Guide last updated by Clare Cowling, May 2023
This guide was created by Clare Cowling, IALS Archivist.
The records below, which hold references to refugees and the law, comprise material transferred to the Records of Legal Education Archives (now subsumed into the IALS Archives) by officers of the International Law Association. The following keywords were used: asylum; displaced person; refugee; stateless. There may be more relevant material in the collections which was not picked up in word searches.
All the records listed below, other than some items in the International Law Association collection, may be viewed by prior appointment in the IALS Library. Closed items are designated in red. Requests for an appointment to examine any of the records other than those described above should be made to the Archivist (IALS.Archives@sas.ac.uk). Requests for accelerated access to closed items in the ILA collection, other than those containing personal data, should be made to the Chief Operations Officer of the ILA (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The PDF version of this guide is available below:
Sir William Leonard Dale (1906–2000), lawyer and civil servant, was born on 17 June 1906 at The Rectory, Preston in Holderness, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, the elder son and eldest of the three children of the Revd William Dale (1852–1934), Church of England clergyman, and his wife, Rose (1870–1963), daughter of Herbert Leonard, farmer, of Marfleet, Yorkshire.
After Hymers College, Hull, Dale entered into articles with solicitors in the city. After an external London University LLB, he read for the bar, supporting himself on a Gray's Inn scholarship and occasional appointments as a suburban church organist. Call in 1931 was followed by a London pupillage, practice briefly on the north-eastern circuit, and a return to chambers in the Temple. He then joined an English solicitor practising in Jaffa. In 1935 he applied for a legal post in the Colonial Office. On 12 September 1936 he married his second cousin, Emma Patricia Goulton (Biddy) Leonard (b. 1910/11), daughter of Thomas Goulton Leonard, stockbroker, but she was soon diagnosed as having multiple sclerosis and the marriage ended in divorce in 1943. On 30 November 1948 he married Elizabeth Romeyn Elwyn (1922-2002), an American architect, but that marriage, too, was childless, and they were divorced in 1953. She subsequently married the architect Henry Thomas (Jim) Cadbury-Brown.
Dale moved to an administrative position in the wartime Ministry of Supply in 1940, returning to the Colonial Office after VJ-day to the legal complexities of Raja Brooke's cession of Sarawak to the British crown. He was made CMG in 1951, in which year he fielded a request to identify a legal adviser for the new kingdom of Libya by promptly volunteering himself. He returned in 1953, despite the Libyan government's entreaties to stay on as a Supreme Court judge.
A move to the Ministry of Education in 1954 produced a change of work. But Lord Hailsham's arrival as minister in 1957 led to clashes, to which Dale responded by declaring himself semi-redundant, and taking up work for half the day at the Foreign Office. In 1961 he became the legal adviser to the Commonwealth Relations Office (CRO), and in the following year he was seconded to the central Africa office to help deal with the break-up of the Central African Federation. He was promoted KCMG in 1965, and retired a year later, a period which spanned the CRO's amalgamation with his old department, but not the final merger into a single Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In London on 17 June 1966, his last day in service, he married Gloria Finn (b. 1922), textile designer, of Washington, DC, daughter of Charles Spellman, stockbroker. They had one daughter, Rosemary.
A spell in the law officers' department (1967–68) was followed by a decision to move to Beirut as general counsel to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees. Return home in 1973 opened the most productive and creative phase of Dale's legal life, and a working partnership with Kutlu Fuad, head of the legal division in the Commonwealth Secretariat, which had been founded in Dale's CRO days. First came a study of how to provide competent Commonwealth draftsmen, commuted into a fuller investigation into what legislative style would best meet the needs of newly independent countries, and unlocking Dale's interest in simpler approaches to writing statutes. Then came the call to take over the Government Legal Advisers course (another Dale–CRO creation), through which over the next quarter-century Dale persuaded eminent British figures into nurturing the practical skills of generations of overseas lawyers. The final flowering came in the decision of London University's Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) to found a centre for legislative studies in Dale's honour on his ninetieth birthday. The mark of his continuing vigour and determination lay in his becoming its founding Director and establishing a firm base for its activity before stepping down shortly before his death.
