ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

donderdag 15 maart 2018

BOOK: Craig FORCESE, Destroying the Caroline - The Frontier Raid That Reshaped the Right to War (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2018). ISBN 978-1-55221-478-7, $ 36.95

(Source: Irwin Law)

Irwin Law has just published a book dealing with the 19th century Caroline Incident and its influence on the ius ad bellum


In the middle of night on 29 December 1837, Canadian militia commanded by a Royal Navy officer crossed the Niagara River to the United States and sank the Caroline, a steamboat being used by insurgents tied to the 1837 rebellion in Upper Canada. That incident, and the diplomatic understanding that settled it, have become shorthand in international law for the “inherent right to self-defence” exercised by states in far-off places and in different sorts of war. The Caroline is remembered today when drones kill terrorists and state leaders contemplate responses to threatening adversaries through military action.

But it is remembered by chance and not design, and often imperfectly.
This book tells the story of the Caroline affair and the colourful characters who populated it. Along the way, it highlights how the Caroline and claims of self-defence have been used — and misused — in response to modern challenges in international relations. It is the history of how a forgotten conflict on an unruly frontier has redefined the right to war.



Chapter 1: Introduction
Part I: The Destruction of the Caroline
Chapter 2: The Insurgency
Chapter 3: The Invasion
Chapter 4: The Canadian Militia
Chapter 5: The Caroline
Chapter 6: The Raid
Chapter 7: Aftermath

Part II: Debating the Caroline
Chapter 8: Grievance
Chapter 9: Claim
Chapter 10: Impasse
Chapter 11: Revival
Chapter 12: Renewal
Chapter 13: Debate
Chapter 14: Resolution

Part III: The Merits of the Caroline
Chapter 15: The Law of the Day
Chapter 16: The Idea of War
Chapter 17: Imperfect Wars
Chapter 18: Self-Preservation at Copenhagen
Chapter 19: Neutrality and Its Limits
Chapter 20: Self-Defence and the First Seminole War, 1817–1818
Chapter 21: The Merits of the Case

Part IV: The Idea of the Caroline
Chapter 22: Freedom to War
Chapter 23: Banning War
Chapter 24: Collapse
Chapter 25: Banning Force
Chapter 26: Remembering the Caroline

Part V: A Very Modern Steamboat
Chapter 27: Trigger
Chapter 28: Imminence
Chapter 29: Necessity and Proportionality
Chapter 30: Unwilling or Unable
Chapter 31: The Caroline’s Legacy

Epilogue The Protagonists’ Fate
Appendix: Chain of Citations and Misunderstandings about the Caroline's Core Facts
List of Illustrations

For more information, see the publisher’s website

(Source: ESCLH blog)

vrijdag 9 maart 2018

BOOK: Emiliano Jerónimo BUIS, Taming Ares: Interstate Law, and Humanitarian Discourse in Classical Greece [Legal History Library/Studies in the History of International Law; vol. 26/10, ed. Randall LESAFFER) (Leiden/Boston: Martinus Nijhoff/Brill, 2018], ISBN 978-90-04-36382-3, € 125

(image source: Brill)

Book abstract:
In Taming Ares Emiliano J. Buis examines the sources of classical Greece to challenge both the state-centeredness of mainstream international legal history and the omnipresence of war and excessive violence in ancient times. Making ample use of epigraphic as well as literary, rhetorical, and historiographical sources, the book offers the first widespread account of the narrative foundations of the (il)legality of warfare in the classical Hellenic world. In a clear yet sophisticated manner, Buis convincingly proves that the traditionally neglected study of the performance of ancient Greek poleis can contribute to a better historical understanding of those principles of international law underlying the practices and applicable rules on the use of force and the conduct of hostilities.
On the author:
Emiliano Jerónimo Buis, PhD in Classics and Postdoctoral Degree in Law (Universidad de Buenos Aires) is Professor of International Law and Ancient Greek at that university and at UNICEN, as well as researcher at the CONICET in Argentina. He has widely published on the theory and history of international law, ancient Greek literature (especially drama) and Athenian law.
Table of contents:
Foreword   Randall Lesaffer Preliminary Considerations Acknowledgments List of Figures and Maps Introduction  1  Between Ares and Athena  2  In-between Custom and Convenience: Analyzing the Restrictive Discourse of War  3  Towards International Law in the Ancient World: Practices and Contexts  4  Inhumane Acts, Human Words: Analyzing the Restrictive Discourse of War

