In 1984, Notre Dame Law School (NDLS) published two issues of the International and Comparative Law Journal. Since then, a formal, student-run outlet for scholarly work in international law has not existed at NDLS—until now.

In 2010, the International Law Society (ILS) hosted its first annual symposium, which proved to be a great success and fueled support from the administration establishing the Notre Dame Journal of International, Comparative and Human Rights Law (JICH). This new journal is designed around a new approach that addresses concerns for quality, accessibility, and efficient use of resources. In 2011, ILS hosted its second annual symposium which achieved even greater success and contributed in large part to the first issue of JICH.

In response to the Durham Statement on Open Access to Legal Scholarship, this publication is available in a stable, open and digital format on the journal’s website, while offering readers the opportunity to purchase physical copies of the issue. This allows JICH to be economically efficient, environmentally sustainable, and immediately responsive to current events in the field of international law.

Journals are effective means for demonstrating the academic prowess of a law school and its students. It is in this capacity that JICH will serve NDLS as it continues to increase its focus on international law. JICH is unique amongst the journals at NDLS in that it actively seeks contributions from its many LL.M and J.S.D. students engaged in studying international human rights law. As the field of international law continues to evolve, JICH will provide timely and innovative commentary while preserving the invaluable tradition of law school journals that has inspired excellence among law students for generations.

Letter from the Founding Editors

Dear Readers,

For many law students, international law appears to be a terribly convoluted web of non-binding resolutions and spuriously enforced treaties. Like many other International Law Societies, we sought to dispel this confusion by hosting several speaking events and two successful symposiums with the hope that attendees would acquire an appreciation for the importance of international law. With the resounding success of these events, we felt driven to push even further by founding the Notre Dame Journal of International and Comparative Law (JICL).

With the establishment of this journal, NDLS joins the ranks of dozens of top law schools with international law journals and we hope this journal will contribute to the development and appreciation of international, comparative and human rights law. While it is certainly an honor to stand alongside the other prestigious journals at NDLS and the dozens of international journals worldwide, we designed JICL to be a leading example of a new form of legal scholarship.

In the spirit of global environmentalism and the modern trend toward free access to legal publications, we designed JICL as an online journal, which we hope will empower it to provide timely commentary on the increasingly dynamic field of international law. To ensure the quality of each publication, every submission to the journal must first gain approval from our committee of faculty advisors before being considered for publication by a committee of student editors. We believe this two-tiered selection process along with the online format will provide the global legal community with a valuable and accessible resource while avoiding unnecessary use of natural resources.

The Notre Dame International Law Society has drawn upon the expertise of our international law faculty as well as the strength of our exceptional international law programs to establish this unique journal.  Starting a new journal at a relatively small law school with other established and prestigious publications has not been an easy or well-defined endeavor, and we expect the evolution of this project to be an organic process that will likely change course in the future.  To that end, we welcome suggestions for improving our format in the hopes that the development of this project meets the needs of students and professionals committed to the development of international law education in American law schools.

Thank you for your time and interest in international law.

In Notre Dame,

Trevor Jack

Jolie Schwarz

Founding Editors in Chief


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