(Oxford University Press: Oxford, 1999), pp. 608 (with index). ISBN 0-19-829803-X.
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This first volume of a three-volume set is – price apart – a marvellous text for any student of diplomatic and consular law. Four of its seven chapters fall under these heads: ch. 3, the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961; ch. 4, the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963; ch. 5, the Convention on Special Missions, 1969; and ch. 7, the (unratified) Vienna Convention on the Representation of States in their Relations with International Organizations of a Universal Character, 1975. In each chapter Sir Arthur Watts provides a useful introduction, summary ILC history of the topic, selected bibliography, ILC final draft articles and commentary, and then the full text of the convention as signed at the conference. What is particularly useful in this list is provision of the final draft articles as they emerged from the ILC, together with its commentary, i.e. thinking, on them. As far as I am aware, these have only been published before in the Yearbook of the International Law Commission. And, as Sir Arthur says, ‘for many practical purposes, and as a starting point for further research, primary importance probably attaches to the final products of the Commission’s work’ – its ‘considered views’.