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Ryan Scoville & Mark Berlin, Who Studies International Law? Explaining Cross-national Variation in Compulsory International Legal Education, 30 Eur. J. Int'l L. 481 (2019). Originally published in the European Journal of International Law and available at

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30 European Journal of International Law 481 (2019)


The compulsory study of international law is a universal component of legal education in some states but extremely uncommon or non-existent in others. This article uses global data and statistical methods to test a number of conceivable explanations for this puzzling feature of international society. In contrast to much of the empirical literature on state behaviour in relation to international law, we find that functionalist and socio-political variables carry little explanatory power and that historical variables – specifically, legal tradition and regional geography – instead account for the overwhelming majority of the global pattern. We explore potential explanations for these findings and discuss implications for scholars, legal educators and policy-makers.

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