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Election to the United Nations International Law Commission

11.02.2016 - Article

The Federal Government emphatically supports and promotes Professor Georg Nolte’s candidacy for re-election to the United Nations International Law Commission (ILC) for the period 2017-2021.

The Federal Government emphatically supports and promotes Professor Georg Nolte’s candidacy for re-election to the United Nations International Law Commission (ILC) for the period 2017-2021.

Professor Nolte has been a member of the International Law Commission since 2007. Germany can point to a long history of intensive cooperation with the International Law Commission and is proud of the active and constructive contribution Professor Nolte has made to its work. The Federal Government is convinced that Professor Nolte’s outstanding skills and his excellent professional and personal attributes will be recognised in the elections which will take place during the 71st session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in November 2016.

Professor Nolte’s Vision for the International Law Commission

Professor Georg Nolte
Professor Georg Nolte© Photothek / Köhler

The progressive development and codification of international law is a continuing and evolving task. By supporting the General Assembly, the International Law Commission bears an important responsibility for fulfilling this purpose of the United Nations. The outcome of the Commission’s work must be acceptable to and useful for States. The Commission should bear in mind that its work may also be relevant for courts and other legal practitioners at the international and national levels.

For 70 years, the United Nations has pursued the progressive development and codification of international law. In many areas, this has been successful. However, many challenges remain. Neither the world nor the law are static, and the results achieved in the past thus sometimes need to be reaffirmed or further developed. The Commission should address specific areas that are of current concern to the international community as a whole, as well as general aspects of international law that require clarification. It should base its work on carefully discerning trends in State practice, while at the same time remaining protective of the well-established basic rules of international law.

When presenting its work to the Member States, the Commission should be as transparent as possible regarding the sources and considerations on which it has based its recommendations, regardless of whether the outcome takes the form of draft articles, draft guidelines or draft conclusions. It is important for States to know whether any particular outcome of the Commission’s work is a recommendation regarding a possible future treaty or whether the Commission means to articulate existing rules of international law. While it is not always easy to draw a distinction between the progressive development of international law and its codification, the Commission should make an effort to do so, in particular in areas in which national judges are called upon to apply rules of international law with which they may be less familiar.

In his past work as a member of the Commission, in particular as Special Rapporteur on Subsequent Agreements and Subsequent Practice in Relation to the Interpretation of Treaties, Professor Nolte has demonstrated his firm and sustained commitment to the mission of the Commission, as well as his ability to penetrate the most complex issues of international law and propose solutions that are generally recognised by practitioners and academics. The work on this topic has reached an advanced stage and is on schedule. If re-elected, Professor Nolte would make every effort to bring this topic to a successful conclusion. He would also continue to devote much of his time and energy to supporting the Commission’s work on other topics. As a practice-oriented academic lawyer, he feels particularly committed to ensuring that the Commission’s work continues to meet the high expectations of the international community. The lasting quality of its draft articles and conclusions is crucial to the Commission’s ability to continue playing its highly significant role in the future.

Read more:

Curriculum Vitae PDF / 263 KB

Selected Recent Publications in International Law by Professor Georg Nolte

International Law Commission - Statements by Professor Georg Nolte PDF / 2 MB

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