For the past five decades, the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law has built a reputation among scholars, practitioners, and students as one of the most respected international legal periodicals in the field. The publication recently celebrated its 50th anniversary with a reception at the New York City office of Mayer Brown.
Founded by Columbia Law School Professor Wolfgang Friedmann in 1961, the journal has grown substantially and kept pace with a broad and ever-changing field. It now boasts more than 1,000 subscribers, one-third of whom live outside the U.S. and represent more than 60 countries.
“In the early years, it took three years to do two issues, and now we publish three a year,” said the journal’s editor-in-chief, Jacob Johnston ’12. “In 1961, there were five students on staff, and now there are 75.”
The publication showcases Columbia Law School’s role as a leader in scholarship addressing transnational legal issues. Professors Sarah H. Cleveland, Merritt B. Fox, Petros C. Mavroidis, Trevor W. Morrison ’98, Katharina Pistor, and Matthew Waxman serve on the board of directors.
Douglas Doetsch ’86, a partner in the Chicago office of Mayer Brown and a former editor-in-chief of the publication, points out that “the journal finds itself stronger than ever” thanks to the dramatic increase in subscribers, staff, and contributors.
In addition to producing three issues annually, the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law has, since 1975, honored leaders in the field each spring with the Wolfgang Friedmann Memorial Award, which recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to international law. The journal presented this year’s award to M. Cherif Bassiouni, a Nobel Peace Prize nominee who helped create the International Criminal Court in The Hague.