The ILA/ADI in brief

Association de droit international/International Law Association

150 years in 2023

The ILA/ADI is directly derived from the peace movement through international law born in the United States of America at the end of the 19th century (1873). Its mandate is to work for the evolution of international law and to propose either new norms or an improvement of existing norms. Its creation is contemporary to that of the first universal intergovernmental organizations, such as the International Telegraph Union (ITU) in 1865 and the Universal Postal Union (UPU) in 1874.

With 61 national or regional branches, spread over the five continents, and approximately 4,100 members, the ILA/ADI works on the international law of tomorrow through international committees or study groups, under the coordination of a Director of Studies.

The international committees, 17 in 2021, deal with topics as diverse as health law, currency, consumer law, taxation, human rights, culture, privacy, natural resources, climate, investments, use of force, nuclear weapons, outer space, to name a few.

In 2021, 4 study groups are looking at a variety of topics: the role of cities in international law, cross-border violations of children’s rights, Asian practice of international law, and the relationship between international law and regional organizations.

Most of the time, the working groups have an exploratory mission to verify the feasibility of a subject and the need to create, afterwards, an international committee with a more perennial vocation. Only the committees have the power to propose resolutions that, after a vote in the plenary assembly at the biennial meetings of the association, become resolutions of the organization as a whole.

During the Tokyo Biennial Conference in December 2020, several resolutions were thus adopted, notably on health and the Covid-19 pandemic, on proposals for procedural reforms of international jurisdictions, on the rights of indigenous peoples, on intellectual property and on the sustainable management of natural resources.

The work of the ILA/ADI sometimes inspires the texts discussed by inter-governmental organizations and is cited during international negotiations or before international courts and tribunals. For instance, the work of the ILA/ADI on immunities inspired, in part, the 2004 United Nations Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and their Property. One may also name the work of the Arbitration Committee on res judicata, cited before several international commercial arbitral tribunals. Finally, mention should be made of the work of the committee on civil and commercial procedure in respect of interim measures or forum non conveniens, which was cited by the negotiators during the discussions under the aegis of the Hague Conference on Private International Law.