ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

donderdag 31 januari 2019

WORKSHOP: MILC Emerging Scholars (Manchester, 25 JUN 2019); DEADLINE 15 MAR 2019

(image source: Mancester University)
MILC Emerging Scholars Workshop
Call for applications
The Manchester International Law Centre (MILC) is holding its first Emerging Scholars Workshop on 25 June 2019 in Manchester. The aim of the Workshop is to bring together a carefully selected group of eight doctoral students. During the workshop, the participants will receive tailored feedback on their research project through closed roundtable discussions with Jean d’Aspremont, Iain Scobbie and John Haskell. In addition to the roundtable discussions, the event will also include sessions on publishing in international law and how to prepare for a job interview and compose postdoc applications.
Applicants are expected to be at an advanced stage of their PhD studies and must be focusing their doctoral research on a question related to international law, international legal practice, and/or international legal theory. Successful applicants must submit a paper of no more than 3.000 words that will be shared with other participants. The selection process will be very competitive as only eight participants will be selected.
Submission of applications
Abstracts of no more than 500 words and a one-page CV should be submitted to by 15 March 2019. The subject line of the email must read “MILC PhD Workshop” followed by the surname of the author. Applicants will be notified by 15 April 2019. The deadline for submission of the papers by the selected participants is 10 June 2019.
Unfortunately, MILC is unable to offer any financial support and participants will have to bear their own expenses. Lunch and refreshments throughout the day will be provided.

woensdag 30 januari 2019

OPEN ACCESS ARTICLE: Jessica WHYTE, "The Dangeous Concept of the Just War": Decolonization, Wars of National Liberation, and the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions", Humanity IX (2018), nr. 3

(image source: Humanity)

First paragraph:
In 2002, the North American political theorist Michael Walzer announced the “triumph of just war theory,” which he saw as evidence of moral progress. This paper challenges Walzer’s progressive narrative by turning to the often-acrimonious debates about just and unjust wars during the drafting of the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions. I show that during the International Committee of the Red Cross’s “Diplomatic Conference on the Laws of War” (1974-77) it was the Third World and Soviet states that used the language of the “just war” to distinguish wars of national liberation from wars of “imperialist aggression”—particularly the US War in Vietnam. In stark contrast, the Western states, including the US, attacked the language of just war as a medieval licence to cruelty.
Read the article for free here.

dinsdag 29 januari 2019

CONFERENCE: International Organizations and Decoloniation in Historical Perspective (Munich: LMU München, 25-26 Jan 2019)

(image source: LMU)
FRIDAY, February 25, 2019
Venue: Historisches Kolleg, Kaulbachstraße 15, 80539 München
9:00 – 9:15 COFFEE and REGISTRATION*
9:15 – 9:35 INTRODUCTION
Eva-Maria Muschik (University of Bern)
9:45 – 11:00 PANEL 1: Debating the Meaning of Decolonization – International Organizations as Venues
Anne-Isabelle Richard (Leiden University): “Negotiating Decolonization: African Delegates at the Council of Europe”
Elisabeth Leake (University of Leeds): “Debating Decolonization During the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan”
Chair and Discussant: Jennifer Foray (Purdue University)
11:00 – 11:30 BREAK
11:30 – 13:00 PANEL 2: The Imperialism of International Decolonization
Giorgio Poti (American University of Rome): “The Matryoshka of Empire: Egypt, Sudan and the League of Nations, 1919 –1924”
Stella Krepp (University of Bern): “America Para Los Americanos: The British Caribbean, Decolonization and the Inter-American System, 1940-1969”
Angela Loschke (Leipzig University): “Development, Decolonization and African Relations: South Africa, the UN and the Creation of the Economic Commission for Africa, 1950-1958”
Chair and Discussant: Jason Parker (Texas A&M University)
13:00 – 15:00 LUNCH BREAK*
15:00 – 16:30 PANEL 3: International Organizations as Platforms for Anti-Colonial Struggles
Giuliano Garavini (New York University Abu Dhabi): “Baghdad 1960: the Birth of OPEC as the First International Organization of the Global South”
Jeffrey Byrne (University of British Columbia): “African Unity and the Competing Apparata of the Third World Project”
Alanna O’Malley (Leiden University): “A View from Inside: Examining the Agency of UN officials on the Committee of 24 in Reconstituting the Means and Methods of Decolonization from 1961-1975”
Chair and Discussant: Simon Stevens (University of Sheffield)
16:30 – 17:00 COFFEE BREAK*
17:00 – 18:30 KEYNOTE LECTURE
Susan Pedersen (Columbia University): “Legitimation Crisis: The Italo-Ethiopian Dispute in International Politics”
Introduction: Madeleine Herren-Oesch (University of Basel)
18:30 – 19:30 RECEPTION*
SATURDAY, February 26, 2019
Venue: Historisches Seminar, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Amalienstr. 52, 80799 München; Room: K 001
9:30 – 10:30  PANEL 4: Shaping Decolonization through Advocacy, Standard Setting and Law Making
Meredith Terretta (University of Ottawa): “Early Human Rights NGOs, Anticolonial Activists and Freedom of Movement in Decolonizing Africa”
Bastiaan Bouwman (London School of Economics): “Christianity after Empire: The Ecumenical Movement’s Advocacy of Religious Freedom in Decolonizing Indonesia and Nigeria, 1945-1960”
Boyd van Dijk (University of Amsterdam): “Pluralizing Colonial Sovereignty: Creating International Law for the Wars of Decolonization”
Chair and Discussant: Pamela Ballinger (University of Michigan)
10:30 – 10:45 COFFEE BREAK*
10:45 – 12:15 PANEL 5: Decolonizing Knowledge and Expertise
Bogdan Iacob (University of Exeter): “Malariology, Peripheries, and Decolonization: East European Experts from the League of Nations to the World Health Organization”
William Carruthers (University of East Anglia): “Archaeological (Non?) Alignments: Egypt, India and the Scientific Geographies of UNESCO’s Nubian Campaign”
Su Lin Lewis (University of Bristol): “Competitive Cultural Diplomacy and Civil Society in 1950s Burma”
Chair and Discussant: Jessica Pearson (Macalaster College)
12:15 – 13:15 LUNCH BREAK*
13:15 – 14:45 PANEL 6: Decolonization and Humanitarian Interventions
Noelle Turtur (Columbia University): “Mothers without Milk: A Humanitarian Crisis in British Occupied Italian East Africa”
Brian McNeil (US Air War College): “The Battle of Geneva: The International Committee of the Red Cross and the Humanitarian Crisis in Biafra”
Emily Baughan (University of Sheffield): “Decolonising Development? The International Council of Child Welfare in Western Nigeria, 1963-1970”
Chair and Discussant: Tehila Sasson (Emory University)
14:45 – 15:00 COFFEE BREAK*
Introduction: Roland Wenzlhuemer (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich)
(more information here)

