We are happy to present you with the 2016 volume of the Polish Yearbook of International Law. We follow our usual division with respect to its content. The first and main section includes general articles on public and private international law (with one text on European Union law). This section starts with the article co-authored by Judge Peter Tomka, Jessica Howley and dr. Vincent-Joël Proulx, who analyze the approach taken by the International Court of Justice and its predecessor, the Permanent Court of International Justice, to questions of national law. In the second article prof. Malgosia Fitzmaurice and dr. Daniel Costelloe explore the legal principles that govern the interpretation of “secondary” instruments in international law (i.e. written documents adopted by a body empowered by a treaty to take action with respect to the treaty, but which are not themselves a treaty). Prof. Barbara Mikołajczyk investigates the ability of international instruments to limit ageism and protect older persons’ dignity, while dr. Marco Longobardo takes a closer look at the recent developments in the prosecution of international crimes committed in the Palestinian Territory (focusing mainly on the role of the International Criminal Court). In the fifth article, prof. Oleksandr Zadorozhnii critically examines the arguments offered by Russian legal scholars concerning the annexation of Crimea in 2014. Profs. Stefania Ninatti and Maurizio Arcari attempt to identify the key elements of the democratic principle, as described by the judges sitting in Luxembourg and Strasbourg, while dr. Aleksandra Kustra analyzes the process of the judicial Europeanization of the Polish Constitution. Dr. Elena Carpanelli dissects the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights in Al-Nashiri v. Poland and Husayn (Abu Zubaydah) v. Poland, focusing on how the withholding of secret information may infringe on the right to the truth and the State’s duty to cooperate with the European Court of Human Rights.
The last three articles in this section are dedicated to private international law. The first contribution investigates whether, and to what extent, punitive damages judgments originating in the United States can be enforced against the assets of a defendant in a number of selected Member States of the EU (dr. Cedric Vanleenhove). The second contribution analyzes the autonomy of the parties to arbitration, and of the arbitration tribunals themselves, to determine the law applicable to their dispute (Michał König), while the last contribution examines a contemporary international arbitration process in commercial and investment cases, in particular assessing the interplay of common law and civil law elements in the taking of evidence (Konrad Czech).
This section is followed by our usual sections: Polish practice in international law (with a case commentary by Agata Kleczkowska), book reviews, and Polish bibliography in international and European law.