JURIDICA INTERNATIONAL 26/2017
In looking at the collection of papers in this volume, an impression of a certain eclec-
ticism cannot be avoided. We have articles on public international law, European
human-rights law, legal history, and various aspects of Estonian law, but also, for
example, issues in Ukrainian law are dealt with. Moreover, while most of the articles
are in English, some key papers are in German, which in times gone by was the
lingua franca of the Baltic intellectual universe.
Although the substantive themes of this edition of Juridica International are
inevitably varied, it seems to me nevertheless that the diverse legal domains and
questions all are connected with the expectations that we as lawyers and citizens
have for law – be it international, regional, or domestic.
Christian Tomuschat’s programmatic article on the current state and future of
public international law is connected with a festive event that we celebrated at our
university on 1 December 2016, when Professor Tomuschat received an honorary
doctorate from the University of Tartu. In this capacity, he has joined the ranks of
other distinguished individuals who have become honorary doctors in the ﬁ eld of law
here: Boris Meissner (1996), Heinrich Mark (1998), Peter Schlechtriem and Thomas
Wilhelmsson (2002), Wilfried Schlüter (2003), Tarja Halonen (2004), Christian von Bar
(2007), Werner Krawietz (2008), Erik Nerep (2011), and Joachim Rückert (2014).
The question of international law’s future is inevitably linked to the expecta-
tions we hold for that law. Professor Tomuschat demonstrates how international
law became universal and how this has inﬂ uenced expectations of it. Of course, the
higher the expectations are, the easier it is to fall short of them. When the case load
of the European Court of Human Rights became too heavy on occasion, some peo-
ple said that the Court had become a victim of its own success. In this issue, Judge
Julia Laﬀ ranque reﬂ ects on ethical foundations of, and expectations for, European
human-rights law and its interpretations.
Legal history, in turn, reminds us that the issue of expectations of law is an age-
old one. Ideas from natural law have lived in an uneasy relationship with pure legal
positivism. Especially in dictatorships, law does not correspond to ethical standards
characteristic of democracies. In some cases, law has even become a tool of out-
right repression. The Radbruch Formula, known from the history of legal debate in
Germany, has not lost its topicality.
What are the expectations for national law? We usually expect best practices
and legal models – to the extent that these can be established – to be followed. We
expect legal certainty and a certain rationality and logic behind the law. Yet law can
be likened to Estonia’s capital city, Tallinn, which according to an ancient legend will
never be ‘ready’: it can never be complete. Expectations for law are particularly high
in countries in transition, such as Ukraine. The University of Tartu (formerly Dor-
pat) had important links to universities in Ukraine already in the 19th century, and
now we keep our ﬁ ngers crossed that Ukraine will be able to pursue its own strong
statehood based on democratic values.
What are the expectations for legal scholarship? Since the readers of legal writ-
ings are educated in jurisprudence, we all expect to become more enlightened, to
ﬁ nd clariﬁ cation for things that we were not aware of or that we knew less about. If
this volume of Juridica International succeeds with that in its readers’ eyes, it has
done well enough.
Professor of International Law