Specially-Affected States & International Organizations

Amsterdam Center for International Law

University of Amsterdam

Specially-Affected States & International Organizations

Rising Actors in the Formation & Identification of Customary International Law


5 June 2018, Room A3.01 Roeterseiland Campus (REC), Faculty of Law, 13h00-17h30

The International Law Commission (ILC) adopted the Draft Conclusions on Identification of Customary International Law on first reading in 2016 (UN Doc. A/71/10). These Draft Conclusions are an important resource in a classic and thorny area of international law.

This workshop aims to explore the position of two actors in the process of forming and identifying customary international law: first, ‘specially-affected states’, as they have been famously termed by the International Court of Justice (ICJ); and, second, international organizations. Both of them play only a modest role in the Draft Conclusions.

Have the Draft Conclusions, in terms of doctrine, theory and practice, properly accounted for specially-affected states and international organizations? Or should the final Conclusions – which are due to be adopted by the ILC later this year – accord them greater prominence?

You are cordially invited to attend the workshop, as well as to join the discussion on these and other, related questions.


Panel I: Specially-Affected States

  • Specially Affected States in CIL Formation: Reflections on Criteria for Generality, Widespreadness, Representativeness, Sienho Yee (Wuhan University)
  • Why the Draft Conclusions should not make reference to specially affected States, Tullio Treves (University of Milan)
  • All States are equal, but some are more equal than others. Challenging the SAS doctrine, Tom Ruys (University of Ghent)

Moderator: Kevin Jon Heller (University of Amsterdam)

Panel II: International Organizations

  • International Organizations in CIL Formation: Reflections on Possible Criteria for Possible Contributions, Sienho Yee (Wuhan University)
  • The UN and the use of sanctions and self-defence against non-state actors: Reporting requirements as a channel for custom formation, Larissa van den Herik (University of Leiden)
  • International organizations and the formation of custom: mutualization or separate identification? Jean d’Aspremont (University of Manchester / Sciences Po Paris)

Moderator: Catherine Brölmann (University of Amsterdam)

Further information and registration here

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