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.
Tilmann Altwicker revives our long-standing rubric, ‘The European Tradition of International Law’, analysing Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz’s almost forgotten theory of International Law. He argues that this ‘last universal genius’ offered the rare combination of an international legal theory both grounded in his metaphysics and natural law theory and inspired by his extensive study of the positive international law of his time.
Since the 30th anniversary of EJIL coincides with the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, we found it fitting to feature an iconic symbol of the Cold War – the famous needle eye between the East and the West: Checkpoint Charlie – as our Roaming Charges image for this issue. Electrified when he heard about the fall of the Wall, Mstislav Rostropovich, one of the greatest cellists of the 20th century, who himself had suffered from the oppressive regime, travelled immediately to Berlin to give an ad hoc open-air concert at Checkpoint Charlie, signalling the imminent triumph of freedom and humanity over confinement and thraldom. Click the URL (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqIEdv3Q3-M) and enjoy his goosebumps-evoking interpretation of Bach’s cello suites, performed on a chair he borrowed from one of the guards at the wall.
In the next section, we feature a symposium on Regional Organizations and Regional Integration. Following the Introduction by Damian Chalmers, the author, in a joint piece with Julia Slupska, analyses how the almost 300 regional trade agreements are rewriting the terms of world trade and investment. Davor Jancic investigates parliamentarization of regional organizations, focusing on African economic integration but also comparing it to phenotypes in Latin America, Europe and North America. Päivi Johanna Neuvonen looks at the crossroads of socio-political membership and regional community building, analysing the tools used by different regional organizations and arguing for a vindication of difference. Floris de Witte concludes the symposium by bringing to light how different regional organizations structure their understanding of the individual and how this, in turn, frames the process of integration.
Petros Mavroidis concludes the issue with his article on the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Last Mile for Tuna (to a Safe Harbour). He argues that the Appellate Body of the WTO has not only bluntly transferred its GATT case law to the TBT Agreement but has also applied it erroneously.
For the Last Page in this issue we publish a thoughtful reaction by John Morss to our mercy-centred Last Page in the special issue on ‘Perpetrators and Victims of War’, Vol. 29-3.