International Law Commission Practicum (LAW-795LC-001)
Claudio Grossman, Jennifer de Laurentiis
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In order to achieve codification and progressive development of international law, the General Assembly of the United Nations established the International Law Commission (“ILC” or “Commission”). The work of the Commission has resulted in some of the most important treaties organizing the structural foundations of international law. This course will study the legal dynamics involved in the ILC’s semi-legislative. transnational endeavors in an interactive, student-centered, multi-cultural setting that focuses on the processes of negotiation and that satisfies the experiential learning requirement though, for example, simulations, presentations, and self-evaluation. This experiential learning practicum includes a weekly two-hour and fifty-minute session of classroom time. From the first day of class, students be assigned a topic of their responsibility. All the subjects covered in the first six class periods will be seen and acted upon by students, interactively, in relation to their individual topics. These first six classes will focus on the workings of the International Law Commission in the adoption of principles, articles, and conventions — relating those to each of the topics assigned to students. Examples include the Nuremberg principles, the adoption of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, the articles of agreement on state responsibility, etc. The pedagogy is designed to provide the students information based on the processes that led to the adoption of normative texts by the ILC, so that, taking into account the distributed material, and on the basis of their own research, and interactions inside and outside of class, they further develop their assigned topics. We will provide required readings (that all students must view critically) to analyze to what extent a common language in the international law tradition has been achieved. Examples of topics currently in the program of the ILC include: protection of the atmosphere during armed conflicts; reparations to individuals for violations of international law; evidence; general principles of law and the role of customary law; jus cogens; exceptions to immunity of jurisdiction of public officials in criminal proceedings; convention on crimes against humanity; state succession; etc. Having been provided with background information, including the drafts being proposed in the ILC, summary records, and public video records, students will interactively participate on their topics mirroring a session of the ILC and also write a paper providing strategic advice to the ILC, which will include actively looking /developing/criticizing the topics of the agenda and the process of negotiation.
Textbooks and Other Materials
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All materials will be provided
First Class Readings
"Membership" from ILC website (http://legal.un.org/ilc/ilcmembe.shtml); Part I (all) and Part II (Section 5, Methods of Work) of "The Work of the ILC 8th Ed." (http://legal.un.org/avl/ILC/8th_E/Vol_I.pdf); Part II of the Report of the ILC 69th Session (http://legal.un.org/docs/?path=../ilc/reports/2017/english/a_72_10.pdf&lang=EFSRAC)