Montag, 15. August 2011

International Law Commission Session

Last week I took some time off from work, to visit the 63rd annual session of the International Law Commission at the UN-Palais des Nations. The ILC is the highest committee you can get in as an lawyer for public international law - so basically its an assembly of "wise old men" passing through recommendations and resolutions. The sessions for the substantial discussions were unfortunately not public. So when I finally could visit, they were only passing through laws on which they had already agreed. Nevertheless I found it really interesting to experience, how this committee works.

Although around 30 men (no woman) were assambled to pass a law about the "responsibility of international organizations", only 2 people were actually "participating" in the session. A German lawyer (I recognized his German accent), who was VERY picky about the wording - of course it had to be a German, who else cares about the wording that much! And a French lawyer, who was the "specialist" in the matter in question. 25 others were not reacting at all, one was playing games on his i-pad (I was sitting right behind him, so I could see) and 2 to 3 members were giving few little inputs from time to time. Even though they were only discussing matters of wording and sentence structure, their conversations were quite fun:

German lawyer: "I would prefer not to use the word "through" here. I would propose to use "within"."
USA lawyer: "I would propose "throughout"".
British lawyer: "In my opinion "thorughout" is a too northern-american term. Just leave "through" here".
(discussion continues - no agreement reached)
British lawyer: "Let's just hear, what the specialist has to say".
French lawyer (specialist): "What do you ask me? I am French. And the French translation is totally fine!".
German lawyer: "and I wanna add, that I don't like the example, which is used here. Maybe the specialist can finde a better suited one..."
French lawyer (specialist): "I will be happy to add an other example, if you do the research for me".

So this gives you an idea, how laws are made on an international platform. And this is, where such historical events take place:




And at last, I wanna share an amazing view from my way back home (this chair is right infront of the Palais des Nations):


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