ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

vrijdag 18 december 2015

JOB: Full-Time Chair in Public International Law (KULeuven/Open University (The Netherlands); DEADLINE 10 Mar 2016

(image source: KULeuven)

The Law Faculty of the KULeuven and the Faculty of Humanities and Law of the Open University (the Netherlands) hire a full-time chair in public international law.


Candidates are expected to meet the following requirements:
  • PhD in Public International Law
  • knowledge of and research experience in Public International Law, demonstrated by an excellent academic output at international level
  • interest in fundamental doctrines of Public International Law, such as sovereignty, human rights, governance mechanisms in international society, international relations
  • managerial and communicative skills, including an excellent command of English (B2/C1 in CEFR)
  • the requisite skill to apply for tenders for research funding; experience in obtaining research grants is a plus
  • experience with academic teaching and good didactical qualities, demonstrated by evaluations
  • experience with or a demonstrable interest in the engagement of ICT and multimedia in academic teaching
  • skills in research supervision; completed PhD studies under supervision are a plus
  • a positive attitude towards obtaining the relevant teaching qualifications, if not yet obtained

Proficiency in English is required.
The official administrative language used at KU Leuven is Dutch. If you do not speak Dutch (or do not speak it well) at the start of employment, KU Leuven will provide language training to enable you to take part in administrative meetings.
Before teaching courses in Dutch or English, you will be given the opportunity to learn Dutch respectively English to the required standard.

The appointed candidate is expected to develop and execute research projects in cooperation with the departments /sections for International and European Law at both Faculties, as well as with the KU Leuven Institute for International Law and the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies. It is expected that excellent results will be achieved, such as publications in international peer reviewed academic journals as well as effective participation in national and international research networks in the field of the chair. This senior position entails the supervision of PhD students.

The appointed candidate will develop and execute an effective contribution to the law curricula of both Faculties. For KU Leuven the position will involve teaching in the campuses at Kortrijk, Brussels and Hasselt in conformity with the educational concept of the university. For the OU the position will involve the development and teaching of courses for online academic education as well as sharing the responsibility for the quality of other courses in the field of the chair. Supervision/examination of LLM papers is expected. Both Faculties expect the teaching to meet the standards of academic programmes (LLB, LLM) as regards level, orientation and content. The teaching will be evaluated through the relevant quality assurance systems, with which the chairholder will have to comply.

The appointed candidate is expected to engage in assignments of service to society and /or to the administration and management of the institutions where the chair is established.

The actual legal regime of the appointment will be discussed with the selected candidate, in view of interalia his /her nationality and personal preference. The chair's residence has to allow for personal presence of the chairholder in the academic communities,both in Leuven (B) and in Heerlen (NL), on a regular basis.
Equal opportunities and diversity policies are qualities of the HRM policies of both universities.

Interested ?
For more information please contact Prof. dr. Bernard Tilleman, tel.: +32 16 32 53 34, mail: or Prof. dr. Evert Stamhuis, tel. +31 455 762 307, mail:
For problems with online applying, please contact
You can apply for this job no later than March 10, 2016 via the

woensdag 9 december 2015

Call For Papers: “Law between Global and Colonial: Techniques of Empire” (3-5 October 2016, Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights, University of Helsinki)

(image source: Helsinki University)

