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History

The IJI was founded as a non-profit business over 100 years ago, then under the name Institut Intermédiaire International. The IJI has been a practice-oriented institute since its establishment in 1918. In its early days, it provided information on problems related to international trade. Later, questions in other fields were also dealt with. In addition, the IJI published a quarterly journal, under the name Bulletin de l’Institut intermédiare international. In it, international law and foreign substantive law were explained in detail. An International Bureau of Legal Translations was also attached to the IJI. These translation activities were discontinued at the outbreak of the Second World War.

After the Second World War, the IJI increasingly concentrated on the practice of legal advice. Initially, the IJI’s reports consisted mainly of summaries of literature and case law; for several decades now, comprehensive documented legal opinions have been given. In addition, the IJI has developed into a knowledge centre, where the knowledge of the staff and the extensive documentation is disseminated through courses, seminars and publications.

Short Film About the History and 100th Anniversary of the IJI

What our Clients Say About Us

Lawyer Tim de Greve, partner at Stibbe.

I regularly engage the IJI in cases where PIL aspects play a role. The institute has existed for over 100 years and can therefore boast a long history and experience. There are prominent people associated with it. Not least Mr Strikwerda. They support you from the outset, immediately understand the question you are faced with and suggest possible solutions. They have the right connections at home and abroad to answer questions within a reasonable timeframe. Apart from that, it is very pleasant to work with the people of the IJI.

Lawyer Channa Samkalden, Prakken d'Oliveira

We have received advice from the IJI on several cases. One example is a case brought by a number of Nigerian farmers against Shell concerning oil pollution in Nigeria. That case is about the application of Nigerian law by the Dutch court. The IJI looked into the framework of tort law in Nigeria for us. We used that advice in the proceedings and also submitted it to the court and it showed, for instance, that our plaintiffs were also entitled to claim against Shell under Nigerian law. The IJI is extremely useful in all such cases because you receive very sound advice on the basis of which you know whether you should have a number of things investigated further. It’s very useful advice at an early stage of your procedure.

Attorney Ria van Seventer, Meesters aan de Maas Advocaten

Our law firm is based in Rotterdam, a city of more than 170 nationalities, so we regularly have to ask the IJI for advice. For example, I had to deal with the recognition of a child by an Italian man, to which Italian law had to be applied. I don’t speak Italian so I could not do that myself. Nor did I have access to the sources which the IJI has.

On 19th January 2018, the IJI celebrated its 100th anniversary. For this anniversary, the IJI organised a congress on 9th November 2018 with the theme ‘the application of foreign law’. As part of this centenary celebration, a book* was published on the history of the IJI that provides insight into its work, from inception to the present, and the IJI’s vision for the future.

*You can order the book (in Dutch): Een geschenk aan de wereld (A gift to the world), by Erika Prins, published by T.M.C. Asser Press, for a contribution of €20 by sending an email to: info@iji.nl.

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