We are delighted to present you with the new volume of the Polish Yearbook of International Law for the year 2014. The volume is divided into six parts.
The first section (In memoriam) is devoted to two eminent scholars who left us recently. We pay the tribute to professor Karol Wolfke, an “outstanding scholar and teacher, (…) a good and honest man, as well as a loyal friend”, who died in March 2015 (text by prof. Jan Kolasa), and to one of the most renowned Polish scholars and diplomats, professor Krzysztof Skubiszewski, who passed away five years ago (text by prof. Jerzy Kranz).
The second section is dedicated to the Ukrainian-Russian conflict and analyses various legal issues that have emerged in the context of the developments that have been taking place in Eastern and Southern Ukraine over last year and a half. Our contributing authors focus on the classification of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, taking into account the traditional categories of international law of Ius ad Bellum and Ius in Bello (article by Patrycja Grzebyk), as well as the legal consequences of the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula (article by Natalia Ćwicinskaja). Thomas D. Grant provides us with in-depth legal analysis of the Budapest Memorandum of 5 December 1994, while René Värk considers the Advisory Opinion on Kosovo’s Declaration of Independence and its relevance to Russia’s annexation of Crimea. This section is supplemented by the document of the Legal Advisory Committee to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland on Annexation of the Crimean Peninsula to the Russian Federation in light of international law, which is included in our section on the Polish practice.
The third section includes other articles not connected with the leading topic of this issue. In particular, Judge Koen Lenaerts presents an analysis of the EU system in the context of fundamental rights protection, taking into account EU values and constitutional pluralism, and Magdalena Słok-Wódkowska discusses the national treatment rules in the EU regional trade agreements, while Aleksandra Gliszczyńska-Grabias takes a closer look at the controversies relating to memory laws in contemporary Europe. In another article, Hanna Kuczyńska analyses questions concerning international criminal law with respect to the selection of defendants before the International Criminal Court. The section closes with the text of Magdalena Silska on the international regulation, or lack thereof, of the situation of internally displaced persons.
Three remaining parts include the Polish practice in international law, Polish bibliography in international law, and book reviews.