History of International Law

Introduction

History of International Law - Research Guide International Law

The Peace Palace Library has an impressive Old and rare books collection of 10.000 titles printed before 1850. Since its beginning in 1913 the Library has acquired a historical legal collection representing the various periods of thinking about international law, dominated by the Spanish, French or English schools. Writers from the 16th century: Jean Bodin, Ayala, Vitoria, the 17th century: Hugo Grotius, Gentili, Pufendorf, Zouche, and 18th century: Bynkershoek, Wolff, von Martens, Vattel, and 19th century Bluntschli, to name only a few. In total about 2400 authors represent the origins of international law. Modern authors on the history of international refer to these sources for their research.

This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for research in the field of the History of International Law. It provides the basic materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library's classification index code 31. History of International Laws and subject heading (keyword) History of International Law are instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.

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Bibliographies

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Librarian's choice

  • Dhondt, R., Balance of Power and Norm Hierarchy: Franco-British Diplomacy after the Peace of Utrecht, Leiden, Brill Nijhoff, 2016.

    508 B 36

    Balance of Power and Norm Hierarchy: Franco-British Diplomacy after the Peace of Utrecht offers a detailed study of French and British diplomacy in the age of ‘Walpole and Fleury’. After Louis XIV’s decease, European international relations were dominated by the collaboration between James Stanhope and Guillaume Dubois. Their alliance focused on the amendment and enlargement of the peace treaties of Utrecht, Rastatt and Baden. In-depth analysis of vast archival material uncovers the practical legal arguments used between Hampton Court and Versailles. ‘Balance of Power’ or ‘Tranquillity of Europe’ were in fact metaphors for the predominance of treaty law even over the most fundamental municipal norms. An implacable logic of norm hierarchy allowed to consolidate peace in Europe.

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  • Dupuy, P.-M. and V. Chetail (eds.), The Roots of International Law: Liber amicorum Peter Haggenmacher, Leiden, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2014.

    Dupuy, P.-M. and V. Chetail (eds.), The Roots of International Law: Liber amicorum Peter Haggenmacher, Leiden, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2014.

    This collection of essays gathers contributions from leading international lawyers from different countries, generations and angles with the aim of highlighting the multifaceted history of international law. This volume questions and analyses the origins and foundations of the international legal system. A particular attention is devoted to Hugo Grotius as one of the founding fathers of the law of nations. Several contributions further question the positivist tradition initiated by Vattel and endorsed by scholars of the 19th Century. This immersion in the intellectual origins of international law is enriched by an inquiry into the practice of the law of nations, including its main patterns and changing evolution as well as the role of non-western traditions and the impact of colonization.

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  • Barthélemy, J. (eds.) (et al.), Les fondateurs du droit international, Paris, Éditions Panthéon-Assas, 2014.

    Barthélemy, J. (eds.) (et al.), Les fondateurs du droit international, Paris, Éditions Panthéon-Assas, 2014.

    Publié en 1904 par un collectif de jeunes universitaires, parmi lesquels Jules Basdevant et George Scelle, l'ouvrage Les fondateurs du droit international consacre à dix grands auteurs du passé qui ont contribué à construire la doctrine du droit international des études qui ont gardé, aujourd'hui encore et malgré les progrès de l'histoire du droit international, tout leur intérêt scientifi que. Comme l'écrit le professeur Denis Alland dans une préface d'une grande fi nesse historique et doctrinale, « il n'y a toujours pas beaucoup d'ouvrages qui puissent être comparés aux Fondateurs, ne fût-ce que par l'étendue du champ que l'ouvrage embrasse, par le temps qu'il fait gagner à ceux qui, tout en ne se destinant pas à devenir des historiens érudits du droit international public, souhaitent bénéfi cier de quelques lumières sur des doctrines passées qui ont, à un titre ou à un autre, contribué à l'émergence de cette discipline.

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  • Gaurier, Histoire du droit international: de l'Antiquité à la création de l'UNO, Rennes, Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2014.

    Gaurier, Histoire du droit international: de l'Antiquité à la création de l'UNO, Rennes, Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2014.

