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Letter from the MPEPIL General Editor

Heidelberg, January 1, 2021

It is my pleasure and privilege to take over the general editorship of the renowned reference work. I am aware of the responsibility attached to overseeing, shaping, and constantly moving forward this huge and important project.

I thank Rüdiger Wolfrum for entrusting the general editorship to me. Professor Wolfrum had begun preparing the Encyclopedia in 2004, and—after its online launch in 2008—headed it until 2020. I am grateful to the superb team of scholars, advisors, and managing editor who prepared the ground for this transition and continue to serve the Encyclopedia.

The Encyclopedia has eminent precursors, starting with Karl Strupp’s Wörterbuch des Völkerrechts und der Diplomatie (1924–1929) and Hans Jürgen Schlochauer’s Wörterbuch des Völkerrechts (1960–1962). Notably Rudolf Bernhardt’s Encyclopedia of Public International Law (EPIL) was published from 1981 to 2003 under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law. Several entries of the current Encyclopedia, notably historical ones, have been taken over from Bernhardt’s volume.

The MPEPIL articles seek to offer a comprehensive and—as far as possible—impartial account, complemented by a personal assessment of the authors. The Encyclopedia is thus designed both to restate public international law and to contribute to its continuous development by practitioners and scholars.

I am happy and proud to welcome the Encyclopedia, which had been hosted by the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law between 2014 and 2020, back home to the Max Planck Institute of Heidelberg.

Anne Peters

The General Editor
Professor Anne Peters












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