ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

vrijdag 30 november 2018

CALL FOR PAPERS: White Slavery in Transnational and International Context, 21 June 2019 (University of Warwick, Deadline: 31 January 2019)

Via Legal History Blog, we learned of a CFP on “White Slavery in Transnational and International Context”.

White Slavery in Transnational and International Context, 1880-1950.  June 21, 2019, University of Warwick (UK).  Keynote: Brian Donovan ((University of Kansas)

This is a call for abstracts for paper, poster and creative presentations for a one day interdisciplinary conference on white slavery, as trafficking in women was historically called. The conference seeks to question how white slavery manifested in transnational and international contexts but welcomes papers on any localities.

We welcome papers exploring different aspects of white slavery from nationalism to visual representations, and their impact on anti-white slavery legislation. The conference seeks to investigate white slavery and its legacies from conceptual, legal, popular culture perspectives. It also seeks to place it in relation to wider themes of nationalism, race, gender, and labour, and question how white slavery relates to critiques of modernity.

We invite paper and poster presentations from range of disciplines that explore how white slavery manifested in these different contexts, in different localities, during the years 1880- 1950. The conference is particularly interested in exploring white slavery through the following themes:

* Race, nationality and nationalism
* Regulation / criminalisation of white slavery in domestic and international sphere
* Rhetoric of slavery and neo-abolitionism
* Age, innocence and purity
* Agency, autonomy and free will
* Gender; trafficking in boys / men
* Migration and gendered labour
* Critique of modernity
* White slavery in popular culture / media

We also welcome creative responses to the subject, and in particular poster presentations that engage the audience and foster debate on the conference themes. PG students at any stage of their studies are particularly encouraged to submit proposals for posters or other visual presentations. Poster presentations must be printed in advance of the conference and be size A1, either portrait or landscape (H: 84.1cm x W: 59.4cm); and you have to present in person. Poster session participants populate boards with pictures, data, graphs, diagrams, narrative text, and more - and will informally discuss their presentations with conference attendees during an assigned session.

Please send 300-word abstract for papers and 200-word abstracts for posters with a short bio to the organisers. Deadline is 31 January 2019. PG bursaries may be available.

Dr Catherine Armstrong (Loughborough University)  and Dr Laura Lammasniemi (University of Warwick)

(source: ESCLH Blog)

YOUTUBE Discussions and lectures on Oona HATHAWAY & Scott SHAPIRO, The Internationalists (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2017) (LSE, 12 OCT 2017 and New America, 12 SEP 2017)

Thanks to the expanding practice of livestreaming and videocasting, many lectures or panel debates on the history of international law can be revived from anywhere in the world. Above, the example of Scott Shapiro and Oona Hathaway's acclaimed The Internationalists, dating back to the fall of 2017 (see earlier on this blog).

donderdag 29 november 2018

CALL FOR PAPERS: British International History Group 31st Annual Conference, 5-7 SEP 2019 (DEADLINE 1 MAR 2019)

British International History Group 31st Annual Conference
Call for Papers
5-7 September 2019, Lancaster University
Keynote Speaker: Professor Kathleen Burk, University College London
The BIHG Committee invites you to contribute a paper to the conference. As in previous conferences we are pleased to receive offers to present papers on a wide range of subjects in International History, for any period. These include:
  • Inter-State Diplomatic Relations
  • Domestic Issues in Foreign Policy
  • History of International Relations
  • Military History (including strategic issues, POWs etc)
  • Intelligence and/or Propaganda
  • International Organisations and Institutions
  • Inter-Imperial Relations
  • International Economic Relations
  • Cultural and/or Transnational Processes
The committee accepts both individual papers (20 minutes) and complete panel submissions consisting of three 20 minute papers. We also welcome the submission of multiple panels on a related theme; papers from such panels will be considered for publication in a theme issue of the International History Review.
If you wish to offer a paper, please submit your details and 250 word abstract online at
The deadline for submissions is 1 March 2019.
(source: H-Diplo)

woensdag 28 november 2018

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Raoul Berger-Mark DeWolfe Howe Legal History Fellowship – Harvard Law School (DEADLINE: 15 February 2019)

(Source: Harvard University)

Via H-Law, we learned of the call for the 2019-2020 Raoul Berger-Mark DeWolfe Howe Fellowship:

Harvard Law School invites applications for the Raoul Berger-Mark DeWolfe Howe Legal History Fellowship for the academic year 2019-2020.  Eligible applicants include those who have a first law degree, who have completed the required coursework for a doctorate, or who have recently been awarded a doctoral degree. A J.D. is preferred, but not required.  The purpose of the fellowship is to enable the fellow to complete a major piece of writing in the field of legal history, broadly defined. There are no limitations as to geographical area or time period.

