S T A T U T E S
The Statutes of the Institute of International
Law were adopted at the Conférence internationale juridique,
in Ghent, on September 10, 1873. They have been revised
on various occasions.
The French text is authoritative. The English
text is a translation.
|| The Institute of International
Law is an exclusively learned society, without any
||Its purpose is to promote
the progress of international law:
||a) by striving to formulate
the general principles of the subject, in such a
way as to correspond to the legal conscience of
the civilized world ;
b) by lending its co-operation in any serious endeavour
for the gradual and progressive codification of
international law ;
c) by seeking official endorsement of the principles
recognized as in harmony with the needs of modern
d) by contributing, within the limits of its competence,
either to the maintenance of peace, or to the observance
of the laws of war ;
e) by studying the difficulties which may arise
in the interpretation or application of the law,
and where necessary issuing reasoned legal opinions
in doubtful or controversial cases ;
f) by affording its co-operation, through publications,
public teaching and all other means, in ensuring
that those principles of justice and humanity which
should govern the mutual relations of peoples shall
||There may not be more
than one session of the Institute per year ; the
interval between two sessions shall not be more
than two years.
||At each session, the Institute
shall decide on the date and place for the following
||That decision may be delegated
to the Bureau.
||The Institute shall be
composed of Honorary Members, Members and Associates.
The total number of Members and Associates under
the age of 80 shall not exceed 132, but need not
necessarily be equal to that number.
||Those Associates who have
participated effectively in three sessions shall
become Members. The list of those who fulfil this
condition shall be announced to the Institute at
the opening of each session.
||NOTE : Effective participation
shall mean participation in at least half of each
of the three sessions in question and substantially
contributing, in the view of the Bureau, to the
work of the Institute in plenary or in Commissions.
||Associates shall be selected
by the Institute from among those of various nations
who have given service to international law either
in the field of theory or in that of practice.
||They shall have the right
to speak and to vote, save in respect of elections
of Honorary Members, members of the Bureau, and
members of the Council of the Auxiliary Foundation.
||The nationals of a given
State or confederation of States shall not, through
any new election, obtain a proportion of places
as Members exceeding one-fifth of the total number
of Members existing immediately after such election.
||The same proportion shall
be respected for the places of Associates.
||When a person may claim
more than one nationality, his current active nationality
shall be that taken into account.
||The status of Honorary
Member may be conferred on : - Members or Associates
; - any person who has distinguished himself in
the field of international law.
||Honorary Members shall
enjoy all the rights and prerogatives of Members.
||In each State the Members,
in agreement with the Associates, may set up committees
composed of persons concerned with the study of
social and political sciences, in order to reinforce
the efforts of the Institute among their compatriots.
||At the close of each session,
a President and a Vice-President for the following
session shall be elected from among the Members.
||Two other Vice-Presidents
shall be elected from among the Members at the opening
of each session, to remain in office until the opening
of the following session.
||The Bureau of the Institute,
in the interval between sessions, shall be composed
of the President, the three Vice-Presidents, the
Chairman of the Programme Commitee, the Secretary-General
and the Treasurer.
||In the interval between
sessions, unless otherwise provided in the Statutes,
the Bureau shall take all steps of an administrative
or urgent nature.
|| The Secretary-General
shall be elected by the Institute for three sessions
; he may be re-elected without interval.
||He shall be responsible
for the preparation of the minutes of each meeting,
which shall be submitted to the Institute for approval
at a subsequent meeting ; minutes which it has not
been possible for the Institute to adopt shall be
submitted to the President for approval.
is further responsible for all publications of the
Institute, the day-to-day management, correspondence
for the ordinary work of the Institute, and the
carrying out of its decisions, except in such cases
as the Institute itself shall make other arrangements.
He shall have custody of the seal and archives.
