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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law

Head of Section:

Rüdiger Wolfrum (General Editor)

Frauke Lachenmann (Managing Editor)

About the project:

Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law (MPEPIL)

1. Introduction
Between 2005 and 2012, under the auspices of Rüdiger Wolfrum, the Institute prepared the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law (MPEPIL). Since Spring 2014 the Encyclopedia has been affiliated with the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law. 

The Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law (MPEPIL) follows the tradition of the Encyclopedia of Public International Law (EPIL) which was edited by Rudolf Bernhardt. The new edition was published by Oxford University Press as an online version at in 2008 and is constantly being updated and extended. As of 2016 it has more than 1,650 entries. A print edition appeared in 2012.

2. Content
The MPEPIL is designed to provide practitioners and scholars with up-to-date information on current public international law and directly related issues. It covers the following subject areas:

• Air law and law of outer space
• Diplomacy and consular relations
• Foreign relations
• History of international law
• Human rights
• Individuals and non-State actors
• Immunities
• International co-operation
• International courts and tribunals
• International criminal law
• International economic law and relations
• International environmental law
• International jurisprudence: Specific cases and decisions
• International law: Overview articles
• International organizations: General aspects
• International procedural law
• International responsibility
• Law of the sea
• Procedural law in international organizations
• Regional organizations, institutions and developments
• Settlement of disputes
• Sources, foundations and principles of international law
• Specific armed conflicts
• Specific geographic issues
• Specific treaties and instruments
• Statehood, jurisdiction of States, organs of States
• Subjects of international law
• Territory
• Theories of international law
• Universal international organizations and institutions
• Use of force, war, peace and neutrality.

Covering the fluctuating and ever-increasing substance of public international law is a major challenge. As MPEPIL is committed to topicality its content is being updated on a regular basis. New entries are constantly being added to the site in order to capture the latest developments in international law.

3. Advisory Board
Quality control lies with the General Editor and the Advisory Board. The latter includes Armin von Bogdandy, Edith Brown Weiss, Jean-Pierre Cot, Yoram Dinstein, Thomas M. Franck (deceased in 2009), Jochen Abr. Frowein, Meinhard Hilf, Rahmatullah Khan, Martti Koskenniemi, Thomas Läufer, Thomas A. Mensah, Hanspeter Neuhold, Francisco Orrego Vicuña, W. Michael Reisman, Bruno Simma, Daniel Thürer, Christian Tomuschat, Tullio Treves and Sir Michael Wood. The Board has convened at regular intervals since 2005. Coming from different areas of public international law the members of the Board ensure that the various fields of the MPEPIL are given adequate weight within the Encyclopedia. Every article is peer reviewed by the General Editor and two or more members of the Advisory Board.

4. Authors
Highly qualified academics and practitioners from all parts of the world and legal traditions were asked to contribute to the MPEPIL. At present the MPEPIL has authors from 85 countries.
A number of renowned legal experts have been involved with the MPEPIL project, among them Georges Abi-Saab, Mohamed Bennouna, Thomas Bürgenthal, James Crawford, Pierre-Marie Dupuy, Christopher Greenwood, Benedict Kingsbury, Abdul Koroma, Ruth Lapidoth, Hisashi Owada, Alain Pellet, Shabtai Rosenne, William A. Schabas, Bernardo Sepúlveda, Bruno Simma, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Peter Tomka, Sir Arthur Watts, Joseph Weiler, Vladlen Vereshchetin. While their expertise is fundamental to the whole work, the General Editor and Advisory Board also aim to involve a new generation of young legal scholars offering fresh insights and approaches.

5. Reviews
Seattle University Law Library: “Whether you need to understand an international legal concept or theory or have a specific question about the importance of a particular case or the context of an event, the [Max Planck] Encyclopedia of Public International Law online will prove to be an invaluable first stop for your international law research.”
American Reference Books Annual: “This monumental resource will be useful for scholarly researchers and practitioners in the area of public and international law. Academic libraries and corporate law libraries should consider adding it to the digital collections.”
Trends in Law Library Management: “The final component for public international law research is commentary. This component is the hardest to acquire electronically. Westlaw, LexisNexis, and HeinOnline offer databases of law review articles, but serious researchers will also demand treatises-classics of international law, and current monographs. The key building block here is the newly-available database, Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, from Oxford University Press. No PIL collection could attain respectability without this work.”


Staff member(s):

The following persons are or have been involved with the MPEPIL project:
Legal Advisors: Ulrich Beyerlin, Isabel Feichtner, Clemens Feinäugle, Rainer Grote, Alexandra Guhr, Daniel Heilmann, Holger Hestermeyer, Marc Jacob, Karen Kaiser, Frauke Lachenmann, Nele Matz-Lück, Christiane Philipp, Monika Pohlmann, Stephan Schill, Anja Seibert-Fohr, Matthias Reuß, Volker Röben, Nicola Wenzel, Silja Vöneky.
Managing Editors: Alexandra Guhr, Daniel Heilmann, Karen Kaiser, Frauke Lachenmann, Monika Pohlmann, Matthias Reuß.
Editors: Sange Addison-Agyei, Freya Baetens, Antje C. Berger, Monique Bianchi, Sina van den Bogaert, Ana Paula Costa Barbosa, Olivia Danai, John Dingfelder Stone, Angela Doul, Seth Ericsson, Ina Gätzschmann, Julia Gebhard, Katja Göcke, Petra Hardraht, Moritz Holm-Hadulla, Timo Knäbe, Judith Köbler, Chie Kojima, Maike Kuhn, Gilbert Leung, Emmanuelle Mantlik, Jakob Pichon, Isabel Röcker, Mylin Sapiera-Köbele, Charlotte Steinorth, Bijan Tavakoli, Katrin Tiroch, Johann-Christoph Woltag, Nele Linn Yang, Dominik Zimmermann.
Student Assistants: Sanja von Beauvais, Daniela Fietze, Alexander Foff, Miriam Freier, Ina Gätzschmann, Christian Gerber, Lena Hagemann, Anja Höfelmeier, Natalia Jevglevskaja, Judith Junk, Frederik Just, Sophie Kiladze, Carolin Kley, Katrin Kohoutek, Lisa Kölsch, Jana Lohmann, Aleksandra Mazurek, Harald Niederstraßer, Ian Innocent Ogutu, Jan Polzer, Victoria Reuter, Herbert Rosenfeldt, Eva Saarmann, Katharina Schaub, Alexander Schwarz, Katja Stockburger, Vanessa van Weelden, Patrik Zamorano-Martinez.
Secretariat: Birgit Bürgy, Iris Füll, Margot Lintaller.
Additional research support was provided by the Librarians Inge Bangert and Petra Weiler.