Introduction to the Leiden Journal of International Law/Opinio Juris Symposium

by dov jacobs

[Dov Jacobs is an Assistant Professor of International Law at Leiden University]

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the creation of the Leiden Journal of International Law. This quarter of a century has seen the development from a student-created, student-run and most certainly student-read publication, to an internationally renowned professional journal in International Law and Legal Theory.

As pointed out by LJIL’s Editor-in-Chief, Larissa van den Herik, in her editorial to the most recent issue of the journal, this year also marks the continuing foray of the Journal into cyberspace. LJIL is now available on Westlaw and its readership extends well beyond the borders of Europe. It is also taking the lead, with other European journals, in trying to define a coherent policy in relation to free online repositories such as SSRN.

And finally, this first online symposium in collaboration with Opinio Juris marks LJIL’s discovery of the world of online blogging. Larissa’s editorial discusses the possible interaction between traditional legal scholarship and expert blogging, issues debated last year by LJIL’s other Editor-in-Chief, Jean d’Aspremont and myself (see here and here). While we might vary on the margins in relation to the exact quality and benefits of legal blogging (and of traditional legal scholarship), we all agree that these two modes of communication and dissemination are not mutually exclusive and cater to different audiences in different timeframes.

Most importantly, and irrespective of the form or the medium, international law expert blogging, with Opinio Juris as one of its forerunners, shares with LJIL the same underlying philosophy of stimulating debate. Indeed, LJIL has always prided itself for the discussions, even sometimes controversies, it has sparked, both within its pages and in the international community of scholars and practitioners at large. This exciting collaboration with Opinio Juris therefore comes fittingly as a natural extension into cyberspace of the fundamental values of openness and debate of LJIL.

Those familiar with Opinio Juris and its partnership with other journals will know how this works. Each issue of LJIL will be followed shortly afterwards by an online symposium of two articles (or series of related articles) where commentators will be invited to discuss the article and the author given the opportunity to respond.

This first symposium will start with a discussion of two articles published in LJIL marking the 25th anniversary of the Nicaragua Judgment at the ICJ. The first article, by Lori Damrosch, discusses the effect the Judgment had on the role of the ICJ. The second article, by Marcelo Kohen, discusses more specifically the impact of the Judgment on the question of non-intervention. These two articles will receive comments from John Dugard and André Nollkaemper, and the discussion is furthered by a response from Lori Damrosch.

After that we will discuss James Stewart’s exciting article on “the end of modes of liability for international crimes”. After a presentation of the article, comments from Darryl Robinson, Thomas Weigend and Jens Ohlin will be published, followed each by an answer by the author.

I hope you enjoy this first online symposium and would like to take this opportunity to thank all the authors who have kindly accepted to contribute to it, thus allowing it to reach the level of quality it deserved. I also want to thank Kevin and the other editors of Opinio Juris for opening their doors to us for this collaboration which will no doubt produce good online (and we certainly hope still student-read…) food for thought.

http://opiniojuris.org/2012/03/19/introduction-ljil-symposium/

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