ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

donderdag 20 september 2018

ARTICLE: Georges-Henri SOUTOU, "La négociation du traité de Versailles : exactement ce qu’il ne faut pas faire", Politique Étrangère 2018/3,11-23

(image source: CAIRN)

Les négociations du traité de Versailles ne se sont pas passées comme prévu. Les Allemands se sont vu imposer un texte perçu comme un Diktat. La paix de Versailles ne fut pas seulement unilatérale, elle fut aussi contradictoire, dans le sens où les principes du wilsonisme se sont heurtés à des considérations géopolitiques plus traditionnelles. Le traité, nourri par les travaux d’experts, était complexe et difficile à maîtriser. Il ouvrait en outre la voie à une révision future.
English abstract:
Negotiating the Treaty of Versailles: A Lesson in Exactly What Not to Do The negotiation of the Treaty of Versailles did not go as planned. The Germans found themselves compelled to accept a text they perceived as a diktat. Not only was the peace of Versailles unilateral, it was also contradictory, insofar as the principles of Wilsonianism came up against more traditional geopolitical concerns. Fueled by the work of experts, the Treaty was complex and difficult to grasp, and also left the door open for a future revision.

More information on cairn.

woensdag 19 september 2018

LECTURE SERIES : Institute for the History of International Law (Tilburg University)

(Source: Tilburg University)

Via International Law Reporter, we learned of the schedule for Tilburg’s Institute for the History of International Law lecture series for the academic year 2018-2019.

  • September 26, 2018: Ziv Bohrer (Bar-Ilan Univ.), Nuremberg Was Not the First International Criminal Tribunal — by a Longshot
  • November 21, 2018: Ilya Kotlyar (UvT), The International Legal Issues of the Dissolution of the Soviet Union
  • December 12, 2018: Randall Lesaffer (UvT), The Persian Gulf Conflict and the Reinvention of Collective Security: A Historical Perspective
  • January TBD, 2019: Emiliano Buis (Univ. of San Andrés, Buenos Aires) Feeling the Empire: Power, Emotions, and Interpolity Legal Rhetoric in the Classical Greek World
  • March 27, 2019: Yuko Nishitani (Kyoto Univ.), The Rise and Fall of Nations State in Private International Law
  • April 24, 2019: Ana Delic (UvT), Uniformity and Choice of Law in the Private International Law of Contracts
(Source: ILReporter; ESCLH Blog)

dinsdag 18 september 2018

CONFERENCE REPORT: Interest Group Pre-Conference Event "Consumers or Producers of International Law" at the ESIL Annual Conference on the "Universality of International Law" (Manchester, 12 SEP 2018)

(IG session presenters and conveners; credits M. Beham (Passau)/L. Castellanos (Asser))

The ESIL Interest Group History of International Law held its pre-conference event workshop on "Consumers or Producers of international law? Non-European experiences with the law of nations in comparative perspective" at the University of Manchester on 12 September 2018.

The first presenter, Lys Kulamayadil (PhD candidate, Graduate Institute) presented a paper using the notion of "Fairy-tale international law" to contextualise the debate on the Bandung Conference and New International Economic Order. Her presentation focused on the interplay between sovereignty and property, natural ressources and the 1973 oil crisis. In a response, Markus Beham (IG convener) questioned the role of oil elites highlighted in Kulamayadil's contribution. During the public debate, Leon Castellanos (Asser Institute) enquired whether the novel linking up of two strands (the New International Economic Order and Development studies) would have any further consequences. The presenter stated that the decolonisation of the economy counts as an indispensable precondition to studying the NIEO.

The second presenter, Aiko Nakai (Assistant Professor, Kyoto) expounded on "Latin American International Law as the First Regional International Law: The First Step of Irreversible Relativisation of European International Law". Using a well-illustrated powerpoint presentation, dr. Nakai emphasized the differences with European diplomatic practice and legal theory perceived by several international law authors from Latin America in the long 19th century. Frederik Dhondt (IG convener) replied to this paper, asking the presenter to link up her work with diplomatic practice and power issues. Liliana Obregon (University of the Andes) intervened in a lively exchange, moderated by Martin Clark (IG convener) on the label of Latin American tradition in international law: was "Latin American" international law just a label ?

The third presenter, Aleksandr Vodiannikov (OSCE) linked up Michel Foucault, decolonisation and the legal history of "Intermarium", or Eastern Europe between the Black Sea and the Baltic. In his analysis, the construction of identity against an "other" is a necessary methodological tool to debunk Soviet era-histories of the Russian Empire, Ukraine or the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth. Vodiannikov highlighted the role of in his eyes neglected princely testamentary charters. Jan Lemnitzer (IG convener) highlighted the novel and stimulating character of this approach, but wondered whether the distinction between core and periphery could be seen as static, especially in view of the relatively long period concerned by the presenter. Notions of Moscow as the "Third Rome" or the enduring dominance of Byzantium nuance the idea of a "periphery" in Eastern Europe, at least if one takes the self-image of the parties concerned into account.

