ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

woensdag 28 juni 2017

PAPER: Eyal BENVENISTI & Doreen LUSTIG, Taming Democracy: Codifying the Laws of War to Restore the European Order, 1856-1874

(image source: SSRN)

Eyal Benvenisti (Lauterpacht Centre, Cambridge) and Doreen Lustig (Tel Aviv University) published "Taming Democracy: Codifying the Laws of War to Restore the European Order, 1856-1874".

In this article, we contend that the canonical narrative about civil society’s efforts to discipline warfare during the mid-nineteenth century - a narrative of progressive evolution of Enlightenment-inspired international humanitarian law (IHL) - does not withstand scrutiny. On the basis of archival work and close reading of protocols, we argue that European governments codified the laws of war not for the purpose of protecting civilians from combatants’ fire, but rather to protect combatants from civilians eager to take up arms to defend their nation - even against their own governments’ wishes. We further argue that the concern with placing “a gun on the shoulder of every socialist” extended far beyond the battlefield. Monarchs and emperors turned to international law to put the dreaded nationalist and revolutionary genies back into the bottle. Specifically, we propose that it was the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 - 1871 and the subsequent short-lived, but violent, rise of the Paris Commune that prompted governments (more than any other war during this formative era of international law) to adopt the Brussels Declaration of 1874, the first comprehensive text on the laws of war. The new law not only exposed civilians to the war's harms, but also supported the growing capitalist economy by ensuring that market interests would be protected from the scourge of war and the consequences of defeat. The laws of war, in this formative stage, were more about restoring the political and economic order of Europe than about wartime. 
Full text on SSRN.

zaterdag 24 juni 2017

PAPER: Peter HILPOLD, How to Construe a Myth: Neutrality within the United Nations System Under Special Consideration of the Austrian Case

(image source: ESIL)

Prof. Peter Hilpold (Innsbruck) posted a paper on Austrian neutrality in the United Nations System, presented at this Interest Group's Workshop at the ESIL Research Forum (Granada, 30-31 March 2017).

In the 19th century neutrality was a highly appreciated concept. In the 20th century it has widely lost relevance and in principle it should be incompatible with UN membership. However, also under the UN system some states have opted for neutrality and it can be argued that there is still space for this status within the universal peace order. In fact, this peace order is far from perfect. There are several lacunae in the prohibition of the use of force and this concept is open to different interpretations. New challenges, such as international terrorism, are emerging that could threaten the absolute prohibition of the use of force. It is contended here that neutrals could play an important role when it comes to find an interpretation of this prohibition that best could reconcile the goals of peace and security with the overall - still imperfect - structure of the UN system. These questions are analysed with primary reference to Austrian neutrality which on the hand seems obsolete but on the other is forcefully looking for a new meaning.  
More information here.

woensdag 7 juni 2017

BOOK: Andreas VON ARNAULD (ed.), Völkerrechtsgeschichte(n): Historische Narrative und Konzepte im Wandel (Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 2017), ISBN 978-3-428-15163-9, € 74,9

(Image source: D&H)

Andreas von Arnauld (Kiel) published Völkerrechtsgeschichte(n): Historische Narrative und Konzepte im Wandel.


Völkerrechtsgeschichte(n). Der Begriff deutet an, dass die Geschichte des Völkerrechts nicht einfach-linear ist, sondern vielgestaltig und abhängig von der Perspektive dessen, der sie erzählt. Sich mit Geschichte zu befassen, heißt zu fragen, wer an was aus welchem Grund erinnert. Der Begriff deutet zugleich an, dass die Historiographie eng mit jenen Narrativen verbunden ist, die Völker und Staatengruppen zu Kollektiven formen. Welche historischen Gegenbilder schaffen wir mit der Rede vom »Westfälischen System«, wie konstruieren wir Epochen und Zäsuren, wie konzeptualisieren wir historischen Wandel – und aus welcher Perspektive? Diesen Fragen geht der vorliegende Band nach. Zugleich werden fundamentale Konzepte des Völkerrechts (internationale Gemeinschaft, Krieg und Frieden, Räume) in ihrem Wandel historisch rekonstruiert. Auf diese Weise soll die Funktion deutlich werden, die solche Rekonstruktionen für unsere Deutung des Völkerrechts der Gegenwart
Table of contents: 
  • Andreas von Arnauld, Völkerrechtsgeschichte(n). Einleitende Überlegungen 
  • Rainer Grote, Das »Westfälische System« des Völkerrechts: Faktum oder Mythos? 
  • Jochen von Bernstorff, International Legal History and its Methodologies: How (Not) to Tell the Story of the Many Lives and Deaths of the ius ad bellum 
  • Heinhard Steiger, Das Ius Publicum Europaeum und das Andere: a global history approach 
  • Markus Kotzur, Konstitutionelle Momente? Gedanken über den Wandel im Völkerrecht 
  • Erika de Wet & Ioannis Georgiadis, From communitas orbis to a Community of States – and Back? 
  • Carsten Stahn, Das Ringen um den Frieden: Jus ad bellum – Jus contra bellum – Jus Post Bellum? 
  • Alexander Proelß & Camilla Haake, Gemeinschaftsräume in der Entwicklung: von der res communis omnium zum common heritage of mankind
More information on the publisher's website.

