Special guests

The CAHDI regularly welcomes special guests to discuss topical issues of public international law.

This page includes the list of the personalities who have attended CAHDI meetings, the summaries of their statements and the links to these statements in the meeting reports.

Mr Pavel Šturma (46th meeting, Strasbourg, 16-17 September 2013), Member of the International Law Commission (ILC)

Mr Šturma recalled the role of the ILC regarding the progressive development and the codification of public international law and informed the CAHDI of the work of the ILC at its 65th Session. In this respect, he reviewed the different topics of work of the ILC as well as their respective progress, in particular concerning the "Subsequent agreements and subsequent practice in relation to the interpretation of treaties", the "Immunity of State officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction" and the "Formation and evidence of customary international law", now titled "Identification of customary international law". He concluded by presenting the long-term programme of work of the ILC and the new topics which have been included, such as the "Protection of the atmosphere".

The full version of the presentation of Mr Šturma appears as Appendix V to the report of the 46th meeting.

Mrs Sabine Bauer (45th meeting, Strasbourg, 25-26 March 2013), Senior Legal Adviser of the OSCE

Ms Sabine Bauer gave a presentation entitled "OSCE: a process or an international organization? OSCE – a unique place of international law in the making". She presented  three topics in particular. First, she provided an historical overview of the development of the OSCE from a conference to an "organisation" with a more permanent organisational structure before discussing the legal status of the organisation. In this regard, she recalled that the legal status of the OSCE remained to be clearly and uniformly defined by its participating States. Finally, she addressed the capacity of the OSCE to contribute to the development of international law, in particular through important treaties finalised and a number of politically binding recommendations and guidelines adopted in the OSCE framework.

The full version of the presentation of Mrs Sabine Bauer appears as Appendix V to the report of the 45th meeting.

Mr Fausto Pocar (44th meeting, Paris, 19-20 September 2012), President of the International Institute of Humanitarian Law of San Remo

Mr Fausto Pocar presented the work of the International Institute of Humanitarian Law in San Remo, and more particularly the conclusions of the Institute's 35th annual Round Table on "Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs)" (San Remo, 6-8 September 2012).  The discussions had covered the legal issues arising from the increasing use of PMSCs, including the status of PMSCs and their employees, the links between PMSC employees and mercenary activities, the use of force by PMSCs and their involvement in detention activities.  The Round Table had also discussed issues of jurisdiction and responsibility on the part of states regarding the use of PMSCs.  Finally, he noted that the activities geared to ensuring that PMSCs complied with international humanitarian law.

The full version of the presentation of Mr Fausto Pocar appears as Appendix VIII to the report of the 44th meeting.

Sir Michael Wood (44th meeting, Paris, 19-20 September 2012), Member of the International Law Commission (ILC) and Special Rapporteur on Formation and Evidence of Customary International Law

Sir Michael Wood described the ICL's recent activities at its 64th session.  He referred to developments concerning topics already under discussion, such as "The obligation to extradite or prosecute (aut dedere aut judicare)", and new activities, such as "Provisional application of treaties".  He recalled that the ILC had asked states to provide information on their national legislation and practice concerning "Immunity of State officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction", for which a new Special Rapporteur had been appointed, and "Formation and evidence of customary international law".  Lastly, he encouraged states to submit new work topics to the ILC and give consideration to helping fund the fellowships granted to developing country participants at the International Law Seminar, the 48th session of which had been held in July 2012.

The full version of the presentation of Sir Michael Wood appears as Appendix VII to the report of the 44th meeting.

Mr Luis Romero Requena (43rd meeting, Strasbourg, 29-30 March 2012), Director General of the Legal Department at the European Commission

Mr Romero Requena addressed the CAHDI on the theme of "The legal order of the European Union and international public law".  He began by pointing out that the European Union was a subject of international law, as had been recognised at a very early stage by the Court of Justice of the European Union, before referring to international law's role in the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union.  He also pointed out that, under the Lisbon Treaty, states remained bound by commitments entered into before their accession to the European Union and that international agreements concluded by the European Union applied to member states without it being necessary to incorporate them into domestic legislation.  Lastly, he gave his views on the issue of European Union accession to the European Convention on Human Rights.