Fellows are expected to spend the majority of their time on their own research. They also help coordinate the Harvard Law School Legal History Colloquium, which meets four or five times each semester. Fellows are invited to present their own work at the colloquium. Fellows will be required to be in residence at the law school during the academic year (September through May).

Applicants for the fellowship for 2019-2020 should submit their applications and supporting materials electronically to Professor Bruce H. Mann (

Applications should outline briefly the fellow’s proposed project (no more than five typewritten pages) and include a writing sample and a curriculum vitae that gives the applicant’s educational background, publications, works in progress, and other relevant experience, accompanied by official transcripts of all academic work done at the graduate level. The applicant should arrange for two academic references to be submitted electronically. The transcripts may be sent by regular mail to Professor Mann at Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138.

The deadline for applications is February 15, 2019, and announcement of the award will be made by March 15, 2019.

The fellow selected will be awarded a stipend of $38,000.

(Source: ESCLH Blog)

dinsdag 27 november 2018

JOURNAL: Journal of Modern Intellectual History, Forum "Law, Empire and Global Intellectual History" (July 2018)

(image source: Cambridge Core)

Introduction (Mililnda Banerjee & Kersten Von Lingen, "Law, Empire and Global Intellectual History: An Introduction"):
In recent years, there has been a deepening convergence between scholarship on global intellectual history and on legal history. To take just one example, a recent book on international law, by Arnulf Becker Lorca (2014), carries “global intellectual history” in its subtitle—a stance related to the author's emphasis on the constitutive role in the field of non-European legal actors.1 A sustained reflection on the convergence between legal studies and global intellectual history, however, still remains a desideratum, at least in the sense that we do not yet have even a basic platform where scholars with different space/time and (trans-) cultural specialization come together to reflect on how studying legal concepts gains from global intellectual history. This forum, which results from a conference organized at Heidelberg University in 2016, attempts a preliminary intervention here. The introductory remarks are not meant to be conclusive; they invite responses.

"Property and Political Norms: Hanafi Juristic Discourse in Agrarian Bengal" (Andrew Sartori)
This article explores the reception of discourses about land and property in Islamic jurisprudence in colonial Bengal. I argue that Hanafi fiqh provided a sophisticated conceptual repertoire for framing claims to property that agrarian political actors in Muslim Bengal drew upon. Yet the dominant framework for understanding property claims in postclassical jurisprudence was ill-fitted to claims of the kind that agrarian movements in colonial Bengal were articulating. As a result, twentieth-century agrarian movements in the region spoke the language of fiqh, but nonetheless inhabited the ideological landscape of a much broader twentieth-century world of political aspirations and norms.

"Sovereignty as a Motor of Global Conceptual Travel: Sanskritic Equivalents of “Law” in Bengali Discursive Production" (Milinda Banerjee)
How may one imagine the global travel of legal concepts, thinking through models of diffusion and translation, as well as through obstruction, negation, and dialectical transfiguration? This article offers some reflections by interrogating discourses (intertextually woven with Sanskritic invocations) produced by three celebrated Bengalis: the nationalist littérateur Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay (1838–94), the Rajavamshi “lower-caste” peasant leader Panchanan Barma (1866–1935), and the international jurist Radhabinod Pal (1886–1967). These actors evidently took part in projects of vernacularizing (and thereby globalizing through linguistic–conceptual translation) legal–political frameworks of state sovereignty. They produced ideas of nexus between sovereignty, law, and “divine” lawgiving activity, which resemble as well as diverge from notions of political theology associated with the German jurist Carl Schmitt. Simultaneously, these actors critiqued coercive impositions of state-backed positive law and sovereign violence, often in the name of globally oriented concepts of “ethical”/natural law, theology, and capacious forms of solidarity, including categories like “all beings,” “self/soul,” “humanity,” and “world.” I argue that “sovereignty,” as a metonym for concrete practices of power as well as a polyvalent conceptual signifier, thus dialectically provoked the globalization of modern legal intellection, including in the extra-European world.

