ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

dinsdag 16 oktober 2018

BOOK: Michelle FAUBERT, Granville Sharp’s Uncovered Letter and the Zong Massacre (London: Palgrave Macmillan , 2018). ISBN 978-3-319-92785-5, $69.99

(Source: Palgrave Macmillan)

Next week, Palgrave Macmillan will publish a new book on hitherto unexplored aspects of Granville Sharp’s role in the landmark Zong Case.


This book delineates the discovery of a previously unknown manuscript of a letter from Granville Sharp, the first British abolitionist, to the “Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty.” In the letter, Sharp demands that the Admiralty bring murder charges against the crew of the Zong for forcing 132 enslaved Africans overboard to their deaths. Uncovered by Michelle Faubert at the British Library in 2015, the letter is reproduced here, accompanied by her examination of its provenance and significance for the history of slavery and abolition. As Faubert argues, the British Library manuscript is the only fair copy of Sharp’s letter, and extraordinary evidence of Sharp’s role in the abolition of slavery.


Michelle Faubert is Associate Professor of Romantic Literature at the University of Manitoba, Canada, and Visiting Fellow at Northumbria University, UK.

More information here
(source: ESCLH Blog)

maandag 15 oktober 2018

BOOK: Nina KELLER-KEMMERER, Die Mimikry des Völkerrechts [Studien zur Geschichte des Völkerrechts, Band 38] (Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlag, 2018), 309 p. ISBN 978-3-8487-4630-9, € 79

(image source: IL Reporter)

Book abstract:
Die Völkerrechtsgeschichte wird bis heute dominiert von einer eurozentrischen Historiographie, in der außereuropäische Welten – wenn überhaupt – eine rein passive Rolle spielen. Nicht als Akteure, sondern lediglich als Rezipienten werden sie im Zuge der sogenannten Universalisierungsprozesse im 19. Jahrhundert Teil dieser Meistererzählung. Diese transdisziplinäre Studie versucht anhand der ersten Völkerrechtslehre Hispanoamerikas dieses Narrativ der Passivität neu zu denken. Der chilenische Universalgelehrte Andrés Bello übersetzte in diesem Kompendium von 1833 die europäischen Lehren für die „Neue Welt“. Aufbauend auf einer postkolonialen Perspektive wird gezeigt, dass die Nachahmung des europäischen Völkerrechtsdiskurses mehr ist als ein rein passives und unterwürfiges Verhalten. Vielmehr eröffnet sich in diesem grundlegend ambivalenten Prozess ein Widerstandsraum, in dem Bedeutung zu jedem Zeitpunkt neu verhandelt wird und der an Homi K. Bhabhas Konzept der Mimikry erinnert.
More information with the publisher.

(source: International Law Reporter)

vrijdag 12 oktober 2018

BOOK: Dylan LINO, Constitutional Recognition - First Peoples and the Australian Settler S tate (Leichardt: The Federation Press, 2018). ISBN 9781760021818, $45.00

(Source: Federation Press)

The Federation Press has published a book on indigenous constitutional recognition in Australia.


When Australians today debate how to achieve a just postcolonial relationship with the First Peoples of the continent, they typically do so using the language of ‘constitutional recognition’. The idea of constitutional recognition has become the subject of community forums and nationwide inquiries, street protests and prime ministerial speeches. Dylan Lino’s book provides the first comprehensive study of Indigenous constitutional recognition in Australia.

Offering more than a legal analysis, Lino places the idea of constitutional recognition into a broader historical and theoretical perspective. After recounting the history of Australian debates on Indigenous recognition, the book presents an account that views constitutional recognition in terms of Indigenous peoples’ struggles to have their identities respected within the settler constitutional order. When studied in this way, constitutional recognition emerges not as a postcolonial endpoint but as an ongoing process of renegotiating the basic Indigenous–settler political relationship.

With First Peoples continuing to press for the recognition of their sovereignty and peoplehood, this book will be a definitive reference point for scholars, advocates, policy-makers and the interested 


Dylan Lino is a Lecturer at the University of Western Australia Law School. His research focuses on the rights of Indigenous peoples, constitutional law and theory, and legal history. He holds degrees in Arts and Law (with Honours) from the University of New South Wales, a Master of Laws from Harvard University and a PhD from Melbourne Law School. In 2017, Dylan worked as a legal adviser to the Commonwealth Government’s Referendum Council, whose work led to the Uluru Statement from the Heart.


