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Roll of Honour and Masthead Changes

Published on January 20, 2015        Author: 

Roll of Honour

EJIL relies on the good will of colleagues in the international law community who generously devote their time and energy to act as peer reviewers for the large number of submissions we receive. Without their efforts our Journal would not be able to maintain the excellent standards to which we strive. A lion’s share of the burden is borne by members of our Boards, but of course we also turn to many colleagues in the broader community. We thank the following colleagues for their contribution to EJIL’s peer review process in 2014:

Tilmann Altwicker, Dia Anagnostou, Stelios Andreadakis, Asli Bâli, Arnulf Becker Lorca, Catherine Brölmann, Gian Luca Burci, Damian Chalmers, Cai Congyan, Kristina Daugirdas, Richard Gardiner, Lech Garlicki, Matthias Goldmann, Hans Morten Haugen, Laurence Helfer, Ian Johnstone, Alexandra Kemmerer, Jan Komárek, Dino Kritsiotis, Jürgen Kurtz, Ulf Linderfalk, David Malone, Petros Mavroidis, Frédéric Mégret, Carrie Menkel-Meadow, Joanna Mossop, Jens Ohlin, Jacqueline Peel, Cecily Rose, Arie Rosen, Nicole Roughan, Martin Scheinin, Iain Scobbie, Ingo Venzke, Steven Wheatley, Nigel White.

Masthead Changes

The growth and development of any organization, even a journal, depends on the strength of its foundations. In the case of EJIL, those foundations are represented by its Board of Editors and its Scientific Advisory Board. To maintain their strength, the EJIL Boards benefit from change and renewal. Thus, I would like to sincerely thank Anne Peters, who has stepped down from the Board of Editors, for her dedicated commitment and service to the Journal. Anne has now assumed a leadership role in the newly established Journal of the History of International Law. We wish the new journal (and Anne) every success. Thanks also go to Francesco Francioni and Hélène Ruiz Fabri who have come to the end of their term on the Board of Editors, but will continue their valuable contribution to the Journal in the Scientific Advisory Board. Dapo Akande, Anthea Roberts and the newly-elected ESIL President, André Nollkaemper, have joined the Board of Editors. Finally, we welcome Jean d’Aspremont, Jan Klabbers, Sarah Nouwen and Anne van Aaken to the Scientific Advisory Board.

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EJIL Volume 25:4–In This Issue

Published on January 20, 2015        Author: 

This issue opens with a short, reflective article by Jochen von Bernstorff on the proper role of international legal scholarship. Recapitulating themes and concerns sounded in other articles published earlier in this volume – see, especially, Anne Orford’s ‘Keynote’ and the article by Tilmann Altwicker and Oliver Diggelmann, both in issue 2 – von Bernstorff points to the problematic legacies of positivist 19th-century legal thought and argues that scholarship has the potential to act as a ‘cooling medium’ for international law and politics. In the next article in the issue, Kristina Daugirdas makes a not-dissimilar case for the importance of the Draft Articles on the Responsibility of International Organizations. Taking the 2010 cholera outbreak in Haiti as a case study, Daugirdas argues that the Articles may turn out to provide a useful focal point for ‘transnational discourse’ among states and non-state actors about the compliance of international organizations with international law, thereby ultimately accruing to their legitimacy and effectiveness.

Our third article, by Richard Bellamy, continues with the theme of the legitimacy of international organizations. Bellamy takes on political constitutionalist objections that international human rights courts, such as the European Court of Human Rights, lack democratic legitimacy. Rather than reject the premises of those objections he shows how an argument consistent with those premises may be constructed in favour of the European Court of Human Rights. The fourth article in this issue also relates political philosophy to international law. In his article, Oisin Suttle bridges the gap between global justice theory and international economic law, developing a typology of international coercion that promises to illuminate a variety of problems and positions in the regulation of international trade. Look out for the EJIL: Live! interview with Oisin Suttle in which we discuss some of the issues raised by this stimulating article.

Under our regular EJIL: Debate! rubric, Lorand Bartels brings us back to the legal obligations of international organizations. Bartels’ article considers the human rights obligations imposed on the European Union under EU law, in particular in relation to the extraterritorial effects of EU policy measures; and Enzo Cannizzaro provides a thoughtful Reply. The debate will continue on EJIL: Talk! with a Rejoinder by Lorand Bartels to Enzo Cannizzaro. Readers are invited to join the discussion there.

