07 December 2018

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Stanford Center for Law and History, Fellow (DEADLINE: 15 February 2019)

(Source: Stanford Law)

We learned of an application for a position as Fellow at Stanford’s Center for Law and History. Here the application:

Stanford Law School seeks to hire the best talent and to promote a safe and secure environment for all members of the university community and its property. To that end, new staff hires must successfully pass a background check prior to starting work at Stanford University.

The Center:

The Stanford Center for Law and History, directed by Professor Amalia Kessler, brings together faculty and students from across Stanford University’s many schools and departments (and beyond) to participate in a broad range of conferences, workshops, and lectures devoted to examining the multifaceted interrelationships between law and history (without geographic, temporal, or other subject-area limitations). For details of the Center’s various programs, please see: 

The Goal:

This fellowship is intended for people who have recently completed (or will soon complete) their training in law and history and who seek thereafter to pursue their first tenure-track academic position at the intersection of the two fields.

The Fellowship:

The Stanford Center for Law and History is a residential fellowship that provides an opportunity to conduct research in the dynamic environment of Stanford University. We prefer two-year fellowships to help the fellow complete a significant body of independent scholarship, but we are willing to consider one-year terms. We expect that fellows will dedicate most of their time to pursuing their proposed research projects, and the fellowship is designed to ensure meaningful mentorship from faculty within both the Law School and the History Department. Fellows will also devote some time to organizing and implementing other Center activities, including an ongoing workshop series and an annual conference. The fellowship provides a significant opportunity to become part of a lively law-school-wide community of individuals with an interest in academia through attending weekly faculty lunch seminars and by participating in activities with the other fellows at Stanford Law School to learn more about one another’s scholarship and about academic life more generally. Fellows are also encouraged to attend and participate in the broad range of lectures and workshops available within the broader university, including inter alia, the History Department and the Stanford Humanities Center.

For the 2019-2020 fellowship, we will provide a workspace, a competitive salary, and a generous benefits package. Applicants who have completed (or are soon to complete) both a J.D. and a Ph.D in history are strongly preferred. The fellowship is expected to start around August 1, 2019, but there is some flexibility as concerns the exact start date.

The Application Process:

All applicants should apply through the 
Stanford Careers website (direct link: and should include the following: (1) a CV; (2) a sample of academic writing; (3) a research proposal of no more than five double-space pages (briefly outlining past work but focused primarily on research to be undertaken during the fellowship); and (4) official transcripts of all academic work pursued in college, as well as in graduate programs. In addition, (5) applicants should provide two letters of recommendation, to be emailed directly by the recommenders themselves to Cheyenne Pico at

All applications should be submitted no later than Friday, February 15, 2019.

Stanford University is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job.

More information here

06 December 2018

JOURNAL: Journal of Modern Intellectual History, Forum "Law, Empire and Global Intellectual History" (July 2018)

(image source: Cambridge Core)

Introduction (Mililnda Banerjee & Kersten Von Lingen, "Law, Empire and Global Intellectual History: An Introduction"):
In recent years, there has been a deepening convergence between scholarship on global intellectual history and on legal history. To take just one example, a recent book on international law, by Arnulf Becker Lorca (2014), carries “global intellectual history” in its subtitle—a stance related to the author's emphasis on the constitutive role in the field of non-European legal actors.1 A sustained reflection on the convergence between legal studies and global intellectual history, however, still remains a desideratum, at least in the sense that we do not yet have even a basic platform where scholars with different space/time and (trans-) cultural specialization come together to reflect on how studying legal concepts gains from global intellectual history. This forum, which results from a conference organized at Heidelberg University in 2016, attempts a preliminary intervention here. The introductory remarks are not meant to be conclusive; they invite responses.

"Property and Political Norms: Hanafi Juristic Discourse in Agrarian Bengal" (Andrew Sartori)
This article explores the reception of discourses about land and property in Islamic jurisprudence in colonial Bengal. I argue that Hanafi fiqh provided a sophisticated conceptual repertoire for framing claims to property that agrarian political actors in Muslim Bengal drew upon. Yet the dominant framework for understanding property claims in postclassical jurisprudence was ill-fitted to claims of the kind that agrarian movements in colonial Bengal were articulating. As a result, twentieth-century agrarian movements in the region spoke the language of fiqh, but nonetheless inhabited the ideological landscape of a much broader twentieth-century world of political aspirations and norms.