Foreword by Professor Megan Davis, Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous, UNSW
1.  Introduction
2. The Constitutional Politics of Indigenous Recognition in Australia, 1979–2018
3.  Conceptualising Constitutional Recognition
4.  Constitutionalising Indigenous Recognition
5.  The Incompleteness of Indigenous Constitutional Recognition: Learning from 1967
6.  Indigenous Constitutional Recognition and Racial Discrimination: Learning from 1975
7.  Constitutionally Recognising Indigenous Peoplehood: Towards Indigenous–Settler Federalism
8.  Conclusion

More information here
(source: ESCLH Blog)

donderdag 11 oktober 2018

ARTICLE: Jonathan GUMZ, International Law and the Transformation of War, 1899–1949: The Case of Military Occupation (The Journal of Modern History CX (2018), Nr. 3, 621-660

(image source: JMH)

This article seeks to examine the law of occupation looking forward from its position within the late nineteenth-century European norm of contained war, not backward from contemporary international law. When it was codified, the law of military occupation was closely connected to the norm of war containment within the realm of “civilization,” but that connection was severed by 1949. Reaching this point requires the examination of four moments in occupation’s history from the late nineteenth century through 1949. The first arose with the codification of military occupation at the Hague Conference of 1899; the next came with the National Socialist assault on the codified law of occupation; the third came in the Hostages Trial of 1947–48, when high-ranking Wehrmacht defendants sought to reframe National Socialist occupation practices within the law of occupation codified at The Hague in 1899; and the fourth arrived with the Geneva Conference of 1949 and its preparatory conferences. In this last instance the American and British defense of the norm of contained war and the law of occupation faced a broad European reaction against occupation. That reaction transformed key elements of the law of occupation such as the status of resistance fighters, severing occupation’s links with the norm of contained war.
More information here.

woensdag 10 oktober 2018

CALL FOR PAPERS : The League of Nations Decentred – Law, Crises and Legacies – Melbourne Law School (DEADLINE: 30 November 2018)

(Source: Wikipedia)

We learned of a Call for Papers for a conference, to be held at Melbourne Law School in July 2019, on the League of Nations.

Conveners: Luís Bogliolo, Kathryn Greenman, Anne Orford, and Ntina Tzouvala.

Confirmed Keynote Speaker: Professor Balakrishnan Rajagopal (Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Almost a hundred years after the creation of the League of Nations, it is still commonly remembered as a failure in a period of chaos and disorder. Recently, however, a growing literature has begun a reappraisal of this historiography, looking at the role of the League of Nations beyond its frustrations and disillusionments in collective security. This new surge of critical studies has led to a more complex and multifaceted understanding of the League, exploring its legacies and impacts at a time of renewed economic crises and of deepening conflicting visions of international order. In the centenary of its foundation, we are taking this further by looking at the League of Nations with a view from the South. Our aim is to decentre the League and to explore competing visions of international order, law and institutions that resonate in our contemporary world.

This conference will bring together scholars working in law, history, international relations, and political theory to think critically about the League of Nations, law, institutions, practices, ideologies and technologies in relation to or with a view from the South. Paper proposals related to the conference theme are now invited. Possible topics for papers include:

  • The League of Nations and the regulation of international violence
  • Sovereignty, empires, and the shifting boundaries of international authority
  • Intervention (military, economic, political) in the context of the League
  • Anti-colonialism, the rise of transnational social movements (socialism, feminism, national liberation)
  • Competing internationalisms and visions of international order
  • The rise of fascism and Nazism
  • Petitioning, oversight, publicity and new arenas of international politics
  • Humanitarianism, humanitarian assistance and governance
  • Adjudication, arbitration, and the Permanent Court of International Justice
  • The relationship between the League of Nations and contemporary or succeeding international institutions
  • The Mandates system
  • Indigenous peoples and the League of Nations
  • Codification and the role of international law
  • Major crises of the League of Nations (eg Ethiopia, Manchuria)
  • Economic and social regulation and authority
Abstracts of no more than 350 words should be submitted to Dr Ntina Tzouvala ( by the 30th of November 2018.

