21 October 2019

BOOK: Jochen VON BERNSTORFF and Philipp DANN, eds., The Battle for International Law South-North Perspectives on the Decolonization Era (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019). ISBN 9780198849636, £80.00

(Source: OUP)

Oxford University Press is publishing a new edited collection on South-North perspectives to the decolonisation era.


This volume provides the first comprehensive analysis of international legal debates between 1955 and 1975 related to the formal decolonization process. It is during this era, couched between classic European imperialism and a new form of US-led Western hegemony, that fundamental legal debates took place over a new international legal order for a decolonised world. The book argues that this era presents in essence a battle, a battle that was fought out in particular over the premises and principles of international law by diplomats, lawyers, and scholars. In a moment of relative weakness of European powers, 'newly independent states' and international lawyers from the South fundamentally challenged traditional Western perceptions of international legal structures engaging in fundamental controversies over a new international law. The legal outcomes of this battle have shaped the world we live in today.

Contributions from a global set of authors cover contemporary debates on concepts central to the time, such as self-determination, sources and concessions, non-intervention, wars of national liberation, multinational corporations, and the law of the sea. They also discuss influential institutions, such as the United Nations, International Court of Justice, and World Bank. The volume also incorporates contemporary regional approaches to international law in the 'decolonization era' and portraits of important scholars from the Global South.


Edited by Jochen von Bernstorff, Chair of International Law and Human Rights, Law Faculty, University of Tübingen, and Philipp Dann, Chair of Public and Comparative Law, Faculty of Law, Humboldt University Berlin

Jochen von Bernstorff is currently the Dean of the Tübingen Law Faculty (since 2018), holds the Chair for Constitutional law, International Law and Human Rights (since 2011), and has taught international law as a visiting professor at the German Federal Foreign Office Academy Berlin, Université Panthéon-Assas (institut des hautes études internationales), Université Aix-Marseille and National Taiwan University Taipei. He has acted as a consultant for the German Government and various UN-institutions on human rights, development and international environmental law issues.

Philipp Dann holds the Chair of Public and Comparative Law at Humboldt University Berlin (since 2014) and is principal investigator in the Cluster of Excellence 'Contestations of the Liberal Script' (since 2019). He holds degrees from Frankfurt University (PhD and post-doctoral Habilitation) and Harvard Law School (LL.M.) and has taught German, European and public international law in Germany, France, India, Kenya, the Sudan and the US.


The Battle for International Law: A Sketch, Jochen von Bernstorff and Philipp Dann
Part I: Sites of Battle
A. Concepts - Kampfbegriffe
1: The Common Heritage of Mankind: Annotations on a Battle, Surabhi Ranganathan
2: The Battle for the Recognition of Wars of National Liberation, Jochen von Bernstorff
3: The Developmental State: Independence, Dependency and the History of the South, Luis Eslava
4: Colonial Fragments: Decolonisation, Concessions and Acquired Rights, Matthew Craven
5: Acquired Rights and State Succession - The Rise and Fall of the Third World in the International Law Commission, Anna Brunner
6: Rival Worlds and the Place of the Corporation in International law, Sundhya Pahuja and Anna Saunders
7: The Battle Continues: Rebuilding Empire through Internationalization of State Contracts, Muthucumaraswamy Sornarajah
8: (De)colonizing Human Rights, Florian Hoffmann and Bethania Assy
9: Picking Battles: Race, Decolonization, and Apartheid, Rotem Giladi
B. Institutions
10: The International Court of Justice During the Battle for International Law (1955-1975)-Colonial Imprints and Possibilities for Change, Ingo Venzke
11: The Battle and the United Nations, Guy Sinclair
12: The World Bank in the Battles of the 'Decolonization Era', Philipp Dann
Part II Individual Protagonists and Regional Perspectives
A. Individual Protagonists
13: Reading R.P. Anand in the Postcolony: Between Resistance and Appropriation, Prabhakar Singh
14: Taslim Olawale Elias: From British Colonial Law to Modern International Law, Carl Landauer
15: Determining New Selves: Mohammed Bedjaoui on Algeria, Western Sahara, and Post-Classical International Law, Umut Özsu
16: Charles Chaumont's Third World International Legal Theory, Emamanuelle Tourme Jouannet
B. Regional Perspectives
17: Literal 'Decolonisation': Re-reading African International Legal Scholarship through the African Novel, Christopher Gevers
18: The Soviets and the Right to Self-Determination of the Colonized: Contradictions of Soviet Diplomacy and Foreign Policy in the Era of Decolonization, Bill Bowring
19: The Failed Battle for Self-Determination: The United States and the Postwar Illusion of Enlightened Colonialism, 1945-1975, Olivier Barsalou
What's Law Got to Do with it? Recollections, Impressions, Martti Koskenniemi

More info here

WORKSHOP: "Identity, Citizenship and Commerce" (Brussels: VUB, 7-8 NOV 2019)

Conference abstract:
This workshop delves into the theme of identity and citizenship with regard to trade. Legal historians have to date not paid much interest to how commerce had an impact on citizenship and identity. It remains unclear how the rich sets of rules that in the later Middle Ages, the Early Modern period and the nineteenth century were crafted to define citizenship, and political constellations as well, were affected by developments of commerce. Questions that will be answered are the following: Did governments have an immigration policy that was tailored to commercial interests? Did this translate into a broad legal support for residents, not being citizens? How were the interests of visitors valued as compared to those of citizens? Were merchants belonging to a separate legal category? If so, what defined this category? Was there a difference in legal effects of contracts involving citizens or foreigners? To what extent did different types of legal identity (merchant, citizen, member of nationes mercatorum) overlap or come into conflict? Was there an influence from “capitalist” virtues on the legal notions of citizen and resident?
7 November 2019, U-Residence, Pleinlaan 2, B-1050 Brussels, Zwarte Zaal

14h-14h20 D. De ruysscher (Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Tilburg University), Introduction

14h20-14h50 A. Cordes (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt), Traces of Identity in Medieval Maritime Law
 14h50-15h20 C.M. In’t Veld (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) and M. den Hollander (Tilburg University) Citizenship in Early Modern Amsterdam: An Artisanal Identity?