"Sovereignty as a Motor of Global Conceptual Travel: Sanskritic Equivalents of “Law” in Bengali Discursive Production" (Milinda Banerjee)
How may one imagine the global travel of legal concepts, thinking through models of diffusion and translation, as well as through obstruction, negation, and dialectical transfiguration? This article offers some reflections by interrogating discourses (intertextually woven with Sanskritic invocations) produced by three celebrated Bengalis: the nationalist littérateur Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay (1838–94), the Rajavamshi “lower-caste” peasant leader Panchanan Barma (1866–1935), and the international jurist Radhabinod Pal (1886–1967). These actors evidently took part in projects of vernacularizing (and thereby globalizing through linguistic–conceptual translation) legal–political frameworks of state sovereignty. They produced ideas of nexus between sovereignty, law, and “divine” lawgiving activity, which resemble as well as diverge from notions of political theology associated with the German jurist Carl Schmitt. Simultaneously, these actors critiqued coercive impositions of state-backed positive law and sovereign violence, often in the name of globally oriented concepts of “ethical”/natural law, theology, and capacious forms of solidarity, including categories like “all beings,” “self/soul,” “humanity,” and “world.” I argue that “sovereignty,” as a metonym for concrete practices of power as well as a polyvalent conceptual signifier, thus dialectically provoked the globalization of modern legal intellection, including in the extra-European world.

"Legal Flows: Contributions of Exiled Lawyers Toward the Concept of ‘Crimes Against Humanity’ During the Second World War" (Kerstin Von Lingen)
This article addresses the normative framework of the concept of “crimes against humanity” from the perspective of intellectual history, by scrutinizing legal debates of marginalized (and exiled) academic–juridical actors within the United Nations War Crimes Commission (UNWCC). Decisive for its successful implementation were two factors: the growing scale of mass violence against civilians during the Second World War, and the strong support and advocacy of “peripheral actors,” jurists forced into exile in London by the war. These jurists included representatives of smaller Allied countries from around the world, who used the commission's work to push for a codification of international law, which finally materialized during the London Conference of August 1945. This article studies the process of mediation and the emergence of legal concepts. It thereby introduces the concept of “legal flows” to highlight the different strands and older traditions of humanitarian law involved in coining new law. The experience of exile is shown to have had a significant constitutive function in the globalization of a concept (that of “crimes against humanity”).

"Liberalism, Cultural Particularism, and the Rule of Law in Modern East Asia: The Anti-Confucian Essentialisms of Chen Duxiu and Fukuzawa Yukichi Compared" (Kiri Paramore)
How and why are universalist modes of political thought transformed into culturally essentialist and exclusionary practices of governance and law? This article considers this question by analyzing the interaction between Confucianism and liberalism in East Asia. It argues that liberalism, particularly as it was used in attacking Confucianism, was instrumental in embedding ideas of cultural particularism and cultural essentialism in the emergence of modern political thought and law in both China and Japan. Both Confucianism and liberalism are self-imagined as universalist traditions, theoretically applicable to all global societies. Yet in practice both have regularly been defined in culturally determined, culturally exclusivist terms: Confucianism as “Chinese,” liberalism as “British” or “Western.” The meeting of Confucian and liberal visions of universalism and globalism in nineteenth-century East Asia provides an intriguing case study for considering the interaction between universalism and cultural exclusivism. This article focuses on the role of nineteenth-century global liberalism in attacks upon the previous Confucian order in East Asia, demonstrating the complicity of liberalism in new, culturally essentialist and particularist constructions of governance and law in both China and Japan.

"Autonomy and Decentralization in the Global Imperial Crisis: The Russian Empire and Soviet Union in 1905–1924" (Ivan Sablin & Alexander Semyonov)
This article brings the case of imperial transformation of the Russian Empire/Soviet Union into global discussions about empire, nationalism, and postimperial governance, and highlights the political and legal imaginaries that shaped this transformation, including their global and entangled character. This article argues that the legal and political discourses of decentralization, autonomism, and federalism that circulated at the time of the imperial crisis between the Revolution of 1905 and the adoption of the Soviet Constitution in 1924 contributed to the formation of an ethno-national federation in place of the Russian Empire, despite both the efforts of the Bolsheviks to create a unitary state, and the expectations of a different future among contemporary observers. At the same time, the postimperial institutional framework became a product of political conjunctures rather than the legal discourse. Its weakness before the consolidating party dictatorship made the Soviet Union a showcase of sham federalism and autonomism.

