IILA’s Services

IILA’s partners are constantly grappling with a wide range of topics within public international law. The key to IILA’s capacity building activities is in providing our partners with a range of support services – all undertaken from the unique vantage point of independent “in-house counsel”. IILA provides support across the core international law topics confronting a foreign affairs ministry, building a strategic and broad approach to how international law can help the needs of the people. These topics include: 

  • Treaty law 

  • Diplomatic and consular law 

  • Trade, investment and sustainable development 

  • Law of the sea 

  • International environmental law 

  • Land and maritime boundaries and spaces 

  • Human rights, humanitarian law and international criminal law 

  • International peace and security 

  • The peaceful settlement of international disputes 

The key preliminary step for our partners is IILA’s Needs Assessment Exercise. How this helps support our collaboration with our State partners is set out here. IILA offers a range of services to assist our partners, falling into three categories:

  1. Increase understanding and use of international law

  2. Support in the creation of international law

  3. Advising on the use of international law

These categories lead IILA into a number of support activities, including:

  • Capacity building through intensive training sessions on specific subject matters for each State;

  • Analyzing treaty obligations and how to implement them effectively;

  • Connecting States with key partners and international law resources;

  • Providing research and advice for treaty negotiations;

  • Supporting States to include international law in their decision-making;

  • Advising on the selection of means for peacefully settling disputes.

IILA uses a common approach to all our projects, an approach structured to the difficulties our State partners face:

  1. Identifying the relevant and applicable laws, and clarifying the origins of these rules and standards

  2. Analysing the advantages and disadvantages of different plans of action for each State partner

  3. Counselling on strategies to implement the chosen plan of action


The Impact IILA Can Make


Negotiating Agreements for the Environmental Protection of the Oceans

Covering more than half the planet, the oceans contain fragile ecosystems and biodiversity needing immediate protection. They also contain a mass of resources vital to the sustainable development of communities across the globe. Climate change presents further existential challenges to the oceans and to vulnerable nations. A thick web of international laws covers this mass of challenges.

IILA supports its State partners to prepare for legal negotiations addressing these issues. IILA’s collaboration brings a strategic approach in navigating the combination of environmental protection with equitable benefit sharing. 

Legal Training on Seeking Sustainable Development through International Investment and Trade 

Stark global poverty and inequality persist. Law is fundamental to the world’s pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals. At the heart of international law’s role is the regulation of global investment and trade that should support economic development while also guaranteeing respect for human rights, labour rights and the environment.

IILA works with its State partners to ensure they can fully use and craft international law tools on investment and trade. IILA also acts as an expert ‘hub’ to a range of specialized resources that could be of great benefit to each partner and its peoples in this area. Knowing who, when and how to engage these experts the world over remains a wasted opportunity for many small and developing States. 

Securing Local Implementation and Reporting on International Human Rights

For many small developing States, the obstacles to protect and enforce human rights are not a lack of will or care about human dignity. An overload of reporting to human rights monitoring bodies, difficulties in interpreting and applying the multitude of human rights treaties, and the burden of drafting instruments that speak to new and pressing needs of different regions of the globe stand in the way. 

IILA collaborates with State partners to put international commitments to the protection of human dignity into practical implementation. Acting as part of the home team gives IILA the opportunity to address the obstacles to local implementation our partners face, as well as support their full engagement with the international institutions working for the enforcement of human rights law.