maandag 28 januari 2019

JOURNAL: Thematic Issue "Merchants and commercial conflicts in European History" (Continuity and Change, A Journal of Social Structure, Law and Demography in Past Societies XXXIII (2018), No. 3)

(image source: Cambridge Core)

Alain Wijffels, Introduction: Commercial quarrels--and how (not) to handle them
The settlement of structural commercial conflicts of interest cannot be exclusively subsumed under the heading of dispute resolution. Even when a particular conflict opposing specific individuals or groups of interests could be settled, the broader underlying conflicts of interest would subsist and re-emerge. Both commercial and institutional or political actors would therefore rely on various techniques of conflict management, a process imposing restraint on the opposing parties while allowing sufficient leeway for business to be continued. Both conflict resolution and conflict management were devices of public and corporate governance, and therefore, following the late medieval tradition, instruments more or less based on established patterns of legal or quasi-legal models legitimised by accepted or conventional parameters of ‘justice’
Flávio Miranda, Conflict Management in western Europe: the case of the Portuguese merchants in England, Flanders and Normandy, 1250-1500
Recent historiography argues that the legal autonomy of municipal governments created the necessary conditions for successful commercial transactions and economic growth in certain parts of Europe in the later Middle Ages, and that these features attracted foreign merchants. This article uses empirical data from England, Flanders and Normandy to test the following questions: were there significant differences in rules, laws and institutions between one place and another in late medieval western Europe? Were the Portuguese merchants drawn to markets that hypothetically had more effective institutions? The findings demonstrate that legal institutions and conflict management were very similar across western Europe, and that there is no evidence that the Portuguese opted for trading in a certain market because of its effective institutions. Moreover, the article claims that the merchants seemed to prioritise protection and privilege while trading abroad, and it highlights the role of commercial diplomacy in conflict management.
Thomas K. Heebøll-Holm, Law, order and plunder at sea: a comparison of England and France in the fourteenth century
This article addresses the management of maritime plunder and conflict in the waters of England and France in the fourteenth century. It argues that during this century a fundamental change occurred. Around 1300, maritime conflict was handled by recourse to the strictly civil law merchant and law maritime, or by Marcher law. However by the 1350s and 1360s the kings of England and France, moved by contemporary political events and theories of sovereignty at sea, created courts of Admiralty that challenged the previous systems’ jurisdiction. These initiatives eventually paved the way for the criminalisation of private maritime conflict.
Justyna Wubs-Mrozewicz, The late medieval and early modern Hanse as an institution of conflict management
Ever since research on the Hanse began in the nineteenth century, there have been repeated efforts to redefine the boundaries and the core of the phenomenon. Views of the Hanse have evolved, and it has been seen by turns as a profoundly German league of towns, and as a network or organisation of towns and traders that was present in commercial centres and harbours from Novgorod to Portugal, and from Norway to Italy. In more general discussions on the institutional development of commerce in Europe, many of them influenced by the New Institutional Economics, the Hanse has even appeared as a mega-guild. The revival of the field of institutional economics and the history of commerce in pre-modern Europe has recently spawned a reappraisal of Hanseatic sources. The present article contributes to this debate by arguing that from the perspective of conflict management, the late medieval and early modern Hanse was an institution. There were several institutional mechanisms, such as a strong preference for mediation and arbitration in conflicts between individuals, as well as a mediation strategy for internal conflicts between towns. All of these mechanisms combined in a multifaceted institution of conflict management, which represented the added value of Hanse membership for traders, and for their towns.
Andrea Caracausi, A reassessment of the role of guild courts in disputes over apprenticeship contracts: a case study from early modern Italy
This article analyses the mechanisms of conflict resolution in apprenticeship contracts using a large database of disputes from early modern Italy. It finds that the guild court under investigation (the Padua Woollen Guild court) did not enforce training contracts, but rather sought to improve on incomplete contracts by adding clauses, thereby helping individuals renegotiate and redefine the contractual arrangements into which they had decided to enter. However, power relations within the court operated largely in favour of employers, both merchants and master craftsmen. The article concludes that alternative contract enforcement systems, such as municipal or state courts, were probably better suited than corporative systems for resolving disputes surrounding apprenticeship.
Read more on Cambrige Core.

