International Legal Profession

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Self-Constitution of Mankind without Constitutional Constructivism?

Philip Allott’s recent essay on EJIL: Talk! criticized power-oriented conceptions of ‘international law among sovereign states’ that privilege the self-interests of governments and contribute to the ‘collapse of global government’. His description of international relations as ‘a lawless world’ and ‘a legal wasteland in which those involved in events and transactions can pick and choose among competing and conflicting legal systems to suit their purposes’ contrasts with Allott’s longstanding belief that, similar to the centuries of evolutionary common law constitutionalism, also the international society will organically develop the legal systems and institutions that humanity demands. Marc Weller responded by interpreting various developments in UN law as a ‘gradual self-constituting of mankind’ justifying the hope that the constitutional failures of UN law – like insufficient democratic self-determination of peoples inside and beyond states, and insufficient democratic and judicial protection of human rights and rule-of-law limiting governmental claims to authoritarian auto-determination and auto-enforcement of international rules – might still be overcome by an ‘Allottian revolution of government by humanity for humanity’. I largely agree with the…

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Still Losing: A Short History of Women in Elections (and By-Elections) for the UN International Law Commission

On 12 November 2021, the UN General Assembly held the sixteenth regular election for the International Law Commission (ILC). As the Assembly extended the mandate of the current members until the end of 2022, in response to the exceptional situation created by the pandemic, the newcomers, numbering 18, will have over a…

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Closing the Gaps: Pre-Deployment Role of the Military Legal Adviser

As US involvement in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan comes to an end after twenty years, it is worth taking stock of how things stand in relation to the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC). This law serves dual purposes: military necessity (which permits measures which are necessary to fulfil a legitimate military purpose provided they are…

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Editorial – A Modest Proposal on Zoom Teaching

No preliminaries are necessary here. One result of Covid-19 has been a shift to online teaching by Zoom (or similar platforms). In some law faculties all teaching is online. In most faculties most teaching is online with some hybrid teaching, and in a few (privileged) places in-person teaching remains viable. It is also a commonplace that…

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Professional Solidarity in Teaching: An Invitation to the ESIL Teaching Corner

At many different levels of social interaction, COVID-19 has emphasised the need to act in a spirit of solidarity. The disruptions in higher education raise challenges for teaching and our field as a whole. One of the goals of the European Society of International Law (ESIL) is to support the exchange of ideas on matters of common…

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