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Favourite Readings 2018: Revisiting the Postwar Moment

Published on December 21, 2018        Author: 
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Editor’s note: Continuing a tradition started by Isabel Feichtner a few years ago, EJIL’s Review Editor, Christian J. Tams, invited members of the EJIL board to offer short reflections on their favourite books of the year 2018. In the following days we will present some selections here on EJIL:Talk! They comprise a wide range of books, from (a few) doctrinal legal texts, to (many more) historical accounts and works of fiction. Unlike in many official book prize competitions, 2018 does not necessarily stand for the year of publication; rather, board members were asked to list books they read or re-read this year, and found inspiring or enjoyable. Today we bring you 2018 favourite reads from Doreen Lustig

In 2018, the international legal world as we know it has faced deep and significant challenges, including the attack on democracies and the rise of authoritarianism, the preference of both the American and Chinese governments for bilateralism over multilateralism or the destabilizing of global economic institutions. How and what does one read at a time like this? Most of the books I survey here revisit the history of the postwar moment and its hopes for a future that is now our present. It may not be surprising that in this moment of bewilderment we return to history and early beginnings, searching for answers. We look for parallels in the past. We look more closely at the key architects of international law and how their ideas shaped (or not) the legal reality over time. We examine whose ideas took prominence and why. We search for the roads not taken. This is by no means a comprehensive list for such an inquiry, but I hope that reading these books may offer some important clues in working with these questions.

Let me open with a book on the transition from the interwar era of minority rights to the postwar era. James Loeffler’s Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century (Yale University Press, 2018) examines the tension between Jewish lawyers’ great hopes for a postwar human rights order, one that would take seriously the plight and persecution of minority groups, and their limited influence on its content and design. Read the rest of this entry…

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Favourite Readings 2018: The Passage of Time

Published on December 19, 2018        Author: 
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Editor’s note: Continuing a tradition started by Isabel Feichtner a few years ago, EJIL’s Review Editor, Christian J. Tams, invited members of the EJIL board to offer short reflections on their favourite books of the year 2018. In the following days we will present some selections here on EJIL:Talk! They comprise a wide range of books, from (a few) doctrinal legal texts, to (many more) historical accounts and works of fiction. Unlike in many official book prize competitions, 2018 does not necessarily stand for the year of publication; rather, board members were asked to list books they read or re-read this year, and found inspiring or enjoyable. Today we give you Guy Fiti Sinclair’s favourites.

None of my chosen books would be found in the ‘341’ (or even ‘340’) stacks in a Dewey Decimal classified library, or in the KCs in a Moys-organized library such as the one at my law school. This is not because I haven’t read any books in those stacks this year. To the contrary, it turns out, somewhat to my own surprise, that I’ve actually managed this year to work my way through a fair few international law books – and books about international law, to adopt a to adopt a useful distinction I have heard from Joseph Weiler more than once – and read parts of many more. Nor is it that I’m worried that if I start listing books by international lawyers, one or another colleague will feel offended that I didn’t mention theirs (although I must admit this has crossed my mind).

Rather, I have decided to highlight books that I have read this year which spoke most directly to my current interests (one might say obsessions). Like many people, I suspect, I have spent much of the past year oscillating between trying to understand our current perplexing moment and trying not to think about it. These books have helped, one way or the other.

Nitsan Chorev, Remaking U.S. Trade Politics: From Protectionism to Globalization (Cornell University Press, 2007)

Kristen Hopewell, Breaking the WTO: How Emerging Powers Disrupted the Neoliberal Project (Stanford University Press, 2016) Read the rest of this entry…

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Favourite Readings 2018: Discovering (new) classics, better late than never

Published on December 18, 2018        Author: 
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Editor’s note: Continuing a tradition started by Isabel Feichtner a few years ago, EJIL’s Review Editor, Christian J. Tams, invited members of the EJIL board to offer short reflections on their favourite books of the year 2018. In the following days we will present some selections here on EJIL:Talk! They comprise a wide range of books, from (a few) doctrinal legal texts, to (many more) historical accounts and works of fiction. Unlike in many official book prize competitions, 2018 does not necessarily stand for the year of publication; rather, board members were asked to list books they read or re-read this year, and found inspiring or enjoyable. Today we have Sarah Nouwen’s choices.