"Legal Flows: Contributions of Exiled Lawyers Toward the Concept of ‘Crimes Against Humanity’ During the Second World War" (Kerstin Von Lingen)
This article addresses the normative framework of the concept of “crimes against humanity” from the perspective of intellectual history, by scrutinizing legal debates of marginalized (and exiled) academic–juridical actors within the United Nations War Crimes Commission (UNWCC). Decisive for its successful implementation were two factors: the growing scale of mass violence against civilians during the Second World War, and the strong support and advocacy of “peripheral actors,” jurists forced into exile in London by the war. These jurists included representatives of smaller Allied countries from around the world, who used the commission's work to push for a codification of international law, which finally materialized during the London Conference of August 1945. This article studies the process of mediation and the emergence of legal concepts. It thereby introduces the concept of “legal flows” to highlight the different strands and older traditions of humanitarian law involved in coining new law. The experience of exile is shown to have had a significant constitutive function in the globalization of a concept (that of “crimes against humanity”).

"Liberalism, Cultural Particularism, and the Rule of Law in Modern East Asia: The Anti-Confucian Essentialisms of Chen Duxiu and Fukuzawa Yukichi Compared" (Kiri Paramore)
How and why are universalist modes of political thought transformed into culturally essentialist and exclusionary practices of governance and law? This article considers this question by analyzing the interaction between Confucianism and liberalism in East Asia. It argues that liberalism, particularly as it was used in attacking Confucianism, was instrumental in embedding ideas of cultural particularism and cultural essentialism in the emergence of modern political thought and law in both China and Japan. Both Confucianism and liberalism are self-imagined as universalist traditions, theoretically applicable to all global societies. Yet in practice both have regularly been defined in culturally determined, culturally exclusivist terms: Confucianism as “Chinese,” liberalism as “British” or “Western.” The meeting of Confucian and liberal visions of universalism and globalism in nineteenth-century East Asia provides an intriguing case study for considering the interaction between universalism and cultural exclusivism. This article focuses on the role of nineteenth-century global liberalism in attacks upon the previous Confucian order in East Asia, demonstrating the complicity of liberalism in new, culturally essentialist and particularist constructions of governance and law in both China and Japan.

"Autonomy and Decentralization in the Global Imperial Crisis: The Russian Empire and Soviet Union in 1905–1924" (Ivan Sablin & Alexander Semyonov)
This article brings the case of imperial transformation of the Russian Empire/Soviet Union into global discussions about empire, nationalism, and postimperial governance, and highlights the political and legal imaginaries that shaped this transformation, including their global and entangled character. This article argues that the legal and political discourses of decentralization, autonomism, and federalism that circulated at the time of the imperial crisis between the Revolution of 1905 and the adoption of the Soviet Constitution in 1924 contributed to the formation of an ethno-national federation in place of the Russian Empire, despite both the efforts of the Bolsheviks to create a unitary state, and the expectations of a different future among contemporary observers. At the same time, the postimperial institutional framework became a product of political conjunctures rather than the legal discourse. Its weakness before the consolidating party dictatorship made the Soviet Union a showcase of sham federalism and autonomism.

"Jewish Modern Law and Legalism in a Global Age: The Case of Rabbi Joseph Karo" (Roni Weinstein)
During the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, Rabbi Joseph Karo composed two major Jewish codes of law: the Beit Yosef, and its abridged version, Sulchan ‘Aruch. Though several centuries of legal discussion and scholarship have passed since their publication, these double codes of law were never superseded. This codification project defined the axial place of law in Jewish tradition. I argue that it responded to changes in legal processes and the enforcement of law that simultaneously transformed early modern Europe and the Ottoman world. Transcontinentally connected changes in political institutions—the formation of a centralized Islamic empire in the Ottoman case, and the formation of centralized states in Europe—dramatically redefined the role of law and legal codification in the forging of state power and community identities. The resultant belief among Sephardi rabbis, including Karo, that changes in Jewish legal tradition were now needed, prompted a redefinition of Jewish legal culture, whereby law (a gradually centralized conception of it) began to be seen as the foundation of Jewish religious heritage and ethnic identity. Despite the absence of state backing, early modern transformations in Jewish law were thus part of comparable changes taking place in the European and Islamic legal worlds.