The full version of the presentation of Mr Luis Romero Requena appears as Appendix IV to the report of the 43rd meeting.

Mr Maurizio Moreno (42nd meeting, Strasbourg, 22-23 September 2011), President of the International Institute of Humanitarian Law of San Remo

Mr Moreno presented the work of the San Remo International Institute of Humanitarian Law, an independent non-profit organisation principally tasked with promoting the development of international humanitarian law and related fields of law.  He mentioned the challenges confronting international humanitarian law at present, in view of traditional war's transformation into international, internal and regional conflicts and of developments in methods of armed conflict and the use of guerrilla tactics.  He indicated that other causes for concern were the spread of terrorism, the increasing number of occupation situations and growth in the number of stakeholders involved in conflicts.  Lastly, he stressed the importance of applying international humanitarian law, which was the last rampart in many situations.

A summary of the presentation of Mr Maurizio Moreno appears in the report of the 42nd meeting.

Mr Stephen Mathias (42nd meeting, Strasbourg, 22-23 September 2011), Assistant Secretary General for Legal Affairs of the United Nations

Mr Mathias, informed the CAHDI of the work being done by the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations.  Firstly, he mentioned certain legal aspects of the "Arab Spring", in particular regarding its impact on the concept of the "responsibility to protect", before mentioning recent developments concerning international criminal courts, primarily from the angle of the establishment of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals.  Lastly, regarding recourse to equitable, transparent procedures in the framework of the United Nations sanctions regimes, he drew attention to the work done by the Ombudsperson of the Security Council's 1267 Committee.

The full version of the presentation of Mr Stephen Mathias appears as Appendix V to the report of the 42nd meeting.

Ms Kimberly Prost (41st meeting, Strasbourg, 17-18 March 2011) Ombudsperson to the UN Security Council Committee set up under Resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaeda and the Taliban

Ms Prost underlined that her duties consisted in providing individuals and entities subject to the Security Council's relevant sanctions with an independent means of applying for removal from the list of sanctions. She indicated that she had dedicated part of her work at publicising the existence of the Office of the Ombudsperson in order to guarantee access by listed individuals, and mentioned the means she had employed, access to information being one of the main challenges.  She then referred to the vital issue of her Office's effectiveness in guaranteeing the independence and impartiality of the sanctions mechanism.  Lastly, she reported on the progress in the work of the Office of the Ombudsperson, although it was still too soon fully to assess the work accomplished.

The full version of the presentation of Ms Kimberly Prost appears as Appendix V to the report of the 41st meeting.

Mr Jean-Claude Bonichot (41st meeting, Strasbourg, 17-18 March 2011), Judge at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU)

Mr Bonichot addressed the CAHDI about EU accession to the European Convention on Human Rights.  He referred to various issues which had arisen during the negotiations, such as European Union primary law and possible control by the European Court of Human Rights of decisions taken under the European Union's common foreign and security policy and the establishment of a mechanism to ensure that the CJEU could rule on an European Union text before a decision by the ECHR.

The full version of the presentation of Mr Jean-Claude Bonichot appears as Appendix VII to the report of the 41st meeting.

Mr Erik Fribergh (40th meeting, Tromsø, 16-17 September 2010), Registrar of the European Court of Human Rights

Mr Fribergh referred to the legal problems encountered in the process of European Union accession to the European Convention on Human Rights, but stressed that most were merely technical in nature and would be easy to resolve.  However, he underlined that one point remained vital, namely the establishment of a mechanism whereby matters relating to European Union law could be referred to the Court of Justice before judgment was delivered by the European Court of Human Rights.

A summary of the presentation of Mr Erik Fribergh appears in the report of the report of the 40th meeting.