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New Issue of EJIL (Vol. 25: No. 4) Out Wednesday

Published on January 19, 2015        Author: 

The latest issue of the European Journal of International Law will be published Wednesday. Beginning tomorrow, we will have a series of posts by Joseph Weiler – Editor in Chief of EJIL – plus a Guest Editorial by Laurence Boisson de Chazournes and André Nollkaemper, respectively, former and current Presidents of ESIL. These posts will appear in the Editorial in the upcoming issue. Here is the Table of Contents:


Guest Editorial: Ten Years of ESIL – Reflections; European Hypocrisy: TTIP and ISDS; Masthead Changes; Roll of Honour; In this Issue; Christmas Reading? Christmas Gifts? Some Suggestions from the Editor-in-Chief


Jochen von Bernstorff, International Legal Scholarship as a Cooling Medium in International Law and Politics

Kristina Daugirdas, Reputation and the Responsibility of International Organizations

Richard Bellamy, The Democratic Legitimacy of International Human Rights Conventions: Political Constitutionalism and the European Convention on Human Rights

Oisin Suttle, Equality in Global Commerce: Towards a Political Theory of International Economic Law

EJIL: Debate!

Lorand Bartels, The EU’s Human Rights Obligations in Relation to Policies with Extraterritorial Effects

Enzo Cannizzaro, The EU’s Human Rights Obligations in Relation to Policies with Extraterritorial Effects: A Reply to Lorand Bartels

Roaming Charges: Places of Permanence and Transition: On the Mekong River

The European Tradition in International Law

Helmut Philipp Aust, From Diplomat to Academic Activist: André Mandelstam and the History of Human Rights

Reut Yael Paz, A Forgotten Kelsenian? The Story of Helen Silving-Ryu (1906-1993)

Critical Review of International Governance

Thomas Schultz and Cédric Dupont, Investment Arbitration: Promoting the Rule of Law or Over-empowering Investors? A Quantitative Empirical Study

Review Essay

Elizabeth Stubbins Bates, Sophisticated Constructivism in Human Rights Compliance Theory. Review of Ryan Goodman and Derek Jinks, Socializing States: Promoting Human Rights Through International Law; Courtney Hillebrecht, Domestic Politics and International Human Rights Tribunals: The Problem of Compliance; Thomas Risse, Stephen C. Ropp, and Kathryn Sikkink (eds), The Persistent Power of Human Rights: From Commitment to Compliance


 Hanne Sophie Greve, A Dictionary of Maqiao – In Medias Res

 Book Reviews

Friedrich Kratochwil. The Status of Law in World Society: Meditations on the Role and Rule of Law (Jan Klabbers)

Isabel V. Hull. A Scrap of Paper. Breaking and Making of International Law during the Great War (Oliver Diggelmann)

Mark Levene. The Crisis of Genocide. Vol. I: Devastation. The European Rimlands 1912–1938. Volume II: Annihilation. The European Rimlands 1939–1953 (Peter Hilpold)

Marc Jacob. Precedents and Case-based Reasoning in the European Court of Justice: Unfinished Business; Valériane König. Präzedenzwirkung internationaler Schiedssprüche: Dogmatisch-empirische Analysen zur Handels- und Investitionsschiedsgerichtsbarkeit[The precedential effect of international arbitral awards: Doctrinal and empirical analyses of the Commercial and Investment Arbitration] (Niels Petersen)

The Last Page

 Jonathan Shaw, A Pronunciation Lesson


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The Report of the Brazilian Truth Commission: Late Truth without Justice?

Published on January 19, 2015        Author: 

On 10 December 2014, almost 30 years after the Brazilian military dictatorship (1964-1985) had come to an end, the “National Truth Commission” (“Comissão Nacional da Verdade”, CNV), established on 18 November 2011, presented its Final Report following an investigation that lasted two years and seven months (from May 2012 to December 2014). The Report comprises three volumes with a total of 4400 pages. The CNV consisted of seven members (“Conselheiros”)*, who were supported by over 200 research staff. The Report describes the human rights violations committed between 1946 and 1985 in great detail, listing both perpetrators and victims. The third section of the first volume of the report lists as the four most important violations of human rights: (1) unlawful and arbitrary detentions; (2) systematic torture using physical and psychological methods (proven for at least 1843 of an estimated total of over 20,000 victims) as well as rape and sexual assault; (3) summary, arbitrary and extrajudicial executions or other forms of state murder; (4) enforced disappearance and concealment of the victims’ bodies. The report ends with 29 recommendations and four conclusions which are translated into English for the first time with this post (see appendix below). This post provides an brief overview of the report as well as an evaluation of the work of the CNV. On the whole, the report constitutes a laudable, albeit limited effort to cope with Brazil’s dictatorial past and it may hopefully contribute to changing the still dominant authoritarian mentality in the country and strengthen its democratic institutions. 


