New Online Journal: The Göttingen Journal of International Law

GoJILBy 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!

4 thoughts on “New Online Journal: The Göttingen Journal of International Law

  1. Thank you very much, Sergei. You make a fair point – although I would suggest we’ll have to wait and see if the Court’s approach to the issue is still liable to change. The Kosovo precedent may be distinguishable on the grounds that the question was really quite easy in that case, allowing the Court to adopt the test of (merits) jurisdiction from Oil Platforms, without any reference to the prima facie nature of jurisdiction review at the provisional measures stage. Therefore, Georgia v Russia may well have determined the proper test of jurisdiction under a compromissory clause at the provisional measures stage. But, as I said, we’ll have to see if the Court is going to apply that test in later cases. And even if it does, the test is clearly far from precise, which gives additional force to your point.

    By the way, your post may point to an answer to Otto’s idea (from the first comment, above). The GoJIL website may not allow comments, but there’s nothing to stop people from discussing an article on their blog.

  2. Thank you, Otto. I completely agree on the advantages of online publication. Almost all established journals also publish online, so going exclusively online would seem to be the next logical step. As to the comments issue, I couldn’t say if the editors have considered the idea. But however that may be, I can see an argument for declining to allow this: the journal might otherwise be mistaken for a blog, and its articles may come to be discussed on the website, but not in other literature. Anyway, I think the decision would be tenable either way. We shall see if GoJIL’s policy is going to change.

  3. Congratulations! I noticed that you yourself wrote an article in the first issue. I think it is a very good idea to have a purely electronic journal. The internet is where most people do all their research anyways. Perhaps, in order to make full use of the possibilities, you could allow people to comment on the articles. Isn’t that a good idea?

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