(source: Legal History Blog)

vrijdag 25 januari 2019

BOOK: Christopher R. ROSSI, Whiggish International Law. Elihu Root, the Monroe Doctrine, and International Law in the Americas [Legal History Library, 29/Studies in the History of International Law, 12] (Leiden/Boston: Martinus Nijhoff/Brill, 2019), ISBN 97899004379510 (DUE 29 MAY 2019)

(image source: Brill)

International law’s turn to history in the Americas receives invigorated refreshment with Christopher Rossi’s adaptation of the insightful and inter-disciplinary teachings of the English School and Cambridge contextualists to problems of hemispheric methodology and historiography. Rossi sheds new light on abridgments of history and the propensity to construct and legitimize whiggish understandings of international law based on simplified tropes of liberal and postcolonial treatments of the Monroe Doctrine. Central to his story is the retelling of the Monroe Doctrine by its supreme early twentieth century interlocutor, Elihu Root and other like-minded internationalists. Rossi’s revival of whiggish international law cautions against the contemporary tendency to re-read history with both eyes cast on the ideological present as a justification for misperceived historical sequencing.

On the author:
Christopher R. Rossi teaches international law at the University of Iowa College of Law. He is the author of Equity and International Law (Transnational), Broken Chain of Being: James Brown Scott and the Origins of Modern International Law (Kluwer), and Sovereignty and Territorial Temptation (Cambridge).

(more information with Brill)

donderdag 24 januari 2019

SSRN PAPER: Thomas KLEINLEIN, "Managing the German Debt"

(image: the "Big Four" at the Versailles Peace Conference; source: Wikimedia Commons)

This chapter analyses the essential provisions of the Versailles reparations scheme and argues that this scheme, with its concept of reparations and with other features, was unprecedented in the history of peace treaties. The chronology of the management of the German debt – a story of treaty execution and treaty revision from 1920 to 2010 – can be divided into various reparation schemes, most significantly those of the Dawes Plan and the Young Plan. However, the degree to which already the Paris Conference set the basic patterns for this entire history of reparations is striking. Its themes, schemes and devices appeared again and again in one guise or another. The chapter concludes on what these recurrent themes can mean for the legal framework of sovereign debt management beyond the singular experience of the Versailles Treaty.

Read more on SSRN.

(source: International Law Reporter)

woensdag 23 januari 2019

CALL FOR PAPERS: ESIL/EUI Doctoral Forum on International Law (Firenze, 10 JUN 2019); DEADLINE 15 FEB 2019

(image source: EUI)

EUI Doctoral Forum on International Law
European University Institute (Florence, Italy), Villa Salviati, 10 June 2019

The Law Department of the European University Institute (EUI) is delighted to share this call for papers for an intensive one-day Doctoral Forum on international law, taking place in Florence on 10 June 2019, and sponsored by the European Society of International Law (ESIL). 

The Forum allows PhD candidates to present their research and receive feedback from peers and EUI faculty members. The Forum welcomes submissions on any sub-field of international law, especially human rights, international economic law, and international dispute settlement. Researchers performing multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary analysis are in particular encouraged to apply. 

To apply, please send an abstract of maximum 600 words and your CV to by 15 February 2019. 

If selected, we will ask you to submit a short paper of maximum 6000 words by 15 May 2019. The paper may be a partial draft of the final paper. Please note that failure to share a short paper with the Forum organisers may result in exclusion from the Forum. All participants will receive the papers in advance and will be expected to have read them prior to the start of the Forum. 

Unfortunately, the Forum cannot cover expenses related to travel and accommodation for all participants. However, the Forum will offer a limited number of scholarships to contribute to the travel expenses of participants who do not have access to sufficient funding. An important objective of these scholarships is to ensure a balanced group of participants in terms of nationalities and home institutions. To apply for a scholarship, please include in your application, in addition to your abstract and CV, a short motivational letter stating why you are not able to cover your travel expenses, how much funding you would need, and how participation in the Forum fits your research plans. 

A presentation on the post-doc opportunities offered by the Max Weber Programme of the EUI will take place on 10 June 2019. 

The Forum will provide lunch and coffee breaks on the day of the conference; social activities will be organized on the evenings of 9 and 10 June. 

