Introduction to the Virginia Journal of International Law/Opinio Juris Online Symposium

Introduction to the Virginia Journal of International Law/Opinio Juris Online Symposium

The Virginia Journal of International Law (VJIL) is delighted to be partnering with Opinio Juris this week to host a series of discussions on recent scholarship published by VJIL. This week will feature articles from the first two Issues of Volume 52 of the Journal. The complete Issue 52:1 can be downloaded here. Issue 52:2 can be found here.

On Monday, we begin our discussion an Article by I. Glenn Cohen (Harvard Law School) – “Medical Tourism, Access to Health Care, and Global Justice.” Cohen comprehensively examines the question of whether medical tourism reduces access to health care for the destination country’s poor and whether such deprivations trigger international legal obligations. Excellent commentary will be provided by Nathan Cortez (SMU Dedman School of Law), Colleen M. Flood and Y.Y. Brandon Chen (University of Toronto Faculty of Law), and Jeremy Snyder and Valorie A. Crooks (Simon Fraser University).

On Tuesday, we continue with Stephan W. Schill’s (Max Planck Institute) Article, “Enhancing International Investment Law’s Legitimacy: Conceptual and Methodological Foundations of a New Public Law Approach.” Schill responds to the challenges international investment law poses for domestic public law values by suggesting that international investment law and investment treaty arbitration should be conceptualized as public law disciplines. He argues that investment treaties should be interpreted, investor-state disputes resolved, and system-internal reform proposed by recourse to public law thinking. Anthea Roberts (Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School and Lecturer in Law, Department of Law, London School of Economics and Political Science) and Jürgen Kurtz (Associate Professor, Melbourne Law School) will respond.

On Wednesday, Gregory Shaffer (University of Minnesota School of Law) and Joel Trachtman (Fletcher School – Tufts University) will discuss their Article, “Interpretation and Institutional Choice at the WTO.” Shaffer and Trachtman develop a framework of comparative institutional analysis for assessing the implications of judicial interpretation at the World Trade Organization. Although the framework they develop focuses on the WTO, it also has relevance for understanding the interpretation of international and domestic legal texts from “law and economics” and “law and society” perspectives. Responding to their piece will be Rachel Brewster (Harvard Law School), Robert Howse (New York University School of Law), and Joost Pauwelyn (The Graduate Institute, Geneva).

On Thursday, we continue with an Article by Sungjoon Cho (Visiting Professor of Law at Northwestern University Law School and Professor of Law, Chicago-Kent College of Law) – “Beyond Rationality: Toward a Sociological Construction of the World Trade Organization.” Professor Cho’s piece critiques the rational-institutional analysis offered by Professor Shaffer and Professor Trachtman. Professor Cho argues that rationalism overlooks the rich social dimensions of the WTO. Gregory Shaffer and Joel Trachtman will offer a joint response and Claire Kelly (Brooklyn Law School) will also provide commentary.

Finally, on Friday, Aslı Ü. Bâli (UCLA School of Law) will discuss her Article, “The Perils of Judicial Independence: Constitutional Transition and the Turkish Example.” Bali illustrates how institutions that might ordinarily be expected to secure democratic space, such as a strong and independent judiciary, may instead serve as a constraint on political liberalization. Tom Ginsburg (University of Chicago Law School) and Hootan Shambayati (Florida Gulf Coast University) will provide responses. In addition, a commentary on Marco Ventoruzzo’s (Penn State Dickinson School of Law) Article, “Like Moths to a Flame? International Securities Litigation After Morrison: Correcting the Supreme Court’s ‘Transactional Test’” will be posted. Ventoruzzo critiques the Supreme Court’s decision in Morrison and proposes a new “effects test” that will resolve ambiguities, protect American investors, and refrain from asserting American judicial jurisdiction overseas contrary to principles of international comity. Hannah L. Buxbaum (Indiana University – Maurer School of Law) will provide the critique of the Article.

We hope that you enjoy participating in the upcoming discussion. VJIL would like to extend our gratitude to the entire team at Opinio Juris for hosting us over the coming week. For further information about the Journal, the editors may be contacted at Please visit our website for additional Issues and the most recent publications on VJIL Digest, our online companion.

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Dr Parveen Ara Pathan
Dr Parveen Ara Pathan

Response…Wonderful discussion on medical tourism,but may I know increase in certain illegal activities(kidney transplant scam ,selling of minors ,etc) in developing countries like India ,due to medical tourism is not harming the “right to health”of poor citizens ?Is this good for global justice?