The Conference Law Between Global and Colonial: Techniques of Empire proposes to discuss the legal languages and techniques through which colonial powers ruled non-European territories and populations throughout the modern age. The aim of the Conference is to examine in detail the juridical practices and discourses of colonial powers when they exercised their supremacy over colonial subjects and disciplined them. Given the complexity and variety of these legal strategies and without neglecting the classical the study of “law of nature and nations”, we intend to move beyond it in order to explore a hybrid normative body consisting of ad-hoc colonial laws, commercial laws and domestic laws adapted to colonial contexts. What came to be called the “empire of free trade”, for instance, operated largely through a commercial law (sometimes, though not always called “lex mercatoria”) that possessed features of both international and domestic law.
Although the focus of the conference is historical, the interest feeding it lies in the present. With the great numbers of people moving about in Europe, Asia and Africa as migrants, guest workers, refugees and displaced persons, territorial states have often used methods and techniques that resemble those with which colonial populations once were treated. With research showing a sharp rise in world inequality, the conference poses the question whether legislative techniques and institutions inherited from the imperial past, once again see the light of day in the present.
How was the “law of nations” understood when it was used for imperial purposes? Would domestic laws apply to colonial expansion? What laws might govern the groups concerned – indigenous population, settlers, slaves, indentured servants, subjects of third nations? What was the role of the idiom of international law in Europe’s colonial expansion? To what extent was colonial rule organised by domestic laws of a special character? How did special colonial laws and the “law of nature and nations” relate to each other? To what extent did any of these laws open an avenue to contesting colonial governance? How far did such techniques extend beyond the end of the period of formal colonialism and even decolonization?
To answer such questions, the relations between global and domestic laws in imperial expansion and colonial governance ought to be studied.
Keynote speakers: Lauren Benton, Isabel. V. Hull, Luigi Nuzzo
The conference will close the four and a half-year period of the Finnish Academy research project on “International Law, Religion and Empire” at the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights, University of Helsinki. Members: Martti Koskenniemi, Paolo Amorosa, Mónica García-Salmones, Manuel Jimenez and Walter Rech.
Interested participants should submit an abstract of no more than 600 words, in Word format accompanied by a brief (2-3 sentences) scholarly biography by March 1st, 2016 to both Mónica García-Salmones ( and Paolo Amorosa (
Accepted participants will be required to submit full papers, in Word format, of no more than 8000 words by August 31st, 2016.
The conveners will cover meals for the duration of the conference for accepted participants. Travel and accommodation expenses are to be met by the participants.
Deadlines: Submission of Abstracts March 1st, 2016
Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by June 1st, 2016
Final papers must be submitted by August 31st, 2016

WORKSHOP: A new world order? Internationalism and legal imagination in inter-war Europe (17 December 2015, Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights, University of Helsinki)

(image source: Helsinki University)

The Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights and the Graduate School Law in a Changing World are pleased to invite you to a workshop “A new world order? Internationalism and legal imagination in inter-war Europe”. The event takes place on December 17, 2015, at Unioninkatu Festive Halls (Unioninkatu 33).
The cataclysm of the Great War, the birth of democratic nation-states upon the ruins of monarchic empires, and efforts to found the League of Nations challenged contemporary legal theorists to restate, re-frame – or indeed to found anew – the principles of European internationalism. The urgent agendas of this extraordinarily intense period of legal innovation included attempts to think beyond unlimited state sovereignty, articulations of the legal and institutional tools for an organized system of internationalism, and reformulations of natural law or positivism to support these efforts. The seminar explores the transformations and innovations in the political and legal discourses of the time, as well as their embeddedness in the substantive and methodological frameworks of the tradition. A particular focus is on mapping the state of art in the inter-war history of European legal thought, including possibilities for a trans-national approach, and on its echoes in our own times.
1.        Nathaniel Berman, Brown University, "Whose Imagination? A Cacophonous Period and the Impossibility of Legal History"
2.        Georgios Varouxakis, Queen Mary University of London, "Continuities and discontinuities in Inter-War British internationalism"
 3.        Kaius Tuori, University of Helsinki, “Tradition and renewal: Refugee scholars and the revisiting of the foundations of European legal culture as a counter-reaction to interwar totalitarianism"
4.        Balasz Trencsenyi, Central European University, "Dominance, Crisis, and Renewal: The Faces of Liberalism in Interwar East Central Europe
5.        Katharina Rietzler, University of Cambridge, “German and Indian critics of British imperialism”
6.        Taina Tuori, University of Helsinki, “From League of Nations Mandates to Decolonization: A History of Rights”
7.        Timo Miettinen, University of Helsinki, “The idea of  internationalism and universalism in the phenomenological tradition in Germany” 
8.        Panu Minkkinen, ”The Political Constitution: Law and  Politics in Weimar” 
9.        Liisi Keedus, University of Helsinki, "'The New World' of Karl Barth: On Political Theologies"
10.      Rotem Giladi, University of Helsinki/University of Jerusalem, "Blending the Universal with the Particular: Jewish Engagements with International Law in the Interwar Period"
More information on the website of the Erik Castrén Institute.

