Baltic Yearbook of International Law

Baltic Yearbook of International Law

The Baltic Yearbook of International Law is an annual scientific yearbook in international law that has been published since 2001. The yearbook was made possible by the long-term cooperation of international and European law research fellows from all three Baltic States and has allowed them to be heard in the international academic discourse. Since the first volume, it has been published by one of the largest legal publishers in Europe Brill/Martinus Nijhoff Publishers that is based in the Netherlands and ensures global distribution of this scientific journal. At the same time, this legal publication has contributed to strengthening the contemporary academic Baltic tradition in international and European law, and made new legal researchers interested in the themes of international and European law.

The Baltic Yearbook of International Law more and more often serves as a source of doctrine during various scientific discussions. Over the years, many legal research fellows have published their scientific articles also on the legal question of occupation of the Baltic States and analyses of its legal consequences in the yearbook. To a large extent, it was made possible by the fact that strengthening the clarity and understanding of Latvian, Estonian and Lithuanian State continuity principle based in scientific legal methods has been one of the main topics for the co-editors-in-chief (I. Ziemele from Latvia, L. Mälksoo from Estonia, and D. Žalimas from Lithuania). As the yearbook is internationally renowned, the results of this research have also become widely available to the international scientific discourse.

Since 2018, the editorial board of the Baltic Yearbook of International Law has operated from Riga Graduate School of Law. After the restoration of independence, this school was established to strengthen the Latvian capacity in international law and European Union law, as well as the human rights law. The school took over publishing as of Volume 17 that was devoted to the centenary of the three Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

You can download BYIL Guidelines for authors here.

22 volume

May 2023

Call for papers

21 volume

December 2022

Volume 21 is published during Russia’s ongoing war on Ukraine and this issue therefore includes papers from a Baltic Yearbook online seminar organized on 19 September 2022 on the theme of Russia’s War in Ukraine and the Baltic States

The seminar departed from the premise that the war which the Russian Federation is waging against the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine shares notable parallels with Soviet aggression against the Baltic States of 1939/1940, leading to fifty long years of unlawful occupation. The key question that international lawyers – especially in the Baltic States – are asking is whether international law in 2022, as compared to the inter-war period, is more consolidated and offers legal tools necessary to address such a grave violation of international law as the Russian Federation has been committing against Ukraine. The comparison of ‘then’ and ‘now’ appears to attest in favour of today’s international legal order, with more instruments and greater will to use them to counter particularly grave challenges to the foundational values of that legal order. The perspective from within the Baltic States on aspects of international law relevant to determine Russia’s responsibility for the war against Ukraine is undoubtedly of wider interest.

Volume content

20 volume

December 2022

Volume 20 is devoted to the theme of Estonian Tradition in International Law and it also includes papers from a symposium for non-Western States on international law and cyber operations.

Articles on Estonian Tradition in International Law  was put together mainly by international law scholars at the University of Tartu. It also includes papers from a symposium "The approaches of non-Western States tointernational law and cyber operations", co-organized together with CCDCOE, the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, in Tallinn.

19 volume

August 2021

Volume 19 is devoted to the theme: Latvian tradition in international law. 

Concepts such as statehood, State continuity, State responsibility, equal participation in international decision-making and recently rule of law in international law and consolidation of legal regulation at an international level in different fields of cooperation, have been of relevance and interest both in practice and academic research in the field of international law in Latvia. The volume contains a selection of articles introducing historical and current research on these and other related issues.

Opening of the volume 19 of the Baltic Yearbook of International Law.

18 volume

November 2020

The volume is devoted to highlighting the reflections aired in Riga when the Riga Graduate School of Law was implementing the Jean Monnet Project in 2017-2019.

Volume 18 is the second volume of the Baltic Yearbook of International Law appearing under the aegis of cooperation between the Riga Graduate School of Law and Brill | Nijhoff Publishers. This volume is devoted to highlighting the reflections aired in Riga when the Law School was implementing the Jean Monnet Project in 2017-2019. These reflections broadly focused on the law of the European Union.

The editors of the Baltic Yearbook are certain that the EU-law perspective will be of interest to international lawyers throughout the world, whether as an option or as an idea as to what the international legal order might look like with ever growing globalization and migration of the world’s people.

17 volume

June 2020

With the 17th volume the Baltic Yearbook of International Law celebrates the centenary of the three Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

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, from 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. Among the selected authors, the Yearbook is glad to continue to introduce new authors from the region.

The editors of the Yearbook launched a call for papers on a theme: the Baltic States and International Law. The volume contains a selection of articles examining diverse issues and it is no surprise that the history of statehood and international law are closely intertwined in the case of the Baltic States.

Following World War I, pro-independence national forces in the territories of today’s Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania had the opportunity and the will to proclaim the establishment of their respective States. Lithuania was the first to do so on 18 February 1918, followed by Estonia, whose declaration of independence was adopted on 24 February 1918, while the Declaration Establishing a Provisional Government of Latvia and the Political Platform was adopted on 18 November 1918. These respectively mark the founding dates of the three Baltic States.

Anniversary volume "International law from a Baltic perspective"

September 2019

Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Baltic Yearbook of International Law, this volume contains a selection of articles chosen by the editors to showcase the Yearbook’s important contribution to international legal scholarship and

It thus offers ground-breaking articles within several areas of international law, including international humanitarian law, international human rights law, peaceful settlement of disputes, European Union law, and the history of international law. Naturally, issues relevant to the international legal status of the Baltic States and the consequences of their occupation by the Soviet Union are also explored, as well as questions relevant to transitional justice and the collapse of communism. Finally, articles on new areas, such as bioethics and cyberspace, are also included, showing where the development of science prompts the need for legal regulation. This wide-ranging selection reflects the Yearbook’s aim to offer a unique forum among international legal periodicals – where the past meets the future.

1-16 volumes

January 2019