Welcome message from the Secretary-General

Welcome to the new website of the Institute of International Law! We are proud to present the organization, the work, the former and present members of the oldest scholarly institution in the field of international law. The Institute of International Law (Institut de Droit international) was founded on 8 September 1873 in Ghent (Belgium) by eleven personalities who, at that time, contributed the most to international law on the theoretical and practical level.  Since then, our institution has largely expanded to cover all regions of the world today. In fact, the Institute of International Law, composed of well-known jurists, works on the development of international law, mainly through the study of major questions of public and private international law and the elaboration of resolutions relating thereto which are considered by States, international organizations and the academic world to be of great value.

Being totally independent and relying on the pluralism of its composition, the Institute works to protect itself from financial or other state pressure. Its sole purpose is to contribute to the improvement of, and respect for, the international legal system by raising awareness of the values of the international community: justice and peace.

In addition to the basic instruments governing the functioning of the Institute and practical information concerning the composition of its governing bodies, the commissions and their rapporteurs, you will find on this site, for the first time gathered in electronic format, the Yearbook of the Institute of International Law from its first volume up to Volume 58 (1979). It is a valuable tool that until now has been physically available only in a few libraries in a few countries. We hope that you will take advantage of this invaluable material that opens the door to the history not only of our Institute but also of international law from the end of the nineteenth century to the present day.

The members of the Institute have always been appointed among the most distinguished specialists in our discipline. Making a list of the most prominent would be both incomplete and unjust. You have certainly read their work or followed their path, without necessarily associating a face with these personalities. A new section of this site is devoted to official photos of the Institute’s sessions since they became available. You will also find a brief description of the functions and principal work of the current members.

This institution, more than a century old, is opening up to the new challenges of today’s world. You can consult the preparatory work for the 78th session which took place in Hyderabad, India, in September 2017 as well as the resolutions that have been adopted during this session. You will find the work of our company on topical legal issues: mass migration; review of measures Implementing decisions of the Security Council in the field of targeted sanctions; and provisional measures in the framework of international jurisdictions. The 79th session of the Institute will take place in The Hague in August 2019.

The site will be constantly improving and we are at your disposal for any comment and suggestion. I wish you a pleasant and fruitful visit.

Geneva, 16 October 2017

Prof. Marcelo Kohen


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