Please take note of the following timeline: 
15 February – deadline for submission of abstracts and scholarship applications
1 March – applicants will be informed of the results of the selection process
15 May – deadline for submission of short papers
10 June – forum event 

Confirmed EUI faculty participants: Prof. Jürgen Kurtz and Prof. Martin Scheinin.

Organisers: Martin Christensen, Margherita Melillo, and Mike Videler (researchers at the EUI Law Department). 

(source: EUI)

dinsdag 22 januari 2019

BOOK: Antonio R. PARRA, The History of ICSID, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018). ISBN 9780198834083, $38.95

(Source: OUP)

Oxford University Press has recently published the paperback version of “The History of ICSID”


Now available in paperback, the second edition of The History of ICSID details the history and development of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and its constituent treaty, the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States.

Antonio Parra, the first Deputy Secretary-General of ICSID, traces the immediate origins of the Convention, in the years 1955 to 1962, and gives a stage-by-stage narrative of the drafting of the Convention between 1962 and 1965. He recounts details of bringing the Convention into force in 1966 and the elaboration of the initial versions of the Regulations and Rules of ICSID adopted at the first meetings of its Administrative Council in 1967. The four periods 1968 to 1988, 1989 to 1999, 2000 to 2010, and 2011 to 2015 are covered in separate chapters which examine the expansion of the Centre's activities and changes made to the Regulations and Rules over the years. There are also overviews of the conciliation and arbitration cases submitted to ICSID in the respective periods, followed by discussions of selected cases and key issues within them. A concluding chapter discusses some of the broad themes and findings of the book, examines how ICSID might meet several large new challenges facing it, and outlines several possible further changes of its rules and procedures
The book offers unique insight into the establishment and design of ICSID, as well as into how the institution evolved and its relationship with the World Bank over the 50 years since the establishment of ICSID. It is essential reading for those involved in this field.


Antonio R. Parra, Consultant with the Corporate Secretariat of the World Bank

Antonio R. Parra served as the first Deputy Secretary-General of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) from 1999 to 2005 and was Legal Adviser at ICSID from 1990 to 1999. His earlier positions include Senior Counsel, ICSID; Counsel, Office of the Senior Vice President and General Counsel, World Bank; Counsel, Policy and General Affairs, World Bank; Assistant Legal Counsel, OPEC Fund for International Development; and Research Staffer, OPEC Secretariat. At the World Bank's Legal Vice Presidency and ICSID, Mr Parra worked on the establishment of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency and the preparation of the World Bank Guidelines on the Treatment of Foreign Direct Investment. He is an Honorary Secretary-General of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (having been Secretary General from 2004 to 2010) and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.


1. Introduction
2. Origins of the Convention
3. Broches's "Working Paper"
4. The Preliminary Draft of the Convention
5. Finalizing the Text of the Convention
6. Establishment and Launch of the Centre
7. ICSID's First Two Decades
8. Aspects of the Early Cases
9. ICSID from 1989 to 1999
10. ICSID from 2000 to 2010
11. "The Premier International Arbitration Facility in the World"
12. Conclusion

More information here
(source: ESCLH Blog)

CONFERENCE VIDEOS: "État, pouvoirs et contestations politiques dans les colonies françaises et britanniques d’Amérique (vers 1640-vers 1780)" (Le Mans: Association des historiens modernistes des universités françaises, 9 NOV 2018)

(image source: Wikimedia Commons)

Programme (with video links):
Jean-Marie Constant, Université du Mans : « Nouvelles perspectives de recherches et d’interprétations concernant la Fronde ».Gauthier Aubert, Université de Rennes : « Les révoltes du Papier timbré et des Bonnets Rouges (1675) »Stéphane Haffemayer, Université de Rouen : « La révolution anglaise des années 1640 et les mutations de la communication politique ».Stéphane Jettot, Sorbonne Université : « Algernon Sidney et Lord Bolingbroke : deux figures emblématiques du renouveau de l’histoire politique britannique (1640-1780) ».Edmond Dziembowski, Université de Besançon : « Du Country Party au radicalisme (vers 1670-vers 1780): anatomie de la contestation politique en Grande-Bretagne. »Paul Vo-Ha, Université Paris I : « Les soldats protestants dans l’armée royale à l’heure de la Révocation ».Pierre Serna, Université Paris I : « Ni Etats, ni pouvoirs : une Révolution de 140 ans ».
(Source: AHMUF)

maandag 21 januari 2019

REVIEW ARTICLE: Jeremy BLACK, "The First World War Reconsidered" (European History Quarterly XLIX (2019), No. 1 (Jan))

(image source: Sage)

Prof. Jeremy Black (Exeter), a prolific scholar of IR history, has published a review article on the First World War in the journal European History Quarerly (Sage). The article reviews five books:

  • Bruno Cabanes, August 1914 (Yale UP, 2016)
  • Tim Gale, The French Army's Tank Force (Ashgate, 2013)
  • William Mulligan, The Great War of Peace (Yale UP, 2014)
  • Thomas Otte, July Crisis (CUP, 2014)
  • Thomas Otte, An Historian in Peace and War (Ashgate, 2014)

Read more here.

