A Brief History of the Institute
The following was prepared by Norman S Marsh QC,
the Institute's first Director, to celebrate its 40th Anniversary on 17 November 1998. It sets out the history of the Institute prior to its formal incorporation in 1958.
'Strictly speaking, what is being celebrated on 17 November 1998 is the legal incorporation of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law as a company limited by guarantee without share capital under the Companies Act 1948.
Even a cursory reading of the Articles of Association of the British Institute under that incorporation will make clear that by somewhat elaborate provisions a special status is given to those who at the date of the incorporation were members of one or both of two specified legal societies, namely the Society of Comparative Legislation and the Grotius Society. Whether or not their special status has been extensively claimed, or not been claimed at all, it seems appropriate for the Director of the Institute during its first five years after incorporation (who was himself before his appointment a member of both the Societies) to pay tribute to their distinguished record. To the younger generation of members of the British Institute such a tribute may be mainly of historic interest although many of the older members may appreciate this recognition of the aims and achievements of these Societies, and of the extent to which they have set an example for the British Institute.'