Skip to main content


Established in 1947 by the United Nations General Assembly, the International Law Commission (ILC) has played an instrumental role in the codification and progressive development of international law over the last five decades. Despite an initially weak legal basis for environmental action, the ILC managed to meet the demands for international measures in this domain, producing a number of draft articles, some of which gave birth to major environmental treaties. After briefly describing the ILC’s organization, functions, and procedures, this Article analyses its work on some environmental issues, grouped under three categories: law of the sea, international watercourses and natural shared resources, and accountability for trans­boundary environmental damage. Although not counted among today’s main law-making bodies in the environmental field, the ILC has positively responded to the need to protect the environment and made a valuable contribution to the process of codification and progressive development of international environmental law.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
6 Sep 2022
553 kB



  • Subject
    • Environmental Law

    • International Law

    • Law of the Sea

  • Journal title
    • Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review

  • Volume
    • 32

  • Issue
    • 3

  • Pagination
    • 493

  • Date submitted

    6 September 2022