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.

Bibliography

Reference works

Books

Leading articles

Documents

Periodicals, serial publications

Bibliographies

New titles


1. al-Sūdān wa-al-qānun al-duwalī
al-Sūdān wa-al-qānun al-duwalī / Fayṣal ʿAbd al-Raḥmān ʿAlī Ṭaha. - Umm Durmān : Markaz ʿAbd al-Karīm Mīrganī al-Ṯaqāfī, 2012. - 100 pages. ; 24 cm With references. - 2012
Keywords: Sudan, South Sudan, Darfur, Egypt, International Court of Justice, International Criminal Court, Borders, Customary law, State succession, Public international law,

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

    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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  • Fassbender, B. and A. Peters (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012.

    Fassbender, B. and A. Peters (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012.

    The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law provides an authoritative and original overview of the origins, concepts, and core issues of international law. The first comprehensive Handbook on the history of international law, it is a truly unique contribution to the literature of international law and relations. Pursuing both a global and an interdisciplinary approach, the Handbook brings together some sixty eminent scholars of international law, legal history, and global history from all parts of the world. Covering international legal developments from the 15th century until the end of World War II, the Handbook consists of over sixty individual chapters which are arranged in six parts. The book opens with an analysis of the principal actors in the history of international law, namely states, peoples and nations, international organisations and courts, and civil society actors. Part Two is devoted to a number of key themes of the history of international law, such as peace and war, the sovereignty of states, hegemony, religion, and the protection of the individual person. Part Three addresses the history of international law in the different regions of the world (Africa and Arabia, Asia, the Americas and the Caribbean, Europe), as well as ‘encounters’ between non-European legal cultures (like those of China, Japan, and India) and Europe which had a lasting impact on the body of international law. Part Four examines certain forms of ‘interaction or imposition’ in international law, such as diplomacy (as an example of interaction) or colonization and domination (as an example of imposition of law). The classical juxtaposition of the civilized and the uncivilized is also critically studied. Part Five is concerned with problems of the method and theory of history writing in international law, for instance the periodisation of international law, or Eurocentrism in the traditional historiography of international law. The Handbook concludes with a Part Six, entitled “People in Portrait”, which explores the life and work of twenty prominent scholars and thinkers of international law, ranging from Muhammad al-Shaybani to Sir Hersch Lauterpacht. The Handbook will be an invaluable resource for scholars and students of international law. It provides historians with new perspectives on international law, and increases the historical and cultural awareness of scholars of international law. It aims to become the new standard reference work for the global history of international law.

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  • Altmann, A., Tracing the Earliest Recorded Concepts of International Law: the Ancient Near East (2500-330 BCE), Leiden, Nijhoff, 2012.

    Altman, A., Tracing the Earliest Recorded Concepts of International Law, Leiden, Nijhoff, 2012.

    This book offers a unique survey of legal practices and ideas relating to international relations in the Ancient Near East between 2500 and 330 BCE. Rather than entering into the debate on the continuous development of international law in Antiquity, the book discloses a vast amount of textual material from the Ancient Near East which sheds light on the legal regulation and organization of international relations in different epochs of pre-classical Antiquity. The book is a treasure trove of information for the historian of international law who wants to acquaint himself with the remotest history of international law, while it will also serve the general historian of the Ancient Near East who wants to acquaint himself with the international law of the period.

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  • E. Jouannet, The Liberal-Welfarist Law of Nations: a History of International Law, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2012.

    E. Jouannet, The Liberalist-Welfarist Law of Nations, Cambridge, Cambridge Univeristy Press, 2012.

    Although portrayed as a liberal law of co-existence of and co-operation between states, international law has always been a welfarist law, too. Emerging in eighteenth-century Europe, it soon won favour globally. Not only did it minister to the interests of states and their concern for stability, but it was also an interventionist law designed to ensure the happiness and well-being of peoples. Hence international law initially served as a secularised eschatological model, replacing the role of religion in ensuring the proper ordering of mankind, which was held to be both one and divided. That initial vision still drives our post-Cold War globalised world. Contemporary international law is neither a strictly welfarist law nor a strictly liberal law, but is in fact a liberal-welfarist law. In the conjunction of these two purposes lies one of the keys to its meaning and a partial explanation for its continuing ambivalence.

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  • Chetail, V. (ed.), Vattel's International Law in a XXIst Century Perspective, Leiden, Nijhoff, 2011.

    Chetail, V. (ed.), Vattel's International Law in a XXIst Century Perspective, Leiden, Nijhoff, 2011.

    No other scholar has so deeply influenced the development of international law or shaped the doctrinal debates as Vattel. More than 250 years after its publication, his Law of Nations has remained the most frequently quoted treatise of international law. Vattel’s International Law from a XXIst Century Perspective explores the reasons behind the extraordinary authority of Vattel and analyses its continuing relevance for thinking and understanding contemporary international law. It gathers the contributions from well-known experts of international law and history for the purpose … read moreof evaluating the Law of Nations from a XXIst Century perspective. The multiple facets of Vattel’s thinking are apprehended through a wide-ranging and comprehensive analysis respectively devoted to the international system, the sources of international law, the subjects of international law, the law of peace, and the law of war.

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  • Orakhelashvili, A. (ed.), Research Handbook on the Theory and History of International Law, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, 2011.

    Orakhelashvili, A. (ed.), Research Handbook on the Theory and History of International Law, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, 2011.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet

Database

Blogs

  • 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 [...]

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See also

More Research guides on Public International Law

PPL keywords

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