Issues of the Moment in International Law: A Joint Initiative of CSIL and the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law

  • Columbia Law School, William and June Warren Hall 417 1125 Amsterdam Avenue New York, NY, 10025 United States

The Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, the Columbia Society of International Law, and International and Comparative Law faculty members at Columbia Law School are excited to announce a new joint initiative aimed to provide timely, relevant analysis of pressing international legal issues­­­­­­­­­­­­­, and invite you to our first lunch meeting this Wednesday, March 1 in WJW 417 from 12:10-1:10. For attendance at this event an RSVP is requested, and can be accessed here

During his first month in office, U.S. President Donald Trump has made statements and issued Executive Orders challenging foundational assumptions about the international legal order and the role of the United States therein. He has questioned longstanding free trade, climate change, and other international agreements, threatened to withdraw U.S. support and funding for international institutions, halted U.S. acceptance of refugees, and proposed violating the jus cogens prohibition on torture This dismissiveness toward international obligations both follows from and emboldens other populist-nationalist movements around the world—evident in current European politics, the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union, and the rise of President Duterte in the Philippines. 

The threat to the international legal order and concomitant distrust of the “mainstream media,” compels us as aspiring lawyers and academics to provide accurate and even-handed information about international and foreign affairs law.  The work of our organizations is predicated on the belief that objective facts and international law matter and make our world safer, richer, and better.  In support of this belief, we are hosting bi-weekly meetings, led by faculty members, to reflect on the international legal impact of recent events. It is our hope that these reflections will be transformed into short articles, to be published on JTL’s online companion, The Bulletin.

This presents an important opportunity for students to engage with faculty and like-minded peers, co-author articles, and produce publishable pieces on issues that define the future of the international legal order. We hope to be able to take advantage of the current changes in and challenges to international law to allow students and faculty to come together to debate and work on producing cutting-edge, pertinent, balanced scholarship in this field.