About the German Law Journal
The German Law Journal's First Decade
After ten volumes the German Law Journal has secured a place among the world's leading academic fora concerned with transnational law. The numbers make that much clear. In 2009 the German Law Journal is ranked (as measured by the citations it generates) as the world's leading "online, peer-reviewed" law journal of any subject matter (for the fifth year in a row) and as the leading law journal based in Germany, whether online or in print (for the third year in a row). And, against more established competition, the German Law Journal now ranks in the top-15 of all journals concentrating on "foreign, European and civil law systems." That's quite an achievement for a journal that began life ten years ago as a twice-monthly newsletter, delivered by email, that reported in English on the latest decisions of Germany's federal courts.
Other numbers, details and anecdotes, however, tell a more important story of success. Having settled on a monthly publication schedule, the German Law Journal has capitalized on its mix of timely, online, English-language, peer-reviewed - and always at no cost - commentary on "developments in German, European and International Jurisprudence" to exemplify the possibilities of transnational law. Part of this has been the trick in the journal's title: the GERMAN Law Journal. This never meant that the Journal's exclusive focus was German law and legal culture. Instead it made Germany the prism through which the grander transnational law argument was advanced. Developments in German law are very often covered, no doubt, but in English for an English-speaking readership spread around the world. And just as frequently, the Journal has published commentary and scholarship about non-German legal subjects, but written by German scholars or scholars who have been influenced by German jurisprudence. And not infrequently the Journal has published innovative commentary having nothing at all to do with Germany, or Europe for that matter, but in doing so it provided a unique German audience for those contributions.
It is a formula and vision that seems to have resonated. In the first decade of publication there have been nearly 7.5 million visits to the German Law Journal's website, which now attracts more than 2 million visits each year from nearly 1 million distinct IP addressess based in more than 60 countries. In the Journal's first ten volumes - fully archived and searchable at its website - one finds a rich collection of commentary from German, comparative, European and international law specialists. 1173 articles, casenotes, conference reports and book reviews, to be exact (counted up the September 2009 issue). These were written by more than 600 scholars of varying theoretical perspectives and in various stages of their careers - established and emerging voices from more than 35 countries.
The German Law Journal joined the ranks of first-rate academic periodicals in 2003 when it introduced anonymous peer-review, involving a double-blind review of all incoming article manuscripts. All “developments” submissions are reviewed within the board of editors alone. The Journal operates on a highly virtual, digitally networked basis with editors and peer-reviewers working in many different countries and at many different universities. The thorough review process results in the rejection of about 65% of all submissions to the Journal. It also facilitates extensive editorial collaboration with all authors of articles going forward for publication. At the home institutions of its editors-in-chief – Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Canada and Washington & Lee University School of Law in Lexington, Virginia, U.S.A – the Journal is supported by the untiring, excellent work of student editors without whom the monthly publication schedule could never be met. These students’ work surpasses, by far, the demands placed on ordinary student law review editors in terms of inclusion in the editorial process, correspondence with the authors, and publication of book reviews and review essays. In 2009, the student editors at Osgoode Hall collaborated to produce and edit a 550 Special Issue on Transnational Legal Education, the first in its kind worldwide. Early in the year the student editors at Washington & Lee helped produce the Journal's successful special issue reporting on the recent reform of Germany's limited liability company - the GmbH. In addition, the student editors from Toronto and Lexington organized the 10th Anniversary Symposium in Berlin on 2-3 July 2009.
The transnational reach of the German Law Journal is achieved through its online presence, the high calibre of its contributors, authors and editors. Each of these constituencies share a strong commitment to cutting-edge, border-crossing legal scholarship. As demonstrate by the variety of topics covered and the intersection of monthly reporting on current developments with extensive scholarship and a great number of Special Issues published every few months since the Journal's early years, the German Law Journal has become a fruitful and engaged forum for comparative and interdisciplinary research and commentary. It is a common effort. We hope you will join it.
The Allegory of Good Government
The graphic that features in the German Law Journal's banner shows a detail of Ambrogio Lorenzetti's frescoe "Allegory of Good Government" (completed between 1338 and 1340), which can be seen in the Palazzo Publico in Siena, Italy. Lorenzetti (ca. 1290-1348) worked most of his life in Siena, where he eventually died of the plague. The upper-right portion of the frescoe contains allegorical personifications of faith, charity and hope. The upper-left portion of the frescoe contains representations of peace, fortitude and prudence. In the middle, the State is depicted along with the three virtues of good government: magnanimity, temperance and justice. In the far-left of the frescoe one finds Jutice herself, dividing on her scales the work of restoration and retribution. Lorenzetti’s Allegory has provided inspiration for scholars, policy makers and public intellectuals for centuries with regard to the ‘governance conundrum’ that it captures. We bow our heads in reverence before this unsurpassed work and express our respect for the challenges it continues to represent.
Co-Founder and Co-Editor / Russell Miller
Russell A. Miller is an Associate Professor of Law at the Washington & Lee University School of Law where he teaches courses in Constitutional Law and Comparative Law. From 2002 to 2007 he was an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Idaho College of Law.