    Avec cet ouvrage, Dominique Gaurier propose une vue générale qui s’étend de l’Antiquité au milieu du XXe siècle, avec la création de l’ONU. Il entend proposer ainsi un panorama général d’une histoire du droit international, en construisant son propos autour de thèmes qui en permettent une présentation claire. Cet ouvrage est la réédition revue et augmentée d’une deuxième partie du manuel paru aux PUR en 2005. Avec un avant-propos d’Emmanuelle Tourme-Jouannet. Avec le soutien de l’université de Nantes.

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  • Neff, S.C., Justice among Nations: A History of International Law, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 2014.

    Neff, S.C., Justice among Nations: A History of International Law, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 2014.

    Justice among Nations tells the story of the rise of international law and how it has been formulated, debated, contested, and put into practice from ancient times to the present. Stephen Neff avoids technical jargon as he surveys doctrines from natural law to feminism, and practices from the Warring States of China to the international criminal courts of today. Ancient China produced the first rudimentary set of doctrines. But the cornerstone of later international law was laid by the Romans, in the form of natural law—a universal law that was superior to early laws and governments. As medieval European states came into contact with non-Christian peoples, from East Asia to the New World, practical solutions had to be devised to the many legal quandaries that arose. In the wake of these experiences, international legal doctrine began to assume its modern form in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. New challenges in the nineteenth century encompassed the advance of nationalism, the rise of free trade and European imperialism, the formation of international organizations, and the arbitration of disputes. Innovative doctrines included liberalism, the nationality school, and solidarism. The twentieth century witnessed the formation of the League of Nations and a World Court, but also the rise of socialist and fascist states and the advent of the Cold War. Yet the collapse of the Soviet Union brought little respite. As Neff makes clear, further threats to the rule of law today come from environmental pressures, genocide, and terrorism.

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Database

Blogs

  • Happy Retirement Ingrid!

    [On the retirement of our curator Ingrid Kost; blog in Dutch] Vandaag 15 januari 2015 is een memorabele dag voor de bibliotheek van het Vredespaleis. Wij nemen na 39 jaar afscheid van onze collega Ingrid Kost. Zij zal genieten van een welverdiend pensioen. Tijd om andere dingen te gaan doen, zoals oppassen op de kleinkinderen en bijenhouden. Wij zullen haar deerlijk missen als collega en als mens. Alvorens vandaag afscheid te nemen, spraken wij met haar en haalden herinneringen op.

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  • Building a 'Temple for Peace': the Choice of the Site

    The Treaty for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, concluded on 29 July 1899, determined that the newly created Permanent Court of Arbitration was to be established at The Hague. As Andrew Carnegie’s gift of 1903 was meant primarily for the erection of a new and appealing court house and library to serve its arbiters, there could be no argument, as to where this ‘Temple for Peace’ was to be built. It should be at The Hague. But where in The Hague precisely was quite another thing.

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  • Building a ‘Temple for Peace’: Inspired Advocates and a Philanthropist

    Shortly after the 1899 Hague Peace Conference had ended, William T. Stead, a highly energetic and respected British journalist and pacifist who had followed the peace conference as an observer, and Andrew D. White, the American head of delegation and ambassador in Germany, convinced the Scottish-born American steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie to finance the ‘Temple for Peace’ that was to become the Peace Palace in The Hague.

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  • Building a ‘Temple for Peace’: the 1899 Hague Peace Conference

    This year, the Peace Palace, will celebrate its 100-year Anniversary. As official celebrations will commence in August, the Peace Palace Library starts with a series of library blogs in retrospect. The foundation of the Peace Palace in 1913 marked a pivotal point between two centuries. At the end of the 19th century, the idea of world peace was blooming as never before. At the dawn of the 20th century however, expectations had toned down considerably.

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  • “John Selden : Scholarship in Context” Conference

    Magdalen College in Oxford hosted the “John Selden : Scholarship in Context” Conference from 24th-26th June, a tribute to England’s “Chief of learned men”.

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  • Impressions of the 60 years Genocide Convention

    Impressions of the 60 years Genocide Convention On Sunday 7 and Monday 8 December, The Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies in Amsterdam, the Amsterdam Center for International Law and the Peace Palace Library organized a conference in The Hague to mark the 60th anniversary of the Genocide Convention. At the conference several legal and […]

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See also

More Research guides on Public International Law

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