Find the full issue on Cambridge Core.

maandag 26 november 2018

CALL FOR PAPERS: The Legacy of the League of Nations, Leicester Law School, 31 January 2019 (DEADLINE: 30 November 2018)

We learned of a call for papers on the League of Nations at Leicester Law School. Here the call:

We invite proposals of early career researchers for papers to the conference ‘The Legacy of the League of Nations’ to be held at Leicester Law School on 31 January 2019.
We welcome submissions that engage with various aspects of the work of the League of Nations. 

Doctrinal and interdisciplinary papers are equally welcome.
Possible topics for the conference include, but are not limited to:

  • The League of Nations and the theory of sources of international law
  • The legacy of the Permanent Court of International Justice
  • The past, present and future of collective security
  • The League of Nations and the protection of refugees
  • The League of Nations and the development of international organisations law
  • The Covenant and the Charter: the seeds of international constitutionalism?
  • Rethinking the United Nations in the twenty-first century: lessons learnt from the League of Nations’ experience and proposals for the future
Confirmed speakers
  • Professor William Schabas (Middlesex University)
  • Professor Jean d’Aspremont (University of Manchester)
  • Professor Nicholas Tsagourias (University of Sheffield)
  • Dr Richard Collins (University College Dublin)
  • Dr Rose Sydney Parfitt (University of Kent)
  • Dr Rossana Deplano (University of Leicester)
Keynote speech delivered by Professor Nigel White (Professor of International Law, University of Nottingham).

Deadline for submissions: 30 November 2018

Abstracts of 500 words should be sent via email to Dr Rossana Deplano. Abstracts must include the institutional affiliation of the author.
For more information, please see our call for papers.

The conferenceis funded by the Society of Legal Scholars (SLS).

(Source: ESCLH Blog)

vrijdag 23 november 2018

OPEN ACCESS: Book Series Studien Zur Geschichte des Völkerrechts (Nomos)

(image source: Nomos)

The peer-reviewed book series Studien zur Geschichte des Völkerrechts (Baden-Baden:Nomos Verlag) has decided to publish its most recent volumes, from 2016 on, in open access.

The books listed below can be downloaded in PDF, for free:

Ruth Lambertz-Pollan, Auf dem Weg zu Souveränität und Westintegration (1948-1955). Der Beitrag des Völkerrechtlers und Diplomaten Wilhelm Grewe (vol. 34) (ISBN 9783845272504)

Wilhelm Grewe (1911-2000) begann seine Karriere als Völkerrechtler im Dritten Reich. Bereits während der frühen Nachkriegsjahre setzte er sich für eine juristische Regelung der Beziehungen zwischen Deutschland und den Besatzungsmächten ein, bevor ihm Konrad Adenauer 1951 die Verhandlungen für den „Deutschlandvertrag“ übertrug.Diese Fallstudie, die erste umfassende Arbeit über Wilhelm Grewe, untersucht, welchen Einfluss er in den Jahren 1948-1955 als Berater auf die Verhandlungen über die westdeutsche Souveränität und Westintegration der Bundesrepublik ausübte. Sie zeigt insbesondere, wie die tagtäglichen Arbeits- und Entscheidungsprozesse auf der Arbeitsebene konkret abliefen. Hinterfragt wird auch Grewes Handlungsspielraum auf nationaler und internationaler Ebene. Der wechselseitige Einfluss von Politik und Völkerrecht ist für die Bewertung seiner Rolle ein Schlüsselelement.Die Autorin ist Maître de conférences an der Universität Nantes.

Jakob Zollmann, Naulila 1914. World War I in Angola and International Law (vol. 35) (ISBN 9783845271606)

Die völkerrechtshistorische Studie beschäftigt sich mit den Auswirkungen des Ersten Weltkriegs in Deutsch-Südwestafrika (Namibia) und Angola.

