The History of YJIL

The Yale Journal of International Law is the successor publication to Yale Studies in World Public Order (1974-80) and the Yale Journal of World Public Order (1980-83). YJIL remains the oldest continuously published secondary law journal at Yale.

Yale Studies in World Public Order was founded in 1974 by a group of YLS graduate students as an independent forum for discussing and publishing scholarship in international law, a field then largely ignored by mainstream law journals. These students were adherents of the New Haven School of international law, a school of policy-oriented jurisprudence that draws upon diverse fields of scholarship, including law, political science, international relations, geography, sociology, and psychology. The School was pioneered by Myres McDougal and Harold Lasswell, two Yale professors who were prominent scholars of international law and international politics respectively. The journal’s first volumes were devoted to applying the New Haven School to emerging international legal issues of the day, including human rights, humanitarian intervention, foreign sovereign immunity, security and intelligence cooperation, international trade, and international arbitration. The young publication flourished under the patronage and support of Professor W. Michael Reisman. By the mid-1980s, the Law School officially recognized the journal and began to offer it institutional and financial support.

Over time, the journal broadened its focus and began to publish articles from a variety of methodological approaches and jurisprudential perspectives, a tendency formalized by the decision of later editors to change the name of the journal to the “Yale Journal of International Law” in 1983. Nevertheless, YJIL continues to maintain a strong connection to the New Haven School and to scholars who have been influenced by the work of McDougal, Lasswell, and Reisman. In 2007, YJIL held a conference on “the ‘New’ New Haven School” that brought together generations of international law scholars to celebrate the history of the New Haven School, to honor its pioneers, and to recognize its continuing impact in the academy.

Past published authors include, among others: Raúl Alfonsín, José Alvarez, M. Cherif Bassiouni, Dan Bodansky, Lea Brilmayer, José Cabranes, Steve Charnovitz, Sarah Cleveland, Jacob Cogan, Jeffrey Dunoff, Robert Ellickson, Dan Esty, Owen Fiss, Michael Glennon, Laurence Helfer, Louis Henkin, Rosalyn Higgins, Samuel Issacharoff, Derek Jinks, Paul Kahn, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Harold Koh, Janet Kovin Levit, Diane Orentlicher, W. Michael Reisman, Eugene Rostow, Peter Schuck, Beth A. Simmons, Anne-Marie Slaughter, William Taft IV, Joel Trachtman, Ruth Wedgwood, and Siegfried Wiessner.

For more information on the early history of YJIL, see W. Michael Reisman, The Vision and Mission of the Yale Journal of International Law, 25 Yale J. Int’l L. 263 (2000).

For more information on the New Haven School, see Eisuke Suzuki, The New Haven School of International Law: An Invitation to a Policy-Oriented Jurisprudence, 1 Yale Stud. World Pub. Order 1 (1974).