International Law Studies

About ILS

About International Law Studies

International Law Studies (ILS) is a professionally edited and peer-reviewed journal. First published in 1895, it is the oldest international law periodical in the United States.

ILS provides a forum for international law scholars and practitioners to publish articles that contribute to the development and broader understanding of the relationship between international security and international law. Particular emphasis is placed on maritime security law; the law of the sea, air and outer space; the law governing the use force; the law of armed conflict; international human rights law in armed conflict; international cyber law and general public international law as it pertains to military strategy, policy and operations. The journal is renowned for publishing articles that impact the practice of States and upon which legal policy makers, government legal advisers, military attorneys and scholars dealing with international security law regularly rely.

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

Since its founding in 1884, the U.S. Naval War College has played a globally influential role in the study and formulation of international law. The subject has long been at the core of the Naval War College’s education of senior military officers and other senior government officials from around the world. It was one of three areas of study in the original charter of the College, and its first civilian professor, James R. Soley, served as a lecturer in international law.

Among its first Presidents was Rear Admiral Charles H. Stockton. Appointed as Director of the War College in 1894 and President in 1898, Stockton developed a series of lectures on naval warfare that led to publication of the first International Law Situations in 1895, the precursor to today’s International Law Studies. While President, he authored the first U.S. Naval Code of Law. Maintenance of its contemporary successor, the Commander's Handbook and the Law of Naval Operations, remains the responsibility of the Stockton Center for International Law at the Naval War College. Stockton went on, with Professor George Grafton Wilson of Harvard University, to represent the United States at the 1908 London Naval Conference. Upon retirement he became President of George Washington University, where the Law School building is named Stockton Hall to honor him.

The Naval War College has counted among its faculty, giants of international law, all of whom have contributed to International Law Studies. They include such luminaries as John Bassett Moore, the first U.S. judge on the Permanent Court of International Justice; Manley O. Hudson, member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, Judge at the Permanent Court of International Justice, President of the American Society of International Law, and first Chairman of the International Law Commission; renowned legal theorist and author of the 1920 Austrian Constitution, Professor Hans Kelsen; Professor Howard S. Levie, author of the Korean War Armistice; Professor Leslie Green, original author of the Canadian Forces Law of Armed Conflict Manual; and Professor Yoram Dinstein, former President of Tel Aviv University. All of them, and scores more who have influenced the content and direction of international law’s development for over a century, have contributed to International Law Studies.


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.

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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