28 Nov Law Students and Wikipedia
This semester I took Peter Spiro’s suggestion to heart and assigned my international law students to write a Wikipedia entry as a small part of their class requirements. The only limits I put on the students was to pick a topic that was relevant to international law and that was not currently included in Wikipedia (or at most was a stub). The results were quite impressive.
I will not give you the details of each entry to avoid compromising the next phase of the experiment. But essentially they wrote on topics ranging from prominent international law professors and judges, several major decisions of international courts, two Supreme Court decisions, a key aspect of a major environmental law treaty, principles of international law jurisdiction, an undeveloped topic relating to the use of force, a major international investment arbitration issue, and an issue relating to corporate conduct and core labor standards. They wrote the entries in Wikipedia format to maximize the chances that the entries will be accepted by the Wikipedia editors.
Although this project obviously did not result in perfect student results, my sense is that open sourcing on Wikipedia will correct relevant errors or omissions. I will be curious to see whether the next phase of posting and subsequent open source editing of the entries will be as successful.
I would be curious if others think this is a worthwhile collaborative project between professors and law students.