Prof Lucius Caflisch re-elected to the International Law Commission

Bern, Press release, 17.11.2011

The United Nations General Assembly in New York has on Thursday, 17 November 2011, re-elected the Swiss national Lucius Caflisch, professor of international law and former legal advisor of the FDFA, as member of the International Law Commission. Switzerland, which attaches much importance to the work of the Commission, warmly welcomes Prof. Caflisch’s re-election. Respect for and the development of international law are guiding elements of Swiss foreign policy.

Professor Lucius Caflisch has been re-elected to the International Law Commission, to which he was initially elected in 2006. From 1998 to 2006, he was a judge at the European Court of Human Rights for Liechtenstein. Previously he was legal advisor of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and in this capacity represented Switzerland at a number of important international negotiations. Throughout his career, Prof Caflisch has taught international law at various universities, including the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, of which he was director from 1984 to 1990. 

The International Law Commission was established shortly after the creation of the United Nations to contribute to the progressive development of international law and its codification. It is based in Geneva and comprises 34 independent members elected for a term of five years. Most of the principal multilateral conventions adopted in recent decades have been negotiated on the basis of the preliminary work of the Commission. Among these are the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. 

Although Switzerland has produced several renowned international lawyers, Prof Caflisch is the first Swiss national to be elected to the International Law Commission. He played a leading part in particular in the adoption of draft articles on the effects of armed conflicts on treaties. Switzerland is therefore pleased that Prof Caflisch will continue to contribute to the work of the Commission. It attaches great importance to the Commission, respect for international law and its development being guiding elements of Swiss foreign policy. 

Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
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CH-3003 Bern
Tel.: +41 58 462 31 53
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Federal Department of Foreign Affairs