This episode of EJIL: Live! introduces EJIL’s new joint Editor-in-Chief, Dr Sarah Nouwen. Currently a University Senior Lecturer at the University of Cambridge and recently appointed as Professor of International Law at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy (starting September 2020), Dr Nouwen speaks with Professor Joseph Weiler about her own academic trajectory, her research interests and her approach to teaching. The conversation then moves on to a reflection on the state of research and the study of international law – its challenges, problems and promises. Finally, Dr Nouwen shares her thoughts and ideas for the future of EJIL and offers some advice for young scholars. The interview was recorded at the IE Law School in Madrid. EJIL: Live! is the official podcast of the European Journal of International Law (EJIL), one of the world’s leading international law journals. Regular episodes of EJIL: Live! are released following the publication of each quarterly issue of the Journal, and include interviews with the authors of articles appearing in that issue as well as a wide variety of news and reviews when possible. Additional episodes, EJIL: Live! Extras, are also released from time to time to address a range of topical issues. Episodes of EJIL: Live! can be accessed via the EJIL website and on this blog. Comments and reactions to EJIL: Live! episodes are welcome, and may be submitted to this blog.
The latest issue of the European Journal of International Law (Vol. 30 (2019) No. 2) is now out. As usual, the table of contents of the new issue is available at EJIL’s own website, where readers can access those articles that are freely available without subscription. The free access articles in this issue are Isabel Feichtner and Surabhi Ranganathan’s International Law and Economic Exploitation in the Global Commons: Introduction and Surabhi Ranganathan’s Ocean Floor Grab: International Law and the Making of an Extractive Imaginary. EJIL subscribers have full access to the latest issue of the journal at EJIL’s Oxford University Press site. Apart from articles published in the last 12 months, EJIL articles are freely available on the EJIL website.
The importance of peer review has, if anything, increased in recent times. The enthrallment of current academia with ‘objective’ quantitative measures in the processes of selection, promotion and evaluation of academic performance has put a premium on publication in ‘peer-reviewed’ journals. Instead of a faculty reading carefully the work and making up its own mind as to its quality, they will outsource such to two anonymous peer reviewers. Also, in the face of the avalanche of self-publication in outlets such as SSRN (valuable in and of itself) and the like, peer review may help the discerning reader navigate these channels, thereby providing some guarantee of excellence.
Yet this importance is often not matched by the practice of peer review. The rate of refusal to peer review is as high as 50 per cent – oftentimes by authors who themselves have published in, and benefited from, peer-reviewed journals. Authors who publish in EJIL and I.CON undertake to peer review for our journals, an undertaking not always honoured. Of course, there is only so much peer reviewing that one can do and we understand when we receive a request to beg off with a promise to do it on some other occasion.
Then there is the problem of tardiness. Four to six weeks is a reasonable time to expect a peer-review report to come in. Frequently, to our and our authors’ frustration it can be as long as 24 weeks, after a slew of ‘gentle’ and somewhat less gentle reminders. Read the rest of this entry…
This issue opens with three articles that address underexplored corners of international law. The first article focuses on the topic of customs unions. Adopting a historical perspective, Michal Ovádek and Ines Willemyns identify gaps and ambiguities in the contemporary legal definition of custom unions. They then conduct a comparative analysis to examine how different custom union agreements address these ambiguities. They observe that the design and performance of these agreements is affected by concerns over state sovereignty. Finally, they draw lessons for a possible post-Brexit EU-UK agreement regarding customs.
The second article, by Miles Jackson, discusses instigation to commit wrongful acts. He argues that contrary to the common perception, international law does include a general prohibition on instigation. In accordance with this prohibition, a state that induces or incites another state to breach its international obligations may be held responsible for an internationally wrongful act. According to Jackson, the prohibition on instigation is founded on a general principle of law accepted in many domestic jurisdictions, which should be transposed to international law.
Paolo Amorosa then explores a forgotten episode in the well-studied history of the international legal struggle for women’s equality. Whereas the common narrative dates the beginning of this struggle to the aftermath of World War II, Amorosa traces its roots to the signing of the Equal Nationality Treaty and the Equal Rights Treaty at the 1933 Montevideo Conference. In so doing, he takes a step towards the re-inclusion of early feminist activists in the dominant history of international law. Read the rest of this entry…
The latest issue of the European Journal of International Law will be published next week. Over the coming days, we will have a series of editorial posts by Joseph Weiler, Editor-in-Chief of EJIL. These posts will appear in the Editorial of the new issue.
Here is the Table of Contents for this new issue:
Editorial: Editor-in-Chief Sarah M. H. Nouwen; Best Practice – Writing a Peer-Review Report; In this Issue
Michal Ovádek and Ines Willemyns, International Law of Customs Unions: Conceptual Variety, Legal Ambiguity and Diverse Practice
Miles Jackson, State Instigation in International Law: A General Principle Transposed
Paolo Amorosa, Pioneering International Women’s Rights? The US National Woman’s Party and the 1933 Montevideo Equal Rights Treaties Read the rest of this entry…
We are very pleased to announce that, as of this issue, the EJIL family (EJIL, EJIL: Talk! and EJIL: Live!) will be led by two Editors-in-Chief. By unanimous decision of EJIL‘s Board of Management, Sarah Nouwen will join J.H.H. Weiler at the helm of EJIL. Dr Nouwen serves as Senior Lecturer at the University of Cambridge and was recently appointed as Professor of International Law at the European University Institute. She has been a member of EJIL‘s Editorial Board for several years.
