In This Issue – Reviews

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This issue features reviews of five recent works. Two of them address questions of state responsibility – a core topic, shaped by the International Law Commission (ILC) Articles adopted exactly 20 years ago, but addressed here from unusual angles. Jean Ho’s interest is with responsibility for breaches of investment contracts (a topic left to the side by the ILC), while Vincent-Joël Proulx investigates potential contributions, by the Security Council, to institutionalized responsibility (a question never seriously tackled by the ILC). As Yuliya Chernykh and Vladimir Lanovoy show in their respective reviews, both perspectives offer rich rewards: the ILC’s text dominates our discourse on responsibility, but does not exhaust it. Twenty years after the adoption of the ILC’s text, it is important that we expand our horizons.

Italian scholars, from Dionisio Anzilotti via Roberto Ago to Gaetano Arangio Ruiz, have laid the groundwork for the contemporary understanding of responsibility. The contributions to A History of International Law in Italy, edited by Giulio Bartolini, bring this out clearly, and also emphasize other distinctive features of Italian scholarship: the importance of nationality, the continuing strength of positivist approaches, the gradual opening up towards English-language publications. Our reviewers – Marco Longobardo and Marco Roscini – are impressed by this ‘composite tapestry of theories, personalities, and works’ which in their view ‘fully reflects the layered and complex intricacies’ of Italian scholarship.

Two further reviews complete the current issue. Wouter Werner follows Jan Petrov on a ‘tour’ of expert studies of the laws of war, from the 1880 Oxford Manual to its current Tallinn successors, and asks how Expert Laws of War fits with our traditional understanding of international law’s sources. Finally, Roger O’Keefe has clearly enjoyed reading the Cambridge Handbook of Immunities and International Law (edited by Tom Ruys and Nicolas Angelet): a broad and deep engagement with one of international law’s ‘evergreen’ topics and ‘a successful experiment in herd immunity if ever there was one’. Enjoy reading, and keep safe!

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