(source: International Law Reporter)

dinsdag 6 juni 2017

CALL FOR PAPERS: Inclusion and Exclusion in the History of Ideas (Helsinki: Helsinki Centre for Intellectual History, 14-15 Dec 2017); DEADLINE 30 JUN 2017

(image source: university of Helsinki)

The Helsinki Centre for Intellectual History invites paper and panel proposals for its first international conference, which will take place 14-15 December 2017. Papers and panels should address intellectual history, broadly speaking, and relate to the general conference theme of ‘inclusion and exclusion’. While the theme of ‘inclusion and exclusion’ can be approached from many different perspectives and applied to many different topics, research in fields related to intellectual history has not prominently done so thus far. The conference organisers want to highlight a few ways of how this might be done, but the conference is also open to other suggestions:

· Inclusion and exclusion in theorising on political representation. How has the lack of representation due to gender, income or status been historically addressed? How has the fulfilment of citizenship been treated in the history of political thought? How are conceptualisations of politics and forms of government related to mechanisms of exclusion?
· Inclusion and exclusion in the recognition of social, cultural, religious or ethnic difference and the tradition of conceptualising tolerance. How have religious convictions and doctrines shaped the intellectual history of mutual recognition and toleration? Does the recognition of different identities and beliefs endorse or rather prevent the creation of cooperative and sociable societies?
· Inclusive and exclusive mechanisms regarding the location of knowledge and intellectual life. How do travel and communication between intellectuals and translation processes shape thinking in different parts of the world? How can today’s attempts to move toward global intellectual history shape and transform the practices and outputs of the field?
· Inclusion and exclusion through trade politics, institutions, and regulatory mechanisms. How were current international trade regimes shaped by forms of economic, fiscal, legal, and diplomatic inclusion and exclusion? How did different institutional and legal regimes develop in their usage of inclusion and exclusion mechanisms, thereby shaping trade patterns and political power relations?

Proposals for individual papers and panels of multiple papers are welcome at The deadline for submissions is 30 June. Notice of acceptance will be sent by 21 July. Paper presentations should not exceed 20 minutes with 10 minutes reserved for questions and comments. Panels may include up to four papers.

The conference is free of charge, but participants are expected to cover their travel and accommodation. We will provide information on discounted hotel rates and a list of recommended hotels. Lunches and a conference dinner will be provided for presenters.

The Helsinki Centre for Intellectual History has its own working paper series (‘Intellectual History Archive’) through which papers may be circulated and published afterwards.

More information here.

zaterdag 3 juni 2017

BOOK: Hervé ASCENSIO, Pierre BODEAU-LIVINEC, Mathias FORTEAU, Franck LATTY, Jean-Marc SOREL, Muriel UBEDA-SAILLARD (eds.), Dictionnaire des idées reçues en droit international. Paris: Pedone, 2017, 610 p. ISBN 9782233008305, € 40

(image source: Multipol)

Pedone published a dictionnary of idées reçues (commonplaces) in international law.

Book abstract:
Le présent ouvrage est un hommage à Gustave Flaubert et un clin d'oeil amical à Alain Pellet. Le premier en a inspiré la forme ; le second en a déterminé, à son insu, le contenu et les auteurs. A l'image du Dictionnaire des idées reçues de Flaubert (Ed. Louis Conard, Paris, 1913), le Dictionnaire des idées reçues en droit international comporte plus de cent définitions, sous forme d'aphorismes ou de poncifs, se rapportant à des notions, institutions ou auteurs du droit international.
Certaines de ces définitions sont directement empruntées à Alain Pellet. Toutes sont commentées par des « collègues et néanmoins amis », anciens élèves, compagnons de route et autres proches du professeur nanterrois.