Sometimes, writing is easier without reading. Skim-reading the most recent work on a topic, one may find sufficient disagreements to pick a fight with. But truly widely reading about a topic, going back several decades, if not centuries, makes one realise how many of one’s arguments have already been made, and much better. Ultimately, of course, it is such wide reading that allows one’s own work to mature. It is also an act of rebellion against the pressures of quantitative assessments of one’s work, and an inspiring source for the scholar’s primary job: to educate, first oneself, and then others.

So, in the spirit of better late than never, this year’s list includes some books that I should have read long ago.

Karen Knop’s Diversity and Self-Determination in International Law (2002)

I opened this book to develop a stronger grasp on the international law of self-determination. I closed it with an even broader understanding of everything that self-determination could mean, depending on who interprets it, and who gets to participate in the process of interpretation. Putting her finger on one of the paradoxes of self-determination, Knop shows that those most affected by self-determination are often excluded from the process of its legal interpretation. While this may be the case for many legal norms, it is paradoxical for self-determination, which is essentially concerned with people deciding for themselves.

But the book’s significance goes far beyond self-determination. I’ll use it for teaching classes on interpretation: thought you knew what this text meant? Read Knop and you’ll be surprised in how many ways the same few lines can be understood, depending on one’s world view and what we consider coherent or incoherent.

Rita Kesselring, Bodies of Truth: Law, Memory, and Emancipation in Post-Apartheid South Africa (2017) Read the rest of this entry…

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Favourite Readings 2018: The Power of Words

Published on December 17, 2018        Author: 
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Editor’s note: Continuing a tradition started by Isabel Feichtner a few years ago, EJIL’s Review Editor, Christian J. Tams, invited members of the EJIL board to offer short reflections on their favourite books of the year 2018. In the following days we will present some selections here on EJIL:Talk! They comprise a wide range of books, from (a few) doctrinal legal texts, to (many more) historical accounts and works of fiction. Unlike in many official book prize competitions, 2018 does not necessarily stand for the year of publication; rather, board members were asked to list books they read or re-read this year, and found inspiring or enjoyable. Today we have selections from Jan Klabbers.

Somehow, 2018 has been for me a year of epistemic concerns, of wondering about the social, emotional and above all political power of language and words and concepts. Many of my favourite readings of the year are related to the exercise of power, legal and otherwise, by epistemic means: the exercise of power through the ways in which we use our concepts, our words; through the ways we express our thoughts, and the ways in which these thoughts come to lead a life of their own, relatively independent even from the work we originally wanted those thoughts to do. This runs like a red thread through all the academic studies on this list, and even, in perhaps less obvious ways, through the non-academic works as well, characterized as these are by their distinct use of language.

Perhaps the most gratifying book I read during 2018 is written by Guy Fiti Sinclair, To Reform the World: International Organizations and the Making of Modern States (2017). I am not the only one who thinks the book is excellent: a jury of the European Society of International Law awarded it the Society’s ‘book of the year’ prize, so I am in good company. Read the rest of this entry…

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Announcements: CfA Program of Advanced Studies on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law; CfP 2019 Human Rights Essay Award Competition

Published on December 16, 2018        Author: 
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Call for Applications – 2019 Program of Advanced Studies on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law: The Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law is happy to announce its call for applications to the 2019 Program of Advanced Studies on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, taking place from May 28 – June 14. This annual Program offers 18 courses in English and Spanish, lectured by over 40 scholars of relevance in the field of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, and gathers more than 125 participants from over 25 different countries and with different levels of professional experience. The Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law provides through this Program the unique opportunity to learn and interact with judges of the International Criminal Court, the International Court of Justice, Special Rapporteurs of United Nations, members of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, experts from prominent NGO’s and professors from all over the world. The application form for this program is available here. All courses can be taken for ABA credits. For more information please contact hracademy {at} wcl.american(.)edu.

