On 9 December 1948, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide – the first universal treaty of human rights – was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. This year marks its 70th anniversary and we pay tribute to its ‘founding father’, Raphael Lemkin, in this last issue of EJIL for 2018. Johann Justus Vasel preludes with a biographical vignette. In Roaming Charges we reproduce his recently discovered death certificate, and on the Last Page we feature a previously unpublished poem by Lemkin on the subject that haunted and drove him, ‘Genocide’. (We thank members of Raphael Lemkin’s family – Jane Lemkin, Peter Lemkin and Richard Lemkin – and friend, Nancy Steinson, for their kindness and generosity in sharing information with us.)
Jan Klabbers formally opens this issue with his Keynote Address on ‘Epistemic Universalism and the Melancholy of International Law’, delivered at the 2018 annual conference of the European Society of International Law, in which he diagnoses pathologies of international legal scholarship.
In our Afterword rubric, Lorna McGregor and Lorenzo Casini react to the EJIL Foreword ‘Upholding Democracy Amid the Challenges of New Technologies: What Role for the Law of Global Governance?’ by Eyal Benvenisti, published in our first issue of the year, and Benvenisti replies to his critics.
Following, we shift the focus to ‘New Voices’, with a selection of articles from the Sixth Annual Junior Faculty Forum for International Law. Veronika Fikfak, analyses how damages awarded by the European Court of Human Rights impact states’ behaviour. Drawing on (behavioural) economic analysis of law, she suggests new approaches on how to increase compliance. An Hertogen illuminates the conditions for analogical reasoning between domestic and international law. Ntina Tzouvala scrutinizes the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and the emergence of statehood in the Balkans, tracing the ambivalent role of international law in constructing and containing ethnic nationalism. Building on Giorgio Agamben’s work, Daria Davitti, challenges the EU’s Agenda on Migration, contesting liquid, biopolitical borders and the evasion of international obligations by claiming an alleged state of exception resulting in mere humanitarian posturing of EU migration policies. Geoff Gordon reflects on the interrelationship between colonial practices, the global standardization of time, and transnational law.
We end this section with another new voice, the 2017 ESIL Young Scholar Prize winner, Joshua Paine, who questions whether international adjudication qualifies as a global public good.
In our EJIL: Debate! section, Anne Peters presents her provocative and disrupting idea of corruption as a violation of international human rights. Kevin Davis and Franco Peirone respond to this challenging thesis and Anne Peters rejoins on EJIL: Talk!
As the year ends we also conclude our symposium on International Law and the First World War, with the fourth instalment on International Law after Versailles. Thomas Graditzky outlines the law of military occupation from the Hague Peace Conference in 1907 to the outbreak of the Second World War and questions whether further codification was unnecessary or impossible. Neville Wylie and Lindsey Cameron examine the underestimated impact of the First World War on the development of international humanitarian law in relation to the treatment of prisoners of war.
To complete our anniversary symposium, we recall the First World War with a reproduction of Otto Dix’s disturbing etching ‘Sturmtruppe geht unter Gas vor’ (1924). Dix, like many, at first euphorically volunteered to serve, motivated by nationalistic pathos, but suffered lifelong trauma after fighting in the Champagne and Russia. A poem by Rudyard Kipling, ‘For All We Have and Are (1914)’ exemplifies the initial patriotic urge to defend the homeland, despite the cost, whilst Wilfred Owen’s profound poem ‘Parable of the Old Man and the Young’ stands in stark and disquieting contrast.
In our Critical Review of Governance rubric we turn to one of the pressing issues of our times, looking at it from a genuinely international-retrospective perspective. Björnstern Baade analyses unknown or forgotten conventions dealing with ‘fake news’.
Our last article pays tribute to a third anniversary in 2018: in addition to the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War and the 70th anniversary of the Genocide Convention, 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the Revolution of 1968. Deborah Whitehall seizes this occasion to reflect on the ‘International Prospects of the Soixante-Huitard’. Taking inspiration from the writings of Hannah Arendt, Whitehall examines the uneasy relation between international law and revolution.