Mr Sean Hagan (39th meeting, Strasbourg, 18-19 March 2010), Director of the Legal Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Mr Hagan gave the CAHDI details of the structure and activities of the Legal Department of the IMF.  He referred to the IMF's financial and regulatory powers, highlighting the action it took to exercise them and the extent to which the IMF could implement them.  Lastly, he mentioned the IMF's decision-making process and the possible reforms being considered by the organisation.

The full version of the presentation of Mr Sean Hagan appears as Appendix VII to the report of the 39th meeting.

Mr Jean-Paul Costa (39th meeting, Strasbourg, 18-19 March 2010), President of the European Court of Human Rights

Mr Costa gave a speech to the CAHDI regarding two topical questions which were essential to the European Court of Human Rights and were of major interest to the CAHDI: firstly, the Interlaken Conference and its follow-up and, secondly, the question of the accession of the European Union to the European Convention on Human Rights.

The full version of the presentation of Mr Jean-Paul Costa appears as Appendix VI to the report of the 39th meeting.

Mr Georg Nolte (38th meeting, Strasbourg, 10-11 September 2009), member of the International Law Commission (ILC)

Mr Nolte described recent developments concerning the ILC's activities and addressed the issues of the responsibility of international organisations, the reservations to international treaties and the protection of individuals in the event of disasters.

A summary of the presentation of Mr Georg Nolte appears in the report of the 38th meeting.

Mr Jan Erik Hegelsen (38th meeting, Strasbourg, 10-11 September 2009), President of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission)

Mr Hegelsen described the Venice Commission's past and ongoing activities and stressed that the rule of law was the fundamental principle of sustainable democracies.  He underlined that the aim of the Venice Commission was to strike the right balance between democracy and the rule of law and stick to this ideal even during periods marked by extraordinary events.

A summary of the presentation of Mr Jan Erik Hegelsen appears in the report of the 38th meeting.

Ms Patricia O'Brien (36th meeting, London, 7-8 October 2008), UN Under-Secretary General for Legal Affairs and UN Legal Counsel

Ms O'Brien provided fresh insights on the issue of the responsibility to protect and mentioned the main challenges facing the concept, stressing that it was important for it to develop in accordance with international law and the principles of the UN Charter.  She addressed the issue of the proliferation of international courts and tribunals and stressed the importance of mechanisms for the peaceful settlement of disputes between states and the further development of international law.  Lastly, Ms O'Brien discussed the relationship between peace and justice and then held an exchange of views with the members of the CAHDI.

The full version of the presentation of Ms Patricia O'Brien appears as Appendix VII to the report of the 36th meeting.

Mr Nicolas Michel (35th meeting, Strasbourg, 6-7 March 2008), UN Under-Secretary General for Legal Affairs and UN Legal Counsel

Mr Michel considered the promotion of the rule of law by the UN, at both international and national level, before underlining the importance of also applying it within the UN itself, in particular in its internal justice system.  He then moved on to the challenge which impunity posed for the UN and the international community, referring to recent developments in international justice.  In conclusion, he considered the issue of the responsibility to protect and the difficulties in implementing it.

The full version of the presentation of Mr Nicolas Michel appears as Appendix VIII to the report of the 35th meeting.

Mr Philippe Couvreur (34th meeting, Strasbourg, 10-11 September 2007), Registrar of the International Court of Justice (ICJ)

Mr Couvreur addressed the CAHDI regarding administrative and budgetary matters relating to the ICJ.  He mentioned the major difficulties affecting the ICJ before describing various possible solutions.

A summary of the presentation of Mr Philippe Couvreur appears in the report of the 34th meeting.

Mr Martti Koskenniemi (34th meeting, Strasbourg, 10-11 September 2007), member of the International Law Commission (ILC)

Mr Koskenniemi spoke on the issue of the overlapping jurisdiction of international tribunals and stressed that it was open to analysis from two starting points, either by analysing positive law (looking at how treaties or customary law fragment into special regimes) according to the approach adopted by the ILC, or by looking at the proliferation of international courts and tribunals, which is an institutional problem. He then described various possible kinds of overlap and the related difficulties and concluded by stressing the importance of constructing decision-making bodies and institutions which are independent of the special regimes and therefore in a position to resolve problems which cut across them in an impartial way.