Call for Papers – 2019 Human Rights Essay Award Competition: Submit Your Work to the 2019 Human Rights Essay Award Competition. The Human Rights Essay Award, sponsored by the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at the American University Washington College of Law, seeks to stimulate the production of scholarly work in international human rights law. The topic of the 2019 competition is the Protection of Migrants Under International Human Rights Law. Participants have the flexibility to choose any subject related to this topic, however the scope of the submission must directly relate to this year’s topic. In addition, we would like to note we believe that international human rights law can be understood to include international humanitarian law and international criminal law. We will award two winners — one for a submission in English and one for a submission in Spanish — with a full scholarship (including lodging and transportation to and from Washington, D.C.) to complete the Certificate of Attendance or Diploma in the 2019 Program of Advanced Studies on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law which will take place from 27 May – 14 June 2019. The deadline to enter your submission to the Human Rights Essay Award competition is 1 February 2019. Please note that only participants with a law degree are eligible to enter this competition. We look forward to receiving your submission! If you would like additional information or have any questions, we invite you to contact us via email at hracademy {at} wcl.american(.)edu and via phone at (202) 274-4295.

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Favourite Readings 2018: Nine Good Reads and One Viewing

Published on December 14, 2018        Author: 
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Editor’s note: Continuing a tradition started by Isabel Feichtner a few years ago, EJIL’s Review Editor, Christian J. Tams, invited members of the EJIL board to offer short reflections on their favourite books of the year 2018. In the following days we will present some selections here on EJIL:Talk! They comprise a wide range of books, from (a few) doctrinal legal texts, to (many more) historical accounts and works of fiction. Unlike in many official book prize competitions, 2018 does not necessarily stand for the year of publication; rather, board members were asked to list books they read or re-read this year, and found inspiring or enjoyable. We are starting off the small series with selections from our Editor-in-Chief,  Joesph Weiler.

For the first time I have managed to prepare my Good Reads to post on EJIL:Talk! well before Christmas. I publish my pick from some of the books that have come my way during the past year. These are not book reviews in the classical and rigorous sense of the word, for which you should turn to our Book Review section. I do not attempt to analyse or critique, but rather to explain why the books appealed to me and why I think you, too, may find them well worth reading.

Marcel Reich-Ranicki, The Author of Himself: The Life of Marcel Reich-Ranicki (Princeton University Press, 2001) 

My German readers will be shaking their head in some wonderment: Marcel Reich-Ranicki? Him again? An autobiography from 1999 of a person who died in 2013? Did he not speak enough about he, him and himself during his lifetime so as to last a few lifetimes? My non-German speakers will be shaking their heads with a different wonderment: Marcel Reich who?

But then, consider that when published this book was the no. 1 best-selling book in Germany for 52 weeks. Must be something there, no? Read the rest of this entry…

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New EJIL: Live! Interview with Frédéric Mégret

Published on December 13, 2018        Author: 
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In this episode of EJIL: Live! the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal, Professor Joseph Weiler, speaks with Frédéric Mégret, Associate Professor and Dawson Scholar in the Faculty of Law at McGill University in Montreal, whose article “International Criminal Justice as a Peace Project”, appears in our 29:3 issue as part of a Symposium on “The Crime of Aggression before the International Criminal Court”.

Prof. Mégret argues in his article that the Kampala adoption of the crime of aggression needs to be understood as part of the long-term evolution of international criminal justice as a peace project. The conversation takes up the provocative proposition put forward in the article that the shift away from jus contra bellum considerations towards a primary focus on war crimes and crimes against humanity as the central theme of international criminal justice has diminished the urgency of preventing war itself. The interview was recorded at New York University.

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Announcements: University of Edinburgh Vacancy; CfP The Protection of Cultural Heritage and Municipal Law

Published on December 9, 2018        Author: 
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1. University of Edinburgh Lecturer in International Economic Law Vacancy. Applications are invited for one Lectureship at the Edinburgh Law School from candidates with demonstrable expertise in international economic law, ideally with additional expertise in international human rights law or international environmental law. Interviews are expected to be held in late January, with a start date in August 2019. The closing date for applications is 3 January 2019. For further information, see here

2. Call for Papers: The Protection of Cultural Heritage and Municipal Law. The American Society of International Law’s Cultural Heritage and the Arts Interest Group (CHAIG) and Fordham University School of Law’s Urban Law Center, in collaboration with the Quebec Society of International Law (SQDI), invite academics and graduate students to submit paper proposals for a works-in-progress workshop on “The Protection of Cultural Heritage and Municipal Law.” The workshop will be held at Fordham University’s School of Law, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, on 5 April 2019. Paper proposals of no more than 500 words should be sent to sabrina.tremblay- huet {at} usherbrooke(.)ca before 30 December 2018. The authors of the selected proposals will be notified by 18 January 2019. Proposals from emerging scholars and graduate students are highly encouraged. Draft papers must be submitted no later than 18 March 2019. Please note that no funding is available to cover transportation and accommodation for participants. Attendance at the workshop is, however, free of charge, subject to prior registration. The full call for papers is here.