Table of contents:
Sarah, Héloïse, Benjamin et Renaud Pellet, A. Pellet (se prononce « pèlè »)
Yves Daudet, Académie de droit international de La Haye : passage obligé
Rolf Einar Fife, Acte unilatéral : arroseur arrosé
Denys Simon, Adages : bon sens brocardé
Edwige Belliard, Ambassade : excroissance extraterritoriale
Peter Tomka, Article 38 du Statut de la CIJ : incomplet
François Alabrune, Assemblée générale des Nations Unies : ne peut rien faire
Loretta Malintoppi, Avocat-conseil : secteur libre, honoraires non conventionnés
Alina Miron, Barreau : invisible à La Haye
Hélène Ruiz Fabri, Bonne foi : se présume, sans plus
Anne-Thida Norodom, CDI : elle n’aurait servi à rien
Habib Gherari, CIRDI : favorable aux investisseurs privés
Mattias Guyomar, Codification : alchimie juridique
Muriel Ubéda-Saillard, Common law : bientôt commun à tous
Jorge Cardona, Communauté internationale : du G7 au G20
Mohamed Bennouna, Le Conseil de sécurité : peut tout faire
Pierre Bodeau-Livinec, Eglantine Cujo, Conseiller juridique : prêcheur dans le désert
Joe Verhoeven, Consentement : libre, quand même
Olivier de Frouville, Constitutionnalisme international : des réseaux à la pyramide
David K. Nanopoulos, Cour internationale de Justice : prudence, ralentissez
Madjid Benchikh, Coutume : norme à l’état gazeux
Rafaëlle Maison, Crime de l’Etat : mort trop jeune
Jean-Pierre Cot, Délimitation maritime : au doigt mouillé
Jean-Marc Thouvenin, Délimitation terrestre : au gros feutre rouge
Pascal Boniface, Désarmement : une naïveté désarmante
Yann Kerbat, Développement durable : écolabel
Franck Latty, Doctrine : eut du succès au temps du cinéma muet
Marina Eudes, Droit de la guerre : apocalypse now
Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, Le droit des peuples à disposer d’eux-mêmes : ne sert qu’une fois
Emmanuel Jos, Droit du développement : ex-fan des sixties
Jean-Marc Sorel, Droit international : on ne sait vraiment pas ce que c’est
Blaise Tchikaya, Droit international : morale du faible
Mathias Audit, Droit international privé : casse-tête chinois
Danièle Lochak, Droits de l’homme : les femmes les attendent
Bruno Simma, Droits-de-l’hommistes : fondamentalistes
Céline Nègre, Environnement (droit international de l’) : nouvelle religion monothéiste
Philippe Couvreur, Estoppel : synonyme pédant de la bonne foi
Marcelo Kohen, Etat : besoin de personne
Guillaume Le Floch, Etat : prématuré d’envoyer les faire-part de décès
Régis Chemain, FMI : père Fouettard
David Ruzié, Fonctionnaire international : nanti
Jean-Sylvestre Bergé, Fragmentation : la diversité dans l’unité et inversement
Muriel Ubéda-Saillard, Francophonie : has been
Christian Tomuschat, Frontières : imperméables (même en mer)
Maurice Kamto, Gouvernance : c’est tendance
Charles Leben, Grotius : serait le père du droit international
Pierre Bodeau-Livinec, Hard law : érection durable
Clémentine Bories, ICANN : organisation internationale californienne
Vincent Coussirat-Coustère, Immunité : irresponsabilité
Jean Salmon, Institut de droit international : la valeur attend le nombre des années
Antoine Ollivier, Internationalistes : une grande famille
Denis Alland, Interprétation : des idées reçues sur l’interprétation à l’interprétation des idées reçues
Jean-François Dobelle, Jus cogens : comme pour Jésus Christ, il y a l’avant et l’après J.C.
Djamchid Momtaz, Jus cogens : ne sort jamais du garage
Marc Perrin de Brimchambaut, Justice pénale internationale : poudre aux yeux ?
Michel Troper, Kelsen (et le droit international) : le mystère de la grande pyramide
Olivier Corten, Légitime défense : droit naturel en action
Rostane Mehdi, Légitimité démocratique : politiquement correcte
Concepción Escobar Hernández, Lex ferenda : terrain de jeu doctrinal
Mahnoush H. Arsanjani, W. Michael Reisman, Lex mercatoria : utopie capitaliste
Giorgio Gaja, Loi (nationale) : un simple fait
Pierre Klein, Lotus : fané
Péter Kovács, Minorités : peuple qui n’a pas réussi
Régis Bismuth, Monisme : une fable
Michael Wood, Non-ingérence : frappez avant d’entrer
Olivia Danic, Objectifs du Millénaire : parfaits pour le quatrième
Jean-Marc Sorel, ONU : un machin qui coûte cher
Hervé Ascencio, Ordre juridique international : la quatrième dimension
Patrick Jacob, Organisation internationale : société à irresponsabilité limitée
Mathias Forteau, Organisation mondiale du tourisme : la croisière s’amuse
Géraud de la Pradelle, Palestine : dos au mur
Benjamin Samson, PGD : de et pas du
Pierre Brunet, Positivisme : un froid cynisme
Laurence Boisson de Chazournes, Pratique : supérieure à la théorie
Pierre d’Argent, Préjudice : quel dommage !
Pierre-Marie Dupuy, Professeur de droit international : écoles buissonnières
Sébastien Touzé, Protection diplomatique : pouvoir trop discrétionnaire de l’Etat
Affef Ben Mansour, Reconnaissance : ils en ont une énorme envie !
Sandrine Barbier, Régimes auto-suffisants : ne se suffisent pas à eux-mêmes
Emmanuel Decaux, Relations internationales : introduction au droit international
Santiago Villalpando, Réserves : suivez le guide !
Sandra Szurek, Responsabilité de protéger : entrez sans frapper
James Crawford, Responsabilité internationale : ni civile, ni pénale, internationale
Geneviève Bastid Burdeau, Sanction : le talon d’Achille du droit international
Patrick Daillier, Scelle : aura eu raison trop tôt
Daniel Müller, Sécession : mieux vaut la réussir
Mariano J. Aznar, Secrétaire général de l’ONU : plus secrétaire que général
Mathias Forteau, SFDI : ASIL du pauvre
Catherine Kessedjian, Société civile internationale : quelle adresse ?
Hervé Ascensio, Soft law : cinquante nuances de gris
Dominique Carreau , Souveraineté : comme la virginité, on l’a ou on ne l’a pas
Gerhard Hafner, Succession d’Etats : empirique
Franck Latty, Sujets : en sont toujours un
Robert Badinter, Terrorisme : le terrorisme, l’art et la loi
Leonardo Nemer Caldeira Brant, Théorie du droit international : hallucinogène
Anne-Laure Vaurs-Chaumette, Thèse de droit international : delirium pas très mince
Luigi Condorelli, Traité : piège à volontés
Laurence Burgorgue-Larsen, Union européenne : juste une organisation internationale
Anouche Beaudouin, Uti possidetis juris : sonne mieux en latin
Serge Sur, Veto : votez contre !
More information on the publisher's website.