donderdag 26 november 2015

CONFERENCE: Law, Biography, and a Trial: Tokyo’s Transnational Histories (Internationales Wissenschaftsforum Heidelberg/Universität Heidelberg, 6-7 Dec 2015)

(image source: Wikimedia Commons)

The "Internationales Wissenschaftsforum Heidelberg" and Heidelberg University (JRG: "Transcultural Justice: Legal Flows and the Emergence of International Justice within the East Asian War Crimes Trials, 1945-1954"/Excellenzcluster "Asia aand Europa in a Global Context") organize a conference on the "Transnational Histories of the Tokyo Trials".

Registration is open until 5 December 2015.

The lineages of contemporary international law have generally been envisioned in terms of the imposition of western concepts on other parts of the world. As research has shown, war crimes trials after the Second World War, in particular the International Military Tribunals at Nuremberg (IMT) and at Tokyo (IMTFE), claimed to be enforcing “justice”, but nevertheless proved to be battlegrounds for intense political and ideological struggle within the new post-war international world order. War crimes trials thus contributed to the development of international criminal law, the formation of transcultural norms of legality and legitimacy, as well as transnationally debated (and contested) notions of “justice.”
This workshop brings together fresh research on the political contexts in which new norms and practices of international criminal law emerged after 1945 in Asia, studying how the Tokyo Tribunal, active between May 1948 and November 1948, operated under the impact of external political and legal pressures, while also evolving new standards and debates that left a global impact beyond Japan. Through a combination of qualitative comparative research, theoretical conceptualization, and policy and cultural analyses, this project - by using the biographical lens on individual actors and interest groups - scrutinizes new modes and techniques of political legitimation and juridicality which emerged in the mid-20th century as a result of transcultural encounters in the crossroads of Europe, USA, USSR, Australia, and East, South-East and South Asia.
While the workshop gives due importance to legal actors who contributed to the formation of the majority judgment, it also puts in the foreground judges who did not throw their lot in with the majority judgment, and emphasizes subversive blocs or coalitions of individuals, thereby including also the defense lawyers in the trial. These various actors produced subterranean transnational networks that sometimes remain invisible in research. This workshop focusses also on the networks constructed through juridical institutions and theatres (not only the trial itself, but also universities, the UNWCC, the International Law Commission) which either had an impact on the trial or were influenced by its legacies.
Sunday, 6 Dec 2015:
Opening of the conference:
Kerstin von LINGEN (Heidelberg U): Introduction: Legal Flows and Travelling Judges at the IMTFE.
19.45 Film Screening (Japan. documentary 'Inside the Tokyo Tribunal', English version, aprox. 60 mins)
Monday, 7 Dec 2015:
10.00 h-10.25: Morning Coffee
Urs Matthias ZACHMANN (Edinburgh U): Loser’s Justice: the Tokyo Trial from the Perspective of the Japanese Legal Community
James Burnham SEDGWICK (Acadia University, Nova Scotia/ Canada): Building Blocs: Communities of Dissent, Manufactured Majorities, and International Judgment in Tokyo
Yuki TAKATORI (Georgia State University, Atlanta): “Justifying the vengeance by a successful belligerent” – Canadian view of the Tokyo War Crimes Trial
11.55 – 12.25
Hitoshi NAGAI (Hiroshima City University): Burdened by the “Shadow of War”: Justice Delfin Jaranilla and the Tokyo Trial
Lunch Break 12.30-14.30
Anja BIHLER (Heidelberg U): Judge Mei Ru’ao and the Chinese delegation at the IMTFE Criminals
Valentyna POLUNINA (Heidelberg U): The Soviets at Tokyo: international justice at the dawn of the Cold War
Ann-Sophie SCHOEPFEL (Heidelberg U): Defending French National Interests or Defending Justice Bernard? The dilemma of Ambassador Zinovy Peshkoff at the Tokyo Trial
16.00–16.20 Afternoon Coffee
Lisette SCHOUTEN (Heidelberg U): In the footsteps of Grotius. The Netherlands and its representation at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, 1945-1948.
Kerstin VON LINGEN (Heidelberg U): Judge William Patrick, Prosecutor Arthur Comyns-Carr and British approaches to the IMTFE
David M. CROWE (Elon U, USA): MacArthur, Keenan, and the American Quest for Justice at the IMFTE
Concluding Debate
End of conference 18.30
Kerstin von Lingen
Exzellenzcluster, Vossstr. 2/4400, 69115 Heidelberg

