ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

dinsdag 30 juni 2020

SSRN PAPER: Jacob KATZ COGAN, "A History of International Law in the Vernacular" (JHIL, forthcoming)

(image source: Wikimedia Commons)

Histories of international law have typically focused on the origins of legal rules and doctrines, the decisions of courts and other formal tribunals, the views of professors and legal theorists and diplomats, and the evolution of the legal profession. That is, international legal histories have centered on the concerns of lawyers and states and have reflected a positivist vision of international lawmaking. We need a history of international law that focuses more on international law in action—the invocation, elaboration, and contestation of rules in and through their everyday application, not just by states, high-level state actors, legal theorists, and state-organized domestic and international institutions, but also by individuals, low-level officials, private groups, and nongovernmental actors and in places outside of the usual fora where “international law” is said to be found. We need a history of international law in the vernacular.
Read the full paper on SSRN.

maandag 29 juni 2020

ONLINE DATABASES: Freely Available Research Databases (Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations)

(image source: SHAFR blog)

The SHAFR Task Force on Freely Available Research Databases has compiled this bibliography of electronic resources to aid research in U.S. foreign relations history.  This project depends on regular updates and suggestions of additional collections to be included in this bibliography.
Consult this wonderful list here.

vrijdag 26 juni 2020

DIGITAL ARCHIVES: League of Nations (The Total Digital Access Project) past halfway

(image source: UNOG)

The Project team is proud to announce that, despite the recent challenges posed by COVID-19, we have reached an important milestone and have passed the half-way point of the scanning, with well over 7.5 million pages scanned! We want to thank our staff for their continued efforts and dedication to the project, as well as our partners and all those who have expressed their interest and encouragement! The Total Digital Access to the League of Nations Archives Project (LONTAD) will ensure state-of-the-art free online access and the digital and physical preservation of approximately 15 million pages, or almost three linear kilometers, the entirety of the archives of the League of Nations (1920-1946), the first global intergovernmental organization aiming to establish international peace and cooperation, and the predecessor of the United Nations. The LONTAD project is made possible through a generous donation of a private Swiss foundation. While digitization of these materials is only one part of the project, the figures above indicate our overall progress towards achieving this important step by the three main steps: preparing the documents for digitization, scanning, and indexing the materials to make them searchable. This website serves as a temporary platform to follow LONTAD’s progress, provide selections and highlights of materials from the collections, give access to related resources, and to provide technical information that may be useful to other archives professionals.
Read more here.

donderdag 25 juni 2020


(image: Aix-en-Provence (1753); source: Wikimedia Commons)

The European Society of International Law/Société européenne de droit international decided to host its annual conferences:
- for 2021 in Stockholm (9-11 september)
- for 2022 in Utrecht
- for 2023 in Aix-en-Provence

More information on the 2021 conference on

woensdag 24 juni 2020

IM MEMORIAM: Thomas BRUHA, 'Prof. dr. Heinhard Steiger, LL.M. (Harvard) (1933-2019)' (Archiv des Völkerrechts LVII (2019), 3, 261-265) (OPEN ACCESS)

(image source: Mohr Siebeck)

Prof. em. Heinhard Steiger, one of the most important scholars in international legal history after 1945, has sadly passed away in July 2019. An Im Memoriam was published in the journal Archiv des Völkerrechts on 18 February 2020. The text can be read here.

(image source: MPIeR

Professor Steiger's articles are collected in two volumes of the series Studien zur Geschichte des Völkerrechts. In 2010, Prof. Steiger published his monograph on the law between polities in the Carolingian era (Böhlau). In 2011, Prof. Steiger co-edited a volume on Universality and Continuity in International Law, with numerous contributions by leading international legal historians (Eleven Publishing).

