ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

maandag 19 juli 2021

BLOGGING BREAK: Summer (no posts until 16 AUG)

(image: Veduta of Venice, Canaletto; source: Wikimedia Commons)
 

Dear reader, the ESILHIL Blog will be quiet until 16 August.

Enjoy the Summer !

vrijdag 16 juli 2021

ENCYCLOPEDIA ENTRY: Michel ELPERDING, "Mixed Courts of the Colonial Era" (MPEiPro)

 

(image source: MPEiPro)

First sentences:

Mixed courts of the colonial era were a form of domestic courts with international participation (Mixed Courts, Other (National Courts with International Participation)) established between the first half of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century in non-Western polities. Serving as an alternative to consular jurisdiction in countries where Western states were unwilling to accept the jurisdiction of ordinary local courts over their nationals or their nationals’ interests, they blended domestic and international features. These features...

Read more on OPIL.

donderdag 15 juli 2021

RESEARCH PROJECT: NYU-Yale American Indian Sovereignty Project

(image: Prof. Maggie Blackhawk; source: NYU)

Description: 

On July 2, NYU Law announced the establishment of the NYU-Yale American Indian Sovereignty Project, whose goals include supporting the sovereignty of Native nations and addressing the impact of American colonialism on Native peoples. Professor of Law Maggie Blackhawk (Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe) and Ned Blackhawk (Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians of Nevada), professor of history and American Studies at Yale University, will jointly run the multi-year project.

Read more here

woensdag 14 juli 2021

SCHOLARSHIP: Academy Scholars Program (recent PhD Recipient/doctoral candidates,, DEADLINE 1 OCT 2021)

 

(image source: Harvard)

Description:

The Academy Scholars Program identifies and supports outstanding scholars at the start of their careers whose work combines disciplinary excellence in the social sciences or law with a command of the language and history or culture of countries or regions outside of the United States or Canada. Their scholarship may elucidate domestic, comparative, or transnational issues, past or present. The Academy Scholars are a select community of individuals with resourcefulness, initiative, curiosity, and originality, whose work in cultures or regions outside of the US or Canada shows promise as a foundation for exceptional careers in major universities or international institutions. Academy Scholars are appointed for a two-year, in-residence, postdoctoral fellowship at The Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. They receive substantial financial and research assistance to undertake sustained projects of research and/or acquire accessory training in their chosen fields and areas. The Senior Scholars, a distinguished group of senior Harvard University faculty members, act as mentors to the Academy Scholars to help them achieve their intellectual potential.

Read further here

dinsdag 13 juli 2021

BOOK: Oliver EBERL. Naturzustand und Barbarei. Begründung und Kritik staatlicher Ordnung im Zeichen des Kolonialismus (Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 2021), 552 p. ISBN 978-3-86854-349-0; € 40

 

(image source: Hamburger Edition)

Book description:

