The present website will contain the United Nations Legislative Series, providing electronic versions of each of the twenty-five books within this series in both English and French, prepared by the Codification Division of the Office of Legal Affairs of the Secretariat of the United Nations.
In 1950, the International Law Commission considered ways and means for making customary international law more readily available, in accordance with article 24 of its Statute. The Commission recommended, inter alia, that the General Assembly of the United Nations should authorize the Secretariat to prepare and issue, with as wide a distribution as possible, a Legislative Series containing the texts of current national legislation on matters of international interest. In this connection, it was recommended that the Secretariat should assemble and publish from time to time collections of the texts of national legislation on special topics of general interest. The Legislative Series is prepared by the Codification Division of the Office of Legal Affairs.
The first 25 volumes in the Legislative Series have addressed a broad range of special topics of general interest relating, inter alia, to the law of the sea, the law of treaties, nationality, diplomatic and consular law, international organizations, State succession, non-navigational uses of international watercourses, jurisdictional immunities of States and their property, the multilateral treaty-making process as well as the prevention and suppression of international terrorism. The legal materials contained in this series have included not only national legislation but also treaties, judicial decisions, diplomatic correspondence and other relevant materials depending on the topic.