Keynote Address Given at the 60th Anniversary of the International Law Commission 19 May 2008

Rosalyn Higgins Dbe Qc

in Themes and Theories

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780198262350
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682322 | DOI:
Keynote Address Given at the 60th Anniversary of the International Law Commission 19 May 2008

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The International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the International Law Commission (ILC) are both fully engaged in the interpretation and development of international law, while each performing rather different functions. The ICJ pursues the purpose laid down in Article 1 of the United Nations (UN) Charter: the maintenance of international peace and security. The ICJ can only address those legal issues brought before it by states under its contentious jurisdiction or by UN organs or authorised agencies seeking an advisory opinion. The ILC finds its purpose in Article 13(1)(a) of the UN Charter, which mandates the General Assembly to ‘initiate studies and make recommendations for the purpose of encouraging the progressive development of international law and its codification’. The mutual influence between the ICJ and ILC has been apparent since the inception of these institutions. In fields such as the law of treaties, the law of the sea, the law of the non-navigable uses of international watercourses, state responsibility, and state succession, the two institutions have for many decades found inspiration in each other’s work.

Keywords: International Court of Justice; International Law Commission; United Nations; international law; peace; security; treaties; law of the sea; state responsibility; state succession

Chapter.  1754 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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