The first volume of the Report has 18 chapters and was written jointly by all members. Here the CNV provides a detailed description of those human rights violations considered to be particularly significant due to their cruelty; these were committed mainly between 1964 and 1985 under the rule of the military junta who had carried out the 1964 coup d’état. The CNV describes the dictatorship’s functioning and bureaucratic structure, including its many repressive agencies (and the various police services (“Polícia Civil, Militar e Federal”), which made the systematic commission of human rights violations possible in the first place. Apart from the extremely powerful national secret service (“Serviço Nacional de Informação”, SNI), which reported directly to the president, each ministry had its own secret service. The Commission also details the close cooperation between the militaries of the Cono Sur (Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay) as part of so-called Operation Condor and the training of the Brazilian military by foreign agencies, particularly by the “United States Army School of the Americas”.

The second volume contains Commission members’ individual contributions on human rights violations against particular groups and institutions (including members of the military (!), workers, farmers, the Church, indigenous peoples, universities, homosexuals) and on business people’s collaboration with the dictatorship. Read the rest of this entry…


Announcements: Martens Summer School in Estonia; Summer Human Rights Courses in Greece; Int’l Law Lecture Series in London; Conference in London on Sexual Violence in Conflict; CfP and Agora Proposals for ESIL Conference in Oslo; Seminar in London on Pluralism

Published on January 17, 2015        Author: 

1. The 4th Martens Summer School on International Law will be organized by the University of Tartu in Pärnu, Estonia, on 26-31 July 2015. The focus of the Martens Summer School is on comparative inetrnational law and human rights, particularly in the context of Russia and the Eurasian region. In 2015, Professors include Kirill Koroteev, lawyer of the Moscow’s NGO Memorial and expert on human rights law in Russia, Alexander Trunk and Marina Fedorova-Trunk, both experts on international economic law and dispute resolution in Eurasia, and Ineta Ziemele from the Latvian Constitutional Court (until recently judge in the European Court of Human Rights). We particularly encourage to apply graduate and postgraduate students in international law and political science who conduct research on Russian and Eurasian matters. The course director is Professor Lauri Mälksoo from the Unievrsity of Tartu, whose monograph “Russian Approaches to International Law” will be published at Oxford University Press in March 2015. For more information see here.

2.  The Kalliopi Koufa Foundation on the Promotion of International Law and Human Rights organizes the inaugural session of the Thessaloniki Summer Courses on International Law and Human Rights from 1 to 10 July 2015 in Thessaloniki, Greece, on the topic of “International Aspects and Issues of Energy Law”. The programme is open to advanced law students, researchers and practitioners. The Faculty of this 10-day intensive course on international energy law includes Catherine Redgwell (Oxford), August Reinisch (Vienna), Andreas Ziegler (Lausanne), Andrea Bjorklund (McGill), Anastasia Strati (Brussels), Danae Azaria (UCL). For more information including registration deadlines, applicable fees and the provisional programme, please visit here.

3.  ‘International Law in a Troubled World’ – Lecture series from the University of Greenwich. The University of Greenwich’s School of Law’s six-lecture evening series (delivered by Professor Steven Haines, Chair of Public International Law at the University of Greenwich), continues with ‘Protecting Education in Armed Conflict’ on Wednesday 21 January 2015. (Please see the recent press release concerning Professor Haines’ work in this area). Following ‘Protecting Education in Armed Conflict’, the remaining lectures in the series include ‘Refugees and Asylum Seekers: Rights and Obligations’ (Wednesday 18 February 2015), ‘Bringing Criminals to Justice’ (Wednesday 4 March 2015) and ‘Law and Order at Sea’ (Wednesday 1 April 2015). For further details and tickets, please contact lawevents {at} Read the rest of this entry…

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Double Duty at the ICC

Published on January 12, 2015        Author: 

After days of speculation, the clouds have begun to clear over Palestine’s strategy at the ICC. Ever since the Security Council rejected a draft resolution on December 30, 2014 designed to upgrade Palestine’s status to full Member State of the UN and imposing a 12-month deadline on a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the media overwhelmingly reported that Palestine signed the Rome Statute. Yet there was no word on the ICC website and no official information confirming these reports.

