Celebrating 100 Years
Founded in 1922, the American Branch is now in its 100th year of working towards the betterment of the world through the teaching, study, and development of international law. We are pleased to commemorate this notable achievement with our members and the international law community.
ABILA has endured for one hundred years as a service organization of individuals dedicated to the mission of peace and justice through law. The Branch itself has been a remarkably vigorous and service-oriented institution, and through the Branch, U.S. lawyers, academics, and policy makers have been connected to the world through our parent organization, the International Law Association.
Through the talent, dedication, and perseverance of our members, and the leadership of our board of directors and officers, the Branch has become the thriving organization it is today. Members receive the Branch Newsletter twice a year, can serve on Branch or ILA Committees, propose new Committees and Study Groups, propose panels at International Law Weekend (ILW), regional ILWs, or other events, or offer webinars or other events sponsored by the Branch or the ILA, including ILA Biennial meetings and committee sessions. Students attend all ABILA events, without exception, free of charge and costs are purposefully kept very low for members, consistent with our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
We are thrilled to celebrate the American Branch’s centennial year and look forward to the next one hundred years of transforming international law.
In recognition of ABILA’s 100th anniversary in 2022, the American Branch is pleased to premiere this video featuring our esteemed Board members, Committee Chairs, and ABILA members.
New York City
October 20, 2022
New York City
October 20-22, 2022
June 21, 2022
April 7, 2022
January 27, 2022
History of the Branch
The American Branch’s origins date back to 1873 when several Americans, including the renowned codifier David Dudley Field, helped found an international organization, the Association for the Reform and Codification of the Law of Nations, which was later renamed the International Law Association. The American Branch was officially founded in 1922. We date our 100th anniversary from the Branch’s first meeting on January 27, 1922, when our founding members adopted a constitution and elected regular officers. Hollis R. Bailey, a Harvard-trained Boston lawyer, became the American Branch’s first President. The first Honorary President was U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice and former U.S. President William Howard Taft, who was a true advocate for international law and arbitration. In our early years, the Branch focused our energy on international maritime and other commercial topics, but our focus, like our membership, diversified greatly over the next few decades. Click here to read more about the history of the American Branch.
Today, we are one of the oldest, largest, and most active branches of the International Law Association, which has 4,600 members in 63 countries around the globe. Our members contribute to the Biennial Conferences of the International Law Association and are active in their Committee projects and Study Groups. The American Branch itself has 20 active Committees, which cover various areas of international law, including arbitration, commercial law, human rights, space, use of force, and law of the sea. Since 1974, we have organized and sponsored our own annual conference, International Law Weekend in New York City each fall, which draws over a thousand practitioners, academics, and students from all over the world.
Meet some of the people that make this organization so great. Not a member? Join the Branch today!
Meet American Branch Investment Law Committee Co-Chair David Attanasio
Meet American Branch ICC Committee Chair Jennifer Trahan
Meet American Branch Honarary Vice-President Ved Nanda
Meet American Branch Vice-President Chiara Giorgetti
Meet American Branch Executive Committee Chair Jim Nafziger
Meet American Branch President-Elect Michael Scharf
Meet American Branch Board Member William Aceves
Meet American Branch Board Member Nawi Ukabiala
Meet American Branch IHL Committee Co-Chair Ashika Singh
Meet American Branch Membership Officer Madaline George
Meet Former American Branch President John Noyes
Meet American Branch Vice-President Amity Boye
Meet American Branch President Leila Nadya Sadat
“As a former Director of Studies of the ILA, I also know how indebted the Association is to members of the American Branch who have given intellectual leadership, proposing new committees… they have served as committee chairs, as rapporteurs, as members in producing the work of the committee reports. And their contributions to the committee reports have been very, very valuable indeed.”
– Christine Chinkin, ILA Chair
“International law has never been more relevant or important. There is no better way to get engaged and stay current than by participating in the American Branch of the International Law Association.”
– Professor David P. Stewart, American Branch Board Chair
“The American Branch has been really a highlight in the work and in the life of the ILA as a federation.”
– Catherine Kessedjian, ILA Vice-Chair, President of the ILA 2023 Organizing Committee
“My becoming involved with the Branch and the ILA really was one of my best career moves. I have made a number of good friends as well as expanded my network of colleagues. The exchanges have been phenomenal really.”
– John Noyes, Former American Branch President, Honorary ABILA Vice-President
“The multi-sector and cross-disciplinary community that is the American Branch has and continues to play a key role in the debates and discussions that are the foundation for the sound development of international law.”
– Charlotte Ku, American Branch Board Member