ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

vrijdag 24 oktober 2014

CALL FOR PAPERS: British Influences on International Law 1915-2015(DEADLINE 29 OCTOBER)

International Law Reporter signals a call for submissions from the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, concerning a collective book on "British Influences on International Law 1915-2015". The invitation is aimed at "established academics, early career researchers, doctoral researchers, those with experience in government and other practice, and anoyne else with relevant experience", whether based in Her Majesty's United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, or elsewhere.

A seminar,  linked to the book, will be held in the first half of 2015. Professor Robert McCorquodale will edit the book, with Jill Barrett, Dr. Andraz Zidar, Anna Riddell and Dr Jean-Pierre Gauci. The book is linked to another project, the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Grotius Society.

The deadline for this call is rather soon, 29 October. Fur further details, we refer to ILR or Dr. Jean-Pierre Gauci (

dinsdag 21 oktober 2014

CONFERENCE: Human Rights, The Last Utopia ? (Brussels, 7 November 2014)

Saint-Louis University (Brussels), the Catholic University of Louvain (Ottignies) and the University of Namur co-organise an interdisciplinary conference within the framework of the Interuniversitary Attraction Pole "Human Rights Integration" (Belgian Scientific Policy) on 7 November 2014.


1ère session : Séance d’ouverture Présidence : Françoise Tulkens (Professeur émérite UCL, ancien juge à la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme 1998-2012)
9.00 Mot de bienvenue par Philippe Gérard (Université Saint-Louis)
9.10-9.25 Introduction par Julie Ringelheim (FNRS/UCL) et Priscilla Claeys (UCL, Collège d’Etudes Mondiales)
9.25-9.45 Justine Lacroix (ULB), Des droits de l’homme aux droits humains ? Retour sur un débat historiographique à forte portée politique
9.45-9.55 Ludivine Damay (Université Saint-Louis) et Florence Delmotte (FNRS/Université Saint-Louis), Réaction et lancement de la discussion
9.55-10.15 Discussion
10.15-10.30 Pause

2ème session : Droits de l’homme et politique : perspectives socio-historiques
Présidence Pierre-Olivier de Broux (Université Saint-Louis)
10.30-10.50 : Jan Eckle (Universität Freiburg, Allemagne), The Rise of Human Rights Politics on the International Scene in the 1970s
10.50-11.10 Sarah Snyder (American University, Washington), Human Rights Activism and the Cold War
11.10-11.30 Bart De Sutter (Universiteit Antwerpen), The making of the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights: (dis)continuities, contradictions and alternatives
11.30-11.45 Eva Brems (Université de Gand), Réaction et lancement de la discussion
11.45-12.15 Discussion
12.15-13.30 Déjeuner

3ème session : Droits de l’homme et mouvements sociaux - 1 
Présidence Koen De Feyter (Université d’Anvers)
13.30-13.50 Neil Stammers (University of Sussex), Human Rights and Social Movements: Theoretical Perspectives
13.50-14.10 Barbara Truffin (ULB), The Use of the Human Rights Concept by Indigenous Peoples
14.10-14.30 Priscilla Claeys (UCL, Collège d’Etudes Mondiales), The Creation of New Rights by the Peasant Movements
14.30-14.45 Geoffrey Pleyers (FNRS/UCL-Cridis/ EHESS), Réaction et lancement de la discussion
14.45-15.15 Discussion
 15.15-15.30 Pause

4ème session : Droits de l’homme et mouvements sociaux - 2 
Présidence Jacques Fierens (Université de Namur)
15.30-15.50 Claire De Galembert (CNRS/ENS Cachan), Droits de l’homme et mouvements religieux
15.50-16.10 Patricia Naftali (FNRS/ULB), Mobilisation des victimes des dictatures en Amérique latine et construction du droit à la vérité
16.10-16.30 Vincent-Arnaud Chappe (Centre Maurice Halbwachs, CNRS), Les syndicats face au droit de la non-discrimination : droits individuels c. droits collectifs ?
16.30-16.45 Julien Pieret (ULB), Réaction et lancement de la discussion
16.45-17.15 Discussion

17.15-17.45 Conclusions par Olivier De Schutter (UCL, Collège d’Europe, ancien Rapporteur spécial des Nations Unies pour le droit à l’alimentation 2008-2014)

17.45 Réception pour les 15 ans du Master complémentaire en droits de l’homme

BOOK-REVIEW: "A Scrap of Paper. Breaking and Making International Law during the Great War" (Isabel V. Hull, Cornell UP, 2014) (H-Net)

(image source: Cornell UP)

H-Law posted a book review by Bruce D. Cohen (North Texas) of Isabel V. Hull's A Scrap of Paper: Breaking and Making International Law during the Great War.

Fulltext here.