Dante Fedele, Naissance de la diplomatie moderne, XIIIe-XVIIe siècles. L'ambassadeur au croisement du droit, de la morale et de la politique (vol. 36) (ISBN 9783845284361)

The author investigates the birth of modern diplomacy. Drawing on a wide-ranging body of textual materials dealing with the ambassador from the 13th to the 17th century, he analyses how that figure was developed within a complex constantly renewed field of interaction between law, ethics and politics, where theory and practise are intertwined in an unresolved dialectical interaction. The first part examines how the legal status of the ambassador was shaped during the late Middle Ages and how this process influenced early-modern scholarship on diplomacy. The second part investigates how the emergence of the modern State both reinvigorated and reshaped the scholarly approaches to the different themes linked to the figure of the ambassador. The third part proposes an account of how the professional status of the ambassador developed within the examined body of literature. Through the prism of these approaches, diplomacy appears as a foundational matrix of modern political rationality.

Julia Schreiner, Neutralität nach "Schweizer Muster"? Österreichische Völkerrechtslehre zurimmerwährenden Neutralität, 1955–1989 (vol. 37) (ISBN 9783845284750)

Permanent neutrality – a chance or more a burden for a young nation?In 1955 Austria gained back its sovereignty with signing the State Treaty of Vienna. Before that, Austria took over the obligation of becoming a permanent neutral state in the Moscow Memorandum.This study focuses on the efforts of Austrian politics, science and people to position the country in Europe and in the United Nations within the framework of the Cold War.The analysis shows how the semantics and the functions of the permanent neutrality have changed from 1955 to 1989 and how the Austrian citizens have contemplated the neutrality of their state. Moreover the study explores the interdependency between political developments and scientific research and, as a consequence of that, the role neutrality played on a political level. The examination reveals the various definitions of neutrality and points out the significance it still has today.

Nina Keller-Kemmerer, Die Mimikry des Völkerrechts. Andres Bellos "Principios de Derecho Internacional" (vol. 38) (ISBN 9783845288604)

To this day, the history of international law is dominated by a Eurocentric historiography in which non-European worlds play a passive role at best. Master narratives of universalisation and progress may include their histories; however, they appear not in the form of actors, but as mere receivers.By analysing the first Hispano-American textbook on international law, this transdisciplinary study questions this narrative of passivity. In his compendium, published in 1833, the Chilean polymath Andrés Bello translated Euro-pean doctrines of international law for use in the context of the “New World”. Using a postcolonial approach, the study demonstrates that the imitation of the European discourse on international law was not a purely passive and submissive act, but deeply ambivalent behaviour which opens up a space for resistance and is reminiscent of Homi K. Bhabha’s concept of mimicry.
More information on the Nomos website.

donderdag 22 november 2018

SEMINAR: Patrick CAPPS, 'Act of State' [Legal Histories Beyond the State Seminar] (Cambridge: Lauterpact Centre for International Law, 28 NOV 2018)

(image source: LCIL)

The Lauterpact Centre announced in its newsletter dated today a seminar by Prof. dr. Patrick Capps (Liverpool) on Act of State in the Legal Histories Beyond the State Seminar, to be held on 28 November 2018, 17:15 GMT.

More information here.

woensdag 21 november 2018

ENCYCLOPEDIA: CONTRIBUTION Jacques GILLEN, Henri La Fontaine [1914-1918 Online Encyclopedia of the Great War]

(image source: 1914-1918 online)

First paragraph:
Although he was a Nobel Prize winner, the name of Henri La Fontaine has somewhat fallen into obscurity. At the time of his Nobel Peace Prize award in 1913, however, he was a fundamental figure in the pacifist movement. The prize was a reward for his activities at the International Peace Bureau (IPB), of which he had been president since 1907, as well as his major contribution to various associations working to promote peace.
Read further on the Online Encyclopedia of the Great War.

maandag 19 november 2018

LECTURE: Elisabetta FIOCCHI MALASPINA, The Impact of Vattel's Law of Nations in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries: A Global Perspective (Brussels: VUB, 28 NOV 2018)

(image source: storiadeldiritto)

