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Foreword to the 60th Anniversary Volume

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 December 2022

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Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The American Society of International Law

This year marks the 60th anniversary of International Legal Materials. Beginning as an “experimental compilation of current official documents,” ILM has grown into a leading source of information on international legal developments for academics, practitioners, and government officials worldwide.

Plans for the publication were heralded in the Society's newsletter ahead of the first issue, which described ILM as “designed to meet the needs for up-to-date information of scholars, practicing lawyers, legal advisers to government agencies and corporations, government officials, and others concerned with the legal aspects of public and private international dealings.” Content was sourced by volunteer experts in the Washington area, and the first issue, in mimeographed form, was published in August 1962.

That first issue was met with such an enthusiastic response that the Society's Executive Council decided to make the publication permanent, with six issues per year. A subscription fee was set, and ILM was incorporated into the Society's Regulations in November 1965. Executive Director H.C.L. (Chris) Merillat served as the initial Editor, and the first Editorial Advisory Committee (the EAC) consisted of Stanley D. Metzger, Arthur S. Miller, and Walter S. Surrey.

Since those early days, various changes have been introduced to the content, format, and editorial practices of ILM. Beginning in the 1980s, Corresponding Editors were invited to provide advice to the EAC and to help expand the geographic and subject matter coverage of the publication. In 1987, content summaries were published alongside the documents included in ILM, and these evolved into the introductory notes that are published today.

Recent decades have seen an explosion in the breadth and scope of the international legal materials produced around the world, and the materials included in ILM reflect that increasing diversity. Although many international materials are now widely available online, ILM continues to fill a critical need by saving busy scholars and practitioners the time required to sift through the vast array of available documents and publishing only those that the EAC deems most significant.

We would like to thank all the members and staff of the Society who have contributed to the success of International Legal Materials over the course of its first six decades. It is our hope that ILM will continue to meet the evolving needs of the international legal community in the years to come.

Finally, we would like to express our appreciation to Christina M. Cerna, Malgorzata Materna, Kabir A.N. Duggal, Nicholas J. Diamond, and José Ignacio Hernández G. who contributed notes for this issue, and to all the authors whose scholarship has enriched these pages.


Mark David Agrast


Editorial Advisory Committee

International Legal Materials

Justine Stefanelli


International Legal Materials

Washington, D.C.

January 2022