The University of Giessen published the following message:

dinsdag 23 juni 2020

JOURNAL: Special Issue Histoire du droit international, ed. R. CAHEN, F. DHONDT & E. FIOCCHI MALASPINA] (Clio@Thémis: revue européenne électronique d'histoire du droit/European Electronic journal in Legal History n° 18 (2020)

(image source: Clio@Thémis)

L’essor récent de l’histoire du droit international (Raphaël Cahen, Elisabetta Fiocchi Malaspina & Frederik Dhondt)
First paragraph:
Ce dossier spécial est consacré à l’histoire du droit international. Il regroupe sept contributions portant sur divers aspects de cette sous-discipline de l’histoire du droit qui connaît un essor historiographique majeur dans le monde, mais plus relatif en France [1]. En effet, aucune section ne portait sur l’histoire du droit international dans l’ouvrage collectif récent qui présentait les tendances actuelles et les nouveaux champs de l’histoire du droit en France [2]. Néanmoins, on ne peut omettre de mentionner les travaux d’Emmanuelle Tourme-Jouannet, de Dominique Gaurier ou encore ceux de Dzovinar Kévonian et Philippe Rygiel qui font exception dans un champ académique français relativement peu fréquenté ni institutionnalisé [3].
Between private and public law : The contribution of late medieval ius commune to the conceptualisation of diplomatic representation (Dante Fedele)
This paper examines the development, by late medieval ius commune jurists, of a notion of diplomatic representation which is rooted in the doctrine of private law agency. In particular, it endeavours to study the basis and limits of ambassadors’ negotiating powers, by analysing some issues relating to procuration and the ratification of treaties. The conclusion illustrates the persistence of the central role of this notion of diplomatic representation in the discussion of the matter right up until the late eighteenth century, thus allowing us to appreciate the importance of the contribution made by late medieval ius commune to the early modern discussion of the status of the ambassador.
Renonciations et possession tranquille : l’abbé de Saint-Pierre, la paix d’Utrecht et la diplomatie de la Régence (Frederik Dhondt)
Abbot Saint-Pierre (1658-1743) is one of the most studied early 18th century political thinkers. His “utopian” project of perpetual peace was published during the Utrecht Peace Congress (1712-1713), where plenipotentiaries from various European powers ended the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714). As Merle Perkins demonstrated, Saint-Pierre’s conceptions on the state of nature and man’s violent instinct were similar to Hobbes’. Saint-Pierre, by contrast, believed in the possibility to overcome the violent state of nature. The key element here was the freezing of reciprocal legal claims by monarchs, which were always a source of conflict. Leaving quarrels behind, the “European Union” would be able to ensure the “tranquil possession” of sovereigns. The diplomatic context after the Peace of Utrecht was more compatible with his position than his first version (1712), wherein he castigated balance of power-politics. The peace was based on the mutual renunciations by the most prominent pretenders to the Spanish Succession. Saint-Pierre redacted the 1717 edition of his Projet to convince the Regent’s diplomats. Their efforts focused on finding a solution for the duchies of Parma and Piacenza, and the Grand-Duchy of Tuscany. The context of Regency diplomacy explains the attempts of Saint-Pierre to deliver a credible message, able to convince the actors of French foreign policy. 
Hauterive et l’école des diplomates (1800-1830) (Raphaël Cahen)
Alexandre d’Hauterive (1754-1830) was one of the most important members of the French foreign Office, from the time of the Directoire until the July Monarchy. Although one of the founders of a school of diplomats, which lasted until his death, d’Hauterive remains remarkably understudied in historiography. His diplomatic academy maintained an ambiguous relation with the law of nations. Despite numerous efforts and proposed projects, the diplomatic profession never fully professionalized during the thirty years of the academy’s existence. A biographical case-study of three former students of this school, all of whom eventually rose to the presidency of the Litigation committee of the French Foreign Office, will be used to analyse the Juridification of international relations.
 « Toil of the noble world » : Pasquale Stanislao Mancini, Augusto Pierantoni and the international legal discourse of 19th century Italy (Elisabetta Fiocchi Malaspina)
The aim of this article is to reconstruct, from a legal historical point of view, the complexity and the meaning of international law in the Italian peninsula during the 19th century. The paper will analyse different entanglements that constituted the core of nineteenth-century Italian international legal discourse. It is structured in four sections, dealing respectively with : 1) the principle of nationality elaborated by Pasquale Stanislao Mancini and its repercussion both on private and public international law ; 2) the return to the historical origins of Italian international law and the role played by comparative constitutional law ; 3) the implementation and translation of particular legal genres, such as the attempts to codify international law ; 4) colonial education, including legal education, through the creation of the Scuola diplomatico-coloniale (colonial and diplomatic school).
After the Great War : International Law in Austria’s First Republic, 1918–mid 1920 (Sebastian M Spitra)
This article studies the role of international law in the Austrian republic after the First World War – a time of hope and concerns for the international legal order. Although the war was perceived as backlash for international law, its scholarship expanded in Austria until the mid-1920 s. The Austrian international lawyers strived to integrate themselves in the broader transnational academic community. Their contribution to this field developed out of the constitutional debates of the Habsburg Empire. However, the Austrian jurists also omitted to treat certain international issues in their scholarship, such as the relief program by the League of Nations for Austria’s economy in crisis
Historiographies of International Law from a Chinese Perspective (Maria Adèle Carrai)
One objective of the emerging global history of international law is to broaden its scope in an attempt to overcome Eurocentrism. In this context, China, not only as an emerging global power that can influence the creation of the normative principles grounding the future world order, but also with its history of international law, offers a counter-teleology to the classic progress narrative of international law understood as a science. This article presents a critical summary and analysis of the approaches of a selection of Chinese scholars to the history of international law. The current debates seem to be closely linked to a new conception of modernity that does not correspond with the Western conception. The Chinese perspective, in this sense, can help broaden the history of international law, especially when that history claims to be global. 
Comment et pourquoi écrire l’histoire du droit international ? Le cas de l’abolition de l’esclavage (Anne-Charlotte Martineau)
Over the last decade, there have been debates opposing international lawyers on the one hand, and historians and legal historians on the other, on how and why to write the history of international law. The objective of this article is to participate in these debates through a case study : that of the abolition of slavery and its inclusion in the historiography of international law. The history of slavery and in particular that of its abolition has aroused renewed interest within the discipline of international law. Some international lawyers have turned to history in order to draw lessons from the successful ways in which international law ought to have abolished the transatlantic slave trade in the nineteenth century. Others have examined the history of the codification of slavery in international law in the light of European colonial imperialism. It will emerge from our analysis that international lawyers’ renewed interest in the history of slavery is rooted in the present, in the sense that they want to better understand the past in order to better act in the present. This presentism is not a problem in itself ; it becomes a problem only when the recourse to history ceases to be critical and serves merely to justify – and thus to perpetuate – existing professional projects and international legal institutions. 
 Read all articles in open access here.