JOURNAL: Special issue of the Erasmus Law Review on World War One

(image: battle of Passendale,

The Erasmus Law Review published a special issue in open access on the First World War, containing the following contributions:
  • Willem H. van Boon, "The Great War and its Significance for Law, Legal Thinking and Jurisprudence"
  • Ignacio de la Rasilla y del Moral, "The Ambivalent Shadow of the Pre-Wilsonian Rise of International Law"
  • Nick Efthymiou, "The First World War and Constitutional Law for the Netherlands Indies"
  • Paul Mevis & Jan M. Reijntjes, "Hang the Kaiser ! But for What, and Would It Be Justice ?"
  • Janwillem Oosterhuis, "Unexpected Circumstances arising from World War I and its Aftermath: 'Open' versus 'Closed' Legal Systems"

donderdag 16 oktober 2014

WORKSHOP: The History and Theory of Treaty-Making with Indigenous Peoples (London, Queen Mary, 22 October 2014)

 International Law Reporter announced a workshop on "Treaty-Making with Indigeneous Peoples", organised by the Centre for Law and Society in a Global Context at Queen Mary University (London), on Tuesday 22 October 2014.

The organisers describe their topic as follows:
The issue of indigenous peoples and treaties is one of the most interesting and intriguing questions of international law. The 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples mentions in several places of its Preamble and in Article 37 rights granted by ‘treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements between States and indigenous peoples are, in some situations, matters of international concern, interest, responsibility and character.’ The workshop will analyse the legacy of these historical treaties with indigenous peoples. It will also assess whether these instruments can play a role in fostering the rights of indigenous peoples within States at a present time.
 More information on Queen Mary's website.

ANNOUNCEMENT: The Global Humanitarianism Research Academy (Leibniz Institute Mainz/ICRC/Exeter)

(image source: ICRC)

The Leibniz Institute for European History (Mainz), the International Committee of the Red Cross and the University of Exeter announce the launch of the "Global Humanitarianism Research Academy", starting July 2015. The initiative is designed to offer training to young researchers in the field of human rights, international law or international relations.

Mission statement:
This international Research Academy will offer research training to a group of advanced international PhD candidates and early postdoctoral scholars selected by the steering committee. It will combine academic sessions at the Leibniz Institute of European History in Mainz and the Imperial and Global History Centre at the University of Exeter with archival sessions at the Archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva. The Research Academy is open to early career researchers who are working in the related fields of humanitarianism,humanitarian law, peace and conflict studies as well as human rights covering the period from the 18th to the 20th centuries. It supports scholarship on the ideas and practices of humanitarianism in the context of international, imperial and global history thus advancing our understanding of global governance in humanitarian crises of the present.

 An official call will follow later on

zondag 12 oktober 2014

CONFERENCE: History and Histories of International Law (Helsinki, 27-28 October 2014)


The Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights at Helsinki University organizes a two-day conference on Monday 27 and Tuesday 28 October.

Runeberg Hall, University Main Building, Fabianinkatu 33 , 2nd floor
Monday 27 October
Martti Koskenniemi, University of Helsinki
Keynote address Anthony Anghie, University of Utah
10:30 – 11:00
11:00– 12:30

Panel I:
Methods of International (Global) Legal History
Anne Orford, University of Melbourne
Thomas Duve, MPI Frankfurt
Chair: Martti Koskenniemi, University of Helsinki

12:30 – 13:30

Lunch break

13:30 – 15:00
Panel II: Transformations of Empire in the 20 - 21 st Century
Nathaniel Berman, Brown University
Matthias Zachmann, University of Edinburgh
Chair: Walter Rech, University of Helsinki

15:00 – 15:30

15:30 - 17:00

Panel III: Histories of Human Rights
Lena Halldenius, Lund University
Vasuki Nesiah, New York University
Chair: Paolo Amorosa, University of Helsinki

Tuesday 28 October
9:00 – 10:30

Panel IV:
Non - European Histories of International Law
Lauri Mälksoo, University of Tartu
Kofi Quashigah, University of Ghana
Chair: Manuel Jiménez Fonseca, University of Helsinki

10:30 - 11:00

11:00 – 12:30

Panel V: Histories of International Institutions
Doreen Lustig, Tel Aviv University
Jan Klabbers, University of Helsinki
Chair: Mónica García - Salmones, University of Helsinki

vrijdag 10 oktober 2014

CONFERENCE: Treaties of Commerce. Balance of Trade and the European Order of States (Pisa, 26-27 November 2014)

(image: the harbour of Leghorn, Wikimedia Commons)

The University of Pisa organises a very promising conference on the history of international law and trade on 26-27 November, at the palazzo Manfreducci. 


