International Law Studies

About ILS

About International Law Studies

International Law Studies (ILS) is a professionally edited and peer-reviewed journal of the Stockton Center for the Study of International Law at the United States Naval War College. First published in 1895, ILS is the oldest international law publication in the United States.

ILS provides a forum for prominent international law scholars and military practitioners to publish articles that contribute to the development and broader understanding of international law as it relates to military affairs. The journal uniquely focuses on the law of armed conflict, the law governing the use force, maritime security, law of the sea and general public international law as they pertain to military strategy, policy and operations. Recently published articles have addressed topics such as the legal implications of autonomous weapon systems, the U.S. DoD Manual, Japan’s territorial disputes, destruction of cultural property and legal issues arising out the conflict in Syria.

History of International Law at the U.S. Naval War College

The U.S. Naval War College has a long history of influential international law scholarship, and has counted among its faculty John Bassett Moore, the first U.S. judge on the Permanent Court of International Justice, Manley O. Hudson, the first U.S. judge on the International Court of Justice, and renowned theorist Hans Kelsen. International law was one of three areas of study in the original charter on establishment of the Naval War College in 1884. The College's first civilian professor, James R. Soley, served as a lecturer in international law. In 1894, Commander later Rear Admiral) Charles H. Stockton was appointed to replace Professor Freeman Snow of Harvard University as lecturer in law. Stockton became the fifth President of the Naval War College in 1898 and in 1901 he published the first U.S. Naval Code of Law. Its contemporary successor, the Commander's Handbook an the Law of Naval Operations is the world's foremost manual on international law and military operations.


ILS is an open access journal. Users have the right to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of articles in this journal, and to use them for any other lawful purpose. Authors retain copyright and publishing rights of papers submitted to this journal, granting the journal the right to distribute these papers under the terms of the CC-BY-NC-SA license.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Reproduction and reprinting are subject to the Copyright Act of 1976 and applicable treaties of the United States. To obtain permission to reproduce material bearing a copyright notice, or to reproduce any material for commercial purposes, contact the Editorial Office for each use. Material not bearing a copyright notice may be freely reproduced for academic or other non-commercial use; however, it is requested that the author and the International Law Studies series be credited and that the editor be informed.


The thoughts and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and are not necessarily those of the U.S. government, the U.S. Department of the Navy or the Naval War College.

ISSN 2375-2831