maandag 22 juni 2020

SSRN PAPER: Jean d'ASPREMONT, Turntablism in the History of International Law

(image: library; source: Wikimedia Commons)

Paper abstract:
This article uses the metaphor of turntablism to shed light on how international lawyers’ engagement with history has remained confined to the same terms, vocabularies, and categories of the very historical narratives they seek to evaluate, disrupt, or displace. In this article, turntablism is understood as the art of creating new music and sound effects by using one or several turntables on which a record is placed. This article argues that twenty-first century international lawyers engaging with the history of international law are talented turntablists. The many historiographical works produced by such lawyers, since the so-called ‘historical turn’, have remained confined to the very terms, categories, and vocabularies of the histories whose creation they discuss and theorise. This article ultimately shows that turntablism is not the inevitable fate of international lawyers engaging with history, and that a radical historical critique is possible and should be promoted.
(source: SSRN)

vrijdag 19 juni 2020

SSRN PAPER: Anna LUKINA, Opening the Pandora’s Box: Kelsen and the Communist Theory of Law

(image: Hans Kelsen; source: Wikimedia Commons)

This paper examines Hans Kelsen’s Communist Theory of Law in the context of his general critique of natural law theories. Kelsen argues that since there is no such thing as objectively determined natural law, a theory that attempts to use it to establish constraints on positive law is at risk of automatically justifying the latter. Kelsen deploys this ‘Pandora’s Box Objection’ in his characterization of the Communist theory of law as the ‘handmaiden’ of the Soviet government that conserved, rather than challenged, oppressive policies. The Objection is limited in scope. Firstly, it applies only to ‘forward-looking’ Communist theories of law that justify transitional socialist legal arrangements rather than seek to abolish the legal form as a whole. Secondly, it does not eliminate the Rule of Law constraints that are independent from natural law fetters - hence the state does not have a ‘blank cheque’ to introduce any positive law.
Read more on SSRN.

woensdag 17 juni 2020

ESIL RESEARCH FORUM CATANIA: Postponed to 15-16 APR 2021

(image source: ESIL)

The ESIL Secretariat announced the postponement of the ESIL Research Forum in Catania to 15-16 April 2021.