 Source: HSozKult.

donderdag 19 november 2015

BOOK: Willem Theo OOSTERVELD, The Law of Nations in Early American Foreign Policy. Theory and Practice from the Revolution to the Monroe Doctrine [Theory and Practice of Public International Law, ed. V. Chetail] (Leiden/Boston: Martinus Nijhoff/Brill, 2015), XIV + 359 p. ISBN 9789004305670

(image source: Brill)

Willem Theo Oosterveld (Hague Centre for Strategic Studies) published The Law of Nations in Early American Foreign Policy in Brill's new series "Theory and Practice of Public International Law" (ed. V. Chetail).


vrijdag 13 november 2015

dinsdag 10 november 2015

CALL FOR PAPERS: Workshop for the Istanbul ESIL Research Forum: ‘Beyond the Western Paradigm?: Towards a Global History of International Law’ (Istanbul, 21-22 Apr 2016); DEADLINE 15 JAN 2016

On the occasion of the ESIL Research Forum (Koç University Law School and the Center for Global Public Law in Istanbul, 21-22 April 2016) the ESIL Interest Group on the History of International Law hereby invites submissions, in English or in French, for a Workshop on global approaches to the history of international law. The workshop targets scholars at an early stage of their careers, especially PhD students and post-doctoral researchers.

Since its inception the discipline of the history of international law has been approached from the perspective of European states. Teleological visions of history as progress often dominate the discourse of textbooks on international law, making the implicit claim that it was the providence of European states to gradually, from the 15th century onwards, create a universal and ‘globalised’ world order. Attempts have been made to alter this discourse by alternatively highlighting the disruptive aspects of Western international law in the service of European imperialism and by pointing out the criticism offered by non-Western states and scholars against instances of European oppression. In light of these developments recent scholarschip has called for the creation of a ‘global’ history of international law which moves beyond the traditional Eurocentric paradigm and which also awards a voice to indigenous and non-Western histories of international law. This raises questions as to the methodology and the substance of a global history of international law.

In light of these questions, the IGHIL invites submissions from phd researchers and post-doctoral researchers within the fields of international law, history, legal history and politics on topics relating to:
a)      ‘histories’ of international law from a global perspective with an emphasis on the historical state practice and intellectual history of indigenous people and non-Western States relating to international law
b)      the historical relationship and interaction between non-Western and Western international law including stories of participation and confrontation with respect to, for example, human rights, humanitarian international law, international criminal law, etc.
c)      the methodological challenges of a global history of international law, including questions of periodisation, epistemology, narrative, etc.

Each submission should include:
a) An abstract of no more than 400 words;
b) The intended language of presentation;
c) A short curriculum vitae containing the author’s name, institutional affiliation, contact information and e-mail address.

Abstracts must be submitted no later than 15 January 2016 to  Shavana Musa ( or Thomas Skouteris ( on behalf of the Steering Committee of the Interest Group, which shall collectively supervise the peer-review process of the abstracts. Applicants will be notified on the outcome of the selection process by 15 February 2016.

Selection will be based on scholarly merit and with regard to producing an engaging workshop, without prejudice to gender, seniority, language or geographical location. Please note that the ESIL Interest Group on the History of International Law is unable to provide funds to cover the conference registration fee or related transport and accommodation costs.