GeneralAssembly/6C: Statement by Legal Advisor Ambassador Ney on Identification of customary international law

Nov 4, 2013

"Madam Chairwoman/Mr Chairman,  

We welcome and support the first report of Special Rapporteur Sir Michael Wood on the topic now renamed “Identification of customary international law”.  

Germany fully supports the well-balanced approach of the report. We welcome the Special Rapporteur’s proposition to focus on the elaboration of conclusions, with accompanying commentaries, on the identification of rules of customary international law. We share the view that in spite of the changed title, the work of the Commission should nevertheless include an examination of the requirements for the formation of rules of customary international law, as well as the material evidence of such rules.

We furthermore support the Special Rapporteur’s preference that jus cogens be excluded from the identification of customary international law. Jus cogens is too large a subject to be covered in all its aspects sufficiently within that topic.

We are looking forward to the discussion of the two basic elements of customary international law, State practice and opinio juris, and the relationship between them envisaged in the second report. These two elements and their relationship are crucial for producing the desired final outcome of the project, which should above all offer assistance to those practitioners in law, in particular judges and lawyers, who may not be well versed in public international law. 

Madam Chairwoman/Mr Chairman,  

Germany will follow this project closely. We are ready to support the work of the ILC by providing information on relevant German practice relating to customary international law and we would like to encourage other States and international organizations to do likewise.  

Thank you."

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