Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



There is growing concern everywhere these days with the application of substantive international law rules to individuals as well as to nations. Indeed, after years of relative neglect, the procedural side of international law is coming into its own, a development that is as welcome as it is overdue. To readers who recall Morris R. Cohen's observation that "students of legal history know the truth of the statement that 'the substantive law is secreted in the interstices of procedure,' nor need practitioners be reminded how frequently changes in procedure affect the substantive right of parties,"' this trend is a particularly reassuring one.

While recognizing that "continuing attention must be paid to clarification and development of the substantive law to keep it responsive to the needs of an evolving world society," the Procedural Aspects of International Law Institute, founded in 1965 by a distinguished group of international lawyers, has embarked upon a major study of the mechanics by which international law is and can be made applicable to the conduct of individuals and states. This research project, financed by a four-year grant from the Ford Foundation, involves separate but interrelated studies of the broad areas of human rights, property rights, and, in a more limited sense, procedural rights (that is, of aliens before national tribunals).