15h20-15h45 coffee break

 15h45-16h30 R. Mooi (Tilburg University) Foreign Creditors in the Early Modern German Territories: Towards a Reciprocal Equal Treatment

16h30-17h15 P. De Reu (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) Modifying Procedural Practices, Shaping Economic Identities. An Inquiry into Middling Groups in Financial Distress and Negotiated Debt Adjustment in Commercial Courts in Belgium 1883-1914

19h informal dinner
8 November 2019, room D2.18, Building D, Pleinlaan 2, B-1050 Brussels

9h coffee

9h30-10h15 G. Martyn (Ghent University), The Portuguese Nations in Bruges and Antwerp

10h15-11h G. Dreijer (University of Exeter, Vrije Universiteit Brussel), Legal Strategies, Citizenship and the Development of Commercial Law: the Presence of Spanish Merchants in the Low Countries (15th-16th Centuries)

11h coffee break

11h15-12h J. Possemiers (KU Leuven) Conrad Summenhart’s Writings against Tolerance for ‘Jewish Usurers’ and their Context

12h-12h45 P. Naaktgeboren (Maastricht University), Private Partnerships and Partners’ Entrepreneurial Identity in Early Modern Antwerp

12h45 lunch break

14h15-15h M. Lupi (Tilburg University), The Ban as Deprivation of Citizenship Within Bankruptcy Law of Medieval Florence

15h-15h45 M. Moerman (Maastricht University) Jewish Commercial Associations in the Early Modern Period: The Case of Sephardic Business Partnerships in Amsterdam (17th and 18th centuries)

15h45-16h30 S.Plasschaert (Vrije Universiteit Brussels), Unions and Networks in the 19th-Century Antwerp Marine Insurance Industry

16h30-17h book discussion

19h formal dinner
Practical information:
Register with Dave De ruysscher.

(source: VUB-CORE)

CALL FOR PAPERS: Infanticide from Antiquity to the mid 19th century (Europe, colonial and postcolonial Americas) (London, 27-28 May 2020) (DEADLINE: 20 October 2019)

We learned of a call for papers for a conference on infanticide.

Infanticide is the murder of a newborn or an infant perpetrated most of the times, but not always, by the mother. We welcome any study of the following topics (the list is by no means comprehensive):
Sources, archives and investigation fields: anthropology, archaeology, criminology, demography, epigraphy, history, art history, crime history, law history, history of medicine, iconography, semiotics, literature, philosophy, legal sources, literary sources, the new frontier of biology in the humanities. Myths, literature, the massacre of Innocents, fantasy and infanticide. Ambiguity of the gesture: abandonment or exposure as forms of infanticide?

As we focus on the death of the child, the abandonment which is not followed by death is excluded from the field of reflection. The notion: the word infanticide/infanticidium varies from its first appearance in Tertullian’s Apologeticus (v.197), and reappears under different designations throughout time and in different languages – homicide, abortion, parricide, suffocation, etc. Punishing infanticide: preachers, jurists, philosophers, pedagogues, accused, accusers, witnesses, informers.

Sociology of the agents of the crime: mother, father, family, couple, women, maids, vagrants, prostitutes, workers, ecclesiastics, nuns, men, legal agents, doctors and surgeons, midwives, nurses, members of the church gens, wizards and witches…

Circumstances: Killing out of the womb (suffocating, stabbing, throwing into the cesspool or the latrine, burying or drowning, strangling…), sex ratio thus a theorized elimination which is set up and, according to circumstances, applied. Chronology: the aim is to review a topic which has been little studied from a historical viewpoint (and not clinical or pathological) over the length of time stretching from Antiquity to the positivist break of the modernity (mid-19th century)

The area under study is that of Europe and colonial and postcolonial Americas, including the way those civilizations looked at the ‘other’, but not limiting this field to that (missionaries, travelers, etc.) Accusing the other of infanticide: antisemitism, wars of religion, puritanism, the Affair of the Poisons, witch-hunt…The role of religion (paganism, Catholicism and Protestantism), …All the various places where the bodies are found.The laws in the different countries, the measures of prevention. The law and its implementation. The changes in time. The Roman legacy (Theodosian and Justinian codes), councils and synods of the Church Fathers, Penitentials, Decretals… Treatises from jurists, the Encyclopedia, Beccaria, Pestalozzi…Preventing and controlling infanticide: presumption of innocence (declaration of pregnancy), …The question of evidence: the corpus delicti, the investigation, forensic expertise, and therefore the role of forensics, the sentences. Punishing and condemning: norms and practices (death sentence, clemency of the judge, imprisonment).

Languages: We accept contributions in French or English. (It is necessary to understand French in order to follow the conference and participate in the discussions). Chronological field: from Antiquity to the 19th century. Proposals in English or French of 500 words maximum with a short biographical note should be sent by 20 October 2019.

