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        General Assembly
9 March 2005

Original: Spanish

Fifty-ninth session
Official Records

Sixth Committee

Summary record of the 16th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Friday, 29 October 2004, at 10 a.m.

Chairman: Mr. Bennouna ................................................................ (Morocco)


Agenda item 139: Responsibility of States for internationally wrongful acts ( continued)


The meeting was called to order at 10.15 a.m.

Agenda item 139: Responsibility of States for internationally wrongful acts (continued) (A/56/10 and Corr.1 and 2)


12. Mr. Hmoud (Jordan) said that the articles on responsibility of States annexed to General Assembly resolution 56/83 were balanced; they generally reflected the rules of international law on the subject, avoided controversial concepts which would have hindered their acceptance by States, and had been continuously cited by States, judicial organs and jurists. In the LaGrand case, the International Court of Justice had referred to the articles even before they had been finalized and had recently, in its advisory opinion on the legal consequences of the construction of a wall in the occupied Palestinian territory, cited the articles on responsibility in its response to the question raised by the General Assembly. Both the articles codifying international law and those which were considered as developing certain rules of law had become authoritative and were in fact a restatement of the law. Among the issues provided for in the articles was the legal regime on countermeasures, whose codification constituted a safeguard against political and arbitrary countermeasures, and included a set of legality tests which any such countermeasure would have to satisfy. Another important achievement was the laying down of legal grounds for actio popularis. Regulation of such a concept and the measures which States were to adopt in response to, or as a consequence of, a serious breach of peremptory norms of international law was a key legality safeguard. In addition, article 41 made it clear that action by the international community against a serious breach of such norms was obligatory and not discretionary, a point which the Court had reiterated in its advisory opinion on the construction of a wall in the occupied Palestinian territory. The Court had thus confirmed that the substance of Chapter III of Part Two of the draft articles, which had been the subject of debate for some time, actually reflected the rule of international law on that issue. Jordan preferred for the articles to take the form of a convention, for which reason they should be supplemented by a section dealing with the settlement of disputes together with a preamble and final articles. Nevertheless, it would be flexible regarding the final form that the General Assembly might wish to give to them, because they had already become part of the general rules of international law.


The meeting rose at 11.30 a.m.

This record is subject to correction. Corrections should be sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned within one week of the date of publication to the Chief of the Official Records Editing Section, room DC2-750, 2 United Nations Plaza, and incorporated in a copy of the record.

Corrections will be issued after the end of the session, in a separate corrigendum for each Committee.

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