ABILA was established in 1921
The American Branch of the International Law Association serves several functions that set it apart from other major U.S. international law organizations, such as the American Society of International Law and the American Bar Association Section of International Law.
Benefits of membership
First, the American Branch is part of a truly international organization. The International Law Association was established in 1873 and is composed of sixty-three national branches (including the Headquarters Branch). It is currently the preeminent international non-governmental organization involved in developing and restating international law. The American Branch nominates members – both leading U.S. international lawyers and early career professionals – to participate as members of the ILA committees. The opportunity to help prepare draft treaties or studies in collaboration with leading international lawyers and international law academics from around the world – rather than just consulting with other U.S. international lawyers – is vital to furthering an understanding of international law. Committee members and others who attend the ILA’s biennial international conferences find their involvement with the ILA to be immensely rewarding.
Impact of committees
Second, the American Branch has its own committees, which allow members to combine service and academic or advocacy work. These committees are unusual in terms of the range of opportunities they provide for member-initiated projects, and there are opportunities for student involvement as well. The American Branch’s committees – unlike the Branch as a whole – may advocate for specific positions on international legal issues. Committees have filed amicus briefs in appellate cases and communicated with government officials on a variety of issues. Branch committees also engage in traditional, rigorous academic work, sometimes undertaking projects that complement the work of parallel international ILA committees, and sometimes developing their own projects. The recent book-length study by the American Branch’s Law of the Sea Committee, explaining law of the sea terms and concepts, is an example of a work that even in its draft form has been widely cited and beneficial to scholars and practitioners.
ILA is in 63
ABILA draws its members from academia, government, international organizations, and private searches.
ABILA has 18 committees.
ABILA hosts an International Law Weekend annually, as well as regional and global events.