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Announcements: CfP Ethiopian Yearbook of International Law; University of Michigan Junior Scholars Conference; Implications of Brexit for Trade Relations; ASIL IOIG Workshop

Published on December 2, 2018        Author: 
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1. Call for Papers: The Ethiopian Yearbook of International Law. The Ethiopian Yearbook of International Law (EtYIL), which is motivated by the need to ‘rebalancing the narrative of international law’, was launched in 2015. The first volume, EtYIL 2016 was successfully published in 2017; building upon the successes of the first volume the second volume of EtYIL 2017 came out in 2018 covering topics ranging from African continental free trade area, foreign direct investment law, and contributions to UN peacekeeping from the global south. We are now finalising the third (2018) volume which will come out in early 2019, covering a range of cutting-edge international law issues of regional and global significance. We are pleased to invite interested scholars  to consider submitting long or short articles, current development pieces, case reports and book reviews for consideration for the fourth (2019) volume of the Yearbook (submission guidelines and other details available here). Submission deadline for this volume is 30 November 2019. We would like to hear your potential ideas and topics at ethiopianyearbook {at} gmail(.)com.
 
2. University of Michigan Law School 5th Annual Junior Scholars Conference. The University of Michigan Law School invites junior scholars to attend the 5th Annual Junior Scholars Conference, which will be held on 26 – 27 April 2019 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The conference provides junior scholars with a platform to present and discuss their work with peers, and to receive detailed feedback from senior members of the Michigan Law faculty. The Conference aims to promote fruitful collaboration between participants and to encourage their integration into a community of legal scholars. The Junior Scholars Conference is intended for academics in both law and related disciplines. Applications from postdoctoral researchers, lecturers, fellows, SJD/PhD candidates, and assistant professors (pre-tenure) who have not held an academic position for more than four years, are welcomed. Applications are due by 12 January 2019. Further information can be found at the Conference website.

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Announcements: African Yearbook of International Law; University of Liverpool School of Law and Social Justice Workshop; Westminster Law School Event on the Chagos Archipelago; CfP Workshop on The Paths of Change in International Law; CfP Art and International Courts; CIL 2 Year Post-Doctoral Fellowships

Published on November 25, 2018        Author: 
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1. African Yearbook of International Law (AYIL). The Editors of the African Yearbook of International Law are pleased to invite scholarly contributions for its Volume 23. The structure of Volume 23 will consist of the following: a special theme, general articles, notes and commentaries, book reviews and basic documents (mainly African Union resolutions and African Conventions), and a section on State practice on matters of international law. The special theme for Volume 23 will be on “African States and Investment Law and Arbitration – Challenges and Opportunities”. Manuscripts may be emailed to either fatsah.ouguergouz@gmail.comadjovir {at} arcadia(.)edu or mob31 {at} cam.ac(.)uk. The Editors welcome papers covering all areas of public international law, including but not limited to the Special Theme, from both established and new scholars. For reference, the length of articles should normally not exceed forty double-spaced pages. Longer Articles will be accepted if the length is justified by the subject-matter. All articles must be submitted, in an electronic version (preferably in Word), to the Editors not later than 15 January 2019.
 
2. International Law and Human Rights Unit of the University of Liverpool School of Law and Social Justice Workshop. The International Law and Human Rights Unit of the University of Liverpool School of Law and Social Justice is organising a two-day workshop on loyal co-operation with the system of the European Convention on Human Rights and the means of reaction by the European Court of Human Rights when its judgments trigger discontent. The conference is open to both established and early-career scholars and practitioners, including PhD students. Interested participants should provide an abstract of no more than 500 words by 20 December 2018. The call for papers is available online here.  

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