More information on the ESIL Website.

Our IG Pre-Conference event's line-up (initally foreseen for 23 April 2020) can be consulted here.

BOOK: Béatriche TOUCHELAY (dir.), Fraudes, frontières et territoires (XIIIe-XXIe siècles) (Paris: Institut de la gestion publique et du développement économique, Comité pour l’histoire économique et financière de la France, 2020), 384 p. ISBN 9782111294554, FREE ACCESS

(image source: openedition)

Book abstract:
La fraude est ici appréhendée dans toutes ses dimensions, spatiales, temporelles, politiques, économiques, juridiques et sociales. Ce livre est le résultat d’un vaste programme de recherches internationales et entend surtout éclairer les relations entre fraudes et territoires. La porosité des frontières politiques ou « naturelles » – mais chaque frontière est artificielle – délimite avant tout une géographie des contournements. Placée dans une perspective de longue durée, car le phénomène de la fraude est ancestral, la fraude se sert des difficultés, voire de l’absence de volonté, des États à contrôler tous les flux ou plutôt les marges. La fraude est une activité économique, par définition mal connue, qui, dans certaines circonstances (guerre, occupation, pénurie…) prend une place prédominante dans la vie quotidienne des populations. Elle peut aussi devenir une question de survie. Les règles juridiques et légales, qu’elles soient douanières ou fiscales, induisent des comportements frauduleux qui proviennent parfois de traditions commerciales préexistantes aux normes étatiques. Enfin, la fraude, malgré ses dangers, fait vivre les fraudeurs et engendre des corps de contrôle. Du Tonkin à la Guadeloupe, en passant par l’Empire espagnol et le Benelux, de Marseille à Londres, en passant par Newport, Calais, Lille, Anvers, le Dauphiné ou encore l’Anjou, les textes de cet ouvrage pluridisciplinaire offrent un vaste panorama des modalités et des acteurs de la fraude. Ils soulignent à la fois les constantes et la diversité des trafics illicites (denrées alimentaires, armes, brevets, sel, monnaies...) dans le monde depuis le XIIIe siècle.
 On the editor:
Professeure d’histoire contemporaine à l’Université de Lille, chercheuse associée à l’Institut de recherches historiques du Septentrion (UMR 8529), spécialiste de l’histoire des statistiques et de la comptabilité des entreprises dans la France et le monde industrialisé contemporain (xixe‑xxe siècle), Béatrice Touchelay s’intéresse plus largement à l’information économique et sociale, et plus précisément à l’histoire des chiffres visant à guider l’action des acteurs de l’économie, à encadrer, à classer ou à contrôler. Elle étudie en outre l’histoire de la fiscalité de guerre et du contrôle fiscal et économique aux xixe et xxe siècles. Elle a co-organisé le séminaire de recherches Chiffres privés, chiffres publics (2013-2016), avec Fabien Cardoni, Anne Conchon et Michel Margairaz, et a codirigé avec Isabelle Bruno et Florence Jany-Catrice, The Social Sciences of Quantification. From Politics of Large Numbers to Target-Driven Policies, Londres, Springer, 2016. Ses dernières publications sur l’impôt et la fraude sont : avec Cheryl S. McWatters, « La comptabilité et l’expertise à l’origine d’un empire industriel : Marcel Boussac et la contribution extraordinaire sur les bénéfices de guerre », Revue du Nord, juill.-sept. 2017, p. 629-643 ; « Comptabilité et fraude fiscale avant la normalisation (1914-1940) », in Jean-Paul Barrière, Régis Boulat, Alain Chatriot, Pierre Lamard et Jean-Michel Minovez (dir.), Les trames de l’histoire : entreprises, territoires, consommations, institutions. Mélanges en l’honneur de Jean-Claude Daumas, Besançon, Presses universitaires de Franche-Comté, 2017, p. 591-599 ; « La naissance du service de vérification comptable en France (1933) ou la confiance déçue ? », in Mathieu Floquet, Pierre Labardin, Yves Le Van (dir.), L’histoire comme méthode pour comprendre le management. Mélanges en l’honneur du professeur Marc Nikitin, Paris, L’Harmattan, 2017, p. 247-260.
DOI 10.4000/books.igpde.11108

