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EJIL: In This Issue

Published on February 16, 2018        Author: 

This issue presents a cornucopia of insights and perspectives on international law. It opens with a pair of articles that reflect EJIL’s long commitment to explore diverse theoretical and methodological approaches. First, Catherine O’Rourke combines theoretical engagement with an empirical, sociological methodology to offer a unique perspective on the engagement of feminist activists with international law. We invite readers to take a look at our EJIL: Live! interview with the author. Second, Anthony Reeves proposes an alternative approach to substantiating the right to punish, focusing on the capacity to respond to the reasons for punishment and analysing universal jurisdiction to show the improvements the alternative model makes.

The next set of articles focus on questions of responsibility. Luke Glanville examines the duty to protect human rights beyond sovereign borders, exploring the thinking of a series of Western natural law theorists both to expose the source of this duty in international law and to retrieve forgotten ideas that might be reconsidered. Sandesh Sivakumaran traces the ‘piecemeal’ emergence of an international law of disaster relief and analyses the general techniques by which this body of law is developing. Lastly, Jan Klabbers investigates whether international organizations can be held responsible under international law for a failure to act, introducing a conception of ‘role responsibility’ to address this thorny issue. We think it is a particularly valuable contribution on a trendy topic the literature on which is often characterized by a lot of hot air.

A selection of articles from the Fifth Annual Junior Faculty Forum for International Law exposes the innovative thinking of a new generation of scholars. Neha Jain considers the role of ‘radical’ dissents in shaping the discourse of international criminal law in the context of mass atrocities. Lawrence Hill-Cawthorne explores the nature of state and individual rights under international humanitarian law, and their relationship to a more general identity crisis in that body of law. Cheah W.L. examines the rule of law dynamics in war crimes trials pertaining to the desertion of British Indian Army soldiers conducted by British colonial authorities in postwar Singapore.

This issue’s Roaming Charges takes us to Bogotà where the solemnity of Ash Wednesday provides a moment of dignity.

We are pleased to present in this issue an Afterword to the Foreword written by Laurence Boisson de Chazournes, which featured in the first issue of this volume. Yuval Shany mostly agrees with Boisson de Chazourne’s account of an evolving ‘managerial approach’; however, he is less convinced that international courts are truly committed to such an approach or that such an approach is likely to succeed in future without more far-reaching reforms. Thomas Streinz suggests that greater attention could be given to who wins and who loses as a result of coordination among international courts and tribunals, as a way into exploring what motivates those efforts and how various actors contribute to them. Veronika Bilkova focuses on the normative dimension of the phenomenon Boisson de Chazourne describes, giving greater emphasis to the threats that managerialism can pose. Sergio Puig likewise strikes a note of caution that the evolution of procedures adopted by international courts and tribunals might result in suboptimal outcomes. Laurence Boisson de Chazournes offers a rejoinder to her critics.

Following the Afterword, we feature another Debate centring on an article by Yahli Shereshevsky and Tom Noah, who adopt an innovative experimental approach to assess the possible effects that exposure to preparatory work has on the interpretation of treaties. This is only the second time we publish an article in EJIL utilizing the methodology of ‘experimental law’ and appropriately it comes from the hands of two young emerging scholars. We encourage you to take a peek at the EJIL: Live! interview with one of its authors, Yahli Shereschevsky. Given the interest that is bound to be generated by this article, we have decided to present a long Reply by Jeffrey L. Dunoff and Mark A. Pollack, who reflect at length on the ‘experimental turn’ in the study of international law more broadly.

The issue closes with a Critical Review of International Governance by Rebecca Schmidt, who examines regulatory cooperation between public and private actors at the global level, grounding her analysis in the cooperation between the Olympic Movement and the United Nations Environmental Programme.

For the Last Page, the dust, heat, and sweat are almost palpable in Gregory Shaffer’s extraordinarily vivid poem of life and politics in Kathmandu.

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