Who Studies International Law? Explaining Cross-National Variation in Compulsory International Legal Education
European Journal of International Law
28 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2019 Last revised: 3 Aug 2020
Date Written: February 19, 2019
The compulsory study of international law is a universal component of legal education in some states, but extremely uncommon or nonexistent in others. This article uses global data and statistical methods to test a number of conceivable explanations for this puzzling feature of international society. In contrast to much of the empirical literature on state behavior in relation to international law, we find that functionalist and sociopolitical variables carry little explanatory power, and that historical variables — specifically, legal tradition and regional geography — instead account for the overwhelming majority of the global pattern. We explore potential explanations for these findings and discuss implications for scholars, legal educators, and policymakers.
Keywords: Comparative International Law, International Law, Legal Education, Empirical Legal Studies, Comparative Law
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