Im Zuge des Denkmalsturzes ehemaliger Sklavenhalter werden auch westliche Konzepte auf ihren Beitrag zu Rassismus und Unterdrückung hin untersucht. Ein solches Konzept ist der fest im europäischen Denken verankerte Begriff »Barbarei«. »Barbarei« ist der zentrale Begriff für die Beschreibung anderer Völker, die seit der Antike die Abwertung anderer Kulturen markiert und immer wieder neu bestimmt wird. In der europäischen Geschichte ist »Barbarei« auf das Engste mit dem Kolonialismus verbunden und muss somit als dessen Komplize und Erbe verstanden werden. »Barbarei« steht für das »Andere« westlicher Ordnung und zivilisierter Werte. Man beklagt damit furchtbare Verbrechen und verurteilt sie als moralisch besonders verwerflich. Zurückgreifen können diese politischen Verwendungsweisen auf eine lange Geschichte theoretischer Konzepte der »Barbarei«. Obwohl ein enger Zusammenhang zwischen »Barbarei« und Kolonialismus besteht, ist es bemerkenswert, dass der Begriff im Alltag und in der Theorie weiter verwendet wird – wenn auch in kritischer Absicht. Im Topos der »Barbarei« vereinen sich über die Zeiten die Gegenbilder verschiedener Wertesysteme: der Vernunft, des Christentums, der Humanität, der Zivilisation, der Kultur oder der Menschenrechte. Wie fand diese theoretische und begriffsgeschichtliche Entwicklung statt? Oliver Eberl hat mit dieser Studie die Dekolonisierung der Politischen Theorie zum Ziel, die ihr Denken mit Blick auf den Staat und seine Kritik vielfach von dem Begriffspaar »Naturzustand und Barbarei« anleiten lässt. Dazu zeichnet er die Theoriegeschichte des Begriffs »Barbarei« nach. Im Zuge der neuzeitlichen Staatsbegründung wurde »Barbarei« als Vergangenheit der europäischen Staaten verstanden und Staatlichkeit vor dem Hintergrund der Gefahr des Rückfalls in den »Naturzustand« theoretisiert. Zentral ist dabei die Verknüpfung mit dem europäischen Kolonialismus, dem »Barbarei« von der Antike bis zum 20. Jahrhundert zur Abwertung der Kolonisierten diente und der das »Barbarische« als das Nichtstaatliche mit dem zu Kolonisierenden gleichsetzte. Die seit der Aufklärung vollzogene Wende vom kolonialen zum kritischen Gebrauch sichert den theoretischen Stellenwert des Begriffs bis heute. Diese Wende hat dem Begriff »Barbarei« einen festen Platz in unserem Denken gesichert, so die These des Autors. In der Auseinandersetzung mit den Nationalsozialisten wurde der Begriff dann zum Platzhalter für die Kritik von Menschheitsverbrechen. Dabei wurde verdrängt, dass auch der Kolonialismus ein Menschheitsverbrechen ist und als solches kritisiert werden muss. Eindrücklich verdeutlicht Oliver Eberl, wie fatal es für politische Theoriebildung ist, in kritischer Absicht die Wirkungsgeschichte des Kolonialismus zu verlängern.

On the author:

 Oliver Eberl, PD Dr. phil. ist wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter für Politische Theorie und Ideengeschichte an der Leibniz-Universität Hannover und Privatdozent an der Technischen Universität Darmstadt; vier Semester Vertretung der Professur »Politische Theorie und Ideengeschichte« an der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main. Forschungsschwerpunkte: Politische Theorie, Demokratietheorie, Gesellschaftstheorie, Ideengeschichte. Ko-Leiter des Projekts »Der Blick nach unten. Soziale Konflikte in der Ideengeschichte der Demokratie«.

See publisher's website for more information.

This book has been reviewed by Prof. Miloš Vec (Vienna) in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of 23 June 2021.

maandag 12 juli 2021

JOURNAL: Grotiana XLII (2021), No. 1 (Jul)

 

(image source: Brill)

Historical, Philosophical, and Legal Foundations of Strict Liability in Hugo Grotius—Some Introductory Remarks to the Special Dossier (Bart Wauters) (OPEN ACCESS)

Culpa Levissima and the Eclipse of Strict Liability (James Gordley) (DOI 10.1163/18760759-42010002)

Abstract:

In Roman law, as interpreted by the medieval jurists, in a gratuitous loan (commodatum), the borrower was liable for culpa levissima, failure to use be as diligent as “most diligent” (diligentissimus). It would seem, then, that a person could be liable for conduct that he could not help. That consequence troubled the medieval canonists a person would then be liable who had not sinned. It troubled the late scholastics because a person would then be liable for an accident, which was not a violation of commutative justice. Some concluded that liability for culpa levissima was a creature of positive law, based on pragmatic considerations but with no grounding in principle. There was another explanation glimpsed by the late scholastics and by Hugo Grotius: commutative justice requires that one who borrows gratuitously indemnify the lender against any loss. Unfortunately, in the following centuries, that explanation was lost from sight.

