Institut de Droit International
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The Institut de droit international ("Institute of International Law") is an organization devoted to the study and development of international law, whose membership comprises the world's leading public international lawyers. In 1904 the Institute received the Nobel Peace Prize.
The institute was founded by Gustave Moynier and Gustave Rolin-Jaequemyns, together with 9 other renowned international lawyers, on 8 September 1873 in the Salle de l'Arsenal of the Ghent Town Hall in Belgium.
The founders of 1873 were:
- Pasquale Stanislao Mancini (from Rome), President
- Emile de Laveleye (from Liege)
- Tobias Michael Carel Asser (from Amsterdam)
- James Lorimer (from Edinburgh)
- Wladimir Besobrassof (ru) (from Saint-Petersburg)
- Gustave Moynier (from Geneva)
- Jean Gaspar Bluntschli (from Heidelberg)
- Augusto Pierantoni (from Naples)
- Carlos Calvo (from Buenos Aires)
- Gustave Rolin-Jaequemyns (from Ghent)
- David Dudley Field (from New York)
The Institute is a private body, made up of associates, members, and honorary members. The members, invited by the organization, are persons who have demonstrated notable scholarly work in the area of international law, and is restricted to those who are considered relatively free of political pressure. The organisation attempts to have members broadly distributed around the world.
The organisation holds biannual congresses for the study of international law as it currently exists, and passes resolutions proposing modifications to international law. It does not comment on specific disputes. The next session will be held in Greece in September 2011.
While its recommendations cover international law in its many forms, some of its resolutions particularly pertain to human rights law and peaceful dispute resolution. It is for this reason that the organization received the Nobel Peace Prize.
The organization remains active, with a congress held in Naples in Sept 2009. The location of the institute's headquarters rotates according to the origin of the Secretary General. Since the election of Professor Joe Verhoeven as Secretary General in September 2003, the institute is headquartered in Grez-Doiceau, Belgium, with offices also at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. Its current members include, amongst other prominent lawyers and legal academics, judges of the International Criminal Court. Recent resolutions from the organization include, for example, a recommendation on immunity from prosecution for Heads of State, and the responsibility of national governments for environmental damage.
The Institut publishes its Annuaire, containing the reports of the commissions, deliberations of the plenary sessions, and any resulting declarations and resolutions. The records of the administrative sessions including elections are also included in the Annuaire.
The Institut maintains a website, not too frequently updated, but containing some useful information such as the declarations and resolutions, and some works in progress for future inclusion in the Annuaire.
- "Societies of International Law". The American Journal of International Law 1 (1): 135–137. 1907. doi:10.2307/2186291.
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