(source: openedition)

dinsdag 16 juni 2020

BOOK: Francine HIRSCH, Soviet Judgment at Nuremberg - A New History of the International Military Tribunal after World War II (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020). ISBN 9780199377930, £26.99

(Source: OUP)

OUP is publishing a book offering a Soviet perspective to the Nuremberg trials.


Organized in the immediate aftermath of World War II to try the former Nazi leaders for war crimes, the Nuremberg trials, known as the International Military Tribunal (IMT), paved the way for global conversations about genocide, justice, and human rights that continue to this day. As Francine Hirsch reveals in this immersive new history of the trials, a central piece of the story has been routinely omitted from standard accounts: the critical role that the Soviet Union played in making Nuremberg happen in the first place. Hirschs book reveals how the Soviets shaped the trials—only to be written out of their story as Western allies became bitter Cold War rivals.

Soviet Judgment at Nuremberg offers the first full picture of the war trials, illuminating the many ironies brought to bear as the Soviets did their part to bring the Nazis to justice. Everyone knew that Stalin had originally allied with Hitler before the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939 hung heavy over the courtroom, as did the suspicion among the Western prosecutors and judges that the Soviets had falsified evidence in an attempt to pin one of their own war crimes, the Katyn massacre of Polish officers, on the Nazis. It did not help that key members of the Soviet delegation, including the Soviet judge and chief prosecutor, had played critical roles in Stalin's infamous show trials of the 1930s. For the lead American prosecutor Robert H. Jackson and his colleagues, Soviet participation in the Nuremberg Trials undermined their overall credibility and possibly even the moral righteousness of the Allied victory.

Yet Soviet jurists had been the first to conceive of a legal framework that treated war as an international crime. Without it, the IMT would have had no basis for judgment. The Soviets had borne the brunt of the fighting against Germany—enduring the horrors of the Nazi occupation and experiencing almost unimaginable human losses and devastation. There would be no denying their place on the tribunal, nor their determination to make the most of it. Once the trials were set in motion, however, little went as the Soviets had planned. Soviet Judgment at Nuremberg shows how Stalin's efforts to direct the Soviet delegation and to steer the trials from afar backfired, and how Soviet war crimes became exposed in open court.

Hirsch's book offers readers both a front-row seat in the courtroom and a behind-the-scenes look at the meetings in which the prosecutors shared secrets and forged alliances. It reveals the shifting relationships among the four countries of the prosecution (the U.S., Great Britain, France, and the USSR), uncovering how and why the Palace of Justice in Nuremberg became a Cold War battleground. In the process Soviet Justice at Nuremberg offers a new understanding of the trials and a fresh perspective on the post-war movement for human rights.


Francine Hirsch is Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the author of Empire of Nations.


Introduction: The Untold Story
Part I: The Road to Nuremberg
Chapter One: When War Became a Crime
Chapter Two: But What Is Justice?
Chapter Three: Countdown to Indictment
Chapter Four: Ready or Not
Part II: The Prosecution's Case
Chapter Five: The Trial Begins
Chapter Six: Stuck on the Sidelines
Chapter Seven: Course Corrections
Chapter Eight: Bearing Witness
Part III: The Defense Case
Chapter Nine: The Cold War Comes to Nuremberg
Chapter Ten: In the Name of a Fair Trial
Chapter Eleven: Accusations and Counter-Accusations
Chapter Twelve: The Katyn Showdown
Part IV: Last Words and Judgments
Chapter Thirteen: Collective Guilt and the Fate of Postwar Europe
Chapter Fourteen: Judgment
Chapter Fifteen: Beyond Nuremberg
Research Note
Notes and Sources
Bibliographical Notes and Suggestions for Further Reading

