By Tobias Thienel
Last night saw the publication of a brand new, exciting online journal: the Göttingen Journal of International Law has published its first issue. The GoJIL, as it is known for short, is the first student-run German international law review. It thus applies in Germany the great American tradition of students taking on a role in the publication of valuable scholarly work, contributed both by other students and by more established writers.
The first issue already contains articles by such prominent authors as Robert Cryer (‘Prosecuting the Leaders: Promises, Politics and Practicalities’), Diane Desierto (‘Universalizing Core Human Rights in the "New" ASEAN: A Reassessment of Culture and Development Justifications against the Global Rejection of Impunity’) and the political scientist Dimitris N. Chryssochoou (‘The European Synarchy: New Discourses on Sovereignty’), as well as a Foreword by Judge Thomas Buergenthal of the ICJ. Judge Buergenthal is also a member of the Advisory Board of GoJIL.
Another very prominent contribution, by the former President of the German Federal Constitutional Court, Jutta Limbach, on ‘Human Rights in Times of Terror’ nicely sets up a more student-oriented part of the Journal: GoJIL has initiated an International Student Essay Competition on just that topic, and the winning essay, by Evelyne Schmid, is now published in the current issue of GoJIL. Ms Schmid writes persuasively of ‘The Right to a Fair Trial in Times of Terrorism: A Method to Identify the Non-Derogable Aspects of Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,’ addressing in particular the role of other international law in derogations from the Covenant.
There is also a section of Current Developments in International Law, with comment on the recent decisions in Georgia v Russia, Kadi v Council and Commission and FIAMM (the last on the liability of the EC for lawful conduct), as well as on the nuclear deal between the US and India.
I have had some – limited – involvement with GoJIL as a member of its Scientific Advisory Board, and therefore can attest to the dedication of the editors and to all the hard work and intense care they have put into this project. The end result reflects all this; it is an impressive piece of work. Do have a look!