For the last several years, Transnational Law and Contemporary Problems ("TLCP") has dedicated a single issue to articles submitted by academic and professional authors working in the fields of international and comparative law. Building on the past success of these pieces, TLCP is publishing the submissions issue of Volume 19. This issue provides depth and breadth to our discussion of transnational law and is a complement to the Journal's traditional symposium-based content. Moving toward the incorporation of more submissions-based content will allow TLCP to continue its growth as a publication. TLCP consistently enjoys high quality submissions on a wide array of topics. In this submissions issue of Volume 19, the Editorial Board of TLCP is pleased to present pieces that provide critical insight into some of the most cutting-edge subjects in transnational law at this time.
Our issue leads off with Cynthia Alkon's Article, Plea Bargaining as a Legal Transplant: A Good Idea for Troubled Criminal Justice Systems?, where she observes that countries struggling with overburdened criminal justice systems often decide to introduce U.S.-style plea bargaining as part of a larger process of criminal procedure reform. The Article examines the known and potential consequences of this emerging trend on rule of law development in countries lacking a strong human rights tradition: the Republic of Georgia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. She suggests that abbreviated trials might be a better process for troubled criminal justice systems. Professor Alkon also offers specific suggestions to rule of law assistance providers both at the legislative stage, when countries are considering importing plea bargaining, and at the implementation phase, after a country adopts plea bargaining or some other alternative to criminal trials. If countries do adopt plea bargaining, Professor Alkon recommends that rule of law assistance providers improve their monitoring efforts and consider procedural justice practices to reduce the general public's potentially negative attitudes towards plea bargaining.
In their Article, Matters of Preference: Tracing the Line Between Citizens, Democratic States, and International Law, Mark Chinen and Lana Ellis assess the role the aggregation of citizen preferences into the foreign policy choices of a democratic country might play in the legitimization of international law. After addressing some of the theoretical and empirical issues...