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History of MPEPIL

Under the auspices of Professor Dr. Rüdiger Wolfrum, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law (Max Planck Institute), an initiative was launched in 2004 to compile the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law (MPEPIL). This work represents a new edition of the Encyclopedia of Public International Law that was published between 1991 and 2001 under Professor Dr. Rudolf Bernhardt. The MPEPIL was made available in electronic and print form by Oxford University Press in September 2008. The online publication has been steadily expanded, and now new articles are added while existing articles are regularly updated.

MPEPIL represents an updated, comprehensive work covering the central and essential topics in international law. It is much more than a revision of the earlier edition. Nearly all topics have been rewritten and many new topics included in order to capture the latest developments in international law. To do justice to the changing nature of international law, an increased emphasis has been placed on the relevance of each keyword for contemporary international law. Particular attention has been paid to the contextualization of each topic within international law as well as the presentation of current trends while maintaining a focus on the mainstream/majority view. The goal is to avoid a purely Eurocentric perspective and this has been achieved with the assistance of academics and practitioners from various legal backgrounds and perspectives. MPEPIL is a work that reflects international law from a global perspective while taking into account regional perspectives.

The authors of the articles are legal scholars and practitioners from all over the world. The authors speak in their personal capacity only. Any views they express or information they provide cannot be attributed to the institutions with which they are currently, or have previously been, affiliated.

All articles were reviewed by the Members of the MPEPIL Advisory Board consisting of leading experts on international law who ensure the high level of quality for each article.