Please send abstracts to Dr. Elena Taddia and Dr. Pascal Hepner: ;

The conference proceedings will be published

More info with the Royal Historical Society

18 October 2019

BOOK: Gonçalo DE ALMEIDA RIBEIRO, The Decline of Private Law A Philosophical History of Liberal Legalism (Oxford: Hart, 2019), 344 p., ISBN 9781509907908, 75 GBP

(image source: Hart)

Book abstract:
This book is a large-scale historical reconstruction of liberal legalism, from its inception in the mid-nineteenth century, the moment in which the jurists forged the alliance between political liberalism and legal expertise embodied in classical private law doctrine, to the contemporary anxiety about the possibility of both a liberal solution to the problem of political justification and of law as a respectable form of expert knowledge. Each stage in the history is a moment of synthesis between a substantive and a methodological idea. The former is the liberal political theory of the period, purporting to provide a solution to the problem of political justification. The latter is a conception of legal method or science, supposedly vindicating the access of the expert to the political choices embodied in the law. Thus, each moment in the history of liberal legalism integrates a political theory with a jurisprudential conception. Although it reaches the unsettling conclusion that liberal legalism has largely failed by its own standards, the book urges us to avoid quietism, scepticism or cynicism, in the hope that a deeper understanding of the fragility of our values and institutions inspires a more thoughtful, broadminded and nurtured citizenship.
(source: Hart)

BOOK: Marouf A. HASIAN JR., Lawfare and the Ovaherero and Nama Pursuit of Restorative Justice, 1918–2018 (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2019). ISBN 978-1-68393-188-1, £75.00

Rowman & Littlefield has published a new book on efforts towards restorative justice in former German colonial Namibia.


This book provides readers with a critical analysis of the restorative justice efforts of the Ovaherero and Nama communities in Namibia, who contend that they should receive reparations for what happened to their ancestors during, and after the 1904–1908 German-Ovaherero/Nama war. Arguing that indigenous communities who once lived in a German colony called “German South West Africa” suffered from a genocide that could be compared to the World War II Holocaust Namibian activists sued Germany and German corporations in U.S. federal courts for reparations. The author of this book uses a critical genealogical approach to all of this “lawfare” (the politicizing of the law) in order to illustrate some of the historical origins of this quest for social justice. Portions of the book also explain some of the historical and contemporary realpolitik barriers that stood in the way of Ovaherero and Nama activists who were asking for acknowledgments of the “Namibian genocide,” apologies from German officials, repatriation of human remains from colonial times as well as restitution that might help with land redistribution in today’s Namibia. This book shows many of the difficulties that confront those indigenous communities who ask twenty-first century audiences to pay restitution for large-scale colonial massacres or imperial genocides that might have taken place more than a hundred years ago.


Marouf Hasian Jr. is full professor in the department of communication at the University of Utah.



1.Introduction: Colonial Unkowing, Lawfare and Transgenerational Calls for Ovaherero and Nama Reparations

2.Heroic and Tragic Tales of Colonial Deeds in German South West Africa, 1884-1908

3. The German Social Democrats’ Anti-Imperialist Rhetorics and the Promotion of “Native” Rights During the Reichstag Debates, 1904-1913

4. “Little Heaps of Sand” and the Transcontinental Debates About the Evidentiary Nature of the 1918 British Blue Book

5. Apartheid, Colonial Aphasia and Decolonizing Remembrances, 1919-1969

6. Academic Scholarship, Cold War Politics, and the Revival of Scholarly Interest in Ovaerero and Nama Social Restitution

7. The 2001 Herero People’s Reparations Case Filed in U.S. Courts

8. Realpolitik Entanglements of Namibian-German Relationships and the Dingpolitik of Ovaherero and Nama Remains

9. The 2017 Ovaherero and Nama Reparations Lawsuit

10. Contemplating the Future of Lawfare in Contests over Namibian Claims for Restorative Justice



About the Author

More info here

17 October 2019

BOOK: William CORNISH, Stephen BANKS, Charles MITCHELL, Paul MITCHELL & Rebecca PROBERT, Law and Society in England 1750-1950 (Oxford: Hart, 2019), 784 p., ISBN 9781849462730, 39,99 GBP

(image source: Hart)

Book abstract:
Law and Society in England 1750–1950 is an indispensable text for those wishing to study English legal history and to understand the foundations of the modern British state. In this new updated edition the authors explore the complex relationship between legal and social change. They consider the ways in which those in power themselves imagined and initiated reform and the ways in which they were obliged to respond to demands for change from outside the legal and political classes. What emerges is a lively and critical account of the evolution of modern rights and expectations, and an engaging study of the formation of contemporary social, administrative and legal institutions and ideas, and the road that was travelled to create them. The book is divided into eight chapters: Institutions and Ideas; Land; Commerce and Industry; Labour Relations; The Family; Poverty and Education; Accidents; and Crime. This extensively referenced analysis of modern social and legal history will be invaluable to students and teachers of English law, political science, and social history.
More information with Hart.

BOOK: Jean-Marie PALAYRET, Isabelle RICHEFORT, and Dieter SCHLENKER, eds., Histoire de La Construction Européenne (1957-2015) Sources et Itinéraires de Recherche Croisés (Paris: Editions du Comité des Travaux historiques et scientifiques, 2019). ISBN 978-2-7355-0908-9, 24.00 EUR

(Source: CTHS)

Editions du Comité des Travaux historiques et scientifiques has published a new book on the history of the European Union.


Initiée par Robert Schuman et Jean Monnet, la Communauté européenne du charbon et de l’acier (CECA) précurseur de la construction européenne – a comme premier objectif de « créer une solidarité de fait » (Déclaration Schuman, 9 mai 1950) entre les Européens pour éviter une nouvelle guerre. Le plan Schuman marque le point de départ de la construction européenne.

La présente conférence, qui s’est tenue au centre des Archives diplomatiques les 30 juin et 1er juillet 2016, se propose de faire un état des lieux de la recherche historique sur la construction européenne et des dernières tendances de l’historiographie, de présenter divers fonds d’archives (publiques et privées) récemment ouverts au public en la matière et de découvrir quelques-uns des réseaux associatifs ou professionnels qui la sous-tendent.