Lecture abstract:
Elisabetta Fiocchi Malaspina will present her monography L'eterno ritorno del Droit des gens di Emer de Vattel (secc. XVIII-XIX). L'impatto sulla cultura giuridica in prospettiva globale, published as volume 8 of the Global Perspectives on Legal History Series by the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History (Frankfurt am Main). See fulltext here.
On the speaker:
Elisabetta Fiocchi Malaspina is Assistant Professor of Legal History at the Law Faculty of the University of Zurich (Switzerland). Her interests concern the history of international law in the 18th and 19th centuries.
More information here.

vrijdag 16 november 2018

JOURNAL: Droits 66/1 2017/2 [Special issue: impérialisme]

(image source: cairn)


  • Annie Lacroix-Riz, Impérialisme français et partenaires dominants dans la construction européenne
  • Michel Elperding, La notion de civilisation dans la pratique conventionnelle des États aux xixe et xxe siècles
  • Olivier Jouanjan, Justifier l’impérialisme : Carl Schmitt et le droit des gens national-socialiste
  • Robert Charvin, L’impérialisme et le devenir du droit international
  • Alexis Le Barbier, Impérialisme et monnaie : de la livre sterling au dollar
  • Benjamin Torterat, Miguel Angel Asturias, un écrivain face à l’impérialisme capitaliste
  • Alexandre Desrameaux, Impérialisme et orientalisme dans l’œuvre d’Edward Saïd : le choc des consciences
  • Sébastien Darbon, La diffusion des sports et du système sportif via l’impérialisme anglo-saxon
Other articles (outside of the special issue):
  • Frédéric Charlin, Isabelle Moine-Dupuis, La « religion d’État » dans le droit pénal moderne, de l’ordre moral à la tranquillité publique
  • Caroline Cohen, Autonomie de la volonté, prévisibilité et droit international privé (réflexions sur les règles permissives)
  • Maël Notez, Anthropologie de l’aliéné au point de vue de la sanction pénale
  • François Bonneville, Le capitalisme : fin ou moyen de l’État ?
  • Marie-Aimée Bastid-Latournerie, Retour sur l’idée de primaire citoyenne
Access all the articles on CAIRN.

donderdag 15 november 2018

BOOK: William A. SCHABAS, The Trial of the Kaiser (Oxford University Press, 2018). ISBN 9780198833857, $34.95

(Source: OUP)

Oxford University Press is publishing a book on the failed attempts to bring Kaiser Wilhelm II to justice in the aftermath of World War I.


In the immediate aftermath of the armistice that ended the First World War, the Allied nations of Britain, France, and Italy agreed to put the fallen German Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II on trial, in what would be the first ever international criminal tribunal. In Britain, Lloyd George campaigned for re-election on the slogan 'hang the Kaiser', but the Italians had only lukewarm support for a trial, and there was outright resistance from the United States. 

During the Peace Conference, international lawyers gathered for the first time to debate international criminal justice. They recommended trial of the Kaiser by an international tribunal for war crimes, and the Americans relented, agreeing to a trial for a 'supreme offence against international morality'. However, the Kaiser had fled to the Netherlands where he obtained asylum, and though the Allies threatened a range of measures if the former Emperor was not surrendered, the Dutch refused and the demands were dropped in March 1920.

This book, from renowned legal scholar William A. Schabas, sheds light on perhaps the most important international trial that never was. Schabas draws on numerous primary sources hitherto unexamined in published work, including transcripts which vividly illuminate this period of international law making. As such, he has written a book which constitutes a history of the very beginnings of international criminal justice, a history which has never before been fully told.


William A. SchabasProfessor of International Law, Middlesex University in London

William A. Schabas is professor of international law at Middlesex University in London. He is also professor of international human law and human rights at Leiden University, distinguished visiting faculty at Sciences Po in Paris, and honorary chairman of the Irish Centre for Human Rights. Professor Schabas holds BA and MA degrees in history from the University of Toronto and LLB, LLM and LLD degrees from the University of Montreal, as well as several honorary doctorates. He is the author of more than twenty books in the fields of human rights and international criminal law. Professor Schabas drafted the 2010 and 2015 United Nations quinquennial reports on the death penalty. He was a member of the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Professor Schabas is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a member of the Royal Irish Academy since 2007.


