-Table Discussions, April 22–28 1998, to be published by the United Nations, 2000. See also M. R. Anderson et al. (eds.), The International Law Commission and the Future of International Law, (British Institute of International and Comparative Law, Public International Law Series, London, 1998), XXI-239pp. and Société française pour le droit international, colloque d’Aix-en-Provence, La codification du droit international, ( Pédone, Paris, 1999 ), 344 pp.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    See ILC, Report on the Work of its Forty-Ninth Session, 12 May-18 July 1997, UN Doc. GAOR Fifty-Second Session, Supp. N° 10 (A/52/10), at 72.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    International Law Reform and Progressive Development“, in Liber Amicorum Professor Ignaz Seidl-Hohenveldern in Honour of His 80th Birthday (Kluwer, The Hague, 1998), p. 334.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    See ILC, Yearbook 1994, vol. II, Part II, paras. 261–266, pp.141–42; Sixth Report on State Responsibility by Mr. Gaetano Arangio-Ruiz, Special Rapporteur, AICN.4/461/Add.1, paras.6–8, at 4.Google Scholar
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    See ILC, Report on the Work of its Forty-Eighth Session, 6 May-26 July 1996, UN Doc. GAOR Fifty-First Session, Supp. N° 10 (A/51/10), pp. 147–151.Google Scholar
  7. 6.
    On this intellectual “revolution”, see Alain Pellet, “Remarques sur une révolution inachevée: le projet d’articles de la CDI sur la responsabilité internationale des États” (1996) AFDI, pp. 7–32.Google Scholar
  8. Soon after this paper was delivered, the ILC decided to keep Article 1 of the draft as it had been adopted in first reading; see ILC, Report on the Work of its Fiftieth Session, 20 April-12 June 1998 and 27 July-14 August 1998, UN Doc. GAOR Fifty Third Session, Supp. N° 10 (A/51/10), paras. 350–354, pp. 151–152.Google Scholar
  9. Concerning the notion of crimes, after a very animated debate it has been decided to leave several options open until 1999 (id.,paras. 260–321, pp. 123–143).Google Scholar
  10. 8.
    Judgment of 25 September 1997,1997 ICJ Rep. p. 7.Google Scholar
  11. 9.
    Introduction — The Achievement of the International Law Commission“, in ILC, International Law on the Eve of the Twenty-First Century (United Nations, New York, Sales N° E/F 97.V.4), pp. 1–18.Google Scholar

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