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Governing Body Collection

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ILO Conventions: background and preparatory work

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ILO between the two world wars

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  1. Key documents

Harold Butler, ILO Director (1932-1938)

Select to magnify the image "There shall be a Director-General of the International Labour Office, who shall be appointed by the Governing Body, and, subject to the instructions of the Governing Body, shall be responsible for the efficient conduct of the International Labour Office and for such other duties as may be assigned to him. The Director-General or his deputy shall attend all meetings of the Governing Body." (article 8 of the ILO Constitution)
  1. Biography of Harold Butler

The Permanent Court of International Justice and the competence of ILO

Between 1922 and 1932, the Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ), today the International Court of Justice, delivered four advisory opinions pertaining to ILO’s competence:

  • PCIJ Series B No. 02: Competence of the ILO in regard to International Regulation of the Conditions of the Labour of Persons Employed in Agriculture (1922)
  • PCIJ Series B No. 03: Competence of the ILO to Examine Proposals for the Organization and Development of the Methods of Agricultural Production (1922)
  • PCIJ Series B No. 13: Competence of the ILO to Regulate Incidentally the Personal Work of the Employer (1926)
  • PCIJ Series AB No. 50: Interpretation of the Convention of 1919 concerning Employment of Women during the Night (advisory opinion of 15 November 1932)
According to C. Wilfred Jenks (see Key documents), ILO’s work could have been limited or even compromised had the PCIJ placed a narrow construction on its functions. The Court, by recognizing that Section 1 of the Constitution (called the Preamble as of 1946) was a reference text that defined the competence of ILO, thus took a decision of paramount importance. By defining ILO’s competences broadly, the PCIJ truly enabled the Organization fully to develop its activities internationally.
  1. 1919-1939:
    ILO between the two world wars
    1. 1919
    2. 1920
    3. 1926
    4. 1927
    5. 1930
    6. 1932
    7. 1936
    8. 1939
  2. 1940-1945
  3. 1946-1959
  4. 1960-1988
  5. 1989-1998
  6. 1999-

ILO Century Project

ILO Century Project Timeline

The ILO and the Quest for Social Justice

Video: The ILO and the Quest for Social Justice

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Last update: 23.02.2015 ^ top