vrijdag 18 januari 2019

ESIL IGHIL Pre-Conference Workshop: The Rule of Law in Historical Perspective, ESIL Research Forum Göttingen, 3 APR 2019

Denise Wohlwend (University of Firbourg (CH)), The Rule of Law in the Debates of the Sixth Committee of the United Nations General Assembly – Reflections on the Evolution and Universality of the Concept

The rule of law provides that people should be ruled by the law. Despite its prominence in today’s legal and political discourse on a global scale, the exact content of the rule of law remains contested. Legal scholars commonly distinguish between formal and substantive conceptions of the rule of law, which are often associated with positivistic and naturalistic accounts of law, respectively. Within the United Nations (UN), an “autonomous notion” of the rule of law has been emerging since the 2000s. Importantly, in 2005 the UN member states recognized the rule of law as one of the organization’s “core values and principles”, as well as “the need for universal adherence to and implementation of the rule of law at both the national and international levels”. In 2006, the UN General Assembly decided by resolution A/RES/61/39 to include in the provisional agenda of its sixty-second session the item “The rule of law at the national and international levels”. Since then, it has debated the topic, selecting different subtopics, through its Sixth Committee. This has resulted in the adoption of annual resolutions reaffirming the UN member states’ commitment to the rule of law at the national and international levels. Despite multiple references to the rule of law contained in UN documents, it is not entirely clear what the rule of law at both the national and international levels amounts to within the UN. The UN member states disagree about its exact content. True, frequent reference has been made to the definition of the rule of law put forward by the UN Secretary-General in his 2004 Report “The Rule of Law and Transitional Justice in Conflict and Post-Conflict Societies”. Moreover, it has been held that over the years, the member states of the UN have settled on this conception of the rule of law. However, so far, a comprehensive analysis of the debates about the rule of law at the national and international levels within the Sixth Committee is missing. In this paper, I aim to fill this gap. I intend to analyze the discussions about the rule of law at the national and international levels conducted by the representatives of UN member states within the Sixth Committee, from 2006 until today. I examine (1) whether the expressed views reflect the conventional distinction between formal and substantive conceptions of the rule of law, and (2) whether a single or common conception of the rule of law may be deemed to have emerged. I shall then use the findings of the analysis as a starting point for a more general reflection on the issue of the universality of the concept of the rule of law. In short, the rule of law can be deemed universal as long as there are common elements that make it the same concept, in spite of differences in its parochial interpretation. Conversely, if there are no such elements, the universal character of the rule of law may be questioned. Of course, a consideration of the universality of the rule of law concept requires a clarification of the (possible) meaning(s) of universality. Moreover, in the paper, I shall also deal with the question of whether, and if so how, the issue of the universality of the concept of the rule of law is connected to positivistic and naturalistic approaches to the concept of law.
Premislaw Tacik (Jagellionian University, Krakow),
The Evolution of the Rule of Law in the Framework of the European Convention on Human Rights

The presentation aims to reconstruct the outline of history of how the concept of the rule of law was understood and applied in the regime of the European Convention on Human Rights, particularly in regard to ECtHR’s and EComHR’s jurisprudence. Even though the maintenance of the rule of law is one of the goals of the Council of Europe and part of the ECHR’s preamble, historically it was not understood as a source of directly enforceable rights. As stated by the ECtHR in an early judgement in Golder v. the UK, it was, however, a point of reference in interpretation of particular rights and freedoms enshrined in the Convention, particularly when their limitations were at stake. Through this linkage, the ECtHR made some cautious steps to make the rule of law a living and effective concept. It influenced the establishment of standards concerning the quality of laws limiting rights and freedoms (as in Tourancheau et July v. France case) and shaped the understanding of the position of the judiciary under the ECHR. In the latter regard, the ECtHR for a long time displayed a restrained approach and gave a significant leeway to the states in regulating the status and nomination of judges. Nonetheless, in the recent years a different trend might be observed. It seems that the ECtHR developed the standards of the rule of law in the response to the illiberal backlash. The Baka v. Hungary case might be interpreted as a milestone in this regard: the ECtHR declared the violation of Art. 6 § 1 ECHR consisting in terminating the status of a judge via targeted legislation, by which Hungarian authorities wanted to prevent the president of the Hungarian Supreme Court to continue his term. In this ruling, the concept of the rule of law links the standards of the independence of the judiciary – now influenced by soft law of the CoE – with requirements of proper legislation. Moreover, by breathing a new life into Article 18 in the Merabishvili v. Georgia case the ECtHR seems to notice that the rule of law must be defended by preventing the states from executing their illegitimate goals in restricting rights and freedoms. All in all, it might be argued that the approach to the rule of law under the ECHR is in dynamic transformation: the Court seems to pass from restrained interpretation to active support of the rule of law in confrontation with the rise of illiberalism.