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: Law and Empire in the Longue Durée (Cambridge, 23-24 Mar 2018); DEADLINE 31 JUL 2017

(image source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Legal History Blog advertises the following call for abstracts:

This is a general call for papers in anticipation of an intimate two-day seminar to be held at the University of Cambridge on Friday 23rd March and Saturday 24th March, 2018. This will be an advanced workshop, with drafts circulated in advance. The event will showcase a number of rare and searching attempts to identify continuities and differences across ancient, medieval, and modern legal and imperial contexts. This moves back towards Braudel while also tailing in the direction of all that heat left by David Armitage and Jo Guildi’s fiery interventions in The History Manifesto, which calls for newly ambitious historical studies to break from long-set moulds. Empire lends itself naturally to explorations of this kind using large time-frames. Not only is this due to the endurance of many empires across centuries, but this also owes to the presence (and comparability) of empires within different periods. Legal source materials are helpful for facilitating this kind of approach, whether relating to private law events or the public nature of imperium. In the right hands, legal texts, court records, official opinions, drafted constitutions and acts, along with the correspondences and commentaries relating thereto can push us to contemplate a number of bold conclusions about economics, politics, society, religiosity, and humanity in general.

Abstracts of proposals (between 200 and 500 words) will be accepted until July 31st, 2017, at PhD students and postdoctoral scholars are encouraged to include a CV with their proposal. Your proposal will be especially welcome if you anticipate to be able to share work according to the following guidelines:
1)      It will extend across at least three centuries OR will otherwise offer an original reinterpretation of a more focused period with the explicit goal to allow for new studies across periodizations;2)      It will cover any period from Ancient Greece to the present day (900 BC — 2017 AD), with preference, however, shown for the period between the latter Roman Empire and the interwar period (500 AD – 1939 AD);3)      It will explore a historical topic relevant to law (broadly encompassing legal thought, legal process, public law, private law, and constitutionalism) OR empire (pertaining either to specific imperial regimes or to imperium as synonym for public authority, sovereignty, authority), with preference shown to approaches that consider BOTH;
4)      It will be laid out in a thematic or chronological narrative style, or otherwise in case studies unified appropriately in conclusion.
For enquiries and submissions, please contact Dr Edward Cavanagh, at