Qualitative Liability in the Early Modern Low Countries (ca. 1425–1650) (Wouter Druwé)

Abstract:

In his ‘Inleidinge tot de Hollantsche Rechtsgeleertheyt’, Hugo Grotius introduced the concept of wrong-by-construction-of-law (‘misdaed door wetsduidinge’), the idea that civil law could assign liability to someone who had not committed any fault, i.e. merely because of his or her ‘capacity’ or ‘quality’ as a parent, as an owner of an animal, as an inhabitant of a building, or as an employer or shipowner. This contribution situates Grotius’s views on qualitative liability within the wider Netherlandish learned juridical context of his time, and especially studies the role of fault (‘culpa’) and presumptions of fault in the learned theories on qualitative liability. Apart from printed treatises and volumes of consilia, this contribution also takes into account hitherto unstudied handwritten lecture notes of the late medieval and early modern university of Leuven.

The Place of Fault in Grotius’s Conception of Liability for Wrongdoing (Joe Sampson) (OPEN ACCESS)

Abstract:

This article compares Grotius’s treatments of liability for wrongdoing in natural law and the law of Holland to emphasise the conceptual centrality of fault in both, and places Grotius’s analyses in their historical context by tracing the treatment of strict liability in those intellectual traditions upon which he drew. It focuses in particular on the formulation of obligations quasi ex maleficio to show how the absence of fault rendered the obligation something other than delictual.

Strict Liability and Necessity in Grotius, Pufendorf, Smith, Kant, and Beyond (Bart Wauters) (DOI 10.1163/18760759-42010005)

Abstract:

This article compares the views of Grotius and subsequent authors on the doctrines of necessity and strict liability. This comparison takes place at two levels. On the one hand, there is a comparison of the views of Grotius with those of Pufendorf, Smith, Kant and recent Kantian authors. On the other hand, there is a comparison between the doctrines of necessity and strict liability. This exercise leads to the conclusion that strict liability does not have to be a mere matter of choice opted for by positive law, but in some instances can also be thought of as a requirement of a private law framework expressing the fundamental moral equal freedom of man.

Grotius’s Position on Implied Servitudes by Means of Destinatione Patris Familias (Vincent Van Hoof) (OPEN ACCESS) (DOI 10.1163/18760759-42010006)

Abstract:

According to Grotius in his Inleiding (2.36.6), the actual use of two houses by the same owner could lead to the implied grant of a servitude if he transferred one of the houses to someone else, ‘without any mention either the one way or the other’. Various interpretations of this text exist, but the consensus is lacking. In this article, the author investigates the meaning and influence of Grotius’s position on implied servitudes in both his time and the following centuries. This research shows how Grotius’s opinion progressed from Bartolus’s approach to implied servitudes and sheds new light on the creation of servitudes by means of destinatione patris familias in the Netherlands.

Religion and Government in Hugo Grotius’s Annales: Orthodoxy, William the Silent and Reason of State (Jan Waszink) (DOI 10.1163/18760759-42010007)

Abstract:

In Grotius’s Annales, religion appears almost exclusively as a social and political problem. References (implied or explicit) to religion as a good thing or its positive effects are lacking. This aspect of Grotius’s text arises from its equation of ‘religion’ with ‘combative orthodox religion in the post-reformation era’. However, it is not credible that this view represents Hugo Grotius’s actual opinion of the Christian faith as such. The solution seems rather that the above equation must be a conscious rhetorical strategy designed to strengthen the argument of the Annales. Continuing from that conclusion, however, the texts allow us to deduce some views on reason of state and religious policy, which do seem to have been actually held by Grotius in this period, or at least to have enjoyed his active interest.