"Jewish Modern Law and Legalism in a Global Age: The Case of Rabbi Joseph Karo" (Roni Weinstein)
During the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, Rabbi Joseph Karo composed two major Jewish codes of law: the Beit Yosef, and its abridged version, Sulchan ‘Aruch. Though several centuries of legal discussion and scholarship have passed since their publication, these double codes of law were never superseded. This codification project defined the axial place of law in Jewish tradition. I argue that it responded to changes in legal processes and the enforcement of law that simultaneously transformed early modern Europe and the Ottoman world. Transcontinentally connected changes in political institutions—the formation of a centralized Islamic empire in the Ottoman case, and the formation of centralized states in Europe—dramatically redefined the role of law and legal codification in the forging of state power and community identities. The resultant belief among Sephardi rabbis, including Karo, that changes in Jewish legal tradition were now needed, prompted a redefinition of Jewish legal culture, whereby law (a gradually centralized conception of it) began to be seen as the foundation of Jewish religious heritage and ethnic identity. Despite the absence of state backing, early modern transformations in Jewish law were thus part of comparable changes taking place in the European and Islamic legal worlds.

Find the full issue on Cambridge Core.

(source: ESILHIL Blog)

05 December 2018

BOOK: Jean HO, State Responsibility for Breaches of Investment Contracts (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018). ISBN 9781108415842, £ 95.00

Cambridge University Press has published a book on the history of the law of state responsibility for breaches of investment contracts.


There is a wealth of material that shapes the law of State responsibility for breaches of investment contracts. First impressions of an unsettled or uncertain law have thus far gone unchallenged. But unchallenged first impressions point to the need for a detailed study that investigates and analyses the sources, the content, the characteristics, and the evolution of this law. The argument at the heart of this monograph is that the law of state responsibility for breaches of investment contracts has carved a unique and distinct trajectory from the traditional route for the creation of international law, developing principally from arbitral awards, and mimicking, to a considerable extent, the general international law on the protection of aliens and alien property. This book unveils the remarkable journey of the law of state responsibility for breaches of investment contracts, from its origins, to its formation, to its arrival at the cusp of maturity.

Carves out the special law on investment contract protection from the general law of state responsibility, enabling participants and observers of international investment law to apply a bespoke body of rules to contractual disputes between foreign investors and host states
Explores unknown origins of contractual protection in international law through original archival research, showing how history exerts an important influence on the modern practice of investment contract protection

Discusses the future of investment contract protection from legal and political developments providing alternative perspectives on the legitimacy and longevity of international investment law


Jean Ho, National University of Singapore
Jean Ho, FCIArb, is Assistant Professor of Law at the National University of Singapore, where she lectures and supervises on diverse aspects of international investment law. Prior to academia, Dr Ho practiced in investor-state dispute settlement. She is a Member of the Investment Treaty Forum of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, and an Expert on the UNIDROIT Working Group on Land Agricultural Investment Contracts. Dr Ho is also a co-author of International Investment Law and Arbitration: Commentary, Awards and Other Materials (Cambridge, 2018).


1. Power and principle in the origins of contractual protection
2. Arbitral awards and the generation of international law
3. State responsibility and the core standard of treatment
4. State responsibility and expropriation
5. State responsibility and internationalisation
6. The emerging international law on investment contract protection
7. The future of international investment contract claims.
More information here

04 December 2018

CONFERENCE: Politics and the Histories of International Law (Heidelberg, 15-16 February) – Programme

The Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law has published the programme for the conference Politics and the Histories of International Law. More information can be found here 

15 – 16 February 2019, MPIL, Heidelberg, Germany
Friday, 15 February 2019
Registration and Coffee
Welcome Address by Anne Peters, Randall Lesaffer and Emmanuelle Tourme Jouannet
Keynote Opening by Sundhya Pahuja

Panel Ia:
Slavery, Slave Trade and the Law of the Sea
(Chair: Raphael Schäfer)
Panel Ib:
International Law before and beyond the West
(Chair: Luigi Nuzzo)
Panel Ic:
Vulnerability and
International Law
(Chair: Robert Stendel)

Anne-Charlotte Martineau,
The Politics of Writing on Slavery and International Law

Emiliano Buis,
The Politics of Anti-Politics: Mainstream Histories of International Law and the Paradox of Antiquity

León Castellanos-Jankiewicz,
Nationalism and Early International Right
Parvathi Menon,
Protecting Empire in Slave Colonies

