Milan (and somewhere else), 31 May 2018

Dear readers,

While the fourth anniversary of an e-journal is not necessarily worthy of special celebration (why not the third one, or why not wait for a fifth you might wonder?), we nonetheless feel it appropriate to put aside some words for this occasion. Frankly speaking, we cannot hide a certain astonishment when we look back at an initiative that, after four years, appears to be as fresh, alive and stimulating as it was at the time of its inception. This is surely due to certain key factors.

Among these, there is first the tireless effort of the members of the QIL editorial board, who, often working under the pressure of time and last-minute adjustments, are invariably successful in respecting the stringent monthly deadline for publication adopted by the journal. Only their collective efforts have made it possible to release, from the first issue of May 2014, the remarkable number of 122 written commentaries on various topics of international law.

Quantity would however be of little significance without the outstanding quality of the individual contributions and of their authors, who enthusiastically and conscientiously contributed to the monthly effort. Here lies the second factor of our successful initiative: a roster of individual contributors, gathering both renowned scholars and young researchers, with whom we are particularly proud to have cooperated.

As a third factor (and possibly even the most  important factor), is the interest and support that international lawyers and scholars from various corners of the world have constantly and increasingly shown towards the initiative. This has been essential for confirming that the intuition we had some time ago was well placed and that we had been lucky enough to find a working formula for a new e-journal on questions of international law; needless to say, this has been critical in sustaining our determination to continue the enterprise.

Of course, nothing is perfect in the formula and there is always room for improvement. Without dwelling at this juncture on  unfulfilled promises and the failed projects, we would like to take this opportunity to confirm our commitment to fine-tuning the current proposal and to work on new perspectives. A first step in this direction will be the filling of an outstanding gap, concerning the – announced and long awaited – annual compilation of all contributions published online. The first volumes, covering the years 2014 and 2015, will be posted and freely available on our website in the next few days.

While waiting for further developments, for the time being please enjoy this somewhat special issue of May 2018, which proposes a slight variation of the Zoom-in format, intended to further encourage an open-ended and enlarged debate on sensitive issues of international law.

Finally, we are very glad to express to all the above-mentioned players (members of the QIL board, our authors and the public of QIL users at large) our sincere and warm thanks. Please, stay tuned.


The Managing Editors