The History of Fair Trade: Hugo Grotius, Corporations, and the Spanish Enlightenment (Edward Jones Corredera) (DOI 10.1163/18760759-42010008)

Abstract:

The early Spanish Enlightenment was shaped by debates over corporations, sovereignty, and the balance of power in Europe. Spanish officials, in this context, turned to the ideas of Hugo Grotius to establish joint-stock companies that could allow the Crown to regain control over its imperial domains and establish perpetual peace in Europe. This article recovers the writings of Félix Fernando de Sotomayor, Duke of Sotomayor (1684–1767), who drew on the works of Grotius, Samuel Pufendorf, and Charles Dutot in order to show that the history of these corporations chronicled the contestation and erosion of Spanish power and the diversion of European states from their true interests. Sovereigns, not merchants, argued Sotomayor, could guarantee fair trade and the equitable distribution of wealth. The study of Sotomayor’s views on trade, natural law, and alienation challenges traditional interpretations about the Iberian engagement with Grotius, the rise of capitalist hopes in Southern and Northern Europe, and Spain’s investment in the Enlightenment.

Book reviews:

  • The Law of Nations and Natural Law 1625–1800, ed. by Simone Zurbuchen (Gabriella Silvestrini)
  • Michael P. Scharf, Milena Sterio and Paul R. Williams, The Syrian Conflict’s Impact on International Law (Robert Volterra)
  • Martha Nussbaum, The Cosmopolitan Tradition: A Noble But Flawed Ideal (Tarik Kochi)
(read further here)

vrijdag 9 juli 2021

CONFERENCE: Law(s) and International relations : actors, institutions and comparative legislations (Orléans, 15-17 SEP 2021)

(image source: Le Studium)

Conference description:

In the last twenty years, the study of the history of international law and of international relations has witnessed something of a renaissance. The bicentenary of the Congress of Vienna (1814-1815) also led to several new publications on the Congress System and on the “security culture” that was established in the aftermath of Napoleon. Nevertheless, many lacunae remain, especially regarding the relationship between law(s) and international relations during the long nineteenth century and in the sociocultural history of international law as a discipline with its own actors, networks, venues, institutions and power circles. The aim of the present conference is to deepen our study of the interconnections  between law(s) and international relations through the eyes of a plurality of actors (e.g., legal advisers, lawyers, judges, activists, publicists, journalists, editors), institutions (e.g., foreign offices, courts, universities, academies of science, associations, libraries) and works on comparative law. Three focuses will be especially addressed by this conference. The first is the plurality of actors. We welcome proposals on legal advisers within governments, foreign offices and national or colonial administrations; on civil and administrative judges, admiralty courts and prize laws; and on lawyers, academics, peace activists, international thinkers, journalists and editors, including women as well as men. A prosopography of a group of actors is invited as well as individual biographies. The theme of the birth and professionalization of “international lawyers” will be studied as well as the various editors and the book market for international law. Our second focus will be on institutions. We especially invite papers studying the treatment of law(s) in foreign offices in a comparative perspective. For example, in Great Britain, legal issues were dealt by the Queens Lawyers until 1872 and afterwards by the Legal Adviser of the Foreign Office. In France after 1835, it was the Comité consultatif du contentieux that dealt with legal issues. But what about the foreign offices of other countries? Other institutions (similar to the Conseil d’état in France) may have also had their own “Foreign Office Committee.” How were these organized? Did they cooperate with the foreign office?  What role was played by scientific academies in the diffusion of international law? By the universities? By popular libraries? Our third and final focus is on the study of comparative law and its link to the development of international law. The Société de législation comparée, founded in 1869, was full of members of the first generation of the Institut de Droit International, while many comparativists were, vice versa, members of the Institut de Droit International. Scientific journals such as the Revue historique de droit français et étranger and the Revue de droit international et de législation comparée dealt with both comparative and international law. Papers on the progressive autonomy of the discipline and on the networks of the founding members are especially welcome.

Convenors:

Dr Raphaël Cahen, LE STUDIUM / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow FROM: Brussels Free University  (VUB) - BE IN RESIDENCE AT: POuvoirs, LEttres, Normes (POLEN) / CNRS, University of Orléans - FR, Prof. Pierre Allorant, POuvoirs, LEttres, Normes (POLEN) / CNRS, University of Orléans - FR, Prof. Walter Badier, POuvoirs, LEttres, Normes (POLEN) / CNRS, University of Orléans - FR 

See full program here

(see call earlier on this blog)