A summary of the presentation of Mr Martti Koskenniemi appears in the report of the 34th meeting.

(30th meeting, Strasbourg, 19-20 September 2005)

Mr Koskenniemi described the latest progress which the ICL had made in its work at its 57th session, in particular concerning the effects of armed conflicts on treaties, the responsibility of international organisations, diplomatic protection and fragmentation of international law.

A summary of the presentation of Mr Martti Koskenniemi appears in the report of the 30th meeting.

Mr Alain Pellet (34th meeting, Strasbourg, 10-11 September 2007), member of the International Law Commission (ILC) and Special Rapporteur on reservations to multilateral treaties

Mr Pellet reported on the ILC's 59th session and mentioned, in particular, the latest developments concerning the issues of shared natural resources, the expulsion of aliens, the obligation to extradite or prosecute, the responsibility of international organisations and the effects of armed conflicts on treaties.  He then mentioned various topics being considered by the ILC for its future activities, including the immunity of state officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction.

A summary of the presentation of Mr Alain Pellet appears in the report of the 34th meeting.

(20th meeting, Strasbourg, 12-13 September 2000)

Mr Pellet referred to the issues covered in the two main parts of his fifth report on reservations to international treaties: alternatives to reservations and the procedure relating to international treaties and interpretative declarations.

A summary of the presentation of Mr Alain Pellet appears in the report of the 20th meeting.

Mr Tjaco Van den Hout (33rd meeting, Strasbourg, 22-23 March 2007), Secretary General of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)

Mr Van den Hout gave a presentation on the role of the PCA and said that it was now a modern arbitration institution that offered states a wide range of services. He outlined the advantages of arbitration over other methods of peaceful settlement of disputes, in particular its flexibility.  After indicating the two main ways in which disputes could be submitted to arbitration, Mr Van den Hout said that arbitration was expanding rapidly in the international community given the increasing number of conflicts.

The full version of the presentation of Mr Tjaco Van den Hout appears as Appendix VII to the report of the 33rd meeting.

Mr Luis Moreno Ocampo (32nd meeting, Athens, 13-14 September 2006), Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC)

Mr Moreno Ocampo reported on the latest developments in the ICC's activities, in particular regarding the start of its judicial activity.  He mentioned the work of the Office of the Prosecutor, referring to the selection of cases and the difficulty in conducting investigations on the ground.  He also underlined how important it was for states to co-operate with the ICC so as to optimise the contribution by the Office of the Prosecutor to combating impunity and preventing crime.

A summary of the presentation of Mr Luis Moreno Ocampo appears in the report of the 32nd meeting.

(27th meeting, Strasbourg, 18-19 March 2004)

Mr Moreno Ocampo described the work of the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC and the strategic decisions adopted in several priority areas concerning recruitment of the Office staff, the structure of the Office, which is made up of three operational divisions, and the way it interacted with the other organs of the Court.  He also mentioned the priority situations and explained how the Office selected and analysed them with a view to initiating possible prosecutions.  Lastly, he underlined the importance of states offering co-operation and assistance to ensure that the Court succeeded.

The full version of the presentation of Mr Luis Moreno Ocampo appears as Appendix VI to the report of the 27th meeting.

Mr Philippe Kirsch (32nd meeting, Athens, 13-14 September 2006), President of the International Criminal Court (ICC)

Mr Kirsch reported on the latest developments concerning cases pending before the ICC and future prospects.  He recalled the importance of co-operation between the ICC and states, international organisations and NGOs so as to enable the Court to operate effectively.  He underlined that the co-operation could take several forms (arresting and surrendering suspects, sharing information and enforcing sentences), on which the success of the ICC depended.  He noted that the Court had made considerable progress since the judges and the prosecutor had been appointed and stressed the need to keep up efforts to ensure the ICC had the support necessary for performing its role effectively.

A summary of the presentation of Mr Philippe Kirsch appears in the report of the 32nd meeting.

