The Institute for International Legal Studies (ISGI) is the scientific body of the National Research Council (CNR) carrying out research, training and high-level consultancy activities in the field of international law, understood not only as the set of rules and institutions governing the community of States in its life and relations, but also as a normative level distinct and superior to the state level, able to condition the Italian legal system and, therefore, the activities of national institutions and the community life in Italy. ISGI's field of scientific interest includes the dimension of European integration (the European Union law and its impact on Italian level) and the evolution of extra-European legal systems (especially Latin-American).
The Institute's scientific activity pertains to specific areas of international law, as indicated in its Statute (Article 2):
a) International law and law of international organizations, United Nations law, law of European integration;
b) Italy's contribution to the formation and application of international law;
c) International cooperation for sustainable development, environmental protection, management of natural resources, the sea and outer space;
d) Guarantees of fundamental rights and international protection of human rights;
e) International and comparative agricultural law;
f) Process of unification and legal integration in Latin America.
The ISGI was established in 2001, largely continuing the Institute for Legal Studies on the International Community of Rome founded in 1986, as a Centre for Studies of the CNR and of the Italian Society for International Organization (SIOI), on the initiative of the prominent jurist Roberto Ago. It was originally entrusted with the research on "The Italian Practice in International Law", a project carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through which Italy, welcoming the recommendations of the United Nations and the Council of Europe, provided a collection of its practice of international law since 1861. ISGI has then expanded the scope of its researches, through numerous other projects and scientific initiatives, by also participating in CNR Special Projects of national relevance (Progetti Strategici e Progetti Finalizzati), the National Research Program in Antarctica and - in recent years - in projects granted by the European Commission (in particular DG Justice) and other international projects. In the Institute also merged the researches carried out by the Centre for Latin-American Legal Studies, early established by CNR with the University of Rome "Tor Vergata" (since 2001) and the pre-existing Institute of International and Comparative Agricultural Law (DAIC section of ISGI since 2016).
The aims pursued by ISGI are ambitious and articulated: increasing the knowledge of law and of international and European organizations and contributing to their normative and institutional development; raising awareness on the importance of the international legal dimension to address the challenges of the contemporary society and the "globalized" world; providing expert training to those working in public institutions, social organizations, entrepreneurship and in the field of law.
By carrying out its research, training and consultancy activities, ISGI has developed profitable relationships with many research centers and with national and international public institutions, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Labor and Social Policies, the Ministry of Economic Development, the OSCE, the ESA, the World Bank, the UNIDROIT and the UNESCO.