1. The Power of the Beaten Path
2. 'Hang the Kaiser'
3. Kaiserdammerung
4. Making the Case in International Law
5. Britain, France, and Italy Agree to Try the Kaiser
6. The Dutch are Divided
7. Aborted Kidnap
8. The Commission on Responsibilities
9. Prosecuting Crimes Against Peace
10. International Law and War Crimes
11. An International Criminal Court
12. The Council of Virgins
13. Finalising the Treaty of Versailles
14. Implementing Article 227
15. Readying the Case for Trial
16. The Kaiser in Limbo
17. Demand for Surrender
18. Was he Guilty?

More information here

(source: ESCLH Blog)

BOOK: Stanislas HORVAT, Belgian Courts-Martial. Prosecution of Military Law Offences during World War (Brussels: ASP/VUBPress, 2018), 404 p. ISBN 9789057188305, € 34,95

(image source: ASP)

Book abstract:
This publication is the first in-depth study of the Belgian military court during World War I. Martial law application and procedures are described in detail and evaluated on the basis of a comprehensive study of previously unexamined archive documents from the Attorney General's Office and the Military Court, including more than 300 Attorney General's circulars, about 5,500 judgments and nearly 1,000 Military Court cases. Criminal procedure, from inquiry to execution, is fully explained through statutes, jurisprudence, circulars and a large number of scientific publications. Martial law practice and its significance for the soldiers are briefly presented and analysed through a number of key questions addressing the language issue and social relations in the army, but also the legal impact of the war, the roles played by military authorities, the relationship between armed forces, etc. This volume contains an enlightening study for all those who want an insight into the prosecution of the military law crimes during World War I.
On the author:
Dr. Stanislas Horvat is professor and head of the Chair of Law at the Belgian Royal Military Academy and affiliated researcher at the Faculty of Law and Criminology of the Free University of Brussels (Vrije Universiteit Brussel). He is member of the board of directors and director of publications of the International Society for Military Law and the Law of War, member of the managing board of the Belgian Military Law and the Law of War Centre and secretary of the Scientific Committee of Legal History of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts. 
 More information here.

woensdag 14 november 2018

JOURNAL: European Journal of International Law XXIX (2018), Nr. 3

(image source: EJILTalk)

Editorial: Publish and Perish: A Plea to Deans, Faculty Chairpersons, University Authorities; In this Issue
Perpetrators and Victims of War
Sofia Stolk, A sophisticated beast? On the construction of an ‘ideal’ perpetrator in the opening statements of international criminal trials
Christine Schwöbel-Patel, The ‘Ideal Victim of International Criminal Law
Line Gissel, A Different Kind of Court: Africa’s Support for the International Criminal Court, 1993-2003
Alexandra Adams, The Legacy of the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda and its Contribution to the Definition of Rape
Symposium: International Law and the First World War
International Law and the End of War
Randall Lesaffer, Aggression before Versailles
Markus M. Payk, ‘What We Seek is the Reign of Law’: The Legalism of the Paris Peace Settlement after the Great War
 Roaming Charges
The Crucifixion – Do It Yourself
 Symposium: The Crime of Aggression before the International Criminal Court
Dapo Akande and Antonios Tzanakopoulos, The Crime of Aggression before the International Criminal Court: Introduction to the Symposium
Frédéric Mégret, International Criminal Justice as a Peace Project
Tom Dannenbaum, The Criminalization of Aggression and Soldiers’ Rights

Tom Ruys, Criminalizing Aggression: How the Future of the Law on the Use of Force Rests in the Hands of the ICC
Marieke de Hoon, The Crime of Aggression’s Show Trial Catch-22
Dapo Akande and Antonios Tzanakopoulos, Treaty Law and ICC Jurisdiction Over the Crime of Aggression

