Columbia Law Review Article Supporting Israel Sparks Debate Between Student Editors And Their Board, Highlighting The Fragility of Academic Freedom

The editors of Columbia Law Review an eminent journal that is run by students at the law school of the prestigious University of Chicago They claim that that the journal’s director’s board requested the journal on June 2nd 2024 to not publish an article that is critical to Israel.

When the students posted the article on the internet the next day the following day, the board comprised of comprises Columbia Law School faculty members and alumni were able to get taken down the law review’s site taken down.

The board eventually relented and put the website to go back online the 6th of June, including the article that was in the dispute. However, it released an apology that accused students editors of failing to review the article properly prior to publication.

The editors’ students have dismissed the assertions made in the statement of the board and claim they’re “on strike” and have resisted some of their duties as reviewers – to protest the board’s efforts to suppress them.

This conflict has received lesser attention than protests that took place on campuses that took place at Columbia University and hundreds of other schools that showed their solidarity with Palestinian people and opposed the school’s ties to Israeli military activities in Gaza in the spring of 2024.

However, as an expert on the academic freedom of the right to free public speech within higher education I believe that this controversy deserves close attention to. If students believe that the incident was a blatant interference with the academic independence that is the hallmark of one of leading law review the incident has very few precedents.

Sharing Research And Law Reviews

Law reviews run by students, which provide a vital way for legal scholars are able to share their work regarding legal issues with judges, law professors lawyers, and other readers, generally feature an excellent level of freedom of editorial.

If the allegations of students are true, then the board has violated generally accepted norms of intellectual freedom for higher-education, which experts consider to be crucial. Academic freedom is a part of the reason why universities and colleges are institutions where new ideas and ideas can be exchanged and where established ideas can be challenged.

The majority of law schools publish some sort of journal that has “law review” in its title. Many also have other journals focusing on particular legal issues like the education sector, civil rights or international issues.

Law reviews and other journals of the law school are typically published by law schools however, they are usually managed by students. The editors are students. decide on the articles for publication and are accountable for their editing processes.

Being a part of the law review is thought of as an honor, and could be useful to law students getting positions as clerks for judges and positions in law firms or other employers.

Law review articles are the primary method for sharing research findings on legal topics written by authors, such as law professors and other experts lawyers, judges and attorneys. Law reviews are crucial in legal research implies that students editors of law review should not be pressured when deciding whether or not to either accept or deny the articles.

The structure of Columbia Law Review is unique in that it operates independently as a nonprofit organization that is separate from the school of law and is governed by an executive board.

In general, law review are an element of law schools.

Similar to other law magazines However, Columbia’s is a student-run publication who are students at the law school. It’s also common that the articles, which are that are written with a strict educational style, is geared to be read by lawyers rather than people who are not lawyers. The article contains instances of words that are not commonly used, like “instantiation” and “multifarious.”

A New Legal Framework

Rabea Eghbariah is an Palestinian attorney for human rights holding the degree of a law professor at an Israeli university, who is taking part in a doctoral-level legal diploma program offered by Harvard Law School, wrote the piece that is at the heart of the dispute.

In the document, he proposes an entirely new legal framework to define Israel’s displacement and “abuses” of the Palestinian people as crimes against humanity that is comparable to genocide or apartheid.

Harvard Law Review previously ordered and edited a similar article prior to making the decision not to publish the article.

The fear of negative reaction in the case of publishing an article in support of Israel caused the late rejection, as per the statement of 25 students editors at Harvard that was released in November 2023.

It’s not unusual for law journals to publish articles that make possibly controversial assertions. For instance, the last publication of Columbia Law Review included an article that claimed that prisoners forced to work as a part of their sentence were treated as enslaved individuals.

The Centrality of Freedom In The Academic World

Unrest on campuses about the Israel-Hamas conflict brought up questions about the rights of students to voice their own opinions during the time they engage in student protests.

Additionally, this issue raises concerns regarding the academic freedoms of student editors as well as their right to freedom of speech.

The First Amendment clearly guarantees the right to free speech for students at universities and public colleges. However, it only applies to these institutions.

Technically, private institutions – like Columbia University and the associated non-profit that manages the legal review’s finances, however, has, up to now, not sought to intervene in the decisions of articles and other matters – aren’t subject to law. They’re not bound by the First Amendment.

However, the majority of them believe that freedom of expression and academic freedom as essential to their goals..

The principle of freedom to learn is based on the customs and practices that ensure faculty members’ rights to conduct their independent teaching or research obligations without being influenced by their employers.

It’s unclear whether students have the same academic freedoms as students.

The majority of universities and colleges recognize the idea that students should be given the freedom to speak their personal opinions and should have access to a variety of debates.

The students who manage the Columbia Law Review probably have the smallest legal recourse to challenge the board’s decisions. As evidenced in the choice to strike students, they likely will need to employ strategies other than legal action to prove that the board’s actions violated academic freedom rules.

The board can also react by releasing additional statements for the purpose of defending its decision.

Overriding Commitments To Institutions

This Columbia Law Review dispute can be considered to be part of continuing tensions on campus across the country regarding the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

Another argument is that biases against Palestinians is a reason why bias against Palestinians has been able to override the institution’s commitment to freedom of speech and freedom of thought in academia. A different view is that Palestinian protests or other initiatives like this article in the law review which refers to Israel’s government as an “regime,” are usually accompanied in a negative way by the antisemitism.

It’s obvious that these tensions don’t just involve protests on campus. The bottom line is that I believe they could be directly challenging the institutional commitment to freedom of thought and independence in the pursuit of scholarly inquiry.