Introduction to the Symposium on a Way Forward: Academic and Practitioner Perspectives on the ILC Draft Articles on Prevention and Punishment of Crimes Against Humanity as adopted on Second Reading

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In 2013, the International Law Commission (‘ILC’ or ‘the Commission’), an independent expert body established by the United Nations General Assembly, added the topic of ‘Crimes Against Humanity’ to its long-term programme of work. The following year the ILC moved the topic to its current programme of work and appointed a special rapporteur for the topic. Five years later, in 2019, the ILC completed its second reading on the topic of crimes against humanity and produced a set of ‘Draft Articles’ on the prevention and punishment of crimes against humanity. The Commission submitted its final text, with commentaries, to the UN General Assembly with a recommendation, pursuant to the provisions of its statute, that states either elaborate a convention in the UN or convene a diplomatic conference to negotiate a convention based on the draft articles. The Commission’s work took note of scholarly efforts underscoring the importance of crimes against humanity prosecutions in international criminal law and the gap in the existing international legal framework in respect thereof.