Archive of the International Law Association

Charles Clore House, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DR
Secretary: Juliet Fussell
Telephone +44 (020) 7323 3580
Fax +44 (020) 73233580

Extent and form of records: not yet finalised.

Access: printed and published material open. Remaining records open 20 years after last date on file unless otherwise specified (some records may be closed for a further 10 years for reasons of confidentiality or to protect personal privacy; where this is the case the access conditions are specified in the individual series description).

Administrative history: the International Law Association (ILA) was founded in Brussells in 1873 as an association "to consist of Jurists, Economists, Legislators, Politicians and others taking an interest in the question of the reform and Codification of Public and Private International Law, the Settlement of Disputes by Arbitration, and the assimilation of the laws, practice and procedure of the Nations in reference to such laws" (afternoon sitting of the first conference of members, 19 Nov 1873: reference A.ILA 1/1). It was initially called the Association for the Reform and Codification of the Law of Nations, changing its title to the International Law Association in the early C20.

The Association was to consist of a Council of officers comprising a President, vice presidents, secretaries and other members of the Conference (called the Bureau), plus a series of local, departmental or provincial committees who were to report to the President. These committees have since expanded into International Committees. The ILA's activities are now organised by an Executive Council, assisted by the Headquarters Secretariat in London. Membership of the Association, at present about 4200, is spread among branches throughout the world and ranges from lawyers in private practice, academia, industrial and financial spheres, and representatives of bodies such as shipping and arbitration organisations and chambers of commerce. The ILA has consultative status, as an international non-governmental organisation, with a number of the United Nations specialised agencies.

The ILA's objectives are pursued primarily through the work of its International Committees and the focal point of its activities is the series of Biennial Conferences. These conferences, of which 69 have so far been held in different locations throughout the world, provide a forum for the comprehensive discussion and endorsement of the work of the committees.

Archival history: in 1999 the ILA Secretary agreed to transfer the pre-1990 archive of the ILA in its entirety to the Records of Legal Education Archives at IALS on permanent loan.

Scope and content: the records as transferred comprise the complete archive of the ILA from its inception and include membership books, Constitution and bye-laws, minutes of conferences, Council and various committees, correspondence, conference, committee and branch files, financial records, press cuttings, newsletters, miscellaneous printed material and photographs.

Appraisal, scheduling and destruction information: by agreement with the ILA Secretary, appraisal and weeding is being carried out by the IALS Archivist to remove ephemera and duplicate material. It is anticipated that series lists will be available on-line in 2001.

Accruals: further transfers of records are expected.

Arrangement: the records are arranged, in roughly chronological order, in the following series:

Membership lists
Constitution and bye-laws
Minutes of conferences, Council and various committees
Cash books
Press cuttings
Grotius Society material
Conference files
General correspondence files
Committee files
Branch files
Miscellaneous printed material

Copyright: vested in the ILA.

International Law Association Archive handlist (PDF)

You can search records for the International Law Association Archive on the SHLs Archives Catalogue.

Access is by prior appointment. (Email: or telephone 020 7862 5790)

Page last updated: 18th December 2018