En collaboration avec la direction des Archives du ministère français des Affaires étrangères, la Conférence « Sources et itinéraires de recherche croisés de l’histoire de la construction européenne – 1957-2015 » a été organisée par l’Association des « Amis des Archives historiques de l’Union européenne ». Celle-ci est une association qui regroupe tous ceux qui souhaitent apporter leur concours à l’enrichissement et à la connaissance des Archives historiques de l’Union européenne.


Remarques introductives
Jean-Marie Palayret

Historiographie du processus de construction européenne

The History of the European construction: development and current trends
Antonio Varsory

Alan S. Milward’s legacy: deconstructing the history of the construction of Europe
Frances MB Lynch

European Integration and the Cold War
Maria Eleonora Guasconi

Les états membres

« Les négociations d’adhésion de l’Espagne à la CEE et les relations hispano-communautaires : sources, parcours et perspectives de recherche »
Mathieu Trouvé

La poursuite et la demande d’adhésion de la Grèce aux Communautés européennes à travers les Archives grecques
Giorgios Polydorakis

Les archives du ministère des Affaires étrangères sur la Construction européenne : état des fonds et présentation de documents
Isabelle Nathan

La construction européenne vue à travers les archives hongroises
Gergely Fejérdy

A History of European Law: The ‘Constitutional Practice’ and the ‘Veto Politics’
Philip Bajon

Le Cedefop, 40 ans au service de la formation professionnelle en Europe : collecte et exploitation des archives d’une agence européenne
Marc Willem

L’apport des archives privées à l’historiographie de la construction européenne

Les archives de la présidence de Jacques Delors à la Commission européenne
Catherine Allaire-Previti

Sources et historiographie de l’Agence spatiale européenne
Nathalie Tinjod

Les sources privées dans la reconstruction biographique des responsables communautaires, années 1950-1970
Mauve Carbonell

Le rôle des fondations

Le Groupe de Liaison des Professeurs d’histoire auprès de la Commission européenne
Wilfried Loth

Le projet d’histoire de la Commission européenne
Éric Bussière

Towards an European Research infrastructure on Integration Policy?
Marc Dierikx

La Maison de l’histoire européenne au défi d’un récit sur l’unité de l’Europe : une histoire de papier(s) ?
Étienne Deschamps

L’Europe a-t-elle tenu toutes ses promesses ?
Jean-Marie Palayret

More info here

BOOK: Giuliano FERRETTI, Les États de Savoie, du duché à l’unité d’Italie (1416-1861) [Histoire, 6/Rencontres, 417] (Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2019), 683 p., ISBN 978-2-406-09415-9, € 58

(image source: Classiques Garnier)

Book abstract:
Cet ouvrage propose une histoire du duché de Savoie qui dépasse le cadre des historiographies nationales. Longtemps réuni, l’espace savoyard est depuis 1860 étudié par les prismes français ou italien. Les meilleurs spécialistes internationaux du sujet en proposent ici une nouvelle vision.
Table of contents here.

BOOK: Alexander HOEPPEL, NS-Justiz Und Rechtsbeugung : Die Strafrechtliche Ahndung Deutscher Justizverbrechen Nach 1945. (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2019). ISBN 978-3-16-157022-3, 109.00 EUR

(Source: Mohr Siebeck)

Mohr Siebeck has published a new book on the criminal punishment of German judicial crime after 1945.


In the aftermath of 1945, why were practitioners of law rarely sentenced for the crimes they committed during the Nazi era? Was it because the judges themselves were former Nazi party members or sympathisers? For Alexander Hoeppel, this train of thought does not go far enough: his study reveals that German jurisprudence actually went to the extent of adopting a legal doctrine that shielded judges and other legal professionals from being prosecuted for crimes committed in office – and continues to do so even to this day.


Alexander Hoeppel Geboren 1984; Studium der Neueren und Neuesten Geschichte, der Politischen Wissenschaft und der Philosophie; Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiter am Zentralinstitut für Angewandte Ethik und Wissenschaftskommunikation an der Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg; Projektleiter des Model United Nations Projektes der Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAUMUN); Lehrbeauftragter für Verhandlungslehre ebenda; seit 2017 selbstständiger Verhandlungstrainer; 2018 Promotion.

The table of contents can be found here

16 October 2019

BOOK: Renaud MORIEUX, The Society of Prisoners: Anglo-French Wars and Incarceration in the Eighteenth Century (Oxford University Press, 2019). ISBN 9780198723585, £85.00

(Source: OUP)

Oxford University Press has published a new book on war captivity in the 18th century.


In the eighteenth century, as wars between Britain, France, and their allies raged across the world, hundreds of thousands of people were captured, detained, or exchanged. They were shipped across oceans, marched across continents, or held in an indeterminate limbo. The Society of Prisoners challenges us to rethink the paradoxes of the prisoner of war, defined at once as an enemy and as a fellow human being whose life must be spared. Amidst the emergence of new codifications of international law, the practical distinctions between a prisoner of war, a hostage, a criminal, and a slave were not always clear-cut. Renaud Morieux's vivid and lucid account uses war captivity as a point of departure, investigating how the state transformed itself at war, and how whole societies experienced international conflicts. The detention of foreigners on home soil created the conditions for multifaceted exchanges with the host populations, involving prison guards, priests, pedlars, and philanthropists. Thus, while the imprisonment of enemies signals the extension of Anglo-French rivalry throughout the world, the mass incarceration of foreign soldiers and sailors also illustrates the persistence of non-conflictual relations amidst war. Taking the reader beyond Britain and France, as far as the West Indies and St Helena, this story resonates in our own time, questioning the dividing line between war and peace, and forcing us to confront the untenable situations in which the status of the enemy is left to the whim of the captor.