The uncertainty grew as the holidays came to an end. Finally, on January 5th, the ICC issued a press release. Contrary to all expectations, however, it appeared that Palestine had submitted a declaration under Article 12(3) of the Statute on December 31st. When using this procedure, states confer jurisdiction to the Court on a one-time, ad hoc, basis. By using this procedure, states do not become party to the Rome Statute, the founding document of the International Criminal Court.

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Announcements: Workshop at Brunel; International Society for Public Law Conference in New York; EJIL: Live! Extras; CfP: Palestine Yearbook of International Law; The Hague YB of International Law – CfP; Call for Applicants for Harvard Human Rights Program; CfP for Conference in Berlin on FTAs and Democratic Standards

Published on January 10, 2015        Author: 

1.  The Centre for International and Public Law (CIPL) at Brunel University London is delighted to invite you to a Reflective Workshop on the International Criminal Court (ICC). The workshop, supported by the International Human Rights Law Review – and Brunel Law School, will be held in the Moot Court Room at Brunel Law School, London (UK), on 28 January 2015, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm. The workshop is entitled “International Criminal Court in Action” and will include presentations by researchers on the ICC chaired by Professor Manisuli Ssenyonjo (Professor of International Law and Human Rights). The workshop will take the form of presentations, a round table discussion with questions from the Chair and the floor. It will be followed by refreshments. Attendance is free. Further details and abstracts are available here.

2.  The 2015 ICON·S Annual Conference will take place on July 14, 2015, at New York University (NYU) School of Law in New York City. The Call for Panels and Papers will be published by February 28, 2015. More information will be available soon on the ICON·S website. The International Society of Public Law (ICON·S) was officially launched in June 2014 at an Inaugural Conference sponsored by the European University Institute and NYU School of Law in Florence, Italy. The conference featured a keynote address by Jeremy Waldron, plenary papers by Robert Keohane, Ruth Rubio Marin and Joseph H.H. Weiler, and hundreds of participants in concurrent panels on all subjects in public law. Presided by Sabino Cassese, ICON·S emerged from the Editorial Board of I·CON—the International Journal of Constitutional Law. The ICON·S Executive Committee includes Sujit Choudhry, Gráinne De Búrca, Ran Hirschl, Bing Bing Jia, Susanna Mancini, Phoebe Okowa, Michel Rosenfeld, Ruth Rubio Marin, Hélène Ruiz Fabri, Anne van Aaken, and Joseph H.H. Weiler.

3. In case you missed it, 3 episodes of EJIL:Live Extra! are available for viewing. EJIL: Live Extras! are shorter, in-a-nutshell, episodes of EJIL:Live addressing a variety of topical and interesting issues.  The available episodes are interviews with Aharon Barak, former President of the Israeli Supreme Court on the Israeli Supreme Court’s approach to standing and justiciability; Brian Leiter, University of Chicago on whether freedom of religion deserves special protection; and André Nollkaemper, President of the European Society of International Law (ESIL), on the first 10 years of ESIL. Read the rest of this entry…

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The History of International Law – or International Law in History? A Reply to Alexandra Kemmerer and Jochen von Bernstorff

Published on January 8, 2015        Author: 

Can international law scholars be historians, and should they be? This question, arguably at the centre of Alexandra Kemmerer’s post, might initially seem surprising. At first glance, most research on the history of international law does not reveal any major differences between the disciplines. Lawyers of a historical bent are just as familiar with, and adept at, the methodical standards of the historiographical approach, encompassing proximity to and critique of sources, transparency in terms of the approach and the assumptions made, insight into the historian’s own subjectivity and into the construed nature of all narratives.

If, nonetheless, there does exist a communication gap between the respective examinations of the history of international law, then this is attributable less to these kinds of methodical requisites and more to the fact that it isn’t always very clear why we are interested in international law and why we undertake research on it. Evidently, the discourses within the legal and historical disciplines on the state of the art in the field do not run parallel to one another; indeed they may in fact be incommensurable. What might help is an interdisciplinary dialogue, particularly when it is understood that interdisciplinarity is not about adopting the objectives of another discipline but instead debating the potential scope – and the limits – of one’s own work.

