One of the unique features of the work of the International Law Association, including the national branches, is the work of our Committees. Currently, the American Branch has eighteen Committees headed by a Chair or Co-Chairs.
Each Chair, in consultation with Committee members, sets an agenda for the Committee and decides on projects that the Committee will undertake. The Chair also lays down a time frame for the completion of the project.
Committee projects are diverse, ranging from multi-year academic studies (such as the recent book-length treatment of law of the sea terms and concepts undertaken by the Branch’s Law of the Sea Committee), to shorter academic analyses, to advocacy work (such as amicus briefs or congressional testimony about treaties or legislation).
Although the American Branch as a whole does not take positions on current international law issues, the Branch’s Committees may. Committee work product is published in the biennial Proceedings of the American Branch.
Committees often propose panels for inclusion at International Law Weekend and sponsor panels at Regional ILWs or stand-alone events.
Formation of New Committees
The American Branch encourages its members to propose new Committees or to propose projects to be undertaken by an existing Committee. Contact either of the Branch’s Co-Directors of Studies, Peter Yu or Jennifer Trahan.
Currently, there are also twenty-three ILA Committees and ten Study Groups at the international level. For specific information, visit the Committees section of the ILA website.
If an International Committee is working in the same areas as the Branch Committee, the ABILA Committee may monitor, or elaborate on, the work of the International Committee or, alternatively, it may work in another area entirely.
The Co-Directors of Studies, Peter Yu and Jennifer Trahan, oversee and coordinate the ABILA committees and their work.