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.
According to ILA rules, the Australian Branch, with a membership of over 100, is entitled to nominate up to two ordinary members to each international committee. Members interested in membership of an international committee are invited to express their interest to the secretary by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), accompanied by a CV and any other documentation demonstrating expertise in the subject-matter of the committee. The Australian Branch will nominate a member to the Executive Council of the ILA if satisfied:
- that the person is a current financial member of the Australian Branch;
- that there is an Australian vacancy on the committee;
- that the person’s qualifications and interests are suited to the committee; and
- that they are able and willing to contribute actively to the work of the committee.
As a general rule, a person should not be a member of more than two committees simultaneously.
The Management Committee of the Australian Branch has adopted guidelines for Australian membership of committees. A sub-committee of the Management Committee, comprising the President, Vice President, and the Director(s) of Studies, will consider the expressions of interest received, and make recommendations to the Management Committee. If there are more expressions of interest than positions available on a committee, the sub-committee and Management Committee will need to decide on which nominations to forward. There is also the possibility of nominating a person as an alternate member. The final selection of members is in the hands of the Executive Council of the ILA on the advice of the international Director of Studies (who consults with the officers of the committee in question). The Executive Council meets twice a year, normally in May and November.
The ILA’s international study groups provide a flexible and less formal form of cooperation within the ILA than the international 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 are composed exclusively on the recommendation of the international Director of Studies.
Further details on the procedure on becoming a member of a committee or study group are set out in the ILA rules.