The latest issue of the European Journal of International Law (Vol. 30 (2019) No. 1) is now out. As usual, the table of contents of the new issue is available at EJIL’s own website, where readers can access those articles that are freely available without subscription. The free access articles in this issue are Martti Koskenniemi’s Imagining the Rule of Law: Re-reading the Grotian ‘Tradition’ and Hannah Woolaver’s From Joining to Leaving: Domestic Law’s Role in the International Legal Validity of Treaty Withdrawal. EJIL subscribers have full access to the latest issue of the journal at EJIL’s Oxford University Press site. Apart from articles published in the last 12 months, EJIL articles are freely available on the EJIL website.
The EU – A Community of Fate, at Last
I have great sympathy for the outburst of Donald Tusk on special places in Hell. I believe I was just as harsh or even worse in writing about the Cameron folly. At the time of writing, the final act in the Brexit farce is still unfolding. I am one of those Europeans who genuinely regret the departure of the United Kingdom – and I am not thinking just of the material consequences, as most are prone to do. A Europe without the UK is diminished. But I also respect the sovereign decision of the British people and, equally, I will of course respect a sovereign decision to change course, should that happen. Responsibility for the current shambles rests primarily on the very issue which so taxed Tusk: going into the referendum without any serious governmental assessment of the hows and whats and whens.
Some responsibility also falls on the Union. I thought that the decision to postpone any discussion of future relations before the divorce terms were settled wasted a precious year of joint reflection, negotiations and preparations. I thought then and still think that there was no reason not to run both tracks in parallel so as to avoid the very crunch that we now face. In private, some European leaders have admitted such to me.
And finally, I continue to find it not credible that the combined public authorities of the Union, the UK and the Republic of Ireland cannot come up with a Frontstop solution on the lines proposed here, thus diffusing the most explosive stumbling block for some semblance of an orderly exit. Read the rest of this entry…
Some things never seem to change. It was, I believe, with a keen eye on emerging talent, that we published Martti Koskeniemmi as the lead article in Volume I, Issue 1 of EJIL. We thought it was appropriate when we celebrated our 20th anniversary to invite him to revisit what had by then become a classic. And for our 30th anniversary we had known for some time that we would invite Koskenniemi to be the author of our annual Foreword article. Have we lost our keen eye for emerging talent? I do not think so (see our Vital Statistics below). Koskeniemmi is like a good wine or spirit that loses nothing of its bite and yet offers a particular savour and mellowness as it ages.
We debated how to mark EJIL’s 30th anniversary: after all, we published a special issue at 20 and another celebration at 25. I looked at my Editorial for our EJIL at 20 issue. In some ways, it is a bit like all living creatures. There is something in their defining characteristics that remains constant. There is not much that I would add to that Editorial.
Still, there has been some innovation in the last 10 years: Think EJIL: Talk! (celebrating its 10th Anniversary) EJIL: Live!, The Foreword, Roaming Charges and the Last Page, the Debates, and more.
For the sake of nostalgia we reproduce here the earliest letter we can find from the birth of EJIL. Please be sitting when you take a look and kindly suppress the guffaws. (Yes, what happened to the English/French idea…?) It was all in earnest and good faith. But has your life turned out to be as your parents thought and maybe hoped when you were born? Read the rest of this entry…
This issue opens, as noted in the introductory Editorial, EJIL at 30, with Martti Koskenniemi’s Foreword.
In our Articles section Valentina Vadi focuses on the evolving field of international legal history, exploring the adequate scale and perspective in this realm and stressing the importance of a pluralist, inclusive approach based on micro-histories in contrast to the still prevailing macro-histories. Hannah Woolaver analyses the intricate interplay between the domestic and international levels with regard to states’ treaty consent both in relation to treaty entry and exit. Focusing on three prominent examples – Brexit, the possible US abandonment of the Paris Agreement, and South Africa’s potential departure from the International Criminal Court, she fills a research lacuna regarding international legal recognition for domestic rules of treaty withdrawal and argues for an invalidation of withdrawal in the event of manifest violation of domestic law. Claire Jervis concludes this section with her article, which scrutinizes the questionable substantive-procedural dichotomy in international law. Taking the International Court of Justice’s famous Jurisdictional Immunities case as a starting point, she points towards the fallacies inherent in this binary approach.
We introduce a new occasional Series – The Theatre of International Law – with a piece by Lorenzo Gradoni and Luca Pasquet, ‘Dialogue concerning Legal Un-certainty and other Prodigies’. Further submissions in this vein are welcome. Read the rest of this entry…