Alan Nissel, Capitalism and the Evolution of State Responsibility: How US Law became Binding upon New States and, Ultimately, Everyone Else
Since the late nineteenth century, Anglo-American lawyers have employed domestic standards of property protection to hold Latin American governments responsibility for injuries suffered by Western aliens. Barely hidden behind this rule of law mask was a capitalist structure of economic expectations that favored Western over local individuals. The doctrine of state responsibility emerged, historians explain, as a mechanism for fostering the peaceful resolution of international claims. The idea was that arguing over legal norms – by professional lawyers in third party courts and tribunals – was certainly preferable to diplomatic and military alternatives. There is data to point to that indicates a happy correlation: the establishment of state responsibility has coincided with the rise of international arbitration and the demise of force interventions. This result has convinced many that international law, despite its lack of any police force, can finally be described as positive law. Because there are legal consequences for international breaches, international law must be binding. Today, state responsibility is the sacred cow of international lawyers, assuring us of the reality of their cause. However, the doctrine of state responsibility is not just a legal norm of peaceful dispute resolution; neither is it is simply a neutral procedure of international arbitration. It is a framework of capitalist values that was imposed by Anglo-American diplomats to provide better than local protection to their nationals residing in Latin America. The evolution of state responsibility is a story of Anglo-American triumph in the international debates over the international minimum standard of care and about the normative basis for recognizing States, of admitting nations to international organizations and of identifying them as international personalities. The historic success of State responsibility is, thus, not just a rule of law narrative; it is continued evidence of how Western imperial values underpins the primary enforcement regime of international law: State responsibility.

Ryan Mitchell (Chinese University of Hong Kong), International Rule of Law and the Problem of Legal Sanction: War and the Zwangsordnung
The project of using international law to prohibit wars of aggression grew steadily in importance from the Hague Conference era through World War One, culminating with the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928. While there has been much recent discussion of the Pact, and debates about its role in originating the crime of aggression (most recently consolidated via the Kampala Amendments to the Rome Statute), there has been less detailed examination of the specific contemporary debates as to the legal validity of the Pact's norm seeking to prohibit aggression. The views of prominent legal scholars of the time can be distinguished into three main contending positions, each of which then had significant influences upon the subsequent theory and practice of public international law. These three perspectives can be summarized as positing either that 1) the Pact independently abolished the validity of all wars per the principle pacta sunt servanda or as an element of customary international law (the view of Quincy Wright, Hersch Lauterpacht, and others); 2) the Pact had no meaningful legal effect due to its broad exceptions and reservations, as well as the fundamental impossibility of restricting states’ traditional rights to wage war (Carl Schmitt's view); or 3) the existing jus ad bellum could not in fact be revised by the Pact per se, but only by an international organization exercising an effective monopoly on the legitimate use of force (Kelsen's view). This paper explains the evidence, methodology, and theoretical implications of each of these perspectives, including the context of the scholars and states who were their respective advocates. It concludes by endorsing the third view, exemplified by Hans Kelsen in his critical analysis of legal prohibitions of war, arguing that the mere disavowal by states of their rights to wage war (as reflected in the Pact) does not equate to a legal prohibition of war under international law unless there is a centralized sanctioning authority enforcing that prohibition, as was introduced under the UN Charter in 1945. This view, while conservative in some ways, also provides the foundation for Kelsen's related claim that international law as a "Zwangsordnung," or sanction-based order, is potentially as robust and enforceable a system of legal norms as is any domestic legal system.

Andre Nunes Chaib (MPI Luxemburg), The Various Sides of a Coin: Ideas of Rule of Law in the Ideology of International Adjudication

International courts have been both the object of praise and criticism throughout their existence. It is also well-known that their creation, as well as the use of international arbitration, was also always replenished with controversies. Nevertheless, despite controversies, international courts and international arbitration made their way into the life of states and individuals during the last century and had come to be accepted as important institutions in international life. Much of the backlash and the critique on international adjudication nowadays come from a tension existing between the various ideologies pervading the imaginary that informs the work of international courts. This tension finds its origin in the historical debates at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century involving international lawyers and diplomats, mainly from Europe and the United States about the concept of the rule of law at the international law and what role should arbitration or permanent international courts should have in enforcing it. In light of these debates, this paper will look into the ideologies that informed these debates and how this tension – resulting in utopic positions but also in stark criticisms – created the legal and political imaginary for international adjudication until today. Much has been written and said about the role of US international lawyers, such as Elihu Root, in pushing forward the movement towards the creation of permanent international adjudicatory mechanisms and the resistance some of them faced by European international lawyers, fearful of what courts at the international level might do to their then still strong empires’ sovereignty. Although these two sides are revealing of a particular ideal of the international rule of law, it does not tell the whole story. Therefore, this paper hopes to shed light to other ideas coming from other parts of the world, which particularly during the Second Hague Conference in 1907, influenced and impacted the ideology of international adjudication and the ideal of international rule of law that was formed at that time and that remains pervasive to these days. Individuals, such as the Brazilian Ruy Barbosa, were known to have been staunch defenders of sovereign equality and offered specific ideas about the nature and function of a potential international court. This paper hopes to clarify these different positions that were put forward at that time by not only US or European lawyers, but also by individuals of the Global South. In doing so, it hopes to show how specific ideas regarding the international, advanced by cosmopolitan thinkers such as Jeremy Bentham and Immanuel Kant, but also lawyers such as Andres Bello and Carlos Calvo were decisive in the formation of the ideology of modern international adjudication. Such an inquiry should also reveal the origins of the tensions existing nowadays regarding international adjudication and aid in the understanding of its criticism.
The conveners of the Steering Committee for the ESIL Interest Group History of International Law:
Jan Lemnitzer (Southern Denmark)
Markus Beham (Passau)
Martin Clark (LSE)
Frederik Dhondt (Brussels/Antwerp)
Hossein Piran (US/Iran Claims Tribunal)

donderdag 17 januari 2019

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Identity, Citizenship and Legal History. XXVth Annual Forum of Young Legal Historians (Brussels, 5-8 JUN 2019); DEADLINE 15 FEB 2019

