Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Absence of women's authorial voices

(Delighted to welcome back alumna Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, who contributes this guest post)

In recent years, feminist international law scholars have wondered if we will ever be more than "a decorative frill on the edge of the discipline." in the apt phrase of IntLawGrrls guest/alumna Hilary Charlesworth.
With that in mind, we take note that an event yesterday on "What Makes a Great International Law Article," hosted by the American Society of International Law. Five of the most cited articles from the past decade were picked out in order to guide conversation on the topic. They were:
► Eric Stein, "International Integration and Democracy No Love at First Sight," 95 American Journal of International Law 489 (2001);
► Paul C. Szasz, "The Security Council Starts Legislating," 96 American Journal of International Law 901 (2002);
► Ryan Goodman, "Human Rights Treaties, Invalid Reservations, and State Consent," 96 American Journal of International Law (2002);
► W. Michael Reisman, "Assessing Claims to Revise the Laws of War," 97 American Journal of International Law 82 (2003); and
► Harold Hongju Koh, "International Law as Part of Our Law," 98 American Journal of International Law 43 (2004).
The notable absence of women in the list is surprising.
It is especially surprising given that international law scholars Christine Bell (another IntLawGrrls guest/alumna), Allison Marston Danner and Anthea Roberts have all garnered the Deák Prize for meritorious scholarship published in the American Journal of International Law, in 2007, 2004 and 2002 respectively.
On a positive note, the panel leading the discussion included two women: one prominent international law scholar and AJIL editor, Dinah Shelton, and AJIL Managing Editor Julie Furgerson.

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