More information here
(source: ESCLH Blog)

dinsdag 9 oktober 2018

CALL FOR PAPERS: The rule of law and international law in historical perspective (IGHIL Event, ESIL Research Forum Göttingen, 4-5 APR 2019); DEADLINE 30 NOV 2018

(image source: ESIL)

The question of how to settle and enforce norms in the international sphere without a central authority has been a key debate in international law for centuries. While the gradual extension of an international order supported by multilateral treaties and courts was seen as a natural and logical development of international society in the decades following the end of the Cold War, the recent challenges to the very idea of a rules-based international order call for fresh perspectives on the idea and development of the rule of law in the international sphere. How did the concept emerge, how did it evolve over time, and how different is its history in the domestic and the international context?
Moreover, the Rule of Law can be envisaged under a double perspective. On the one hand, it expresses a philosophical and theoretical construct, whose intellectual genealogy conforms to that of the development of international legal thinking over time and in several legal cultures. On the other hand, the rule of law can be used instrumentally as an ideological discourse to legitimate far more basic political instincts and interest. Its invocation is not always conformable to actual legal practice. The Interest Group especially welcomes papers addressing the complex articulation of these two strands in historical cases, illustrated through primary source-research.

Possible topics might include:
·         How have international institutions responded to previous challenges of the very idea of the rule of law in international affairs?
·         How has the extent to which a state respects the rule of law in the domestic sphere influenced their behavior within the international community?
·         Has the meaning of the term ‘rule of law’ changed over time, and is it a universal concept? Does it have different connotations in the natural law or the positivist tradition? How have regional attempts to establish the rule of law influenced the international level?
·         When did we begin to have the ambition to regulate and enforce matters at a global level? How has the creation and enforcement of rules changed since the UN system was set up after the Second World War?
·         What was the impact of the rise of arbitration and international courts? Were they the consequence of a growing belief in the rule of law or drivers of this development?
·         How effective has the rule of law been in defining and protecting global commons (e.g. the success or failure of legal efforts to protect the environment)?
·         Has the ‘rule of law’ evolved differently in different policy areas such trade and investment law, communications or the laws of war?
Abstracts must be submitted no later than 30 November 2018 to on behalf of the Steering Committee of the Interest Group, which shall collectively supervise the blind peer-review process. All those who take part in the ESIL Research Forum, at an Interest Group event and/or in the main Forum, are expected to be ESIL members at the time of their participation. Selected speakers will be expected to bear the costs of their own travel and accommodation. Some ESIL travel grants will be available to offer partial financial support to speakers who have exhausted other potential sources of funding. Please see the ESIL website ( for information about travel grants offered to ESIL members and other relevant information about the Research Forum.

CALL FOR PAPERS: A Global History of Free Ports. Capitalism, Commerce and Geopolitics (Venice/Helsinki, APR/JUN 2019) (DEADLINE 31 OCT 2018)

(image source: University of Helsinki)
The history of free ports research network is organising a number of conferences in the next years, in order to work towards a standard publication and interactive research platform for the history of free ports from the 16th to the early 20th century. Please check our website ( for an impression.
The first two meeting will take place in Venice (April 2019) and in Helsinki (June 2019).
For the call for papers of both the Venice and Helsinki meetings, see:
We are looking for case studies that engage with the transformations of the various functions of free ports over time and the spread of free ports from Italy and the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, Asia and the global level. The research may open up to the wider international development of trade and its institutions by taking a perspective that can be long-term, comparative or comprehensive (involving a combination of intellectual, policy, and economic angles). Papers may also address cultural, religious, diplomatic and network perspectives.
Texts that are presented at conferences may be published as a ‘dossier’/ special issue in the Intellectual History Archive open access working paper series of the Helsinki Centre for Intellectual History. A selection of revised papers will be included in a book publication.
Abstracts (of ca. 500 words) and titles may be sent by email and by 31 October 2018. Invited speakers are subsequently requested to provide short papers (ca. 5,000 words) that will be pre-circulated among participants. For further information, see the ‘Call(s) for papers’. For those who do not possess their own research budgets or travel funds, we can try to contribute towards your travel and accommodation costs.