Tracing the Footprints of International Law Ideas: A Scientometric Analysis

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International law is a vast and dynamic field, shaped and influenced by a multitude of actors ranging from states and international organizations to non-governmental organizations and individuals. At the core of this dynamic field lies scholarship, which serves as a key driver of the development and evolution of international law. This, at least, is what we are trained to believe. True, the orthodoxy rejects the idea of vesting scholarship with excessive importance, and this rejection is also enshrined by its embedding into one of the pillars of what has been called the “belief system” of international law.1 Thus, Article 38 of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Statute relegates scholarship to what appears an afterthought: not a source, not even a material one, but a “subsidiary means for the determination of rules of law.” Even in that category, it is abundantly clear to most concerned with the question that the other “subsidiary means,” “judicial decisions,” is far more important for its intended function—that of outlining the rules that will effectively be applied by an adjudicator. As Fitzmaurice put it, “[a] decision is a fact: an opinion, however cogent, remains an opinion.”
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


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