This issue offers another abundance of pioneering scholarship in diverse aspects of international law. It opens with an article by Jan Klabbers that traces the emergence of the now-orthodox functionalist theory in international institutional law, finding its origins in ‘an encounter with colonial administration’, and specifically in the early 20th-century writings of the American political scientist Paul Reinsch. In her article, Michelle Leanne Burgis-Kasthala likewise engages with important post-colonial themes in critical international law scholarship, but does so through a methodologically innovative ethnographic study of statehood narratives among Palestinians working in international law and human rights. Next, Mark Chinen, urges a reconsideration of the law of state responsibility in light of complexity theory. An article by Joost Pauwelyn, Ramses Wessel and Jan Wouters follows, examining the stagnation of formal international law, assessing the reasons for the rise of more informal forms of international lawmaking, and considering a range of possible responses. Finally in this section, Mónica García-Salmones Rovira’s article examines the ‘turn to interests’ shaping positivist international legal theory, as exemplified in the writings of Lassa Oppenheim and Hans Kelsen. A Reply by Jörg Kammerhofer contests the centrality of ‘interests’ in the work of Kelsen, as well as the methodology employed to discover it, and is followed by a Rejoinder by García-Salmones Rovira.
In Roaming Charges – Moments of Dignity, we feature a photograph entitled Keepers of the Sultan’s Treasures, shot in Brunei’s Regalia Museum.
Another important entry in our occasional series, The European Tradition in International Law, focuses on the Russian/Estonian jurist F. F. Martens. Lauri Malksöo provides an overview of Martens’ life, thought, and reception in international legal scholarship. Rein Müllerson draws parallels between issues in Martens’ time and our own. Rotem Giladi offers an original, critical reading of Martens’ most signal contribution, the clause to which he gave his name. And Andreas Müller examines Martens’ doctoral thesis on The Office of Consul and Consular Jurisdiction in the East, in light of the 19th-century dichotomy of civilized and non-civilized nations.
Under our rubric Critical Review of International Governance, Shashank P. Kumar and Cecily Rose present a quantitative empirical study of lawyers appearing before the ICJ. I take this opportunity to do the unusual and remind you of a piece in the previous issue, 25:2, Sergio Puig’s sociological analysis of investment arbitrators. You may have skipped it thinking you are not interested in investment. Think again.
The Last Page in this issue presents a poem entitled Vietnam, by Keith Ekiss.
Often, in ‘curating’ an issue (that is decidedly how we think of this part of our job) we know that the articles included will attract different constituencies depending on varying specializations and interests. We try to balance doctrine and theory, the systemic and the esoteric precisely to achieve such an effect. We resist the practice of consigning trade or investment or international criminal law to some of the excellent specialized journals in those fields. Our self-understanding of EJIL as a generalist Journal of International Law is capacious and catholic. Occasionally, we draw your attention, explicitly or by hint, to an article we believe to be of more general interest transcending any specialization. This issue is one of those occasions where we think every single contribution – articles, debates, critical reviews – will be of interest to all our readers regardless of specialization. Enjoy, learn, become wiser!