He died of prostatic cancer on 8 February 2000 at Compton Lodge, 7 Harley Road, Camden, London, and was buried at St Pancras Church, Finchley, London. He was survived by his wife and their daughter.
Dale 06: Newspaper Cuttings, early 20th century-2000
Newspaper cutting: ‘UNRWA’s Legal Advisor. Distinguished Career Behind Dale’s Work’, reporting on Dale’s appointment as General Consul of United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), 1968.
DALE 08: Papers relating to tributes and memorials to Sir William Dale, c.1953-2000
|DALE 08/02||‘Farewell to Sir William’, typescript speech or memorandum by Pascal Karmy ‘…and his colleagues’, relating to Sir William Dale’s retirement as General Consul [of United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)], 2 July 1973.||1973|
The International Law Association (ILA) was founded in Brussels in 1873 as an association 'to consist of Jurists, Economists, Legislators, Politicians and others taking an interest in the question of the reform and Codification of Public and Private International Law, the Settlement of Disputes by Arbitration, and the assimilation of the laws, practice and procedure of the Nations in reference to such laws' (afternoon sitting of the first conference of members, 19 November 1873: reference ILA 01/01). It was initially called the Association for the Reform and Codification of the Law of Nations, changing its title to the International Law Association in the early 20th century.
The Association was to consist of a Council of officers comprising a President, vice presidents, secretaries and other members of the Conference (called the Bureau), plus a series of local, departmental or provincial committees who were to report to the President. These committees have since expanded into International Committees. The ILA's activities are now organised by an Executive Council, assisted by the Headquarters Secretariat in London. Membership of the Association, at present about 4,200, is spread among branches throughout the world and ranges from lawyers in private practice, academia, industrial and financial spheres, and representatives of bodies such as shipping and arbitration organisations and chambers of commerce. The ILA has consultative status, as an international non-governmental organisation, with a number of the United Nations specialised agencies.
ILA 02 ILA Conferences, 1874-2014
Administrative Background: The focal point of the ILA's activities is the series of Biennial Conferences. These conferences, of which 69 have so far been held in different locations throughout the world, provide a forum for the comprehensive discussion and endorsement of the work of the ILA's international committees.
Conference at Copenhagen, 1950. Reports presented at the 44th Conference, including:
Conference at Seoul, 1986. Reports presented by committees, including:
Conference at Warsaw, 1988. Reports by committees, including:
Conference at Queensland, 1990. Reports presented by committees, including:
Conference at Helsinki, 1996. Reports presented by committees, including:
Conference at Taipei, 1998. Reports presented by the following committees, including:
ILA 03 ILA International Committees, 1875-2019
Early internal memoranda and articles, including:
Unpublished material CLOSED until 2024
Draft declarations of principles. Two texts prepared by Professor Yukio Shimada and Professor Rainer Hofmann. With a covering letter from Professor Luke T. Lee to Professor James Crawford.
CLOSED until 2026
Administrative correspondence. Predominately re-nominations and membership.
CLOSED until 2031. Some material (curricula vitae and address lists) CLOSED until 2075 (temporarily separated from the main file).
CLOSED until 2031
|ILA 03/56||Refugee Procedures Committee - administrative correspondence and emails, reports and papers||1992-2002|
Administrative correspondence, emails and database printouts. Predominately re resignations, nominations, and membership.
CLOSED until 2033. Some material (curricula vitae and address lists) CLOSED until 2077 (temporarily separated
Reports and papers. Memorandum outlining the main issues which should be tackled the Committee, Prof Kay Hailbronner, 9 June 1992, including:
CLOSED until 2033
ILA 04 Regional branches of the ILA: records, 1877-2013
|ILA 04/40/02||International Association in Korea, 1963-1989, Correspondence re membership, remittances and organizational structure. Includes nomination of members to the International Committee on the Legal Status of Refugees (1986); participation in the Committee on Legal Problems of Divided States (1988).||1976-1989|
ILA 06 Library, 1866-1969
‘The Spanish Civil War and other matters'. Newsletters, bulletins, and other propaganda publications from various