Part 1: The Concepts

Normativity, Hegemony, and Democratic Performance: The Case of Classical Athens  1  International Normativity, Subordination, and Political Imposition in the Ancient World  2  Justice, Law, Laws and Decrees: The Issue of Terminology  3  Nomothesia: The Act of Legislating  4  Dramatic Competitions and Athenian Festivals  5 Justice as Spectacle in Athens: Judicial praxis  6  The Assembly, the Theater, and the Courts: Performative Activities of Democracy   Summation: Democracy as Performative Ritual 2 Greek poleis and Their International Subjectivity  1  Towards an Archaeology of the Subject: Did Legal Entities Have a Legal Personality in the Greek World?  2  The Role of the polis in the Signing of Treaties during the Peloponnesian War   Summation: International Subjectivity in Ruins

Part 2: The Rules

Ius ad bellum and Its Limits on Inter-polis Law  1  The Rhetoric of the Use of Armed Force in the Greek World  2  The Vocabulary of the Grounds: The Spoken and the Unspoken in Thucydides  3  Considerations on Guilt, Responsibility, Motivation and Encouraging: Helen’s Case  4  Exoneration from the Attack: The Adversary’s Responsibility  5  A ‘Legal’ Rhetoric of Self-Defense?   Summation: Restraining the Use of Armed Force 4 Ius in bello and Its Limits in Inter-polis Law  1  Greek Warfare between Military Necessity and Limitation  2  The Legal Matrix: The Foundations of “Common,” “Universal,” Inter-polis, and Intra-Hellenic Law  3  Geneva in Greece: The nomos of the Greeks with Respect to the Protection of Victims and Practices in Wartime: Humanitarian Limits?  4  The Hague in Greece: The nomos of the Greeks with Respect to the Restriction of Means and Methods of Warfare: Humanitarian Limits?  5 Responding to Atrocity: Prosecution of War Crimes?   Summation: Towards a Framework of Restraint Conclusions: About Apples, Branches, and Humanitarian Strategies Appendix A: Chart of Treaties Signed by Greek poleis during the Peloponnesian War (431–404) Appendix B: Digital Images of Treaties and Decrees Bibliography  1 Ancient Sources (Critical Apparatus of Greek Texts, Translations and Comments)  2 Critical Bibliography  3  Instrumenta studiorum Index

More information with Brill.
(source: ESCLH blog)

zondag 25 februari 2018

BOOK REVIEW: Joshua MEEKS reviews Edward James KOLLA, Sovereignty, International Law, and the French Revolution [Studies in Legal History Series] (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017) [H-Diplo]

(image source: CUP)
Joshua Meeks (Northwest University) reviewed Edward James Kolla's recent book on the French Revolution, Sovereignty and International Law (CUP 2017, see announcement on the ESCLH blog).

First paragraph:

One of the more common conceptions of diplomacy during the French Revolution is that the revolutionaries attacked tradition in the name of liberty and disregarded international law and conventions as they attempted to export radical revolution throughout Europe. In Sovereignty, International Law, and the French Revolution, Edward James Kolla pushes back against this idea, arguing that though the revolutionaries were willing to adapt and in some cases ignore established legal traditions, they did so not in a conscious attempt to replace international law with a revolutionary variant. Instead, he explains in both breadth and detail how the principles of popular sovereignty espoused by the revolutionaries shaped the principle of self-determination in international law through a contingent, contradictory, and often haphazard process. Through case studies ranging from Corsica to the Netherlands, Kolla elucidates a thoughtful argument that combines a rigorous approach to international law with a well-crafted historical narrative.
Read the full review here.
(source: H-Diplo mailing)

vrijdag 23 februari 2018

SYMPOSIUM: The Parisian peace treaties (1919-1920) and the emergence of modern international law (JHIL/Tilburg University, 17 May 2018)

The Parisian peace treaties (1919-1920)
and the emergence of modern international law
The Journal of the History of International Law –
Tilburg University – 17 May 2018
Conveners: Jan Lemnitzer and Randall Lesaffer

The conference is organised under the auspices of The Journal of the History ofInternational Law by i-Hilt (Institute for the History of International Law@Tilburg) and the Department of Roman Law and Legal History of the University of Leuven.

