A Festschrift Honoring Professor Louis B. Sohn (April 8, 2000)

Article excerpt

The problem was so simple it was almost staggering when we recognized it. We are a student-published journal fortuitously attached to a law school with a stellar international law department, covering all aspects of world law, including human rights, trade, environmental, business transactional and arbitration. The scholars associated with The George Washington Law School include such bright lights as Judge Thomas Buergenthal of the International Court of Justice, and one of the most well-known public international law scholars in the field, Louis B. Sohn. Yet, we were regularly receiving a disproportionately large number of article submissions on the topic of law and economics. No "Chicago" in the title, but we knew that there is always something in a name, and ours was The George Washington Journal of Law and Economics.

My predecessor W. Patrick Evans and the Volume 33 Editorial Board arrived at an equally simple solution. We changed our name to The George Washington International Law Review to demonstrate our desire to continue a long-standing tradition of excellence, while clarifying that the scope of our publication encompasses both public and private international law. To do so, we added another edition, now publishing four volumes. This year we hosted and will publish the presentations of the first international trade symposium, a program that will occur biennially. Appropriately, this the first edition to reflect the new title and expanded treatment offers the May 2000 symposium honoring Professor Sohn. A symposium on topics of public international law, named for and in honor of Professor Sohn and Judge Buergenthal, will also become a biennial GW[LR event. We wish you welcome to our new endeavor, and look forward to a continuation of our commitment to publish scholarship of the highest quality and intellectual content.

For most of you reading this letter, while a 'welcome' may be a non-essential pleasantry, an 'explanation' of why we chose to initiate our name-change with Professor Sohn's festschrift is an absolute non-necessity. You do not need to be told about Professor Louis B. Sohn, nor his contribution to international law. So, those newly-- arrived to international law, please continue; for everyone else, read on to recall the delight that was yours the first time you read Professor Sohn's work.

The articles in this edition of the GW/LR are from a symposium dedicated to Professor Sohn and his contribution to all aspects of international law, notably the drafting of the United Nations Charter and vast contributions to the legal corpus of the Law of the Sea, as a scholar and as a Deputy Representative of the United States' Delegation to the Third UN Conference on the Law of the Sea.

The festschrift memorialized here does not represent the first such lionization of a man whose career has spanned more than sixty years since he arrived in the United States from Poland in 1939. Among his numerous awards, Professor Sohn is a recipient of the American Bar Association's Leonard J. Theberge Award for Private International Law. …

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