This might help us to understand why international law’s much-discussed ‘historiographical turn’ has gone largely unnoticed by professional historians. This is starting to change, but a programmatic mapping of contemporary research, as undertaken in the formidable Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law, clearly shows how much the research is still indebted to legal discourse. Or take the German Studies on the History of International Law, a series set out to contribute to the discussion of the historical foundations of the current international legal order. It seems that despite the recent interest in fashioning a global history and in the postcolonial turn, as discussed on this blog by Jochen von Bernstorff, little has really changed. In other words: lawyers, even when working on historical topics, are predominantly interested in understanding the law itself. This, of course, is a legitimate source of scholarly interest for jurists — but historians might find something lacking. Read the rest of this entry…

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German International Law Scholarship and the Postcolonial Turn

Published on January 7, 2015        Author: 

International law scholarship from the German-speaking world has an impressive and much-invoked theoretical tradition. Nineteenth century German positivism centring on the will of the state as the formal basis of law (Jellinek and Triepel) made a lasting impression on modern Western international law scholarship and also induced two highly influential in depth critiques of Staatswillenspositivismus just after the First World War, those of Kelsen and Schmitt. These were contributions to the theoretical construction and critique of an international law moulded in European capital cities and expounded in European universities, an international law whose influence could be felt in almost every corner of the world by the end of the 19th century.

European colonization and land appropriation and in particular through economic intervention, in which the German Empire played a significant role in the last two decades of the 19th century, led not only to the establishment of global capitalist structures and the spread of European lifestyles, but also to the so-called ‘universalization’ of European international law (on the latter see the entries in the Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law and the critiques of these). From the very beginning, colonized societies made a variety of efforts to resist the invading economic exploitation, racist violence and socio-cultural hegemony. This resistance was also directed against the European international law and in particular against institutions and norms that served to reinforce the political and economic dominance of the West.

The postcolonial challenge

It’s no coincidence that this postcolonial struggle for a new international law reached its initial global peak during the era of decolonization (1955-1975) and was shaped by renowned international law authors from the Third World, many of whom had themselves taken part in anti-colonial liberation struggles (of particular note here are EliasAnandAbi-SaabBedjaoui). A second global wave of postcolonial criticism of international law has emerged since the mid-2000’s and is often identified with Antony Anghie’s pioneering book Imperialism, Sovereignty, and the Making of International Law. From the perspective of the Third World, the thread that unites this line of criticism is the continuity of asymmetrical North-South relations after decolonization: the South as an ongoing object of intervention by the North and a global economic order that remains fundamentally unjust. Read the rest of this entry…

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Völkerrechtsgeschichten – Histories of International Law

Published on January 6, 2015        Author: 

This is the first of a series of posts on the history of international law that first appeared in German language on the new international law blog, run by the Association of Young International Lawyers based in German-speaking countries but with an international outlook. The post was translated by Fiona Nelson, University of Potsdam. The German version can be accessed here. Further posts in the series will be published here shortly.

The history of international law comes in plural forms, and with multiple perspectives. International law does not have a history; it has histories. Martti Koskenniemi writes about ‘histories of international law’. His book ‘The Gentle Civilizer of Nations’ played a significant role in international law’s ‘historiographical turn’ around the turn of the millennium. Before this point, all had been rather quiet on the international legal history front. Back in 1952, the history of the discipline had been described as the ‘Cinderella of the doctrine of international law’ by Georg Schwarzenberger. The Cold War marked an ice age for the history and theory of international law. Pragmatists were dominant not only in practice, but also in scholarship. And ‘The Epochs of International Law’ by Wilhelm Grewes, published in German in 1984 and in English translation in 2000, were still firmly rooted in the pre-San Francisco era.

The study of international law has always involved historical and geographical background knowledge. Yet, the real move toward historical reflection only came with the growing awareness of the inadequacies of the ‘New World Order’ that had evolved after 1989. The emergence of new international institutions, the rapid proliferation of international and supranational courts, new human rights regimes and the blossoming of international criminal law were all soon overshadowed by Srebrenica, 9/11, transnational terrorism and the global financial crisis. The ‘fragmentation’ of the international legal order, the collision and competition of various normative orders, prompts questions about concepts and genealogies. Read the rest of this entry…