The ILA's International Committees are established to undertake research and to prepare reports on carefully selected areas of international law (public, private or commercial). These reports are discussed and considered by the membership and other interested parties at the Biennial Conferences. The reports take various forms: a re-statement of the law; a draft treaty or convention; an elaboration of a code or rules or principles of international law; or a review of recent developments of law or practice.
It is the wide range of nationalities and expertise amongst its membership on which the ILA can draw which allows the committees their unique status on the international stage.
Any ILA Member or Branch can propose a subject for a new committee to the Director of Studies who will advise the Executive Council on the establishment of such a new committee.
Committees are established with a mandate in the first instance for four years. The EC may renew the mandate either in its original form or with amendments, for further periods of up to four years.
Nominations for committee membership are made by branches and passed to the relevant Committee Chair and Director of Studies for their approval before being considered by the Executive Council.
The committee reports are published with the proceedings of each conference. The individual committee reports and conference resolutions published since 2000 are available for downloading on this website (see under relevant committee on List of Current Committees).
Further information regarding the establishment and running of the ILA Committees:
Study groups provide a flexible and less formal form of cooperation within the ILA than the committees. They are established to survey the suitability of topics for further study by a committee, to allow quick responses to urgent questions, or to tackle issues that are less suitable for consideration by a committee. Study groups consist of a small group of recognised experts and do not aim to produce a formal outcome for adoption by the ILA.
A study group is established, and its chair and the rapporteur(s) are appointed by the Executive Council on the recommendation of the Director of Studies. The membership of a study group is usually limited to ten to twelve people selected by the chair.
The results of the work of a study group (for example reports, recommendations, principles, declarations) can be published under the auspices of the ILA on its website. Although study groups may hold workshops at the biennial conferences (and indeed are encouraged to do so), their reports or other output are not to be formally adopted by ILA Conferences. The study groups should provide opportunities for younger members to be involved in the work of the Association.
The normal length of mandate for a study group is three years and may be renewed.