The International Law Commission’s Draft Conclusions on Peremptory Norms of General International Law (jus cogens): Making Wine from Water or More Water than Wine

In: Nordic Journal of International Law
Author: Dire Tladi 1
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  • 1 University of Pretoria, Professor of International Law, Pretoria, South Africa

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In the summer of 2019, the UN International Law Commission adopted a set of Draft Conclusions on Peremptory Norms of General International Law (jus cogens) on first reading. The Draft Conclusions cover various aspects relating to the methodology for the identification of peremptory norms and consequences of peremptory norms. The elaboration of the Draft Conclusions by the Commission provides an opportunity for the clarification of peremptory norms in order to take it out of the proverbial garage. Whether this potential is fulfilled will depend on a number of factors, including whether the Draft Conclusions are coherent, reflect practice, and address important practical considerations. The article suggests that, drawing on existing instruments, the Draft Conclusions formulate existing rules in more precise ways, and do so in a coherent manner.