 EJIL: Debate!
Rosa Freedman, UNaccountable: A New Approach to Peacekeepers and Sexual Abuse
Devika Hovell, UNaccountable: A Reply to Rosa Freedman
Rosa Freedman, UNaccountable: A Rejoinder to Devika Hovell
Review Essay
Gleider Hernández, E Pluribus Unum? A Divisible College? Reflections on the International Legal Profession. Review of Anthea Roberts, Is International Law International?
 Book Reviews
Dianne Otto (ed.), Queering International Law: Possibilities, Alliances, Complicities, Risks (Louise Arimatsu)
Violeta Moreno-Lax, Accessing Asylum in Europe: Extraterritorial Border Controls and Refugee Rights under EU Law (María-Teresa Gil-Bazo)
Mavluda Sattorova, The Impact of Investment Treaty Law on Host States: Enabling Good Governance? (Velimir Živković)
Briefly Noted
Stefan Kadelbach, Thomas Kleinlein, and David Roth-Isigkeit (ed.). System, Order, and International Law. The Early History of International Legal Thought from Machiavelli to Hegel (Jörg Fisch)
The Last Page
The Quality of Mercy, Portia, in William ShakespeareThe Merchant of Venice, Act 4, Scene 1
More information on the journal's website.

(source: EJIL!Talk)

dinsdag 13 november 2018

ARTICLE: Boyd VAN DIJK, "Human Rights in War: On the Entangled Foundations of the 1949 Geneva Conventions", AJIL XCII (2018), Nr. 4, 553-582

(image source: ASIL)

Article abstract:

The relationship between human rights and humanitarian law is one of the most contentious topics in the history of international law. Most scholars studying their foundations argue that these two fields of law developed separately until the 1960s. This article, by contrast, reveals a much earlier cross-fertilization between these disciplines. It shows how “human rights thinking” played a critical generative role in transforming humanitarian law, thereby creating important legacies for today's understandings of international law in armed conflict.
Access the article on Cambridge Core.

maandag 12 november 2018

REMINDER: 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 (300 words) 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.

vrijdag 9 november 2018

LECTURE: Martti KOSKENNIEMI, International law and the far right: Reflections on law and cynicism (The Hague: Peace Palace, 29 NOV 2018)

(image source: Asser)

The fourth Annual T.M.C. Asser lecture will be delivered by Prof. Martti Koskenniemi on 29 November at the Peace Palace. In his lecture, Prof. Koskenniemi will address the role of international law in dealing with the rising far right, as the backlash against global rule and the international institutions of the liberal 1990s continues. 

Lecture abstract:
"Since the emergence of the profession in the 1870s, international lawyers have lent themselves to supporting various political projects, from ruling of empire to decolonisation, from supporting national self-determination to arguing in favour of global governance of the transnational economy. They have celebrated sovereignty and supported human rights. The recent backlash against global rule and the international institutions of the liberal 1990s should be viewed as a political attack from a relatively privileged part of the world on the system of values and distributive power that have governed post-1968 internationalism. This backlash is often treated as a social pathology, arisen from the anger felt by European and American middle classes “left behind” by globalisation. I do not share this analysis. Whatever the social composition of the “backlash”, the policies of its leaders are neither reformist nor “conservative”. They are reactionary, and the question is, how to devise an effective policy to counter them. The coming struggle will be about whether reactionary, colonialist, white and male supremacist values will play a role in the international world after globalisation. If international law is not to become a servant to far right policies, or fall into irrelevance, it had better sharpen its strategic insights. Alongside self-criticism, this involves taking a break from the interminable production of minor reforms. Greater openness is needed. Not to “populist” leaders, but to problems of global inequality."
Registration here.

(Source: Asser Institute)

donderdag 8 november 2018

OBITUARY: Yasuaki ONUMA (+ 16 OCT 2018)

Professor Yasuaki ONUMA (University of Tokyo), an acclaimed and worldwide appreciated scholar of international law, has left us three weeks ago. Dr Aiko Nakai (Kyoto University) was so kind as to compose the following obituary, recalling his major works:

Yasuaki ONUMA, professor emeritus of the University of Tokyo, passed away of cancer on October 16. Born in Yamagata. Author of A Transcivilizational Perspective on International Law (Brill (Pocket Books of the Hague Academy of International Law, 2010), Le droit international et le Japon: Une vision trans-civilisationnelle du monde (Pedone, 2016), International Law in a Transcivilizational World (Cambridge University Press, 2017), etc. Editor of A Normative Approach to War: Peace, War, and Justice in Hugo Grotius (Clarendon Press,1993). 
Professor Onuma also contributed lectures to the UN Audiovisual Library of International Law. These lectures remain on the internet and are accessible through Youtube.