The session ended with a presentation of the IG's intention to take part in the following ESIL events:
- Research Forum on the "Rule of Law" (Göttingen, April 2019)
- Annual Conference on "Sovereignty" (Athens, September 2019)

Members will be contacted in the future by the ESIL Secretariat, and not longer by the conveners directly, due to the recent evolution of European data legislation. This should not withhold members from proposing initiatives organised at their home institutions, or announcing calls/publications/job advertisements on the blog.

Any member of the IG Steering Committee can be contacted to this end.

The conference can be revived on twitter by browsing the hashtag #ESIL2018.

maandag 17 september 2018

JOURNAL: Relations Internationales 2018/2 (N° 147)

(image source: cairn)

Relations internationales (PUF) published its second issue of 2018.
  • Acteurs non étatiques et relations internationales au xixe siècle : le cas du Comité d’Ostende (1866-1870) (Christophe Chevalier)
  • « Le naufrage des idéaux » : conséquences de la Première Guerre mondiale sur les relations culturelles internationales de l’Équateur (Elodie Lenoël)
  • Intégrer le droit international aux relations interétatiques : les juristes belges à Versailles en 1919 (Vincent Genin)
  • Promouvoir l’ouverture commerciale et le progrès social : les normes de travail équitables dans la Charte de La Havane (1948) (Sylvain Zini)
  • Projets français et belge de grands barrages africains, 1954-1960. Nationalismes, Eurafrique ou panafricanisme ? (Jean-Bruno Mukanya Kaninda-Muana)
  • La France contre les droits de l’Homme ? La difficile ratification par la France de la Convention européenne des droits de l’Homme (1950-1974) (Pauline Bonino)
  • La « voie révolutionnaire » de Salvador Allende (1970-1973) et les limites de l’engagement soviétique en Amérique latine (Rafael Pedemonte)
  • À l’origine de la francophonie institutionnelle. La création de l’Association internationale des maires francophones (Laura Dumazert)
All papers are accessible through cairn.

zaterdag 15 september 2018

LECTURE: IES Opening Lecture by Martti Koskenniemi (IES, Brussels, 27 September 2018)

(image source: IES/VUB)

The Institute of European Studies (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) has the following announcement:
The IES Inaugural Lecture on Thursday 27 September at 18:00 at the IES premises in Brussels marks the start of the academic year for our LLM and EuroMaster programmes. It is our great pleasure to host one of the most prominent international law scholars of our time: Martti Koskenniemi (picture), Professor of International Law at the University of Helsinki and Director of the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights. So save the date for this special occasion! The lecture will take place at the Institute for European Studies-VUB. If you wish to participante please register using the following link. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at
(source: IES)

vrijdag 14 september 2018

BOOK: Massimo PANEBIANCO, Introduzione alla codicistica del Jus Gentium Europaeum. Codice Lünig-Leibniz-Dumont [Jus Gentium Europaeum. Collana di studi comunitari; 18] (Napoli: Editoriale Scientifica, 2016), XII + 276 p. ISBN 978-88-6342-936-7, € 24

(image source: Editoriale Scientifica)

Book abstract:
L'Europa del '700 è una delle mille forme dell'Europa possibile: Europa dei codici, Europa codicistica, Europa della scrittura diplomatica. Si vedrà come il presente volume si ispira alle recenti tendenze dedicate allo studio geo-politico della "grande storia" del diritto internazionale, ai fini della descrizione degli spazi continentali di area vasta. Tale ricerca ha esaminato il periodo più alto della codificazione europea del diritto internazionale della prima metà del '700 e si è fondata su un moderno "codice triplo" risultante dalla combinazione di altrettanti classici della codificazione dello jus gentium europeo. Il cd. Codice "Lünig-Leibniz-Dumont" proviene dalla scuola austro-germanica del '700 europeo, contenente in tutto o in parte la storia internazionale dei singoli Stati europei nei rapporti fra di loro e con gli altri Stati del mondo dall'antico al moderno (Italia compresa). L'autore di questo libro si rivolge ai lettori, come al pubblico benevole di una sala concerti d'Europa del '700 e si augura che i tre codici diplomatici qui esaminati siano come un unico "concerto triplo". Anche tali codici sono "icone" della storia passata e servono a portare fino a noi la voce dei secoli, bene impressa nel loro testo.
More information here.
Rechtsgeschichte 28 (2018) contains a review by Elisabetta Fiocchi Malaspina (Zürich).

CONFERENCE: Le traité de Versailles : Regards franco-allemands en droit international à l'occasion du centenaire (Strasbourg), 28-29 September 2018

Via International Law Reporter, we learned of a conference on “The Versailles Treaty: French and German Perspectives in International Law on the Occasion of the Centenary”:

On September 28-29, 2018, the Centre des études internationales et européennes at the Université de Strasbourg will hold a conference on "Le traité de Versailles : Regards franco-allemands en droit international à l'occasion du centenaire / The Versailles Treaty: French and German Perspectives in International Law on the Occasion of the Centenary." The program is here. Preceding the conference, on September 26-27, there will be a Young Researchers Workshop on the subject of "Le principe d’autodétermination un siècle après le traité de Versailles : d’hier à aujourd’hui – et demain ? / Das Selbstbestimmungsprinzip ein Jahrhundert nach dem Versailler Vertrag: Von gestern bis heute - und morgen?" The program is here.