Identity, Citizenship and Legal History

XXVth Annual Forum of Young Legal Historians
Brussels, 5 – 8 June 2019

(image source: Wikimedia Commons)

Historically, the concept of citizenship encompassed three distinct, yet interconnected dimensions. The first and foremost dimension was of a legal nature: citizenship was a legal status which allowed one to act freely in accordance with the law and, when necessary, to claim its protection. In its second dimension citizenship presupposed one’s active participation in society’s political institutions. And last, though certainly not least, citizenship was closely linked to membership of a specific community that provided a distinct source of identity. All three dimensions were closely related to each other. This can perhaps be most aptly exemplified in the ancient boast of ‘Civis romanus sum!’, which encapsulated simultaneously a plea for legal rights, a republican sense of duty, and a distinctly Roman feeling of the imperial pride. Since the nineteenth century, these dimensions have been linked predominantly to the modern nation-state, a model which is nowadays increasingly challenged on the internal as well as the external level. Internally, many states are seen to be struggling with federalism, separatist movements, legacies of colonialism and right-wing identity politics. Externally, today’s governments are confronted with issues, such as climate change, demographic shifts, migration streams and a global and interdependent economic system, that require international cooperation or even supranational institutions.

The XXVth Annual Forum of the Young Legal Historians aims to shed light on these questions by looking at the legal history of the closely intertwined concepts of citizenship and legal history. Throughout history, citizenship and identity has been defined in different ways and at different levels. For instance, in antiquity the often smallish Greek poleis could hardly be compared to the expansive Roman Empire. Medieval life in Europe consisted of a feudal patchwork of kingdoms, principalities and free city-states, yet all were considered part of Christendom. Identity could also be determined by social class (e.g. aristocratic families) or by profession (e.g. the guilds). The nineteenth century saw the rise of nationalism and revolution, whilst at the same time European powers expanded their colonial empires. Despite these evolutions, it cannot be denied that there is also much continuity to be found. Although diversity and globalisation have reached an unprecedented scale and form today, these phenomena are not entirely new. Each era has had its international relations, its trades, wars, economic discrepancies, migrants and refugees.

There is, in short, enough reason to expect that we can learn from history. Such an endeavour necessitates a multidisciplinary approach since legal constructions can be fully appreciated only when combined with insights from the related fields of history, philosophy, political science and sociology. Therefore, the organizers welcome both traditional approaches in legal history and methodologically innovative research.

If you would like to present a paper during the conference, please send an application including an abstract of not more than 250 words and your CV to before 15 February 2019. It is also possible to apply for a full panel. In that case, your proposal should also include, in addition to individual paper proposals, an abstract introducing the theme of the panel. Presentations have to be in English and should not exceed 20 minutes each. The conference fee will be € 100,- and does not include accommodation. Further information about the upcoming forum can be found at the website of the conference. Information about the Association of Young Legal Historians and the past Annual Forums is available at the AYLH-website.

CALL FOR PAPERS: The Crimean War, the first european modern war? (Paris, 7-9 NOV 2019); DEADLINE 30 JAN 2019

(image source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Crimean War marked, with the Civil War (1861-1865), a great historical and anthropological turning point in military history, witnessing profound transformations not only in the way of fighting, but also in the relations between societies and war, during and after the conflict. This conference will aim in putting the Crimean War in this new historiographical approach to military conflicts by highlighting three fundamental aspects: The anthropological approach, the transnational dimension, the sociocultural dimension of the conflict, and its memory.