Renaud Morieux, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge

Renaud Morieux has been a lecturer in British history at Cambridge since 2011, before which he lectured in modern history at Lille for five years. His career, spanning the Channel, exemplifies his attempts to cross the intellectual and academic borders between France and Britain.


1: Defining the prisoner of war in international law: a comparative approach
2: Hate or love thy enemy? Humanitarian patriotism
3: The multiple geographies of war captivity
4: The anatomy of the war prison
5: The reinvention of Society?
6: War captivity and social interactions
Epilogue: Napoleon the prisoner of peace

More info here

VIDEO: Travail - Salaire - Profit (interdisciplinary perspectives on labour and the economy, Arte/Le Monde)

arte and Le Monde created a documentary series wherein various established academics from sociology, philosophy, history, law and economics explain the basic theoretical concepts of work, salary and profit.

More information with arte.

WORKSHOP: Non-Consequential Theories of Strict Liability in Historical Perspective (Madrid, 10 January 2020)

(Source: IE Law School)

We learned of a workshop at IE Law School on the concept of strict liability and early modern jurists.
Together with: The Grotiana Foundation. We would like to invite you to the workshop “Non-consequential theories of strict liability in historical perspective”.

Early modern jurists have struggled to come to terms with the concept of strict liability, as they thought primarily in terms of fault and culpability. Even today, when lawgivers and jurists reflect on the concept – for instance in the present debate on the liability for artificial-intelligence based robots – strict liability is hard to explain from a non-consequentialist perspective. In preparation of the quattrocentenary of the publication of the De Jure Belli ac Pacis, the workshop takes the ideas of Hugo Grotius as its starting point, to look at his sources and his influence on seventeenth and eighteenth century authors.

At this workshop, hosted at IE University, IE Law School on January 10, 2020 in Madrid, academic scholars will come together to discuss these topics.

Please confirm your attendance through the registration link. Registration is free.


Dr. James Gordley, W.R. Irby Professor of Law at Tulane Law School, with a paper on “The Natural Law Schools and the Passing of Strict Liability”.
Dr. Joe Sampson, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Oxford, with a paper on “The Place of Fault in Grotius’ Analysis of Delict”.
Dr. Wouter Druwé, Assistant Professor of Roman Law and Legal History at the KU Leuven Faculty of Law, with a paper on “Qualitative liability in the early modern Low Countries”.
Dr. Bart Wauters, Assistant Professor of Legal History and Legal Theory at IE Law School – IE University, with a paper on “Strict liability in Grotius, Smith, Kant and beyond”.

More information here

VIDEO: Eminent Scholars. Audio and Video Archives of Eminent Legal Scholars (Melbourne: Institute for International Law and the Humanities)

(image source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Eminent Scholars-audio and video archive (Prof. Sundhaya Pahuja & Adil Hasan Khan, Institute for International Law and the Humanities, Melbourne Law School) has uploaded material on the following scholars:
- Ratna Kapur
- Muthucumaraswamy Sornarajah
- Mohammed Bedjaoui
- Peter Fitzpatrick
- Upendra Baxi

Read, watch and listen here.

(source: ESILHIL Blog)

BOOK: Jennifer JAHNER, Literature and Law in the Era of Magna Carta (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019). ISBN 9780198847724, £65.00

(Source: Wildy & Sons)

Oxford University Press is publishing a book on literature and law in the era of the Magna Carta.


Oxford Studies in Medieval Literature and Culture showcases the plurilingual and multicultural quality of medieval literature and promotes work that not only focuses on the whole array of subjects medievalists now pursue—in literature, theology, philosophy, social, political, jurisprudential, and intellectual history, the history of art, and the history of science—but also work that combines these subjects productively. It offers innovative and interdisciplinary studies of every kind, including but not limited to manuscript and book history, linguistics and literature, post-colonial and global studies, the digital humanities and media studies, performance studies, the history of affect and the emotion, the theory and history of sexuality, ecocriticism and environmental studies, theories of the lyric, of aesthetics, of the practices of devotion, and ideas of medievalism.

Literature and Law in the Era of Magna Carta traces processes of literary training and experimentation across the early history of the English common law, from its beginnings in the reign of Henry II to its tumultuous consolidations under the reigns of John and Henry III. The period from the mid-twelfth through the thirteenth centuries witnessed an outpouring of innovative legal writing in England, from Magna Carta to the scores of statute books that preserved its provisions. An era of civil war and imperial fracture, it also proved a time of intensive self-definition, as communities both lay and ecclesiastic used law to articulate collective identities. Literature and Law in the Era of Magna Carta uncovers the role that grammatical and rhetorical training played in shaping these arguments for legal self-definition. Beginning with the life of Archbishop Thomas Becket, the book interweaves the histories of literary pedagogy and English law, showing how foundational lessons in poetics helped generate both a language and theory of corporate autonomy. In this book, Geoffrey of Vinsauf's phenomenally popular Latin compositional handbook, the Poetria nova, finds its place against the diplomatic backdrop of the English Interdict, while Robert Grosseteste's Anglo-French devotional poem, the Château d'Amour, is situated within the landscape of property law and Jewish-Christian interactions. Exploring a shared vocabulary across legal and grammatical fields, this book argues that poetic habits of thought proved central to constructing the narratives that medieval law tells about itself and that later scholars tell about the origins of English constitutionalism.


