Roberto Ago

Roberto Ago (May 26, 1907 – February 24, 1995)[1] was an Italian jurist. He served as a judge on the International Court of Justice from 1979 until 1995. Ago served as Professor of International Law at the Universities of Catania (1934–1935), Genoa (1935–1938), and finally Rome (1956–1982).[2] He specialized in both private and public international law.[3] He gave his first Hague Academy of International Law lecture in 1936 at the age of twenty-eight, on general conflict of laws rules.[4] He also gave lectures at the Hague Academy of International Law in 1939, 1956, 1971, and 1983, on topics ranging from international torts to the Grotian conception of international law.[5] He also served as Chairman of the Hague Academy Curatorium for the last 20 years of his life.[6] In 1970 Ago was awarded honorary membership in the American Society of International Law.[7] He served as a delegate to international conferences on the law of the sea and on diplomatic relations.[8] In addition, Ago presided over the Vienna Conference on the Law of Treaties from 1968 to 1969.[9] He also acted as counsel for several governments appearing before the International Court of Justice.[10] He was a member of the International Law Commission from 1956 to 1979 and served as its chairman from 1964 to 1965.[11] Former ICJ judge Stephen M. Schwebel said that Ago, through his work with the International Law Commission, had an "extended and preeminent" role in the codification work of the International Law Commission.[12] He also worked closely with the International Labour Organization, twice presiding over the ILO Governing Body.[13] For the last thirty-five years of his life, Ago chaired the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association.[14] Ago was also an active member of the Institut du Droit International from 1932 until his death, serving as its President from 1992 to 1993.[15]

Roberto Ago
Judge on the International Court of Justice
In office

Roberto Ago died on February 24, 1995 in Geneva.[16] Sir Robert Jennings, wrote that Ago "is an international lawyer who has excelled in all the several different aspects of that calling: as scholar and writer; as teacher; as consultant to governments and international organizations; as fashioner of law through the International Law Commission; as advocate; and as judge."[17] His term of office at the International Court of Justice was due to expire in February 1997.[18]

Partial List of WorksEdit

  • Eight reports to the United Nations Law Commission on the "Internationally Wrongful Act of the State, Source of International Responsibility" (1969–1979)
  • Positivism (International Law), 7 Encyclopedia of Public International Law 385 (Rudolf Bernhardt ed., 1984)
  • La Codification du Droit International et les Problèmes de sa Réalisation, Recueil d'Études de Droit International en Hommage à Paul Guggenheim 93 (1968)
  • Pluralism and the Origins of the International Community, 3 Ital. Y.B. Int'l L. 3 (1977)
  • The First International Communities in the Mediterranean World, 53 Brit. Y.B. Int'l L. 2113 (1982)
  • Lezioni di diritto internazionale privato: parte generale (Milano: A. Giuffrè, 1955)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Ago, Roberto". Who Was Who in America, 1993–1996, vol. 11. New Providence, N.J.: Marquis Who's Who. 1996. p. 2. ISBN 0837902258.
  2. ^ Nicolas Valticos, Roberto Ago (1907–1995), 89 Am. J. Int'l Law 581, 581 (1995)[hereinafter Ago]
  3. ^ Ago at 581
  4. ^ Id.
  5. ^ Id.
  6. ^ Id.
  7. ^ Ago at 581–82
  8. ^ Ago at 582
  9. ^ Id.
  10. ^ Id.
  11. ^ Id.
  12. ^ Stephen M. Schwebel, On Whether the Breach by a State of a Contract with an Alien Is a Breach of International Law, in 3 International Law at the Time of Its Codification: Essays in Honour of Roberto Ago 401, 407 (1987)
  13. ^ Ago at 583
  14. ^ Id.
  15. ^ Id.
  16. ^ Ago at 581
  17. ^ Robert Y. Jennings, The Judicial Function and the Rule of Law in International Relations, in 3 International Law at the Time of Its Codification: Essays in Honour of Roberto Ago 139, 139 (1987)
  18. ^ "ICJ Communiqué" (PDF). International Court of Justice. February 27, 1995.
Legal offices
Preceded by
Federico de Castro
Judge of International Court of Justice
Succeeded by
Luigi Ferrari Bravo