On 2 March 2020 seminar on the development of international law “The ICJ Judgment in the Gambia v. Myanmar case - highlight of modern international law” was held at Riga Graduate School of Law (RGSL) to mark the occasion of the Baltic Yearbook of International Law (BYIL) published for the first time under the auspices of RGSL. RGSL Rector Pietro Sullo spoke on “New Developments in International Law: The Gambia v. Myanmar Case before ICJ”, President of the Constitutional Court of Latvia and RGSL Professor Ineta Ziemele had a talk on “ICJ giving effect to erga omnes obligations”, RGSL Lecturer Ieva Miļūna discussed “Erga omnes obligations and their protection by the UN organs”, while Professor of International Law at University of Tartu Lauri Mälksoo spoke about Russia’s approach to the international law.
Dr. Ziemele and Dr. Malksoo together with President of the Constitutional Court of Lithuania; Professor at the Faculty of Law at Vilnius University Dainius Žalimas are Editors-in-Chief of the BYIL, and with this volume RGSL becomes fully responsibility for the preparation of the BYIL.
It is highly symbolic that the Baltic Yearbook of International Law, having been founded and hosted for many years by the Raoul Wallenberg Institute at Lund University in Sweden, has now, since 2018, come home and has taken up residence at the Riga Graduate School of Law (RGSL) in Latvia, in the very heart of the three Baltic States. Established in 1998, RGSL has emerged as a leading legal education and research institute in the Baltic region. A primary objective of RGSL is to contribute to the development of Latvia and the wider region by educating new generations of motivated and highly skilled young scholars and professionals capable of promoting the ongoing process of European integration. Research and education in the area of international and European law are integral to the realisation of this objective.
Together with the wide range of academics from Northern and Central Europe, this volume of the Yearbook presents as well articles by Ozlem Ulgen and Marion Blondel from the annual conference of the European Society of International Law (ESIL) “How International Law Works in Times of Crisis” hosted by RGSL. These articles address important moral issues in the age of rapid technological development. “The fact that we see these issues addressed from an international law standpoint shows, against all odds, that a value discourse has entered the international political arena,” says Dr. Mälksoo and Dr. Ziemele.
The Baltic Yearbook of International Law is the first legal journal in the field of international law comprised and edited by the Baltic Editorial Board that attempts to bring to the international debate issues that are of importance in the Baltic States, providing a forum for the views on topical international-law themes from Baltic and international scholars.
The first volume of BYIL appeared in 2001 with a symposium on the question of the international legal status of the Baltic States. The Yearbook contains State practice reports from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, thus serving as an important source of international law that is unavailable elsewhere. From time to time the Yearbook has offered articles discussing the history of international law and current issues in Eastern Europe and the Russian Federation, thus making regional discourse more accessible to a wider global audience. “The story of the Baltic States is also the story about the rule of law in international law,” says Lauri Mälksoo and Ineta Ziemele.
The Baltic Yearbook of International Law is available for purchase at the Brill Publishing House, or you can read it in RGSL Law Library.