Jennifer Jahner’s research focuses on the interaction of literary, legal, and textual cultures in the high and later Middle Ages, especially in Britain and France. She is the author of Literature and Law in the Era of Magna Carta, forthcoming from Oxford University Press, which explores the ways that literary training shaped political vocabularies and legal communities in twelfth- and thirteenth-century England. With Emily Steiner and Elizabeth Tyler, she is the editor of Historical Writing in Britain and Ireland, 500–1550, forthcoming from Cambridge University Press. Her current research considers how multilingual book production in later medieval England made use of the burgeoning concept of the “experiment.” Research for this project is currently supported by a Graves/ACLS Award in the Humanities (2018–2019).

At Caltech, Jahner teaches courses on Geoffrey Chaucer, on poetry and theories of justice, on premodern sexualities, and on medieval romance. She is recipient of the ASCIT Teaching Award (2013) and the HSS Division Teaching Award (2015). In January 2019, she will join Studies in the Age of Chaucer as the book review editor.


Introduction: The Poetics of Jurisdiction
1: The Grammar of Sacrifice: Becket, Learning, and Libertas
2: Classroom Historicisms: Interdict and the Poetria nova
3: Inventing Magna Carta
4: Jurisdictional Formalism: Robert Grosseteste and the Pastoral Model of Governance
5: Conjuring England: Crusade, Violence, and Communitas
Coda: The Jurisdictions of Form

More info here

BOOK: Marina MESTRE ZARAGOZÁ, L'Espagne de Charles II, une modernité paradoxale 1665-1700 [Constitution de la mondernité, 18] (Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2019), 293 p., ISBN 978-2-406-09373-2

(image source: Classiques Garnier)

Book abstract:
Ce volume participe au renouveau historiographique d’une période où l’Espagne, loin d’être paralysée par la décadence et par sa prétendue incapacité à s’adapter aux nouveaux temps, affronte avec détermination, audace et pragmatisme un tournant dynastique décisif pour son histoire.
Table of contents here.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Journal on European History of Law (DEADLINE: 1 March 2020)

(Source: H/Soz/Kult)

Via H/Soz/Kult, we learned of a call for papers for the Journal on European History of Law.

The Journal on European History of Law is published 2x per year. It is assigned for law-historians and Romanists that want to share with their colleagues the results of their research in this field“ […]

The full call can be found here

15 October 2019

COLLOQUIUM: Imperialiter. L'eschatologie impériale du souverain (Paris, 16-18 October 2019)

We learned of a colloqium at the Collège de France on “l'eschatologie impériale du souverain”.

L’histoire des Empires connaît un engouement récent qui a fait émerger un champ spécifique, « l’impériologie ». En revanche, la question de l’« impérialité », c’est-à-dire de l’Empire comme horizon des possibles, n’a pas bénéficié d’une approche complète. Or, comme l’ont montré de récentes études, le succès de l’idéologie impériale se mesure aussi à sa marque dans des monarchies non impériales (France, Sicile, Angleterre, Castille, États pontificaux...). Le programme Imperialiter (2017-2021) vise ainsi à mener de manière exhaustive l’analyse des réappropriations de l’Empire au Moyen Âge et à l’époque moderne par le biais de rencontres scientifiques régulières. 

Quatre d'entre elles se sont tenues successivement à Rome (deux rencontres, en octobre 2017), Oxford (juin 2018), Madrid (octobre 2019). Le colloque accueilli au Collège de France est donc le cinquième de la série. Le thème de « l'eschatologie impériale du souverain » que ce colloque explore s'est dégagé lors des précédentes journées, qui ont mis en lumière dans les discours, les représentations, les modèles associés aux rois impérialisants, l’importance du thème de l’eschatologie et de ses diverses manifestations (le messianisme, le prophétisme, la croisade et la libération des villes saintes, l'Antéchrist, le « roi des trois religions »), lesquelles permettent au souverain d’amplifier les manifestations de sa souveraineté par l’association de traits qui le lient à la seconde Parousie, celle, définitive, du retour du Christ (modèle royal par excellence) qui abrogera toute souveraineté terrestre et impériale.

More info, including the full program, can be found here

CALL FOR PAPERS: Space and Governance: Towards a New Topography of Roman Administration (Rome, 3-4 April 2020) (DEADLINE: 1 December 2019)

We learned of a call for papers on the topography of power in Republican and Imperial Rome. Here the call:

Call for pa­pers

The purpose of the conference is to explore the transformation of public space and administrative activities in Republican and Imperial Rome through an interdisciplinary exploration of the topography of power. The emergence of the Roman Republic produced a reorganization of the administrative structures, leading to the emergence of various entities and institutions responsible for organization and governance of Rome, its civic life and public spaces. In different ways, this spatial model was exported to the colonies with the expansion of the Republic. Throughout the Roman world, building projects created spaces, the topography of the city, for different civic purposes: for the meetings of assemblies, senate meetings, the administration of justice, the public treasury, and the management of the city through different magistracies, offices and even archives. These administrative spaces –open and closed– characterized the Roman life throughout the Republic and High Empire, until the profound administrative and judicial transformations of the Dominate. This conference aims to study the public and private spaces related to administration through the urban development, the existing interrelation between the different administrative bodies, the analysis of the architecture of the spaces already discovered and the study of the written sources. We will try to find an answer to the dilemmas such as where did the administration work? Were there offices and where were they located? Were there social class differences between the different levels of administration?

•    Urban development and dynamics related to the expansion of the administration
•    New discoveries on the institutions and spaces of Roman administration
•    Architecture of spaces for public meetings and trials: Assemblies, Senate, courtrooms, basilicas
•    Private spaces in the administration: Residences of magistrates and the elite
•    Magistracies, offices and archives
•    Epigraphy related to the Roman administration
•    Development of institutions between early Republic and Late Antiquity
•    New methodologies in Roman topography
•    Gender, intersectionality and public space

Keynote speakers: Paolo Liverani (Università degli Studi di Firenze), Elena Isayev (University of Exeter) and Pier Luigi Tucci (Johns Hopkins University).