Wednesday 26 November
9:00-9:15, Antonella Alimento, Università di Pisa, Introduction: The PRIN Project on ‘The Liberty of the Moderns’ and Commercial Treaties
First Session 
Chair: Antonella Alimento, Università di Pisa
9:15-9:30, Koen Stapelbroek, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Commercial Treaties and the Historiography of Eighteenth-Century Politics and Trade: Preliminary Considerations
9:30-10:00, Eric Schnakenbourg, Université de Nantes, Les conditions de l’échange marchand: traités de commerce et droit maritime au XVIIIe siècle
Coffee break
10:30-11:00, Guillaume Calafat, Université de Paris I, Faut-il traiter avec les «Barbaresques»? Commerce, compétition et pouvoir au XVIIIe siècle 
11:00-12:00, Discussion
Second Session 
Chair : John Shovlin, New York University
14:30-15:00, José Luís Cardoso, Institute of Social Sciences Lisbon, The Anglo-Portuguese Treaties of Commerce of 1703 and 1810: Opportunities and Constraints of Economic Development
15:00-15:30, Maria Virginia León, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, El Tratado hispano-británico del asiento durante la primera mitad del siglo XVIII
Coffee break
16:00-16:30, Doohwan Ahn, Seoul National University, The Treaty of Utrecht Revisited: The Balance of Trade or the Balance of Power?
16:30-17:00, Koen Stapelbroek, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Global Trade and the Commercial Treaties of the Dutch Republic
17:00-18:00, Discussion
Thursday 27 November
Third Session 
Chair: Koen Stapelbroek, Erasmus University Rotterdam
9:00-9:30, Antonella Alimento, Università di Pisa, From the Balance of Power to the Balance of Commerce Strategy: the French Rejection of the Treaties of Commerce Policy (1713-1763) 
9:30-10:00, John Shovlin, New York University, Remaking the Franco-British Rivalry in India: The Godeheu–Saunders Treaty and the Political Economy of Peaceful Competition
Coffee Break
10:30-11:00, Pascal Dupuy, Université de Rouen, Jeux et enjeux autour du traité de commerce franco-britanique de 1786: les représentations françaises
11:00-11:30, Marc Belissa, Université de Paris 10, Quel commerce pour un peuple républicain? Les débats révolutionnaires sur les traités de commerce de la République française (1792-1799)
11:30-12:30, Discussion
Fourth Session 
Chair: José Luís Cardoso, Institute of Social Sciences Lisbon
14,30-15,00 Marco Cavarzere, Ludwig-Maximilian Universität (Munich), The ‘Convention préliminaire de commerce’ between France and Prussia (1753) and the Rise of a New Commercial Nation
15:00-15:30, Christine Lebeau, Université de Paris I, Négocier un traité de commerce en contexte impérial. L’exemple de la Monarchie des Habsbourg dans la deuxième moitié du XVIIIe siècle
Coffee break
16:00-16:30, Biagio Salvemini, Università di Bari, Dans le silence des traités: l’interventionnisme institutionnel dans le commerce entre le Royaume de France et le Royaume de Naples au XVIIIe siècle 
16:30-18:00, Final Discussion 
More information here:

donderdag 9 oktober 2014

INAUGURAL LECTURE: "The Pirate and the Admiral" by Prof. dr. L. Sicking (VU Amsterdam) (Amsterdam, 14 November 2014)

Prof. dr. F.A. van der Duyn Schouten (rector magnificus) and Prof. mr. E. van Sliedregt (dean) invite all persons interested to the inaugural lecture on 14 november 2014 by Prof. dr. L Sicking, member of our Interest Group, as Aemilius Papinianus-Professor of the History of Public International Law at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The lecture ("De piraat en de admiraal", "The Pirate and the Admiral") will be held in Dutch.

The event, followed by a reception, will take place in the Vrije Universiteit's Aula, at 15:45. Togati are kindly invited to present themselves in formal dress.

Address: De Boelelaan 1105, Amsterdam.

vrijdag 3 oktober 2014

Online Course on the First World War (Prof. Christian C. Tams, Glasgow)

Professor Christian C. Tams (Professor of International Law at the University of Glasgow (UK)) will teach a Free Online Course on the Paris Peace Conference and the League of Nations, prepared in collaboration with the BBC (here).  

The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 ended a Great War, but it also designed the post-war future. In 1919, world leaders assembled in Paris redrew the map of the world, partitioned and created countries, and ushered in a new era of international relations. The naivety of the peace-makers of 1919 has been justly criticised. However, in setting up a permanent ‘world organisation’, the League of Nations, they changed the management of world affairs forever…
Produced in collaboration with the BBC, this three-week course will let you retrace the steps of those who took those momentous decisions almost a century ago. You’ll have a chance to assess how, over the past century, world organisations (first the League of Nations, then the United Nations) have become a forum for international cooperation. And you’ll be encouraged to debate many of the issues that have vexed international politics since then.
This course aims at the broadest audience, no prior knowledge is required. It is being taught for five hours per week, starting on 13 October 2014, enrolment is free. Participants can purchase a certificate at the end. The trailer is available for download (here).

The ESIL Interest Group History of International Law acclaims initiatives of this nature, since they are in perfect coherence with our purposes and justification statement, "nurturing the academic soil with better tools for promoting a future broader access to university education."