The riddle of custom
General Assembly resolutions
in International organisations, non-State actors, and the formation of customary international law
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This chapter examines the role of resolutions in the International Law Commission Conclusions on Identification of Customary International Law. The analysis unfolds along three lines of inquiry. The first one critically analyses the methodology devised by the International Law Commission to ascertain the existence of a customary rule with a view to understanding how it works in the institutional setting of international organizations. The second one examines the definition of resolution contained in the Conclusions and compares it with the mainstream literature on the concept of resolution. The third one evaluates the practical implications of the International Law Commission Conclusions by using the resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly as a case study. An argument is made that the International Law Commission Conclusions do not add either certainty or sophistication to the process of ascertaining customary rules, thus failing to provide authoritative guidance to practitioners in the field of international organizations’ practice.

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