General update on ICJ’s activities

by | Apr 1, 1960 | News

Dr. Jean-Flavien Lalive, a Swiss jurist and Secretary-General of the IICJ, has arrived in Portugal on a short informal visit with the purpose of broadening the Commission’s contacts in this country.

He will also discuss with members of the legal community some aspects of legal problems of mutual interest.

The ICJ, a non-governmental organization with consultative status with the United Nations, was founded in 1952 and maintains its headquarters in Geneva. It is dedicated to the support and advancement of the Rule of Law in all parts of the world. It pursues its objectives by promoting practical manifestations of this concept and by defending it in cases of general and systematic violation of the fundamental principles of justice.

At a number of international Congresses and Conferences (Athens 1955, Vienna 1957, New Delhi 1959), supporters of the Commission had discussed and formulated the definitions and basic principles of the Rule of Law in the fields of constitutional law, criminal law, administrative law and with regard to the judiciary and the Bar.

The Commission is following up the important results of the New Delhi Congress by a new international survey on the actual state of the Rule of Law in individual countries. A detailed questionnaire has been published recently and the answers received will establish a balance sheet which the Commission intends to keep up to date by periodical supplements stressing both the progress and the set-backs of the Rule of Law throughout the world.

The various publications of the Commission are well known. The list of its periodicals contains the scholarly Journal, informative Bulletin and the Newsletter which keeps friends of the Commission abreast of its activities and of the work of the 26 National Sections in all parts of the world. Special publications, such as the Reports on the Question on Hungary (1957) and Tibet (1959), analyse in detail instances of particularly serious violations of the Rule of Law.

The ICJ maintains close relations with lawyers and legal organizations in over 60 countries and territories. Missions of observers, exchanges of visits, seminars and activities within the framework of the United Nations contribute to the creation of a spiritual community of lawyers pledged to the principles espoused by the Commission.

Particular, attention is given to the problems of newly established countries of Asia and Africa where the Commission promotes exchanges of experience and consultations within the framework of its program of legal technical assistance. A Conference of African lawyers is planned for the early part of 1961.

An Essay Contest launched in 1959 with the support of heads of law schools and students’ bodies in all parts of the world is designed to stimulate the interest of young lawyers and students in questions of special concern for the future. The theme of the first contest is “The Role of the Lawyer in the Economic and Social Development of his Country Within the Framework of the Rule of Law”. It is hoped that law students and young lawyers everywhere eligible under the terms of the regulations will participate in the Contest and will continue to support the ideals underlying the work of the Commission.

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