We are pleased to open this issue with a second entry under our new rubric, EJIL: Keynote. In this lightly revised text of her lecture to the 5th European Society of International Law Research Forum, Anne Orford traces, with characteristic elegance and insight, the changing notions of science and scientific method that have shaped the international legal profession over the past century. Her account suggests important lessons for contemporary debates regarding the profession’s relevance and ability to respond to world problems.
The next three articles in the issue illustrate the growing toolkit of methodologies for the study of international law. Sergio Puig’s study of the social structure of investor-state arbitration makes innovative use of network analytics. Sharing some of the same methodological inclinations, Grégoire Mallard provides an extraordinarily rich historical-sociological account of the formation of the nuclear non-proliferation ‘regime complex’. And Tilmann Altwicker and Oliver Diggelmann adopt a broadly social constructivist approach to analyse the techniques used to create progress narratives in international law.
This issue includes a selection of papers from the Second Annual Junior Faculty Forum for International Law, held at the University of Nottingham in May 2013. Surveying the discourse and practice of minority language rights, Moria Paz analyses the striking disparity between the rhetoric of maximal diversity-protection found in human rights treaties and the writings of scholars, on the one hand, and the much more attenuated rights that are actually recognized in the jurisprudence and practice of international human rights adjudicatory bodies, on the other. Arnulf Becker Lorca recounts a ‘pre-history’ of self-determination that highlights the role of semi-peripheral élites in converting that political concept into an international legal right. We hope to publish one or two more papers from the Second Annual Junior Faculty Forum in future issues of the Journal.
In Roaming Charges, we feature a photograph of Places of Social and Financial Crisis: Dublin 2014.
Under our regular EJIL: Debate! rubric, an article by László Blutman reviews the current state of thought and scholarship on customary international law (CIL), and concludes that it is riddled with conceptual and methodological problems. A Reply by Andrew T. Guzman and Jerome Hsiang takes up the challenge by examining the relationship between CIL and consent, offering a perspective that challenges the traditional view. The debate will continue on EJIL: Talk!
This issue features both of our occasional Critical Review series. Under Critical Review of International Jurisprudence, Loveday Hodson canvasses the jurisprudence of the CEDAW Committee, and assesses its contributions to shaping women’s rights to date. And under Critical Review of International Governance, Wolfgang Hoffmann-Riem considers the opinions and other statements issued by the Council of Europe’s ‘European Commission for Democracy through Law’, gauging the impact and effectiveness of these ‘soft law’ means of regulation.
The Last Page in this issue presents a poem entitled The Waiting Room, by Kim Lockwood.