In This Issue

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This issue opens with a Letter to the Editors by Nicolás Perrone, who responds to a review of his book, Investment Treaties and the Legal Imagination, published in our volume 33-1 issue.

The Articles section begins with a contribution by Stephen Humphreys that probes our understanding of responsibility towards ‘future generations’ in relation to climate change. Humphreys argues that the current rhetorical focus on future generations may end up working against the very group it seeks to defend, while undermining legitimate claims of the present. In the next article, Abhimanyu George Jain critically explores the trajectory of international law’s regulation of autonomous military capabilities (AMCs). The article links regulatory developments to four discursive strategies – conflation, deferral, normalization and valorization – that sustain the assumption that AMCs are amenable to regulation. Questioning the inevitability of the current path, the article argues for the possibility of a different way of regulating this field. On her part, Nasia Hadjigeorgiou’s article delves into the potential consequences of the International Court of Justice’s Chagos Islands Advisory Opinion regarding the parts of the territory of Cyprus, commonly known as ‘Sovereign Base Areas’, that the UK kept under its control after the island’s independence. Hadjigeorgiou argues that, much like the case concerning Mauritius, the detachment of some parts of the island did not meet the freely expressed consent of its people, and thus runs contrary to the right of self-determination.

The Articles section concludes with a Focus on international investment law. Taylor St John and Anthea Roberts delve into the ways in which key proposals about reforming investor–state dispute settlement come about by looking at the background of the people behind them. Based on a series of interviews with officials involved in the system’s reform, St John and Roberts observe how individuals who have not spent their careers in the field of investment arbitration tend to develop more disruptive reform proposals, while arbitral insiders have typically proposed reforms aiming to conserve the current system. For their part, Philipp Günther and Ingo Venzke retell the story of how the 1959 Germany-Pakistan investment treaty – often considered the first of its kind – came to be. Doing so, the authors revisit many of the myths surrounding this treaty, including the motivations behind it, and nuance claims about its innovation.

In a world of laws, rules and regulations, our Roaming Charges in this issue highlights one rule we may well enjoy.

Next, in the Critical Review of Jurisprudence section of the journal, Michelle Burgis-Kasthalla critically examines the August 2020 judgment of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Her article situates the Tribunal’s findings within Lebanon’s political context, while adopting a close narrative reading of the text itself. The Critical Review of Governance section features an article by Natalie Davidson and Brandes Tamar Hostovsky, mapping the place of international human rights law in the case law of Israeli courts. Their article suggests that human rights law before Israeli courts is most effective when employed with respect to issues least threatening to state power.

The issue concludes with a Legal/Illegal debate on the 2020 SolarWinds incident, a major hacking campaign often attributed to Russia that targeted major cyber security firms. Kristen Eichensehr argues that the incident was not in clear violation of international law; Antonio Coco, Talita Dias and Tsvetelina van Benthem suggest otherwise.

Our Last Page poem in this issue, by the 19th-century American poet Emily Dickinson, offers a reflection on the elusiveness of peace.

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