The vital role of law in responding to processes of globalization, and the growing importance of developing a shared understanding within Europe in relation to a wide range of international legal issues, underscore the need for a forum that will facilitate greater interaction among European international lawyers. This is demonstrated by recent debates over issues ranging from the war in Iraq and the debate over the appropriate limits of international intervention, through the resolution of international trade disputes and the shape of the future international economic regime, to the role of multilateralism in general. These and many other issues have emphasised the desirability of developing much closer links between those working in the international law field in Western Europe and their counterparts in Eastern and Central Europe.
This need will be all the more marked in response to the expansion of membership of the European Union and the proposed adoption of institutional arrangements designed to enhance Europe’s voice in international affairs. This evolution in EU law and practice should be complemented and reinforced by the emergence of an increasingly integrated community of European international lawyers.
Against this background, the stated goals of the ESIL are to contribute to the rule of law in international relations and to promote the study of public international law. For these purposes its Articles of Association provide that it will:
- organise and support in-depth exchanges of ideas on matters of common interest to international lawyers in Europe and elsewhere;
- encourage high-level scholarship and analysis;
- provide a forum for European-wide discussions, and foster the involvement and representation of younger scholars;
- promote a greater awareness and understanding of international law not only amongst lawyers but within the general public; and
- foster a greater appreciation of the role of the European tradition and develop European perspectives in international law.
The official languages of the Society are English and French. The Society is committed to promoting linguistic diversity while at the same time maximising the ability of members to communicate effectively with one another.
Membership of the ESIL is open to all those with an interest in international law and in contributing to the realisation of the goals of the Society. No limitations of nationality or qualification as to professional or scholarly status apply.