Columbia Journal of European Law Celebrates 20 Years of Outstanding International Scholarship

New York, April 28, 2014—In two decades of groundbreaking scholarship, the Columbia Journal of European Law (CJEL) has become an indispensable resource for insights into the workings and tensions of European integration, said distinguished speakers at the venerable journal’s 20th anniversary gala April 17 at Columbia University’s Low Library.
 Professor George A. Bermann introduced Judge Koen Lenaerts
Following an introduction from CJEL editor-in-chief Katherine X. Chen ’14, George A. Bermann ’75 LL.M., the Jean Monnet Professor of EU Law, Walter Gellhorn Professor of Law, director of the Center for International Commercial and Investment Arbitration, and co-director of the European Legal Studies Center, recalled the “extremely heady days” of 1994 when he and a handful of passionate students founded CJEL shortly after the passage of the common market.
“Somehow the Journal has deftly managed to put its finger on the pulse of the European Union again and again, thanks to its extraordinary editors,” Bermann said. “In a sense, the Journal has mapped quite a bit of the evolution of European law. It remains the preeminent journal of European law in the United States and, I would argue, worldwide.”
 Professor Anu Bradford will become director of the European Legal Studies Center next year.
Bermann took a moment to acknowledge Professor Anu Bradford, co-director of the European Legal Studies Center, who will become sole head of the program next year, before introducing keynote speaker Judge Koen Lenaerts, vice president of the European Court of Justice and a renowned law professor at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium.
“There is no one better situated to honor the Columbia Journal of European Law on its 20th anniversary,” Bermann said. “I do not exaggerate when I say he is the intellectual and institutional leader of the European Court of Justice, and I suspect he is the most decorated judge in Europe.”
Lenaerts paid warm tribute to Bermann, a friend and colleague for 27 years, and to the students who have made CJEL such a success.
Judge Koen Lenaerts is vice president of the European Court of Justice and a renowned law professor.
“Professor Bermann and the Journal have had a visionary integrated view of national law and EU law, which is the only way to understand what’s going on,” Lenaerts said. “I want to pay equal tribute to the students who year after year have toiled to produce such important work on European law. The Journal has played a significant role in conversations about European case law, and is often quoted in opinions of the advocate general at the European Court of Justice.”
Discussing an article on comparative constitutionalism he contributed to the upcoming anniversary issue of the Journal, Lenaerts embarked on a spirited and wide-ranging exploration of EU legal doctrine, with extensive attention to the delicate interplay between national and European law.
Katherine X. Chen '14 served as CJEL's editor-in-chief this year.
“In the EU, we are united by diversity,” Lenaerts said. “We are not one nation, indivisible, and we don’t want to be. That’s something to make clear to Americans. The EU is a form of ordered pluralism.”
CJEL is currently the single most cited European law journal in the world and is ranked among the top five foreign and civil law journals in the world. Columbia Law School students—both J.D. and L.L.M. candidates—are entirely responsible for its publication under the auspices of the European Legal Studies Center. CJEL publishes three issues per year with articles from leading academics and practitioners on topics including business law, intellectual property, human rights, and social challenges.
Judge Lenaerts mingled with students and other attendees.