Commentary to 3rd Report on Crimes Against Humanity

International Law Commission: Commentary to The Third Report on Crimes Against Humanity

Group photo of the members of the International Law Commission
UN photos / Anne-Laure Lechat

In early 2017 the International Law Commission (ILC) Special Rapporteur on crimes against humanity, professor Sean D. Murphy, submitted, for the consideration of the ILC, his Third Report on the matter (advance copy). This Report contains a detailed explanation of the seven new draft articles the Special Rapporteur proposes for the purposes of a potential convention on crimes against humanity (see Annex II of the report). These draft articles have been discussed by the ILC in Geneva in May 2017 – you can find here an analytical guide to the works of the ILC on this topic.

So far, the ILC has provisionally approved ten draft articles for a convention on crimes against humanity. (see Annex I of the report).

In 2015 Amnesty International published its first paper containing an initial set of recommendations on the matter: ‘Initial Recommendations for a Convention on Crimes against Humanity’. A year later, a second paper was made public, welcoming some proposals made by the Special Rapporteur, as well as some provisions provisionally adopted, but also raising some concerns on specific points of law.

In this new paper, Amnesty International notes its serious concerns regarding the existing legal and practical framework for state cooperation in the investigation and prosecution of crimes against humanity, welcomes several positive provisions proposed by professor Sean D. Murphy and suggests some improvements on the draft articles proposed in the Third Report.

The concerns raised and recommendations made to the ILC in this document often restate past positions of the organization on international criminal law issues, and relate to the seven new draft articles proposed by the Special Rapporteur.

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