Venue: Ruth First auditorium (C 186), Cobbenhagen Building,
Tilburg University, The Netherlands
Costs: € 50,00

Registration for the symposium until 10 May

Programme of the Parisian Peace Treaties, 17 May 2018
9.30                       Reception with coffee and tea
9.50                       Welcome by Randall Lesaffer
10.00-12.00        Session I: Versailles as a revolution in international law
 - Jan Lemnitzer (University of Southern Denmark): Woodrow Wilson, Versailles and the freedom of the seas
- Kirsten Sellars (Chinese University of Hong Kong): World War I,  Wilhelm II, Article 227 and the crime of aggression
- Leonard Smith (Oberlin College and Conservatory): Sovereignty under the League of Nations mandate
12.00-13.30        Lunch

13.30-15.00        Session II: Was Versailles a harsh peace treaty?
- Markus Payk (Humboldt University): ‘The absence of honeyed and generous phrases’: a survey of the preambles and other declarative phrases in the Paris peace treaties of 1919-1920
- Nicholas Mulder (Columbia University), Expropriation and economic warfare in the Versailles treaty
- Laura Rathmanner (Vienna University): Responsibility and reparations in the peace treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye
- Vincent Genin (University of Liège): Belgium’s delegation at the Parisian peace conference. Between international law and national aims               
15.30-16.00       Coffee break, refreshments

16.00-17.30        Session III: Versailles and the politics of international law
- Duncan Kelly (Cambridge University): International law as politics at Versailles
- Frederik Dhondt (Free University Brussels/Antwerp University): Permanent is not eternal! The hibernation of Belgian neutrality between conceptual change and practical continuity
- Tony Carty (Tsinghua University): China in the Versailles peace treaty                                                      

dinsdag 20 februari 2018

CALL FOR PAPERS: War as a driving force of History. 19th and 20th centuries (Alicante: Asociación de Historia Contemporána, 20-22 Sep 2018) DEADLINE 1 MAR 2018

War as a driving force of History. 19th and 20th centuries
(image  source: Wikimedia Commons)
Panel within the 14th Conference of the Spanish Association of Contemporary History (Alicante, Spain, 20-22 September 2018; 
Miguel Alonso Ibarra (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
Daniel Aquillué (Universidad de Zaragoza)
Historically, war has played an essential role in the various political, social and cultural transformations occurred in the world. The different revolutions and the conflicts resulting from them; colonial wars waged by European powers in Africa, America and Asia; the two world wars; the multiple European civil wars (Russia, Finland, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Greece, Yugoslavia); military interventions in the frame of international mandates (Yugoslavia, Iraq); and other conflicts between non-state actors (paramilitary violence in low-intensity wars), form a bloody range of episodes which have shaped in a very significant way the historical evolution of the European continent and other geographical contexts. They have generated processes whose echoes are still heard nowadays: populations’ displacements, social and political violence, state repression, genocides, ethnic reconfigurations, emergence of new national realities, nationalism, social transformations due to military mobilisation, or new social and political identities, among many others. An aspect emerging always present in History but that reaches its peak during the 19th and 20th centuries (total war), when the huge dimensions of armed conflicts spurred many processes of political, social and ideological transformation.
Within this frame, our aim is to analyse war as a key historical driving force of the contemporary era. We seek to offer a debate environment for researchers and scholars working not only on armed conflicts, but also about processes of violence, of social change or of national development emerged in the contexts of, as precedent or as a product of wars. The limits of armed conflicts; the category/concept of civil war and its various uses; the specificity of certain types of war –total war, fascist war–; the transformations of territory and state structures generated by armed conflicts; the evolution of war as the driving force of social progression or regression during the 19th and 20th centuries; social, political and cultural identities exported from war and their influence on individuals and societies; revolutions, paying special attention to the war-linked consequences they had; nineteenth-century guerrilla and its relationship with twentieth-century terrorism; nineteenth-century paramilitary forces (like Spanish Somatén) and their connection with fascist paramilitarism; postwars as a moment of historical impasse in which there is a reactive violence against the defeated; peace as a concept which changed throughout two centuries; or the role of memory in these traumatic warlike pasts, would be questions and topics that will have a place within this panel, albeit not the only ones. Finally, we also seek to boost transnational and comparative approaches through the participation of researchers and scholars coming from other latitudes, in order to conform a debating group as rich and heterogeneous as possible. Thereby, rather than the traditional exposition of papers, we aim to develop a debate focused on concepts and categories of analysis, essential tools in our job as historians.
Individual submissions should include a title, an abstract of no more than 100 words, and a brief biography including your name, institutional affiliation (if applicable), and e-mail contact. Languages accepted are English and Spanish (as well as the languages than can be used in the panel's debate) Please submit your proposal/abstract to or by March 1st, 2018. Notice of acceptance will be sent within ten days from the deadline.