The History of the ILA
The International Law Association (ILA), founded in 1873, is the preeminent international
non-governmental organization for developing and restating international law. The ILA, headquartered
in London, is organized into forty-five national and regional branches, so it is truly international
in focus. Individuals and organizations join the ILA by joining one of its branches; the American Branch,
which was organized in 1922, is one of the largest. Members include government lawyers, individuals
working for international organizations and nongovernmental organizations, business people, private
practitioners, and academics.
The ILA has consultative status in the United Nations and plays a unique role in drafting treaties,
resolutions, and other international instruments. The ILA often influences debates in the United Nations
General Assembly and the overall development of public and private international law.
The substantive work of the ILA is conducted at its major biennial conferences and through its
committees and study groups, on which American Branch members serve; the Branch also has its own