More info here
(source: ESCLH Blog)

maandag 15 juni 2020

ADVANCE ARTICLE: Helen M. KINSELLA & Giovanni MANTILLA, "Contestation before Compliance: History, Politics, and Power in International Humanitarian Law" (International Studies Quarterly) (OPEN ACCESS)

(image source: OUP)

Article abstract:
Despite the common reference to international humanitarian law (IHL) in the discourse and practice of international politics, international relations (IR) scholarship has yet to consistently engage in an analysis of IHL that extends beyond the relatively narrow specifications of its regulative and strategic effects. In this theory note, we argue that this prevailing focus leaves the discipline with an impoverished understanding of IHL and its operation in international politics. We propose that the study of IHL should be expanded through a deeper engagement with the law's historical development, the politics informing its codification and interpretation, and its multiple potential effects beyond compliance. This accomplishes three things. First, it corrects for IR's predominantly ahistorical approach to evaluating both IHL and compliance, revealing the complicated, contested, and productive construction of some of IHL's core legal concepts and rules. Second, our approach illuminates how IR's privileging of civilian targeting requires analytical connection to other rules such as proportionality and military necessity, none of which can be individually assessed and each of which remain open to debate. Third, we provide new resources for analyzing and understanding IHL and its contribution to “world making and world ordering.”
(source: OUP)

vrijdag 12 juni 2020

BOOK: Christopher A CASEY, Nationals Abroad: Globalization, Individual Rights, and the Making of Modern International Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020). ISBN 9781108489454, £ 29.99

(Source: CUP)

Cambridge University Press is publishing a new book on the history of international business interests and the creation of the international human rights regime in the late 19th and 20th century.


It is a fundamental term of the social contract that people trade allegiance for protection. In the nineteenth century, as millions of people made their way around the world, they entangled the world in web of allegiance that had enormous political consequences. Nationality was increasingly difficult to define. Just who was a national in a world where millions lived well beyond the borders of their sovereign state? As the nineteenth century gave way to the twentieth, jurists and policymakers began to think of ways to cut the web of obligation that had enabled world politics. They proposed to modernize international law to include subjects other than the state. Many of these experiments failed. But, by the mid-twentieth century, an international legal system predicated upon absolute universality and operated by intergovernmental organizations came to the fore. Under this system, individuals gradually became subjects of international law outside of their personal citizenship, culminating with the establishment of international courts of human rights after the Second World War.


Christopher A. Casey, University of California, Berkeley: Christopher A. Casey received his BA, MA, PhD, and JD at the University of California, Berkeley.


Part I .Mise en scène: The International Legal World, 1850-–1914:
1. The Walls of Gilgamesh
2. Making Nations, Breaking Nationality
Part II. Mise en scène: The International Legal World, 1919-–1939:
3. Sovereign Nations
4. Sovereign Persons
5. Sovereign Commerce
Part III. Mise en scène: The International Legal World, 1945-–Present:
6. Cosmopolitans and Capitalists

More info here

(source: ESCLH Blog)

donderdag 11 juni 2020

YOUTUBE: Clemenceau and the Peace of Paris (StoriaVoce, 27 APR 2020)

On the guests:
Thierry Lentz est historien, professeur à l’ICES et président de la Fondation Napoléon. Fabienne Bock est professeur d’Histoire à l’Université Paris Est (Marne-la-Vallée). Sa thèse portait sur le parlementarisme à l’époque de la Grande Guerre.
(source: StoriaVoce)

woensdag 10 juni 2020

YOUTUBE: Gilles MONTÈGRE, Bernis: grandeur de la diplomatie au XVIIIe siècle (StoriaVoce, 26 FEB 2020)

On the author:
historien, maître de conférences à l’université Grenoble-Alpes et spécialiste de la diplomatie à l’époque moderne. Il notamment signé un livre sur la Rome des Français au temps des Lumières en 2011 (Publication de l’École française de Rome) et Les circulations internationales en Europe. 1680-1780, avec Albane Cogné et Stéphane Blond (Atlande, 2011). Dans son dernier ouvrage, il nous propose un tour dans l’Europe des Lumières à travers la figure du Cardinal de Bernis : Le cardinal de Bernis, le pouvoir de l’amitié (2019, Tallandier/Publications de l’École française de Rome, 864 pages, 32.9 €).
(source: StoriaVoce)

dinsdag 9 juni 2020

PODCAST: How public international law has been made, found and proven from the 17th to the 21st century [Youard Lecture in Legal History 2011] (Oxford: Faculty of Law, 2011)

(image: Radcliffe Camera, Oxford; source: Wikimedia Commons)

Prof. Stefan Talmon (Bonn) delivered the Youard Lecture in Legal History 2011 at the Faculty of Law of Oxford University on the topic How public international law has been made, found and proven from the 17th to the 21st century.

