Features Essays

Features Essays is a platform for practitioners and legal scholars to publish substantive pieces on topics in international law. Features Essays are longer and published less frequently than YJIL Forum pieces.

image for the book review features essay by Walker & Qasim

Book Review: Building the Rule of Law: Firsthand Accounts from a Thirty-Year Global Campaign

Written by Hon. John M. Walker, Jr. & Isa C. Qasim

In August 1991, a Colorado lawyer, Bill Meyer, accompanied by his wife Jane, traveled to Sofia, Bulgaria to begin an adventure. Their trip, initially planned to be three months, lasted an entire year. The only Western lawyer in a country recently liberated from communism, Meyer’s work was far afield from his Boulder civil litigation practice. He was in Bulgaria to build the rule of law . . .

***Revised version uploaded on 1/13/2023

Interest Rates & Human Rights: Reinterpreting Risk Premiums to Adjust the Financial Economy

Written by Oliver Pahnecke & Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky

This Article proposes an innovative and human rights-based interpretation of interest rates applied to public and private loans where interest rate and risk premium are adjusted after the full payment of the principal.



The International Law of Rabble Rousing

Written by Hendrick Townley & Asaf Lubin

It was noon on an ordinary sunny spring day in May, but the scene was not as it should have been outside the Islamic Da’wah Center in downtown Houston, Texas. On one side of the street stood approximately ten protestors. . . .

Section 7 of the United Kingdom Bribery Act 2010: A “Fair Warning” Perlustration

Written by Jonathan J. Rusch

Within the past year, the tides of global corruption have begun a perceptible shift. In a growing number of countries around the world, public reactions to corruption have moved from apathy and resignation to fear, anger, and even defiance, and government agencies are pursuing corruption . . .

A Principled Defence of the International Human Right to Privacy: A Response to Frédéric Sourgens

Written by Asaf Lubin

Frédéric Sourgens’s recent article, The Privacy Principle, dares to ask a provocative question: can international law regulate global surveillance programs without sacrificing national security interests? . . .


Grey Zones in the International Law of Cyberspace

Written by Michael N. Schmitt

In 2015 and 2016, hackers affiliated with the Russian government broke into servers of the U.S. Democratic National Committee (DNC). The subsequent release of documents hurt Democrats in Congressional races, led to the resignation of the DNC Chairperson, created tension between the Clinton and Sanders camps, and, above all, figured prominently in the race for president. The Russian operations were yet another example of Russia’s proficiency at exploiting the “grey zones” of international law. . . .

A General Look at Specific Jurisdiction

Written by Lea Brilmayer

Success, in domestic and international litigation alike, depends on finding a court with jurisdiction over the defendant. American constitutional law, which governs assertion of jurisdiction even over international defendants in American courts, has developed the subject of personal jurisdiction into a fine art. It’s all a question of whether ‘minimum contacts’ exist between the defendant and the forum, and whether the assertion of jurisdiction satisfies a standard of “fair play and substantial justice.” . . .


“Uniting for Peace” in the Age of International Justice

Written by Michael Ramsden

The United Nations Security Council (“Council”) has performed a central role since the end of the Cold War in establishing mechanisms to hold perpetrators of international crimes accountable . . .



Indian Executive’s Pro-Arbitration Power Move Sanctioned by Parliament: Transnational Ideals Versus National Reality

Written by Joseph (Yusuf) Saei

On October 23, 2015, the President of India Pranab Mukherjee, with input from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, signed into law a new Arbitration Ordinance (“the Ordinance”), which took effect immediately and was passed into law two months later as an Amending Act (“the Act”) . . .





The Yukos Award and the Debate over the New York Convention

Written by Steven Levy

As the Obama Administration defends the Trans-Pacific Partnership (“TPP”), and several presidential candidates rail against it, international arbitration has increasingly come under public scrutiny . . .







Rethinking the International Refugee Regime

Written by T. Alexander Aleinikoff

How do we tell the refugee story? We—refugee advocates, the press, international organizations—frequently focus on a dramatic personal story, often one of tragedy . . .




From the Aztecs to the Kalahari Bushmen: Conservative Justices’ Citation of Foreign Sources: Consistency, Inconsistency, or Evolution?

Written by Zachary D. Kaufman

On April 28, 2015, there were few surprises at the Supreme Court. During oral argument in Obergefell v. Hodges, counsel for each side mostly rehearsed the usual marriage equality arguments around rights, dignity, fairness, love, procreation, family, tradition, religion, and slippery slopes . . .




Exhaustion of Local Remedies in Investor-State Dispute Settlement: An Idea Whose Time Has Come?

Written by Matthew C. Porterfield

The proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the United States and the European Union presents an opportunity to reconsider an old idea: requiring foreign investors to exhaust local remedies before bringing investor-state claims . . .



MLATS and the Trusted Nation Club: The Proper Cost of Membership

Written by Yonatan L. Moskowitz

Until recently, Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (“MLATs”) were dusty, specialists’ treaties used mostly to gather evidence during investigations of transnational crimes . . .




The Hidden Costs of the European Court of Human Rights’ Surrogacy Decision

Written by Nila Bala


What Is Patentable Under the Transpacific Partnership?: An Analysis of the Free Trade Agreement’s Patentability Provisions From a Public Health Perspective

Written by Burcu Kilic, Hannah Brennan & Peter Maybarduk


The Binding Force of G-20 Commitments

Written by Suyash Paliwal


RICO and International Legal Ethics

Written by Christina Parajon Skinner


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