Greetings and welcome to The View From Above! My name is Jon Bellish, and I am the Online Editor of DJILP and the Editor in Chief of TVFA. I am honored to have a part in the inception of this promising online publication, and I am extremely grateful that my enthusiasm has been matched by that of the University of Denver, the Sturm College of Law, the Ved Nanda Center for International and Comparative Law, and the Denver Journal of International Law and Policy. I know I speak for the entire staff by giving sincere thanks to Professor Ved Nanda, without whom this project never would have gotten off of the ground.
Our staff believes that TVFA has potential to break new ground in international law and policy by combining a vast, global body of international legal knowledge with the information gathering and delivering power of the internet. TVFA has the power to bring international law into real time, shaping an ongoing and dynamic discussion.
When this online community officially launches on September 1, 2011, we plan to provide a rich array of perspectives from practitioners, scholars and students of international law. Additionally, members of DJILP’s staff will begin summarizing and synthesizing developments in international legal news, adding an important and highly useful dynamic to the publication. In the meantime, we will jumpstart the discussion by posting articles from Professor Ved Nanda, CDR Associates, NOMOGAIA, One Earth Future, DJILP Editor in Chief Anjali Nanda, and myself. This list is by no means exhaustive, and we look forward to bringing new contributors into the fold as their summer schedules permit.
I will be focusing on three different areas in my contributions to TVFA. First, I will be spending the next six weeks at The Hague Academy of International Law at the International Court of Justice. There, I will attend seminars on various topics of international law and observe ongoing proceedings at the ICJ, including those of former Bosnian Serb Generals Ratko Mladić and Radovan Karadžić. I am excited about this opportunity to witness international justice in practice, and I plan on blogging regularly about the experience.
Second, I am interested in exploring how public perception helps shape international law. Despite its theoretical and increasingly practical importance in the development of international law, the role of popular opinion receives very little attention. I hope to point out and discuss situations where public perception has influenced state practice and opinio juris.
Finally, I plan to write about another area of personal interest — international legal issues associated with investment and trade between the United States and Latin America, with an eye towards the public policy implications of this relationship. I believe that if the United States is to remain economically and politically secure in the years to come, it needs to diversify the list of countries with which it does business. I hope to advance the argument that Latin America is an excellent place to start realizing this diversification, which in itself has tangible benefits to the United States and its trading partners.
I hope that readers will join contributors in creating an inclusive and active discussion at TVFA by commenting frequently. No matter your level of expertise, your ideas, reactions and perspectives are necessary for TVFA to achieve its full potential.
Jon Bellish is the Online Editor of DJILP and the Editor in Chief of TVFA. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org