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Research Handbook on the Theory and History of International Law

Research Handbook on the Theory and History of International Law

Research Handbooks in International Law series

Edited by Alexander Orakhelashvili

This pioneering Research Handbook, with contributions from renowned experts, provides a comprehensive scholarly framework for analyzing the theory and history of international law. Given the multiplication of theoretical approaches over the last three decades, and attendant fragmentation of scholarly efforts, this edited collection presents a useful doctrinal platform that will help academics and students to see the theory and history of international law in its entirety, and to understand how interdependent various aspects of the theory and history of international law really are.

Chapter 14: The Classical Law of Nations (1500–1800)

Randall Lesaffer

Subjects: law - academic, public international law


Randall Lesaffer 14.1 FROM RESPUBLICA CHRISTIANA TO JUS PUBLICUM EUROPAEUM1 14.1.1 The Collapse of the Respublica Christiana Since the 19th century, international lawyers and historians of international law generally have defended the view that modern international law roots back to the sovereign States system of Early-Modern Europe (1500–1800). The first publication by the Dutch humanist Hugo Grotius (1583–1645) of his seminal work De jure belli ac pacis libri tres (1625)2 and the Peace Treaties of Westphalia (1648),3 ending the Thirty Years War (1618–1648), 1 For surveys of the law of nations in Early-Modern Europe: Dominique Gaurier, Histoire du droit international. Auteurs, doctrines et développement de l’Antiquité à l’aube de la période contemporaine (Rennes, 2005) pp. 143–479; Wilhelm G. Grewe, The Epochs of International Law (Berlin etc., 2000) pp. 137–424; Slim Laghmani, Histoire du droit des gens du jus gentium impérial au jus publicum europaeum (Paris, 2003) pp. 61–223; Arthur Nussbaum, A Concise History of the Law of Nations (New York, 1947); A. Pillet (ed.), Les fondateurs du Droit International (Paris, 1904); Wolfgang Preiser, ‘History of the Law of Nations: Ancient Times to 1648’, in Rudolph Bernhardt (ed.), Encyclopaedia of Public International Law (Amsterdam, 1995) vol. 2, pp. 722–49; Ernest Reibstein, Völkerrecht. Eine Geschichte seiner Ideen in Lehre und Praxis (Freiburg and Munich, 1957) vol. 1; Heinhard Steiger, ‘Ius bändigt Mars. Das klassische Völkerrecht und seine Wissenschaft als frühneuzeitlichte Kulturerscheinung’, in Ronald G. Asch, Wulf Eckart...

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