(26th meeting, Strasbourg, 18-19 September 2003)

Mr Kirsch described recent developments concerning the ICC.  He began with an update on its work, principally concerning the advances with the adoption of the Regulations of the Court.  He then mentioned the second Assembly of States Parties to the ICC and the key decisions taken there, in particular concerning the ICC budget.  Lastly, he draw attention to the challenges facing the ICC, especially the need to establish its credibility and ensure complementarity and co-operation with states, and underlined that states also have to play their part in prosecuting crimes and combating impunity.

The full version of the presentation of Mr Philippe Kirsch appears as Appendix V to the report of the 26th meeting.

Mr Constantin Economides (32nd meeting, Athens, 13-14 September 2006), member of the International Law Commission (ILC)

Mr Economides reported on the 58th session of the ILC and mentioned the latest developments in its work, in particular concerning reservations to treaties, unilateral acts of states, the effects of armed conflicts on treaties and the fragmentation of international law.  He underlined the adoption by the ILC of the Articles on Diplomatic Protection with commentaries and of the Principles on International Liability in Case of Loss from Transboundary Harm Arising out of Hazardous Activities.  He concluded by mentioning the ILC's future work topics and its intention to look more closely at issues related to the consolidation and development of international law.

A summary of the presentation of Mr Constantin Economides appears in the report of the 32nd meeting.

Mr Martin Scheinin (31st meeting, Strasbourg, 23-24 March 2006), UN Special Rapporteur on Terrorism and Human Rights

Mr Scheinin gave his views on the relationship between human rights law and international law, including international humanitarian law.  He began with the question of whether human rights had a specific status within public international law, especially in view of the special status of human rights treaties.  He then discussed states' human rights law and practice, taking account of the influence of human rights on public international law.  Mr Scheinin also addressed the much debated issue of possible hierarchy between norms of public international law, in particular relating to the notion of jus cogens, and mentioned the various approaches in this area.  Lastly, he looked at the specific relations between international humanitarian law and human rights, with the application of the two regimes being cumulative and the norms of one sometimes helping to facilitate the interpretation of the rules of the other.

The full version of the presentation of Mr Martin Scheinin appears as Appendix IV to the report of the 31st meeting.

Mr Iain Cameron (31st meeting, Strasbourg, 23-24 March 2006), Professor of Public International Law, University of Uppsala, Sweden

Mr Cameron presented his report on "The ECHR, Due Process and UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Sanctions".  He mentioned the issue of legal safeguards for persons placed on the blacklists and drew attention to the legal difficulties, in particular in human rights terms, raised by the sanctions regimes.  He recalled that it was necessary for the individuals concerned to have access to courts and effective remedies.  He also raised the issue of the responsibility of Council of Europe member states – when acting on the UN Security Council or implementing its decisions – to meet their human rights obligations.  To remedy the legal problems encountered in practice, he proposed several solutions, in particular a body to supervise the decisions by the sanctions committees, which could take the form of an arbitral body or an ombudsman.

The full version of the presentation of Mr Iain Cameron appears as Appendix III to the report of the 31st meeting.

Mr Allan Rosas (30th meeting, Strasbourg, 19-20 September 2005), President of Chamber, member of the Court of Justice of the European Communities (ECJ)

Mr Rosas described the different types of cases and legal matters dealt with by the ECJ.  He pointed out that the Court's approach to public international law was monist and mentioned the ECJ's methods of interpretation, in particular concerning public international law.  He then held an exchange of views with the members of the CAHDI concerning various issues such as ECJ judges' degree of expertise in public international law and possibilities of conflicts between European Union law and public international law.

A summary of the presentation of Mr Allan Rosas appears in the report of the 30th meeting.