Professor Miller was a 2009/2010 Fulbright Senior Research Fellow (Germany). He has been a frequent Visiting Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and Public International Law in Heidelberg, Germany. Professor Miller has enjoyed a number of unique professional experiences in Europe, including service as a legal adviser and translator at the German Federal Constitutional Court (2000-2001) and a 1999/2000 Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship, during which he participated in internships at the German Federal Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. Before entering the academy Professor Miller's law practice focused exclusively on the representation of death-sentenced inmates in their state and federal appeals. He also was a legal adviser to the Honorable Robert H. Whaley of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington.
Professor Miller has published a number of books in the fields of Constitutional Law, International Law and Comparative Law:
- Donald Kommers & Russell Miller, The Constitutional Jurisprudence of the Federal Republic of Germany (3rd ed., Duke University Press, forthcoming 2010)
- Michael Bazyler, Russell Miller, Peter Yu and Abdullahi An'naim, Global Legal Traditions: Comparative Law for the 21st Century (Lexis-Nexis, forthcoming 2010)
- Russell Miller (ed.), U.S. National Security, Intelligence and Democracy: From the Church Committee to the War on Terror (Routledge, 2008)
- Russell Miller & Rebecca Bratspies (eds.), Progress in International Law (Martinus Nijhoff Press 2008)
- Rebecca Bratspies & Russell Miller (eds.), Transboundary Harm in International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2006)
Professor Miller holds a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in English Literature (Washington State University - 1991), a Juris Doctor (J.D.) and Master of Arts in English Literature (M.A.) (Duke Univeristy - 1994) and an LL.M. (Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Frankfurt, Germany - 2002).
Russell A. Miller
Washington & Lee University School of Law
Sydney Lewis Hall 461
Lexington VA 24450
Co-Founder and Co-Editor / Peer Zumbansen
PEER ZUMBANSEN co-founded the German Law Journal with Russell Miller in 2000. He studied philosophy and law and holds a state law exam from the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University of Frankfurt, the German Bar Exam, a Licence en droit from the Université de Paris X, an LL.M. from Harvard Law School, as well as a Ph.D. and a Habilitation from the University of Frankfurt. He holds the Canada Research Chair in Transnational Economic Governance and Legal Theory at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University in Toronto, Canada, where he was the Associate Dean (Research, Graduate Studies & Institutional Relations, 2007-2009). Professor Zumbansen is the Founder/Director of the Critical Research Laboratory in Law & Society. In 2007, he was honoured with the ‘Leadership in Faculty Teaching Award’ by the Province of Ontario, and in 2008 he was awarded the Law & Society Prize by the German Law & Society Association. His teaching and writing is concentrating on the fields of corporate governance, globalization and the law, and private law theory. He held visiting professorships Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Ireland, Columbia, Australia and Canada.
Together with Gralf-Peter Calliess, he is author of 'Rough Consensus and Running Code: A Theory of Transnational Private Law' (Hart, 2010). Together with Russell Miller, he is the editor of Comparative Law as Transnational Law: A Decade of the German Law Journal (Oxford University Press, 2011). Papers can be downloaded at
Selected publications include "Comparative, Global and Transnational Constitutionalism: The Emergence of a Transnational Legal-Pluralist Order", (2012) 1:1 Global Constitutionalism 16-52. Preprint: Osgoode CLPE Research Paper No. 24/201; "Transnational Law, Evolving", in: Encyclopedia of Comparative Law , 738-754 (Jan Smits, ed., Edward Elgar, 2nd. ed. 2012); "Corporate governance, capital market regulation and the challenge of disembedded markets", in: William Sun, Jim Stewart and David Pollard (eds.), Corporate Governance and the Global Financial Crisis (Cambridge University Press, 2011), 248-283. Osgoode CLPE Research Paper No. 24/2010; “The Law Of Society: Governance Through Contract”, 14 Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 191 (2007); “Law after the Welfare State: Formalism, Functionalism and the Ironic Turn of Reflexive Law”, 56 American Journal of Comparative Law 769 (2008); “Varieties of Capitalism and the Learning Firm: Corporate Governance and Labour in the Context of Contemporary Developments in European and German Company Law”. A Comment on the Strine-Bainbridge Debate", in: N. Boeger, R. Murray & C. Villiers (eds.), Perspectives on Corporate Social Responsibility (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar 2008); “‘New Governance’ in European Corporate Law Regulation as Transnational Legal Pluralism”, in: 15:2 European Law Journal (2009), 246-276, and “The State as Black Box and Market as Regulator: A Comment”, in 165:1 Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics [JITE] 2009.
He is the co-founder/editor-in-chief of the CLPE Comparative Research in Law & Political Economy Research Papers at SSRN. Since May 2009, he is Co-Editor of Transnational Legal Theory. A Quarterly Journal. Book publications include the edited collections Law in Transition: Human Rights, Development and Restorative Justice (with Ruth Buchanan, forthcoming, 2012), Law, Economics and Evolutionary Theory (with Gralf Calliess, Edward Elgar, 2011), and
(with Cynthia Williams, Cambridge University Press, 2011).
Peer C. Zumbansen
Professor of Law & Canada Research Chair
in Transnational Economic Governance and Legal Theory
Osgoode Hall Law School
4700 Keele St
Toronto, ON M3J 1P3
[with Thorsten Bonacker]