The Journal of International Law (YJIL) is one of the world’s preeminent international law journals. YJIL publishes articles, essays, notes, and commentary on a wide range of subjects in the fields of international, transnational, and comparative law on a biannual basis. Since November 2009, the Journal has published shorter analytical essays in YJIL Online, an online companion journal. In both its print and online editions, the Journal is committed to publishing cutting-edge, provocative, and thoughtful scholarship at the forefront of the field.

The Journal is about much more than the periodic publication of scholarship. YJIL seeks to foster a community dedicated to the study and practice of international law at the Law School and beyond. To that end, YJIL regularly organizes panels, workshops, and lectures on diverse topics with guests including Law School faculty members, practicing international lawyers and policymakers, and distinguished alumni.

Operations and Activities

YJIL’s primary goal is to produce outstanding scholarship in the fields of international, transnational, and comparative law. YJIL publishes two Print Issues per year, which typically include up to three Articles and two student Notes. The Journal also regularly includes book reviews and short academic commentaries on recent developments in international law, both of which are written by YJIL members.

Building on the thirty-five year tradition of its print edition, in November 2009 the Journal launched YJIL Online.  YJIL Online publishes short feature articles that focus on issues relevant to practitioners of international law.

In addition to its print and online publications, YJIL fosters a community dedicated to the study and practice of international law at Yale and beyond.  To that end, YJIL regularly convenes panels, workshops, and talks on diverse topics with guests including Yale faculty, practicing international lawyers, distinguished alumni, and other campus visitors. In past years, YJIL has also held a “works in progress” series at which Yale students present papers to their colleagues with a faculty respondent who provides feedback and constructive criticism.


YJIL History

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. In the 2009-2010 school year, YJIL will celebrate the publication of its 35th volume.

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.