Our history

1946

Founded October 24 in Paris by gathering of lawyers who had survived the war against fascism and participated in the Nuremberg Trials. Rene Cassin, a drafter of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, named first IADL President.

1947 to date

IADL supports the total ban of Nuclear arms.

1947-1949

Annual IADL Congresses convene in Brussels ’47, Prague’48, and Rome’49.

1950 to date

Challenges the global proliferation of nuclear weapons and supports peaceful resolution of international disputes.

1951

IADL condemns the tyrannical and repressive regime of the Shah of Iran

1952-1996

IADL begins its support of the African National Congress, starting with the Campaign of Resistance Against Unjust Laws.

1953

Lawyers meetings convened in Rio de Janeiro (’52) and Guatemala City (53′) culminating in the organization of the American Association of Jurists (AAJ) which becomes an affiliate member of IADL. First Pan Asian IADL Conference held in Calcutta.

1955

IADL supports the African National Congress Freedom Charter

1956

Supports the nationalization of the Suez Canal by Egypt.

1960

IADL members throughout the world decry the Sharpeville massacre of unarmed demonstrators including children.

1961

IADL Congress in Budapest calls for US withdrawal from Vietnam.

1966

Calls for the freedom of Nelson Mandela and his co-defendants prosecuted for treason and sabotage in the Rivonia trial beginning his 27 years of imprisonment.

1968-1975

IADL Campaign and conferences in support of peace in Vietnam Grenoble ’68; Algiers 71; Paris’75.

1971

Supports the legality under international law of oil-producing countries rights to control their natural resources.

1974 to date

IADL supports the liberation movements and the struggles of the peoples of South Africa, Angola, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Northern Ireland, Puerto Rico and elsewhere on the globe.

1975

10th IADL Congress in Algiers, first in Africa. Members resolve to support each nation’s right to economic, social and cultural development under international law.

1976

IADL members participate as legal observers in the prosecution of mercenaries in Luanda, Angola and draft the precursor to the UN Convention on Mercenarism.

1978

Sponsors its first conference on Women’s Rights in Cambridge, England

1979

IADL meets in Paris, opposes Camp David Accords.

1980 to date

IADL begins its long standing campaign in support of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East recognizing the Palestinian people’s rights to self-determination.

1981

International Conference on the New Economic Order, Mexico

1982

Establishes the Permanent Commission of Lawyers on Palestine and Peace in the Middle East under the coordination of the Association of Palestinian Lawyers, Jamal Sourani, President. Meeting in New Delhi on Indian Ocean Zone of Peace.

1983

Organizes International Conference of Lawyers in the Caribbean Basin Zone of Peace, in Mexico in cooperation with the Centre for Economic and Social Studies of the Third World.

1984

IADL supports Kurdish independence from Turkey. Sends legal observers to trials of advocates and journalists supporting the Liberation Movement.

1984

12th Congress meets in Athens on the theme: Establishing a New World Order.

1984

Organizes the International Lawyers Campaign to Free Nelson Mandela

1985

Symposium on the Role of Lawyers in the Nuclear Age: The 40th Anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials.

1986

Colloquium on the Militarization of Space and a Code of Behaviour for Nuclear Power States

1988

First conference of lawyers in Asia and the Pacific region on Peace Development and Human Rights, New Delhi, India.

1989

Organizes Legal Observer Missions to the first democratic elections in Namibia; files intervention on behalf of political victims of the National Islamic Front of Sudan, in protest of the abolition of a secular independent judiciary.

1991

IADL files a petition challenging the international traffic in children for organ transplants and commercial sexual traffic before the U.N. Working Group on Contemporary Forms of Slavery.

1992 to date

Organizes international condemnation of the economic boycott of Cuba as an illegal use of force in violation of the Charters of the U.N. and the OAU.

1994

International Legal Observer Delegations organized to monitor South Africa’s first non-racial election.

1995

IADL delegation attends the UN Conference on Women’s Rights in Beijing.

1996

XIVth Congress held in Capetown, South Africa. Lawyers, jurists and law professors from five continents gather to observe IADL’s 50th Anniversary under the patronage of Nelson Mandela.

1996

Fact-finding Mission to Okinawa organized by IADL affiliate JALISA finds U.S. bases to be nuclear attack bases after World War II and deployed during Korean, Vietnam and Gulf Wars in violation of legal and human rights of the people of Japan to live in peace.

1997

IADL sponsors its first legal seminar in the United States on International Labor Rights.

1998

IADL protests to UN Secretary General about U.S. threats of unilateral military force against Iraq.

1999

IADL association of with its Japanese affiliate JALISA convene a World Conference Against Nuclear Weapons, Tokyo, Japan and Issue A Hiroshima Declaration for Nuclear Free 21st Century.

2000

XV IADL Congress in Association with the XII Conference of American Association of Jurists (AAJ) meets in Havana, Cuba October 16-21 under the theme: Establishing a Just International Order.

2001

In Rome, Italy February 17-18 IADL and the Center of Research and Elaboration for Democracy (CRED) hold Preparatory Conference for the Second UN Conference Against Racism (WCAR) 31 August – 7 September Durban, South Africa., IADL sponsors Conference of Palestine and International Law, November, Paris France.

2002

IADL in association with its UK affiliate The Haldane Society, convenes an International Conference on Antiterrorist Legislation: Making the World Not Safer But Less Free, May, London, England.

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