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10 October 2016

BOOK: Mieke VAN DER LINDEN, The Acquisition of Africa (1870-1914). The Nature of International Law [Studies in the History of International Law, 8, ed. Randall LESAFFER; Legal History Library, 20]. Leiden/Boston: Martinus Nijhoff/Brill, 2016, ISBN 9789004321199, € 129.

(image source: Brill)

Mieke Van der Linden (Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg) published an updated version of her doctoral dissertation (defended at Tilburg University, under the direction of R. Lesaffer, 2014) under the title The Acquisition of Africa (1870-1914). The Nature of International Law.

Book description:
Over recent decades, the responsibility for the past actions of the European colonial powers in relation to their former colonies has been subject to a lively debate. In this book, the question of the responsibility under international law of former colonial States is addressed. Such a legal responsibility would presuppose the violation of the international law that was applicable at the time of colonization. In the ‘Scramble for Africa’ during the Age of New Imperialism (1870-1914), European States and non-State actors mainly used cession and protectorate treaties to acquire territorial sovereignty (imperium) and property rights over land (dominium). The question is raised whether Europeans did or did not on a systematic scale breach these treaties in the context of the acquisition of territory and the expansion of empire, mainly through extending sovereignty rights and, subsequently, intervening in the internal affairs of African political entities.
 On the author:
Mieke van der Linden, Ph.D (2014), is senior researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law. She has published a dissertation, book chapters and articles on the legacy of Africa’s colonization in international law, including ‘The Inextricable Connection between Historical Consciousness and International Law: New Imperialism, the International Court of Justice and its Interpretation of the Inter-temporal Rule’ (in: C. Binder et al., 2014 ESIL Conference Proceedings, vol. 5. Oxford: forthcoming) and ‘The Euro-Centric Nature of International Law, A Legacy from New Imperialism’ (in: D. De ruysscher et al (eds.), Legal History, Moving in New Directions. Antwerp: 2015, pp. 413-427).
Table of contents:
Preface
 1. New Imperialism: Imperium, Dominium and Responsibility under International Law
 2. Dominium
 3. Imperium
 4. Territorium et Titulus
 5. British Nigeria
 6. French Equatorial Africa
 7. German Cameroon
 8. Ex facto ius oritur?
 9. A Reflection on the Nature of International Law: Redressing the Illegality of Africa’s Colonization
 10. Evaluative summary and conclusion
 Chronological list of treaties and other agreements
 Bibliography 
More information on Brill's website.

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