Summer 2021 Course Schedule

Challenges in Multilateralism: the Role of the International Law Commission (Instructor Permission Required) (LAW-795SN-001)
Claudio Grossman, Victoria Ernst

Meets: (TBD)

Enrolled: 11 / Limit: 22

Administrator Access


All summer 2021 classes will be taught online. Classes may have a combination of live sessions and asynchronous materials/assignments. The block of time listed here will be the maximum amount of live session meeting time expected of you and may decrease.


To pursue the codification and progressive development of international law, the General Assembly of the United Nations, by resolution 174 (ii) adopted on November 21, 1947, established the International Law Commission (ILC). The Commission, composed of 34 members representing all legal traditions, has been instrumental in laying the groundwork for some of the most important treaties organizing the structural foundations of the international community, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as draft articles and studies on topics such as state responsibility, unilateral acts, the Nuremberg principles, and so forth. Currently, the Commission’s program of work includes topics such as: the protection of the atmosphere, sea-level rise, reparations for violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, protection of the environment in armed conflicts, exceptions to criminal immunity for state officials, succession of States, and general principles of law.

This paper-oriented seminar will examine the legal and political dynamics surrounding the ILC’s work to codify and progressively develop international law. Students will be immersed in study of the contemporary challenges facing international law and will be encouraged to think on how the ILC can meet these challenges. Contemporary issues facing the ILC will be discussed, such as the ILC’s continued relevance 70 years after its creation and its engagement with States, International Organizations, and third parties.

This course also offers a unique opportunity for students to contribute to the work of the Commission by assisting Professor Grossman in his role as a member of the ILC, while also engaging in an interactive and immersive educational environment with him and Professor Ernst. Once the summer session of the ILC begins in July, students will be expected to view the daily recorded plenary sessions and share their reactions to the proceedings to contribute to professors Grossman’s and Ernst’s work in the ILC plenary and in the Drafting Committee.

Textbooks and Other Materials

The textbook information on this page was provided by the instructor. Students should use this information when considering purchases from the AU Campus Store or other vendors. Students may check to determine if books are currently available for purchase online.

Textbook: There is no required textbook for this course. Relevant ILC materials are available on the UN website. Additional materials will be provided in a shared Google Drive.

First Class Readings

Not available at this time.


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