THERE is no branch of international law which, since the end of the Second World War, has seen an expansion of the kind which has occurred in the law of international organisations. Many writers have directed their attention to this relatively new, and rapidly developing, field and the extent of my indebtedness to them will be readily apparent to any reader. There did not exist, however, at least in the English language, any suitable introductory textbook comparable to those in general international law from which the law student might get an overall view of the field before turning to the numerous commentaries on particular organisations or to the monographs on special topics.
In trying to teach the law of international organisations to University students I became convinced of the necessity for a general, introductory textbook, and this not solely for the benefit of the student, but also for the benefit of the teacher who was forced to spend many hours explaining relatively simple facts (although not always easily accessible to the student) when this could well have been done by one textbook, thus allowing the teacher to proceed to the more interesting and more complex aspects of the subject. The present textbook is an attempt to fill that need. It is directed primarily, but not exclusively, to the law student. There are many others to whom it is hoped that the book might be of assistance: students of international relations, persons actually involved in the work of international organisations, and persons generally who are interested in the institutional aspects of this enormous field of activity.
The first three parts of the book are mainly descriptive. The extent of the ground covered can be seen from the table of contents, and a deliberate attempt has been made to restrict footnotes to the minimum and to give, instead, a bibliography at the end of appropriate sections. There will thus be found a bibliography after the historical introduction and the sections on the League of Nations, the United Nations, the specialised agencies, regional organisations and judicial institutions. These bibliographies are intended to guide the student to further reading and to the actual constitutional texts which should be examined;