ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

Thursday 10 January 2019

JOURNAL: Grotiana XXXIX (2018), Issue 1 (December)

(image source: Brill)

An Unpublished Letter from Herbert of Cherbury to Grotius on the Expeditio in Ream Insulam: Commentary, Text, and Translation (Felix Waldmann)
The following article presents the text and translation of an unpublished letter to Grotius from Edward Herbert (1582?–1648), Lord Cherbury. The letter pertains to Cherbury’s The expedition to the Isle of Rhé or Expeditio in Ream Insulam – his manuscript account of the duke of Buckingham’s abortive siege of the Isle of Ré in July–October 1627.
Grotius, Dio Chrysostom and the ‘Invention’ of Customary ius gentium (Francesca Iurlarlo)
This article tackles the issue of whether and how Hugo Grotius conceives of custom as a formal source of the law of nations. The main claim of it is that not only custom plays a fundamental role in Grotius’s thought, but that his reflections mark a fundamental turning point for the history of customary international law. A crucial role in this process of re-conceptualization is played by Grotius’s reading of Dio Chrysostom, whose oration On custom provides him with an integrated account of custom as a ‘normative practice’ based on rhetorical judgment (as opposed to the Scholastic interpretation of custom as reiteration of voluntary acts). Consequently, I argue that Dio Chrysostom’s text helps Grotius to transpose the question of the normative legitimacy of custom from a moral to an interpretative level. To conclude, I will show that Grotius adopts two different rhetorical strategies to prove the existence of customary norms of ius gentium.
 States and Patrimonial Kingdoms: Hugo Grotius’s Account of Sovereign Entities in The Rights of War and Peace (Emile Simpson)
In this article I set out Hugo Grotius’s account of sovereign entities in the De Iure Belli ac Pacis (The Rights of War and Peace, 1625). In so doing, I seek to challenge a claim not uncommonly encountered in the recent historiography of the work, namely, that Grotius had no account of the state therein. In challenging that claim, I will make a further claim that while Grotius did have an account of the state, it was only one of two forms of sovereign entity, the other being the patrimonial kingdom. While this last claim is occasionally encountered in terms of a distinction between forms of government, I go further, on the basis that the distinction identifies a fundamental conceptual difference between free and unfree nations, which speaks not only to the form of government, but to the nature of the sovereign entity itself. Furthermore, it is my contention that through the patrimonial kingdom, Grotius was able to account for empire.
 A Reply to Grotius’s Critics. On Constitutional Law (Gustaaf van Nifterik)

It is not always easy to interpret Grotius’s constitutional theory that lies hidden within his book on the law of war and peace. After a very concise discussion of this constitutional framework, this study turns to various interpretations and conclusions by contemporary scholars that sit awkwardly within the theory. The interpretations of Richard Tuck, Peter Borschberg, Knud Haakonson, Frank Grunert, Deborah Baumgold, Marco Barducci, Daniel Lee and Gustaaf van Nifterik are discussed critically. 
An Introduction to the Smaller Bodies of Water in Hugo Grotius’s Legal Theory (Laurelin Middelkoop)
Around the same time as his writing of De iure belli ac pacis, Hugo Grotius wrote a short tract: Introduction to the jurisprudence of Holland. He was the first to offer a systematic account of the substantive law of Holland, with a specific focus on rights over laws. I propose that by drawing a comparison between the Introduction and his other major law treatises, the key elements and differences of his argument in Mare liberum become clearer. Secondly, it shows a different side of Grotius as a legal theorist, one concerned with smaller legal issues surrounding property relations in Holland, where potential conflicts stemming from water damage are particularly common and likely. By focusing on how Grotius handles categories of smaller bodies of water, in Introduction but also in ibp and De iure praedae, his understanding of what makes some water susceptible to ownership is drawn out.
 Book reviews:
  • The Historical Foundations of Grotius’ Analysis of Delict [Legal History Library 24], written by Joe Sampson (Eltjo Schrage)
  • Scriptural Authority and Biblical Criticism in the Dutch Golden Age: God’s Word Questioned, edited by Dirk van Miert, Henk J. M. Nellen, Piet Steenbakkers, and Jetze Touber (Nicholas Hardy)
  • Hugo Grotius and the Modern Theology of Freedom: Transcending Natural Rights, written by Jeremy Seth Geddert (Andrew Blom)
  • Hugo Grotius and the Century of Revolution 1613–1718: Transnational Reception in English Political Thought, written by Marco Barducci (Marco Barducci)
  • Criticism and Confession. The Bible in the Seventeenth Century Republic of Letters, written by Nicholas Hardy (Sarah Mortimer)
  • Necessity in International Law, written by Jens David Ohlin & Larry May (Ioannis D. Evrigenis)
Bibliography (Rens Steenhard)

More information with Brill.

(source: ESCLH Blog)