Mr Robert Badinter (29th meeting, Strasbourg, 17-18 March 2005), President of the International Court of Conciliation and Arbitration (ICCA), accompanied by Mr Hans-Dietrich Genscher, Vice-President of the ICCA, and Mr Lucius Caflisch and Mr Luigi Ferrari Bravo, members of the Bureau of the ICCA

Mr Badinter noted that the Court had never been called on to examine a dispute even though it was a swift, flexible and effective mechanism for resolving disputes.  He recalled that the ICCA's arbitrators and conciliators could also provide legal advice and that although this option had been well received by states, no action had been taken on it.  Mr Badinter and the other members of the Court present pointed out that certain disputes were ideal material for the ICCA, in particular because of non-legal aspects which did not really lend themselves to a judicial settlement.

A summary of the presentation of Mr Robert Badinter appears in the report of the 29th meeting.

(19th meeting, Berlin, 13-14 March 2000)

Mr Badinter spoke before the CAHDI on the role of the International Court of Conciliation and Arbitration and how it operated.  He pointed out that the ICCA was a response to a specific wish for a flexible institution to solve disputes between countries and gave details of the many advantages of the arbitral approach.

A summary of the presentation of Mr Robert Badinter appears in the report of the 19th meeting.

Mr Giorgio Gaja (28th meeting, Lausanne, 13-14 September 2004), member of the International Law Commission (ILC)

Mr Gaja presented the recent developments on the topics addressed by the ICL, namely diplomatic protection, transboundary harm, the responsibility of international organisations, reservations to treaties, unilateral acts and fragmentation of international law.  He also gave details of progress made by the ICL in these areas.

The full version of the presentation of Mr Giorgio Gaja appears as Appendix V to the report of the 28th meeting.

Mr Jakob Kellenberger (28th meeting, Lausanne, 13-14 September 2004), President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

Mr Kellenberger addressed the CAHDI on the issue of the relevance of international humanitarian law in contemporary armed conflicts.  He described the ICRC's recent work and pointed out that the promotion and strengthening of international humanitarian law were key activities of the ICRC.  He highlighted the importance and relevance of international humanitarian law, even though there were some difficulties with its application in contemporary armed conflicts, in particular from the angle of the fight against terrorism.  He also referred to the issue of weapons, which was the field of international humanitarian law which had evolved most rapidly in recent years.  Lastly, he considered the issues of the implementation of international humanitarian law and ensuring respect for it at both international and national level.

The full version of the presentation of Mr Jakob Kellenberger appears as Appendix VI to the report of the 28th meeting.

Mr Alvaro Gil-Robles (25th meeting, 17-18 March 2003), Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights

Mr Gil-Robles described the institution of the Commissioner for Human Rights, the Commissioner's role and how he operated and gave details of the Commissioner's fundamental objectives, in particular the promotion of the effective observance and full enjoyment of human rights in the member states.  He described the various means of action available to the Commissioner for achieving these objectives: official visits to member states, the holding of seminars and conferences and the issuing of recommendations to individual member states or all member states following visits and of opinions on draft laws or specific practices.  Mr Gil-Robles also referred to his recent activities, in particular his contribution to consolidating the system of the European Convention on Human Rights.

A summary of the presentation of Mr Alvaro Gil-Robles appears in the report of the 25th meeting.

Mr Vaclav Mikulka (25th meeting, Strasbourg, 17-18 March 2003), Director of the Codification Division at the United Nations

Mr Mikulka described the Codification Division of the UN Office of Legal Affairs, which is responsible for the codification and progressive development of international law, and gave details of its role and activities.  He specified that the Codification Division provided substantive support in various forms to many legal bodies attached to the UN, including the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly, the International Law Commission and the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.  He reported on recent developments concerning these bodies and the activities which the Codification Division had carried out to assist them.  In conclusion, he presented the new projects in which the division was involved.

The full version of the presentation of Mr Vaclav Mikulka appears as Appendix III to the report of the 25th meeting.

Mr Errki Kourula (25th meeting, Strasbourg, 17-18 March 2003), Judge at the International Criminal Court (ICC)

Mr Kourula informed the CAHDI on recent the developments concerning the ICC and underlined the importance of bringing national legislation into line with the requirements of the Rome Statute so as to make it fully effective.