Salina Belmessous
Indigenous Peoples and International Law

Karin Loevy,
Histories of International Law as Windows to Law’s Politics: Dicey, Humanitarianism and the Jews
Stefano Cattelan,
Law and Politics, the Genesis of the Law of the Sea
Radhika Jagtap,
Developing an Anticolonial Historiography of International Law from a Social Movements’ Perspective

Momchil Milanov,
One Hundred Years of Soli(dari)tude: The Making of the Refugee Status and the Politics of Humanitarianism 

Sebastian Spitra,
New Narratives for a Critical History of World Cultural Heritage

Ignacio de la Rasilla del Moral,
Women’s Historical Invisibility in International Law

Panel IIa:
The Politicization of Western Legal History
(Chair: Miloš Vec)
Panel IIb:
The Politics of Legal History in the Books
(Chair: Annabel Brett)
Panel IIc:
The Laws of War in Context

 (Chair: Rüdiger Wolfrum)
Jan Lemnitzer,
Bringing Politics Back in: What the ‘Turn to Practice’ Means for the Writing of Histories of International Law

Paolo Amorosa,
The Politics of the International Legal Canon: Revisiting the Legacy of the Carnegie Classics Series

Hirofumi Oguri,
Taming Politics in the Historiographies of International Law: Between Naïve Positivism and Agnosticism

Thibaut Fleury Graff,
Henry Wheaton and the Powers of History: Justifying the Power of the US Federal Government in the 19thCentury by Rewriting the History and Contents of International Law

Julia Bühner,
Let There be Light – Histories Hidden in the Shadow of Francisco de Vitoria

Rotem Giladi,
Rites of Affirmation: Progress and Immanence in International Humanitarian Law Historiography 

Maria Adele Carrai,
W. A. P. Martin as a Legal Historian and the Politics of History in Late Qing-China 

Deborah Whitehall,
The Politics of Writing the History of International Law as a Treatise

Claire Vergerio,
Inventing the History of the Laws of War: The Revival of Alberico Gentili in the late 19th Century

Angelo Dube / Lindelwa Mhlongo, The Forgotten Continent? Interrogating Africa’s Contribution to the History and Development of International Law

Amanda AlexanderThe Politics of the Depoliticized Civilian

Session III
Panel IIIa:
The Politics of the Use of Force and the Function of Peace
 (Chair: Anthony Carty)
Panel IIIb:
Legitimacy, Security and Sovereignty in International Legal History 
(Chair: Inge Van Hulle)

Panel IIIc:
The Role of International Legal History before International Courts and Tribunals

(Chair: Thomas Duve)
John Hursh,
What is a Threat to the Peace? Historical Assessment and Shifting Legal Meaning

Michael Mulligan,
Politics and the Histories of International Law: International Law and the Spectre of Legitimacy

Gustavo Prieto,
Mixed Claim Commissions in Latin America During the 19th and 20th Centuries

Thilo Marauhn / Marie-Christin Stenzel,
Narratives of Peace as Justifications for the Use of Force: Henry A. Kissinger and the Long Peace of the 19th Century

Ríán Tuathal Derrig,
The Psychoanalytic New Haven School: A Case Study of Interwar Legal Science

Jakob Zollmann,
Searching for History in Law. The Polish-German Mixed Arbitral Tribunal after 1919

Hendrik Simon,
In the Shadow of War and Order. Historical Reflections on the Interrelationship between Political and Scholarly Practices of Justifying War

Etienne Henry,
Soviet Praxis of Collective Security in the League of Nations Era

Valeria Vázquez Guevara,
A Critical Re-Description of the History of Truth Commissions

Katie Szilagyi / Jon Khan,
There Might Come Soft Rains: Technological Determinism, International Law, and the Age of Intelligent Machines

Mikhail Antonov, The Rise of the Sovereignty Argument in Russian Approaches to International Law 

Michel Erpelding,
International Law and the European Court of Justice: The Politics of Avoiding History

BRILL Conference Dinner with Keynote by
Jacob Katz Cogan
Saturday, 16 February 2019
Plenary Session
(Chair: Randall Lesaffer)

Nehal BhutaHistories of/in International Law 
Jean d’AspremontCritical Attitudes in Historiographical International Legal Studies
Aoife O’Donoghue / Henry JonesHistories of International Law and Self-Reflection within the Discipline
Madeleine HerrenAliens, Race and Law: A History of the Odd Ones Out
Concluding Observations by Matthew Craven and the Editors