This International conferenc is organized by the 19th century history center, the LabEx EHNE and the Slavs history research center (UMR SIRICE) and will be held at Paris-Sorbonne from 7 to 9 November 2019.
ArgumentSo far, the Crimean War has been rather neglected in French military history. It has only been the subject of a synthesis, quite traditional in its views, and was associated with the Second Empire whose trace, according to the historiography of the Third Republic, was to be erased. The strongest and most recent study was written by Alain Gouttman. However, although this work is very scientific and objective, it remains deeply marked by a tropism for the history of the battle. This situation is all the more regrettable as today the Crimean War is being rewritten in other countries, particularly in Britain, in the context of a revised history of conflicts, increasingly studied in a multidisciplinary approach.Indeed, the Crimean War marked, with the Civil War (1861-1865), a great historical and anthropological turning point in military history, witnessing profound transformations not only in the way of fighting, but also in the relations between societies and war, during and after the conflict.This conference will aim in putting the Crimean War in this new historiographical approach to  military conflicts by highlighting three fundamental aspects:1) The anthropological approach to modern warfare as a key to understand struggles, strategies, experiences and feelings of combatants and the relationship between war and societies.2) The transnational dimension, introducing a comparison of the conflict history. The confrontation of cross-sources  will make it possible to leave the compartmentalization imposed by purely  national approaches. Above all, the Crimean War should not be seen from the West and has to be  evaluated, regarding  its perception and its repercussions,  in the Russian world as well as in the Ottoman one.3) The sociocultural dimension of the conflict, and its memory. The Crimean War influences the society also because of medical, economical and symbolical involvement of State, army and citizens.Having in mind this  methodological approach,  the conference will be structured along four major topics:I) Diplomacy and warHere, it will be about the origins of the war, belligerents’ motivations and consequences of the conflict on diplomacy. The Crimean War will be replaced in a double context that is the one of the so-called “concert of nations” and the other around the Eastern Question. If the religious origins of the conflict may have been overestimated, on the contrary, economic reasons and the control of the Straits, (generally underestimated) could be replaced in the core of European diplomacy issues.II) Experiencing the warThe Crimean War marks important upheavals in the soldiers’ experience of fights. New weapons and techniques (striped cannon rifle, explosive shells..) and military strategy evolutions (appearing of trench war) increase risks, corporal infringements and lethality. New injuries appear, while the cholera decimates troops. This new context gives birth to new medical structures and initiatives (as shown by role of Florence Nightingale, Valérie de Gasparin and Elena Pavlovna). People were also mobilizing at the back, as demonstrated by the numerous subscriptions raised for helping the families of dead and injured soldiers in France and England or by Anatole Demidov’action in favor of war prisoners in Europe.III) Economy, society and public opinionThe Crimean War impact exceeds very far away the frame of the military operations. A  War economy develops thanks to loans and the rise of war contractors. In the Ottoman case, the military involvement gives birth to the creation of the Ottoman Imperial Bank and then to the the tutelage of European powers on the overindebted Sublime Porte. Societies also live at the rhythm of the war. A real « sacred union » appeared in all the States, well powered by governments who try to mobilize their public opinion against the enemy. Indeed, public opinion is playing an increasing role, reinforced by telegraph and photography.IV) Pictures, representations and memoryNew Perceptions and representations of war emerge and it is  useful to refer to cultural  and art history and well as to history of collective and social imaginaries. During and after the war, although the heroical officer cult (Saint-Arnaud in France, Gorchakov in Russia) is maintained, ordinary troop soldiers are honored,  as demonstrated by numerous monuments dedicated to them. Last the Crimean War has also a very strong memorial dimension, as expressed by toponymy and its place in historical references of nowadays different political leaders.Submission guidelinesA paper proposal with a title, a short summary (2000 signs), and a curriculum vitae must be sent to this address : francfigeac@yahoo.frbefore January 30, 2019Languages of the conference : French, EnglishImportant Datesa) Submission of paper proposals: 30 January 2019.b) Responses : February-march 2019.c) Notification of the final programme : 15 May 2019.d) Conference: 7-9 November 2019.Organization committee
  • Marie-Pierre Rey (Université Panthéon-Sorbonne, SIRICE)
  • Éric Anceau (Sorbonne Université, LabEx EHNE)
  • Jean-François Figeac (Sorbonne Université, Centre d’histoire du XIXème siècle)
Scientifiv committee
  • Éric Anceau (Sorbonne Université, LabEx EHNE),
  • Jacques-Olivier Boudon (Sorbonne Université, Centre d’histoire du XIXème siècle),
  • Yves Bruley (Ecole pratique des hautes études),
  • Walter Bruyère-Ostells (IEP d’Aix-en-Provence),
  • Lorraine de Meaux (Université Panthéon-Sorbonne),
  • Hervé Drévillon (Université Panthéon-Sorbonne, directeur de la recherche historique au SHD),
  • Anne-Laure Dupont (Sorbonne Université, Centre d’histoire du XIXème siècle),
  • Edhem Eldem (Collège de France, chaire d’histoire turque et ottomane),
  • Jean-François Figeac (Sorbonne Université, Centre d’histoire du XIXème siècle),
  • Orlando Figes (Birkbeck College de Londres),
  • Hubert Heyriès (Université Paul Valéry/ Montpellier III),
  • Catherine Horel (Université Panthéon-Sorbonne, SIRICE),
  • Dominique Kalifa (Université Panthéon-Sorbonne, Centre d’histoire du XIXèmesiècle),
  • Jean-Noël Luc (Sorbonne Université, Centre d’histoire du XIXème siècle),
  • Silvia Marton (Université de Bucarest),
  • Nicolae Mihai (Université de Craiova),
  • Catherine Mayeur-Jaouen (Sorbonne Université, Centre d’histoire du XIXème siècle),
  • Marie-Pierre Rey (Université Panthéon-Sorbonne, SIRICE),
  • Odile Roynette (Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté),
  • Özgür Türesay (Université de Galatasaray).
Research centers
  • Centre d’histoire du XIXème siècle, LabEx EHNE
  • Centre de recherches en histoire des Slaves (UMR SIRICE)
  • Fondation Napoléon, Service historique de la Défense
(source: Calenda)