A summary of the presentation of Mr Errki Kourula appears in the report of the 25th meeting.

Mr Gerard Hafner (24th meeting, Bratislava, 9-10 September 2002), Chair of the Working Group of the United Nations General Assembly on Immunities of States and their Property

Mr Hafner described the work done by the United Nations concerning state immunities and highlighted some divisive issues where discussion was continuing, in particular concerning exceptions to state immunity.

The full version of the presentation of Mr Gerard Hafner appears as Appendix IV to the report of the 24th meeting.

Mr Bruno Simma (24th meeting, Bratislava, 9-10 September 2002), member of the International Law Commission (ILC)

Mr Simma reported on developments at the 54th session of the ILC and the progress made with the various topics, namely diplomatic protection, unilateral acts, the responsibility of international organisations, international liability for injurious consequences arising out of acts not prohibited by international law and fragmentation of international law.  He also mentioned a new topic concerning shared natural resources.

A summary of the presentation of Mr Bruno Simma appears in the report of the 24th meeting.

Ms Geneviève Burdeau (23rd meeting, Strasbourg, 4-5 March 2002), Secretary General of the Hague Academy of International Law

Ms Burdeau presented the Hague Academy of International Law and how it operated.  She said that the Academy's role was to make international law more international and to retain an overview of international law at a time when it was diversifying and becoming increasingly technical.  She also referred to topics to be dealt with by the Academy in the near future.

A summary of the presentation of Ms Geneviève Burdeau appears in the report of the 23rd meeting.

Mr James Crawford (22nd meeting, Strasbourg, 11-12 September 2001), member of the International Law Commission (ILC) and Special Rapporteur on State Responsibility

Mr Crawford reported on recent developments in the ILC's discussions concerning the topic of state responsibility and underlined that its members seemed to have reached a consensus.  He recalled that it was now necessary to implement the final document, namely the ILC draft Articles on State Responsibility.

A summary of the presentation of Mr James Crawford appears in the report of the 22nd meeting.

Mr Gilbert Guillaume (21st meeting, Strasbourg, 6-7 March 2001), President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ)

Mr Guillaume reported on recent developments concerning the ICJ, in particular the cases being dealt with.  He then referred to the difficulties facing the ICJ, in both budgetary and procedural terms.  Mr Guillaume also addressed the issue of the increasing number of international courts and the risk of inconsistent case-law in a system without a hierarchy of courts.  In this connection, he proposed the introduction of a mechanism for preliminary referral to the ICJ so as to avoid fragmentation in terms of the interpretation of international law.

A summary of the presentation of Mr Gilbert Guillaume appears in the report of the 21st meeting.

Mr Hans-Christian Krüger (20th meeting, Strasbourg, 12-13 September 2000), Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe

Mr Krüger reported on developments concerning the preparation of a Charter of Fundamental Rights in the European Union.  He underlined that the preparation of the Charter was designed to give a new dimension to the European Union.  He presented the draft Charter and pointed out that it was essential that no new system of human rights be created.  He pointed out that to avoid introducing dividing lines, it was important for the Charter to remain as close as possible to the European Convention on Human Rights.

A summary of the presentation of Mr Hans-Christian Krüger appears in the report of the 20th meeting.

Mr Palitha Kohona (20th meeting, Strasbourg, 12-13 September 2000), Chief of the Treaty Section of the United Nations

Mr Kohona spoke before the CAHDI on the United Nations Secretary General's practice as a depositary of international treaties.  He noted that the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties was not exhaustive relating to the practice of depositary and that there had been some changes since its adoption.  He stressed the need to adapt the function, while taking account of current concerns, in particular the desire to maintain certainty and integrity of the law.  He also mentioned the issue of the practice of the depositary regarding reservations to treaties and in cases of denunciation of conventions and declarations of territorial exclusion.

A summary of the presentation of Mr Palitha Kohona appears in the report of the 20th meeting.