The conference is organized by the ERC-funded project Law, Governance and Space: Questioning the Foundations of the Republican Tradition (SpaceLaw), based at the University of Helsinki. There is no conference fee. The organizers are unfortunately unable to aid in either travel or accommodation arrangements or the cost of travel or accommodation.

Abstracts should be 300 words maximum, for 20-minute papers to be delivered in English. Abstracts should be sent to lawgovernanceandspace@gmail.comThe deadline for abstracts is 1 December 2019.

Questions may be sent to Antonio Lopez Garcia (

More info with the University of Helsinki

BOOK: Dan PORAT, Bitter Reckoning Israel Tries Holocaust Survivors as Nazi Collaborators (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2019). ISBN 9780674988149, €27.00

(Source: HUP)

Harvard University Press has published a new book on the kapo trials in Israeli legal history.  


Beginning in 1950, the state of Israel prosecuted and jailed dozens of Holocaust survivors who had served as camp kapos or ghetto police under the Nazis. At last comes the first full account of the kapo trials, based on records newly declassified after forty years.

In December 1945, a Polish-born commuter on a Tel Aviv bus recognized a fellow rider as the former head of a town council the Nazis had established to manage the Jews. When he denounced the man as a collaborator, the rider leapt off the bus, pursued by passengers intent on beating him to death. Five years later, to address ongoing tensions within Holocaust survivor communities, the State of Israel instituted the criminal prosecution of Jews who had served as ghetto administrators or kapos in concentration camps.

Dan Porat brings to light more than three dozen little-known trials, held over the following two decades, of survivors charged with Nazi collaboration. Scouring police investigation files and trial records, he found accounts of Jewish policemen and camp functionaries who harassed, beat, robbed, and even murdered their brethren. But as the trials exposed the tragic experiences of the kapos, over time the courts and the public shifted from seeing them as evil collaborators to victims themselves, and the fervor to prosecute them abated.

Porat shows how these trials changed Israel’s understanding of the Holocaust and explores how the suppression of the trial records—long classified by the state—affected history and memory. Sensitive to the devastating options confronting those who chose to collaborate, yet rigorous in its analysis, Bitter Reckoning invites us to rethink our ideas of complicity and justice and to consider what it means to be a victim in extraordinary circumstances.


Dan Porat is the author of The Boy: A Holocaust Story, which the New York Times called “a gripping, harrowing Holocaust story” and Elie Wiesel praised as “a poignant and riveting investigation.” Porat is a teacher and researcher at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


1. From Revenge to Retribution in Post-Nazi Europe
2. Tensions among Survivors in Mandatory Palestine
3. The Nazis and Nazi Collaborators Punishment Law
4. Preliminary Court Examinations
5. Weighing the Actions of Jewish Collaborators
6. Can a Jewish Kapo Commit a Crime against Humanity?
7. The First Doubts about the Kapo Trials
8. Judging a Nazi and Reframing Collaboration
9. Absolving Ordinary Functionaries
Illustration Credits

More info here

BOOK: Rande W. KOSTAL, Laying Down the Law : The American Legal Revolutions in Occupied Germany and Japan (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2019). ISBN 9780674052413, €49.50

(Source: HUP)

Harvard University Press has published a new book on the legal transformation of Occupied Japan and Germany.


A legal historian opens a window on the monumental postwar effort to remake fascist Germany and Japan into liberal rule-of-law nations, shedding new light on the limits of America’s ability to impose democracy on defeated countries.

Following victory in World War II, American leaders devised an extraordinarily bold policy for the occupations of Nazi Germany and imperial Japan: to achieve their permanent demilitarization by compelled democratization. A quintessentially American feature of this policy was the replacement of fascist legal orders with liberal rule-of-law regimes.

In his comparative investigation of these epic reform projects, noted legal historian R. W. Kostal shows that Americans found it easier to initiate the reconstruction of foreign legal orders than to complete the process. While American agencies made significant inroads in the elimination of fascist public law in Germany and Japan, they were markedly less successful in generating allegiance to liberal legal ideas and institutions.

Drawing on rich archival sources, Kostal probes how legal-reconstructive successes were impeded by German and Japanese resistance on one side, and by the glaring deficiencies of American theory, planning, and administration on the other. Kostal argues that the manifest failings of America’s own rule-of-law democracy weakened U.S. credibility and resolve in bringing liberal democracy to occupied Germany and Japan.

In Laying Down the Law, Kostal tells a dramatic story of the United States as an ambiguous force for moral authority in the Cold War international system, making a major contribution to American and global history of the rule of law.


R. W. Kostal is Professor in the Faculty of Law at Western University, Ontario, and author of Law and English Railway Capitalism, 1825–1875, and A Jurisprudence of Power: Victorian Empire and the Rule of Law.


Introduction: Laying Down the Law in Occupied Germany and Japan
1. The “Destruction of Philosophies”: Planning the Legal Reconstruction of Germany and Japan
2. Occupying the Legal Other: The Subjugation of the German and Japanese Legal Systems
3. Captive Constitutions: Remaking Constitutional Law in Occupied Germany and Japan
4. Crafting Liberal Courts: Reconstituting the German and Japanese Judiciaries
5. Clearing the Spiritual Rubble: Reforming Criminal Justice in Occupied Germany and Japan
6. Twilight of the Gods: The Rise and Fall of Civil Liberties in Occupied Germany and Japan
Conclusion: Laying Down the Law: Americans as Legal Revolutionaries

More information here

14 October 2019

CALL FOR PAPERS: Law and Policy in European Integration (1960s-1990s) (Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, 9-10 June 2020) (DEADLINE: 1 December 2019)

The fourth annual conference of the Research Field ‘Legal History of the European Union’ to be held at the Frankfurt Max Planck Institute on 9 and 10 June 2020, will focus on the relationship between law and policy in European integration from the 1960s to the 1990s.

