CIL was established as a university-level research institute at the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2009, in response to the growing need for international law thought leadership and capacity building in the Asia-Pacific region. CIL's focus areas of research and training are ocean law and policy, ASEAN law and policy, investment law and policy, and international law and practice.

CIL works closely with its partner organisations in Singapore: the NUS Law Faculty, Attorney-General’s Chambers Singapore, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore and the Singapore Maritime Institute. CIL also collaborates with the Rhodes Academy of Oceans Law and Policy; Center for Oceans Law and Policy, University of Virginia; and Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS), University of Wollongong.

Mission and Vision

The mission of CIL is to enable Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region to play a more significant role in the promotion and development of international law. CIL's vision is to become a regional intellectual hub and thought leader for research on and teaching of international law.