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History of the Institute

The British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL) was created in 1958 by the merger of the Society of Comparative Legislation ( founded in 1895)and the Grotius Society (created in 1915).

The initial signatories established an independent research body, unaffiliated to any university, which is committed to the understanding, development and practical application of international and comparative law.

The founders of BIICL were a group of individuals with a wide range of legal interests and experience including some of the most illustrious legal minds of the 20th century for example Baron Denning and Hersch Lauterpacht.

The Institute continues its mission first begun in 1895:

  • To advance the understanding of international and comparative law;
  • To promote the rule of law in international affairs; and
  • To promote their application through research, publications and events.

Memories of BIICL:

Lady Hazel Fox

Neville Hunnings

A brief history of the Institute 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.