History

The Virginia Journal of International Law was founded in the spring of 1960 as the Journal of the John Bassett Moore Society of International Law. Originally named after one of Virginia Law’s most distinguished alumni, the journal sought to “offer[] the law student a contemporary picture of international law, its opportunities and advantages, and its problems and limitations.”

The journal is now ranked as the best student-edited international law journal, the most-cited (appearing in the Supreme Court of the United States, multiple U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals, and the International Court of Justice), and a top-forty student-edited journal generally.

The Journal became its own entity and adopted its current name in 1962. As Hardy Cross Dillard, former dean of the University of Virginia School of Law and judge on the International Court of Justice, wrote:

“Some years back, the notion prevailed that international law was merely a polite curricular ornament to be viewed with tolerant indulgence by students, mild skepticism by the faculty, and benign indifference by the bar. The Virginia Journal of International Law adds another testimonial to the vacuity of this notion.”

Our Mission Statement, reproduced below, was first published in Volume 2 in 1962.

“Some ten years ago, the John Bassett Moore Society of International Law was founded at Virginia. An indication of the success and growth of the Society and student interest in international affairs at the Law School is found in the fact that today membership includes over twenty-five percent of the student body. One year ago, a regular program of meetings, speakers and research projects was supplemented by the appearance of the Society’s Journal. In its inception, the Journal was a mimeographed publication, with circulation limited to Society members. Its success encouraged the editors to begin a new project — the national publication of a journal of international law, aimed at offering the law student a contemporary picture of international law, its opportunities and advantages, and its problems and limitations.”