His domicile shall be regarded as the seat of the
Institute. At each ordinary session, he shall submit
a summary of the recent work of the Institute.
||The Institute may, on
the proposal of the Secretary-General, appoint one
or more secretaries or deputy-secretaries, to assist
him in the performance of his duties, or to deputize
for him if he is temporarily unable to act.
||The Institute shall appoint
a Treasurer from among its Members, for three sessions,
entrusted with financial management and the keeping
of the accounts.
||At each ordinary session,
the Treasurer shall submit a financial report.
||At the opening of each
session, two Members shall be appointed Auditors
to examine the Treasurer's report. They themselves
shall report in the course of the session.
|| If necessary, the Institute
shall also appoint a Librarian for a period of three
||The Institute shall appoint
from its Members and Associates a Programme Committee
with the function of advising on the programme of
work and on the selection of Rapporteurs, as well
as of following the progress of the work of the
various Commissions. The Programme Committee is
chaired by the President of the Institute.
||As a general rule, at
meetings of the Institute, votes in connection with
resolutions to be adopted shall be taken orally
and after discussion.
||Whenever there is a roll-call
vote, the names of the Members or Associates voting
in favour or against, or abstaining, shall be recorded
in the minutes.
|| Elections shall be by
secret ballot, and only those present and entitled
to vote shall be permitted to vote.
||However, for the election
of new Associates, absent Members, provided they
were present at one or the other of the two previous
sessions, shall be permitted to send in written
votes in sealed envelopes. The right of Honorary
Members to vote by correspondence is not subject
to the aforesaid condition. On the first round of
voting, candidates must obtain both a majority of
the votes of the Members and Associates present
and entitled to vote, and a majority of the total
votes validly cast.
||It shall be the duty of
the Bureau to lay before the Institute, with a statement
of its own opinion thereon where appropriate, every
candidature proposed in accordance with the Statutes
||By way of exception, and
in special cases in which the Bureau unanimously
considers it appropriate, votes of absent persons
may be taken by correspondence.
||When matters are in question
which are the subject of controversy between two
or more States, the Members of the Institute belonging
to those States shall be permitted to express and
explain their views ; but they shall abstain from
||The Bureau shall appoint
Rapporteurs from among the Members or Associates
of the Institute, or shall set up Commissions within
the Institute, for the preparatory study of the
questions which are to be submitted to it for deliberation.
|| In case of urgency, the
Secretary-General himself shall prepare reports
||After each session, the
Institute shall publish a record of its work.
||The expenses of the Institute
shall be met :
||a) By the subscriptions
of the Members and Associates, and by an admission
fee to be paid by new Associates. The amount of
the subscription and admission fee shall be fixed
by the Rules. Subscriptions are due with effect
from the year of election and inclusive of that
year. They entitle the subscriber to all publications
of the Institute. Non-payment of subscription for
three years, without justification, may be deemed
to amount to resignation.
b) By foundations and other gifts.
||Arrangements shall be
made for the progressive creation of a fund, the
income of which will suffice to meet the expenses
of the Secretariat, the publications, the sessions
and other regular activities of the Institute.
||Requests for amendment
of the Statutes may be made either by the Bureau
or by ten persons, whether Members or Associates,
representing at least two different nationalities,
and having participated in at least two sessions.
Requests not made by the Bureau shall be submitted
to it with appropriate explanations at least four
months before the opening of the session.
or Associate who has been absent for three consecutive
sessions shall be regarded as having resigned, unless
he satisfies the Bureau that he has taken an active
part in the work of the Institute, or that he has
been prevented from so doing by circumstances beyond
his control. After the second absence, a warning
letter shall be sent to him by registered post by
the Secretary-General. This provision shall not
apply to Honorary Members.
||NOTE : The principle
of effective participation expressed in article
4 is applicable.
||A resigning Member may
be named by the Bureau as an "Emeritus Member of
the Institute of International Law" if he or she
has participated effectively in the work of the
Institute during at least five sessions. Note :
The principle of effective participation expressed
in article 4 is applicable. However, a substantial
contribution to the work of a Commission can be
considered as equivalent to a participation in a