Mr Hans-Dietrich Genscher (19th meeting, Berlin, 13-14 March 2000), Vice-President of the International Court of Conciliation and Arbitration (ICCA)

Mr Genscher took part in the debate about the role of the ICCA and stressed the importance of a mechanism for the peaceful settlement of disputes such as the one established by the Court.

A summary of the presentation of Mr Hans-Dietrich Genscher appears in the report of the 19th meeting.

Mr Theodore Meron (19th meeting, Berlin, 13-14 March 2000), Professor of Public International Law, New York University School of Law

Mr Meron presented his report on "Implications of the European Convention on Human Rights for the development of public international law".  He referred to the difficulty in striking a balance between two contradictory trends: setting out specific rules to increase respect for and the efficiency of human rights and seeking to have human rights as a general part of international law.  He also recalled the importance of the normative aspect of the European Convention on Human Rights, the departure from notions of reciprocity, and the concept of proportionality developed by the European Court of Human Rights, the case-law of which had influenced other human rights systems.  He pointed out that the European Convention on Human Rights remained important for the development of treaty law relating to normative multilateral treaties given the shortcomings of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties in this area.

The full version of the presentation of Mr Theodore Meron appears as Appendix III to the report of the 19th meeting.

Mr Walter Schwimmer (18th meeting, Strasbourg, 7-8 September 1999), Secretary General of the Council of Europe

The CAHDI presented the report on State Practice Regarding State Succession and Issues of Recognition to the Secretary General.  The report was published as the Council of Europe's contribution to the United Nations Decade of International Law.

A summary of the presentation of Mr Walter Schwimmer appears in the report of the 18th meeting.

Mr Luzius Wildhaber (18th meeting, Strasbourg, 7-8 September 1999), President of the European Court of Human Rights

Mr Wildhaber reported on the cases pending before the Court following the entry into force of Protocol No. 11 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, restructuring the control machinery established thereby, and the way in which cases inherited from the old Court were being dealt with.  He mentioned the difficulties which were arising because of the substantial increase in the number of applications and addressed the issue of the compatibility of the Court's standards with those of other human rights bodies.

A summary of the presentation of Mr Luzius Wildhaber appears in the report of the 18th meeting.

Mr Hans Blix (17th meeting, Vienna, 8-9 March 1999), Former Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency and Special Rapporteur for the Centennial of the First International Peace Conference

Mr Blix presented his report on the Development of International Law Relating to Disarmament and Arms Control since the First International Peace Conference of 1899, which focused on the monitoring and honouring of commitments under disarmament agreements.  He underlined the practical difficulties in the monitoring process and proposed solutions for achieving nuclear disarmament.

A summary of the presentation of Mr Hans Blix appears in the report of the 17th meeting.

Mr Christopher Greenwood (17th meeting, Vienna, 8-9 March 1999), Special Rapporteur for the Centennial of the First International Peace Conference

Mr Greenwood presented his report on International Humanitarian Law and the Laws of War, which he had drafted in preparation for the diplomatic conference for the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC).  He underlined that the ICC was a means of improving respect for and compliance with existing law, without the need to establish new standards through new conventions.  However, he pointed out that the existence of the standards was not enough in itself and that training and education were essential.  In conclusion, he said that the legislative development was less important than compliance with the existing rules.

A summary of the presentation of Mr Christopher Greenwood appears in the report of the 17th meeting.

Mr Christopher Pinto (17th meeting, Vienna, 8-9 March 1999), Secretary General of the Iran-US Claim Tribunal and Special Rapporteur for the Centennial of the First International Peace Conference

Mr Pinto presented his report on Peaceful Settlement of Disputes and underlined the central role of the International Court of Justice.  He raised the issue of the unity and fragmentation of the system of international law insofar as the growing number of tribunals and the attempts to individualise certain areas of international law ran counter to the consistency and importance of international law.  Mr Pinto then proposed several solutions for overcoming the difficulties mentioned in his report, for instance increasing the number of judges at the International Court of Justice so as to ensure better representation of the various legal systems and greater consistency.

A summary of the presentation of Mr Christopher Pinto appears in the report of the 17th meeting.