Click here to listen.

maandag 8 juni 2020

BOOK: Kyle M. LASCURETTES, Orders of Exclusion. Great Powers and the Strategic Sources of Foundational Rules in International Relations (Oxford: OUP, 2020), 336 p. ISBN 9780190068554, 20,99 GBP

(image source: OUP)

When and why do powerful countries seek to enact major changes to international order, the broad set of rules that guide behavior in world politics? This question is particularly important today given the Trump administration's clear disregard for the reigning liberal international order in the United States. Across the globe, there is also uncertainty over what China might seek to replace that order with as it continues to amass power and influence. Together, these developments mean that what motivates great powers to shape and change order will remain at the forefront of debates over the future of world politics. Prior studies have focused on how the origins of international orders have been consensus-driven and inclusive. By contrast, Kyle Lascurettes argues in Orders of Exclusion that the propelling motivation for great power order building has typically been exclusionary. Dominant powers pursue fundamental changes to order when they perceive a major new threat on the horizon. Moreover, they do so for the purpose of targeting this perceived threat, be it another powerful state or a foreboding ideological movement. The goal of order building, then, is blocking that threatening entity from amassing further influence, a motive Lascurettes illustrates at work across more than three hundred years of international history. Far from falling outside of the bounds of traditional statecraft, order building is the continuation of power politics by other means.
On the author:
Kyle M. Lascurettes is Assistant Professor of International Affairs at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, where he specializes in global order, international institutions, and international relations theory. 
(read more here)

vrijdag 5 juni 2020

BOOK: Doreen LUSTIG, Veiled Power. International Law and the Private Corporation 1886-1981 [Law and Global Governance] (Oxford: OUP, 2020), 256 p. ISBN 9780198822097, 80 GBP

(image source: OUP)

Veiled Power conducts a thorough historical study of the relationship between international law and business corporations. It chronicles the emergence of the contemporary legal architecture for corporations in international law between 1886 and 1981. Doreen Lustig traces the relationship between two legal 'veils': the sovereign veil of the state and the corporate veil of the company. The interplay between these two veils constitutes the conceptual framework this book offers for the legal analysis of corporations in international law. By weaving together five in-depth case studies - Firestone in Liberia, the Industrialist Trials at Nuremberg, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, Barcelona Traction and the emergence of the international investment law regime - a variety of contexts are covered, including international criminal law, human rights, natural resources, and the multinational corporation as a subject of regulatory concern. Together, these case studies offer a multifaceted account of the history of corporations in international law over time. The book seeks to demonstrate the facilitative role of international law in shaping and limiting the scope of responsibility of the private business corporation from the late-nineteenth century and throughout the twentieth century. Ultimately, Lustig suggests that, contrary to the prevailing belief that international law failed to adequately regulate private corporations, there is a history of close engagement between the two that allowed corporations to exert influence under a variety of legal regimes while obscuring their agency.
On the author:
Doreen Lustig is an Associate Professor at Tel Aviv University Law Faculty. 
(source: OUP)

donderdag 4 juni 2020

ADVANCE ARTICLE: Giulio BARTOLINI, 'World War I and the Italian International Law Scholars', Journal of the History of International Law/Revue d'histoire du droit international

(image source: Brill)