From its beginnings, European integration involved legal solutions to very concrete policy issues. Since the 1960s, the European Economic Community (EEC) developed policies and set legal rules, for example on agriculture, competition, trade and the internal market. New policies, including fisheries, regional, social, environmental and cultural issues followed in the 1970s and 1980s, while other policies such as transport did not move forward. Policy and rule making intensified and changed further in the 1990s, in the context of Economic and Monetary Union.

European policy making involved the build-up of a growing body of European law on a wide range of policy-relevant issues. This so-called acquis communautaire deeply influenced the law and policies of the member states. At the same time, political scientists and lawyers have highlighted the weakness of actual implementation of EU law. In the face of this contradictory evidence – between formal strength and informal weakness – this conference will take a closer look at how the relationship between law and policy in European integration developed over time. This relationship goes both ways, and raises various questions.

First, how did European law shape European policy making? How did the various Treaty bases and decision making rules and ECJ judgements enable or limit the development of various policies? How did legal doctrines and principles shape the issues of EC/EU law making and the legal instruments chosen? What was the role of lawyers, legal scholarship and expertise in policymaking? How did advocates or opponents of certain policies use the law to influence policy?

Secondly, how did European policy shape European law – through legislation and court cases? How did changing visions of effective policy making, for instance, economic instruments, change the shape of European legislation? How did transfers of policy knowledge and policy principles from international organisations and (member) states change European law?

This call invites contributions that seek to help us better understand the link between European law and policy in a historical perspective. All contributions should at least address one policy area, and should relate to at least one of the questions raised above, making explicit which part of the relation between law and policy (and which direction of this relation) they are most interested in. Topics may include issues of

- Policy making, legal bases and law making
- Policy implementation and the role of law therein
- Policy relevant jurisdiction – ECJ and national courts
- Legal doctrines and policy principles
- Legal expertise and policy expertise
- Transfer of legal and policy knowledge
- Policy advocacy and opposition in legislation and in the courts

The objective of the conference is to enhance our understanding of what integration through law means with a view to European policies. By bringing together case studies from a range of policy areas, we will be able to (1) flag up the varying roles of different actors involved, (2) compare the relations between policy and law across policy areas old and new, and (3) assess change over time, including potential path dependencies. We will thus get a better understanding of why and how European policy, which increasingly influences citizens’ lives, has come to address problems the way it does.

We welcome proposals for contributions of not more than 150 words by 1st December 2019. Please email your proposal and a short CV (100 words) to

Stefan Vogenauer & Jan-Henrik Meyer
Max Planck Institute for European Legal History
Hansaallee 41
60323 Frankfurt am Main

More info here

ONLINE TEXT EDITION: The Balliol Glanvill: a draft edition (By Prof. John HUDSON/St Andrews)

First paragraph:
The text here edited is preserved in Oxford, Balliol College MS. 350. It was probably written c. 1200. The main hand has been taken to suggest that this manuscript is unusual as a Glanvill with an ‘official’ origin in the Exchequer, but the hand’s characteristics are in fact not unique to Exchequer scribes. A different hand wrote the prefatory capitula. The presence of these capitula, together with division into books and chapters and the presence of rubricated headings, are characteristics of the so-called beta version of Glanvill, but the text itself is clearly in the alpha tradition; therefore we have what has been called a ‘hybrid’ version.*
Read more here.

BOOK: Emily HASLAM, The Slave Trade, Abolition and the Long History of International Criminal Law The Recaptive and the Victim (London: Routledge, 2019). ISBN 9781138348899, £92.00

(Source: Routledge)

Routledge is publishing a new book on the slave trade, abolition, and the link with the history of international criminal law.


Modern international criminal law typically traces its origins to the
 20th century Nuremberg and Tokyo trials, excluding the slave trade and abolition.  Yet, as this book shows, the slave trade and abolition resound in international criminal law in multiple ways. Its central focus lies in a close examination of the often-controversial litigation, in the first part of the nineteenth century, arising from British efforts to capture slave ships, much of it before Mixed Commissions.  With archival-based research into this litigation, it explores the legal construction of so-called ‘recaptives’ (slaves found on board captured slave ships). The book argues that, notwithstanding its promise of freedom, the law actually constructed recaptives restrictively. In particular, it focused on questions of intervention rather than recaptives’ rights.  At the same time it shows how a critical reading of the archive reveals that recaptives contributed to litigation in important, but hitherto largely unrecognized, ways. The book is, however, not simply a contribution to the history of international law. Efforts to deliver justice through international criminal law continue to face considerable challenges and raise testing questions about the construction – and alternative construction – of victims. 

By inscribing the recaptive in international criminal legal history, the book offers an original contribution to these contentious issues and a reflection on critical international criminal legal history writing and its accompanying methodological and political choices.


Dr Emily Haslam is Senior Lecturer in International Law at Kent Law School. Her research interests lie in the field of international criminal law, international legal history and civil society. She has extensive experience teaching international law, international criminal law and transnational criminal law.


1 Rethinking International Criminal Legal History;
2 Where It All Began: Prize;
3 The Piracy Analogy and the Slave Trade;
4 Mixed Commissions and the Expansion of Intervention;
5 After Seizure: The Hazards of Recaptivity;
6 Prize, Property and the Economies of Slave Trade Repression;
7 Back to the Present: Recaptives, Victims and Creditors;
8 Conclusion;

More info here