Memberships were extended to recognized experts and scholars; publications of books and articles in the field, and other tangible manifestations of knowledge and activity were the major criteria for consideration for membership. It would be possible to have a great many more members of the Academy were such criteria and standards not maintained. The dedication and the research of recognized scholars, however, creates a bond between them which facilitates the exchange of ideas. There are currently 104 active members.
Limiting the membership in the Academy to approximately this number allows for additional advantages. Conferences are more manageable and facilities are more easily acquired. Thus far, the universities and organizations which have sponsored the Biennial Meetings, have provided the meeting facilities, and conference facilities, and the room and board for all attending members. Whether all of these expenses may be covered in the future is uncertain, but in any event there are substantial expenses and efforts on organizing and running the conference by the host. This number also permits the various regions of the world to be represented, including the major commercial law countries, though every country obviously cannot be. For members in developing countries, especially, the value of recognition has been expressed.
However, limited membership carries with it some disadvantages. One of them is the exclusion of some highly qualified experts and scholars. Furthermore, the size of the Academy precludes much expansion which might understandably be desired by younger teachers who are proving themselves as scholars through publications. The members have seriously and intensely debated this issue, weighing advantages and disadvantages. The decision has been to keep these advantages of a highly selective and limited membership. But also, it is hoped that the Academy can invite as guests to its meetings some of those commercial and consumer law scholars who are not in the membership. It also is hoped that as some members who are unable to attend most meetings may be informally viewed as on Emeritus status, permitting others to be added to take these places.