The fifty-sixth session of the International Law Seminar is tentatively scheduled to take place from 5 to 23 July 2021 in the United Nations Office at Geneva, Switzerland, subject to the caveats spelled out below.

Please note that the online application process will begin in early March.

Candidates should bear in mind, while the organizers are hopeful that the current pandemic situation will improve sufficiently by this summer to allow the Seminar to take place physically in Geneva, a final decision in this regard will be made in the spring, depending on the global pandemic situation and travel restrictions in place, as well as possible restrictions of entry into Switzerland.

It is important to note that continuing major travel restrictions from one or two regional areas (i.e. Latin America, Africa) may lead to the cancellation of this year’s Seminar, as the organizers of the seminar are keen to ensure universality of participants.

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UNOG organized the very first International Law Seminar (ILS) in 1965, in connection with the annual session of the International Law Commission (ILC), for a duration of three weeks.

The Seminar takes place on an annual basis and is designed for postgraduate students in international law, young scholars, government officials as well as young lawyers in the field of international law, to widen their knowledge of both the work of the International Law Commission and of the codification and progressive development of international law. It also provides an opportunity for lawyers coming from different legal systems and cultures to exchange views regarding items on the agenda of the Commission.

The International Law Seminar is not intended to be an introduction to international law. Applicants must prove a sound knowledge of international law, on the basis of either their postgraduate studies or significant professional experience in the field. Twenty five participants from various Member States of the United Nations participate in ILS. As well as attending the meetings of ILC, participants are expected to take an active part in the discussions which follow lectures given by members of the Commission, officials of the United Nations or specialized agencies in Geneva and other speakers invited for the occasion.