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Re-Imagining the International Legal Order 

Ankit Malhotra& Reimagining the International Legal Order
Ankit Malhotra& Reimagining the International Legal Order

The book was launched on the 12th day of June in the Atlee Room, House of Lords in the august company of contributors from Europe, India and the United Kingdom. The Panel was chaired by Professor Dr Attila Tanzi and included comments from the expert panellists, namely, Rt. Hon'ble Sir Mathew Thorpe, Mr Gopal Subramanium SA, Mary Howarth Arden, Baroness Mance, DBE, KC, PC and Lord Justice Sir Andrew Moylan. More information about the book can be found here:

Critics' Reviews

'The exercise of reimagination does not come naturally to international lawyers. Caught in the many constraints of their discourse, they often find themselves reimagining the already imagined. It is thus with great merit that the authors of this spectacular edited collection, under the leadership of Vesselin Popovski and Ankit Mallhotra, successfully turned the hurdles of the international legal discourse over their head to offer the reader the most ambitious imaginative reinterpretations of international law and international institutions. The result is not only rich and impressive, but also constitutive of an entirely new imaginative space for anyone eager to rethink what international law does to the world and how it does it.'

Jean d’Aspermont, Professor of International Law, Sciences Po Law School and University of Manchester

'In times of crisis it is normal to question the existing international law, which sometimes is even accused of ‘complicity’ with conduct that severely injures people or the environment. In doctrinal circles, the quest for originality leads to open-ended discussions about what international law really is, i.e., whether it is ‘law’, or ‘international’, or something else than a pure illusion. This collection is a contribution to these discussions not only at the general level, but also in key areas that are at the core of the international legal system, such as multilateralism and the UN, adjudicative bodies and - in a world in which the use of force is regrettably increasing - the law of armed conflict. Readers will find a wealth of ideas in this regard, although being invited to make their own reflections about international law and the manner to face the deep crisis in which the world is submerged today.'


Marcelo Cohen, Professor of International Law, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva

'One of the most significant recent publications on international law and international relations, this book will have a very long shelf life due to its breadth and holistic approach. It is stimulating and thought-provoking in analyzing almost all areas of international law from contemporary perspective. Most distinguished international lawyers share their in-depth, personal reflections on legal theories, humanitarian law, human rights law, environmental law, international organizations, international courts, and other areas.'


Malgosia Fitzmaurice, Chair, Public International Law, Department of Law, Queen Mary University of London

'This collection of essays on whether, how and to what end international law can or should be reimagined is a welcome addition to the debate, containing as it does contributions from a wide variety of standpoints.'

Sir Christopher Greenwood, GBE, CMG, KC, Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge


'The UN Secretary General has recently raised the alarm that we face a stark choice between breakdown or breakthrough. The international legal order and its further evolution is the key vital tool in our shared efforts to rise to the occasion at this historic crossroad and to push forward towards the next generation of international legal practice and institutional arrangements. This volume is a valuable contribution to this crucial conversation.' 

Maja Groff, Senior Treaty Advisor at Integrity Initiatives International, Convenor, Climate Governance Commission


'The existing legal, normative and institutional apparatus designed to manage collective global challenges is under severe stress in a changing international order. This excellent collection, situated at the interface between International Law and International Relations, explores the precarious state of the 'rules-based order' and provides genuinely innovative, fresh thinking and forward-looking solutions. It is highly recommended!'

Edward Newman, Head of the Graduate School, Faculty of Social Sciences, Professor of International Security, School of Politics and International Studies, University of Leeds

'Can international law be reimagined? Should it? Should it perhaps be first imagined? And can one imagine an international society without international law? Those reflecting on these hard questions will be greatly assisted in their intellectual journey by the stellar contributions ably collected and edited in this volume.'


Martins Paparinskis, Professor of Public International Law at University College London and Member designate of the International Law Commission

'It is always exciting to reimagine one’s professional framework. If this is done by such an excellent group of writers, like in this book, it also provides deep thought provocations.'

August Reinisch, Professor of International and European Law, University of Vienna

'Popovski and Malhotra have brought together a rich array of perspectives on reimagining international law. Expertly edited chapters open up new vistas on the field.'


Gerry Simpson, Chair in Public International Law at the LSE and Fellow of the British Academy


'A hugely important book for all those asking whether international law is still fit for purpose.'


Samuel Wordsworth KC, Arbitrator/Counsel at Essex Court Chambers


'A tour de force, bringing together who’s who in international law, answering the central question where is international law going and whether it will be capable of addressing the myriad of challenges facing the world. The editors invite to think whether international law can do better and chart a path towards a brave new world. The themes reflect everything that has occupied international lawyers in modern times, including conceptual questions concerning deficiencies in the system and the law-making. With failures of the collective security system, it is certainly timely to ponder about the role, place and future of international organizations, this ‘heartbeat’ of modern international law. While one might have expected a spotlight on international courts, it is domestic courts that are also given pride in the book, given that much adjudication of international law takes place in domestic courts in large part because of the lack of a compulsory system of adjudication in international law. A most timely book which I definitely recommend.'

Dire Tladi, Professor of International Law, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria

'Truly worthwhile reading, particularly in the current situation where the validity of important international legal norms seems to be increasingly questioned, if not at all disregarded. It should thus also be taken to heart by policy makers all over the globe. Vesselin Popovski and Ankit Malhotra edited a substantial number of contributions by most eminent jurists from different geographical regions, covering diverse areas of public and private international law in a highly thoughtful manner. They not only outline the present situation in the respective fields of law but set forth innovative ideas as to how the international legal order could be improved to overcome existing deficiencies, to better cope with current challenges, as well as with those that may arise in the future.'

Helmut Tuerk, Judge Emeritus, Former Vice-President of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea

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Correspondence from Buckingham Palace. 

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