Manufacturing International Law: Pre-printed Treaties in the ‘Scramble for Africa’ (Steven M. Harris)
The centennial anniversary of World War I has generated renewed interest in the complex relationship between this event, international law and its community of scholars. In this regard the largely unexplored Italian context may represent a stimulating source of material from the point of view of both contemporary scholarly debate and current research, as Italy was one of the leading states involved in the conflict and boasts a vibrant and influential community of scholars of international law. As a result this article will focus on the shifting and active role played by Italian scholars in relation to the conflict, not only in their traditional academic and scientific activities, but also through their involvement in public debate, propaganda activities, contributions to newspapers and non-specialized journals, as well as their support to the Government..
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woensdag 3 juni 2020

BOOK: Christopher CAPOZZOLA, Bound by War How the United States and the Philippines Built America's First Pacific Century (New York: Hachette Books, 2020), ISBN 9781541618268, 19,99 USD

(image source: Hachette Group)

Book presentation:
A sweeping history of America’s long and fateful military relationship with the Philippines amid a century of Pacific warfare Ever since US troops occupied the Philippines in 1898, generations of Filipinos have served in and alongside the US armed forces. In Bound by War, historian Christopher Capozzola reveals this forgotten history, showing how war and military service forged an enduring, yet fraught, alliance between Americans and Filipinos. As the US military expanded in Asia, American forces confronted their Pacific rivals from Philippine bases. And from the colonial-era Philippine Scouts to post-9/11 contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan, Filipinos were crucial partners in the exercise of US power. Their service reshaped Philippine society and politics and brought thousands of Filipinos to America. Telling the epic story of a century of conflict and migration, Bound by War is a fresh, definitive portrait of this uneven partnership and the two nations it transformed.
(source: Hachette Book Group)

ARTICLE: Zak LEONARD, "Law of Nations Theory and the Native Sovereignty Debates in Colonial India" Law and History Review LXXXVIIII (2020), No. 2

(image source: CUP)


Beginning in the 1840s, high-ranking officials within the East India Company began a concerted effort to confiscate and annex princely states, citing misrule or a default of blood heirs. In response, metropolitan reformers and their Indian allies orchestrated a sustained legalistic defense of native sovereignty in the public sphere and emerged as vocal opponents of colonial expansionism. Adapting concepts put forth by both law of nations theorists and contemporary jurists, they sought to preserve longstanding treaties and defend the princes' exercise of internal sovereignty. The colonial government's failure to adequately define the basis of its modern “paramountcy” invited such creative maneuvering. Reformist opposition to the annexation of Awadh, the dispossession of the Nawab of the Carnatic, and the confiscation of Mysore demonstrates that international law did not simply function as a Eurocentric tool of subordination, but could also provide a bulwark against colonial depredations.
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dinsdag 2 juni 2020

ENTRY: Michel ELPERDING & Fernando IRURZUN, Arbitral Tribunal for Upper Silesia, in: Hélène RUIZ FABRI (ed.), Max Planck Encyclopedia of International Procedural Law (Oxford: OUP, 2020)

(image source: OPIL)

First paragraph:
Due to historical context, composition, and organizational aspects, some sections of this entry are based on another entry regarding the Mixed Commission for Upper Silesia. Owing to the shared origins and complementary nature of the Arbitral Tribunal and the Mixed Commission, other sections might also comprise sentences that mirror those of that entry. 2 The Arbitral Tribunal for Upper Silesia (‘Arbitral Tribunal’ or ‘Tribunal’), sometimes also referred to as Upper Silesian Arbitral Tribunal (‘Tribunal arbitral de Haute-Silésie’), was an international tribunal...
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maandag 1 juni 2020

ADVANCE ARTICLE: Steven M. HARRIS, 'Manufacturing International Law: Pre-printed Treaties in the ‘Scramble for Africa’', Journal of the History of International Law/Revue d'histoire du droit international

(image source: Brill)

Manufacturing International Law: Pre-printed Treaties in the ‘Scramble for Africa’ (Steven M. Harris)
The 1880s saw a unique confluence of means, motives, and opportunities which led the British and their agents on African frontiers to enter into hundreds of pre-printed form treaties with local groups. By treating indigenous groups as interchangeable counterparties to their agreements, the new tools carried by these diplomats in canoes carried both the benefits of expediency and the problems of alienation. The mass production of international law – made by relatively unskilled labour, in bulk, with limited variation – had arrived. This practice connects the emerging modernity of the cultures of international law, diplomacy, printing technology, and domestic law.
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