27 October 2017

CALL FOR PAPERS: Laws Across Codes and Laws Decoded, 28 June – 30 June 2018 at the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Paris)

 Laws Across Codes and Laws Decoded

28 June – 30 June 2018 at the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Paris)

The Organising Committee of the 5th Biennal Conference and the Executive Council of the European Society for Comparative Legal History are pleased to call for papers for the upcoming conference to be held. The main theme picks up threads of thought from the earlier ESCLH conferences in Valencia (2010), Amsterdam (2012), Macerata (2014) and Gdansk (2016) to explore what codes and codification have meant and continue to mean for legal systems with codes, and for those without. Papers should be submitted, as set out below, by 15 November 2017.

The conference will focus on the issue of codes or alternatives to codes as instruments of transforming laws in Europe and in the world. While codes, and the process of codification, are at least familiar if not always completely understood, this conference challenges us to look deeper at what a code meant for the legal systems affected by it. The conference seeks to understand the whole process of codification, from political aspects to its conception, agreement and roll-out, through to technical matters of drafting and implementation and even to linguistic matters of expression and deeper meanings. Challenging the importance for legal rules to be inserted within or outside a code, the conference proposes to examine all sorts of codes, and not only the most known civil codes: general codes as special (such as penal, commercial, labour, family, military) codes, officious codes as official codes. The conference seeks also to study the effects the codified structure of the norms could have on their content and on the way law functions, notably through case law and law writing. All the historical situations in which law reform took place outside of codification and outside of codes can be questioned could be relevant in helping us to understand law reform through codes or its alternatives.

Papers should be novel, properly researched and referenced. They should address the conference theme, exploring doctrinal, theoretical, cultural or methodological aspects of comparative legal history. They must also be comparative, addressing more than one system of laws. The organisers particularly welcome addressing multiple legal systems or cultures. This includes where a similar legal system functions in different cultural circles.

Practical details: 

  1. To offer a paper, please send the title of their paper, a short abstract (of 200-400 word, absolutely no more and a short CV (no more than 1 page) by 15 November 2017 to the organizing committee, c/o
  2. The presentations should be in English.
  3. It is also possible to submit a complete proposal for one or more panels (3 papers normally).
  4. The list of accepted papers will be announced by 8 December 2017

Shortly, a conference website will be launched with fuller details of the conference. For the moment, some transport and accommodation information follows.

Paris offers many accommodation possibilities ranging from five-star hotels, through smaller hotels in the Quartier latin and private rooms to beds in youth and student hostels. For some postgraduates the Ecole Normale Supérieure could offer cheaper accommodation in student dormitories.

26 October 2017

BOOK: Oona A. HATHAWAY and Scott J. SHAPIRO, The Internationalists: How a Radical Plan to Outlaw War Remade the World (New York, Simon & Schuster, 2017), 581 p., ISBN 97815011098671501109863, $30.00

(Source: Simon & Schuster)

Book Abstract:
A bold and provocative history of the men who fought to outlaw war and how an often overlooked treaty signed in 1928 was among the most transformative events in modern history.
On a hot summer afternoon in 1928, the leaders of the world assembled in Paris to outlaw war. Within the year, the treaty signed that day, known as the Peace Pact, had been ratified by nearly every state in the world. War, for the first time in history, had become illegal the world over. But the promise of that summer day was fleeting. Within a decade of its signing, each state that had gathered in Paris to renounce war was at war. And in the century that followed, the Peace Pact was dismissed as an act of folly and an unmistakable failure. This book argues that that understanding is inaccurate, and that the Peace Pact ushered in a sustained march toward peace that lasts to this day.
The Internationalists tells the story of the Peace Pact by placing it in the long history of international law from the seventeenth century through the present, tracing this rich history through a fascinating and diverse array of lawyers, politicians and intellectuals—Hugo Grotius, Nishi Amane, Salmon Levinson, James Shotwell, Sumner Welles, Carl Schmitt, Hersch Lauterpacht, and Sayyid Qutb. It tells of a centuries-long struggle of ideas over the role of war in a just world order. It details the brutal world of conflict the Peace Pact helped extinguish, and the subsequent era where tariffs and sanctions take the place of tanks and gunships.
The Internationalists examines with renewed appreciation an international system that has outlawed wars of aggression and brought unprecedented stability to the world map. Accessible and gripping, this book will change the way we view the history of the twentieth century—and how we must work together to protect the global order the internationalists fought to make possible.

More information on the book can be found here

24 October 2017

BOOK: Danny PRAET (ed.), Philosophy of War and Peace (Brussels: VUBPress, 2017), 220 p. ISBN 9789057185854, €24,95

(image source: VUBPress)

Book abstract:
The topic of war and peace is as relevant today as it was several millennia ago. Though views on and motives for warfare have changed over the centuries, Philosophy of War and Peace proves that many past ideas still merit consideration today.
This exhaustive collection of essays addresses the historical, cultural and political background of various views on war and peace worldwide. It gives modern readings of ancient philosophers, such as Heraclitus, Renaissance writers, such as Niccolò Machiavelli and Michel de Montaigne, as well as more contemporary thinkers, such as Immanuel Kant and Friedrich Nietzsche. Its cultural analysis spans from ancient China to the middle ages to the present day, encompassing many different religions. By demonstrating that some of our interpretations of famous texts are inherently flawed and unearthing the philosophical ideas about life, death and the structure of the world that underlie them, this work challenges the roots of some of our most fundamental ideas about conflict and justice today.
In addition to the cultural and religious beliefs that underlie a call to arms, these essays consider our contemporary political context of the way we look at war and peace. The way we view our past is shaped by our present beliefs, and the foregrounding or trivialization of certain historical events is often a political act. Philosophy of War and Peace examines different methods we use today for dealing with the trauma of war at peace time and unravels the complexity of philosophical issues caused by the presence and absence of war in our world.
Free table of contents here.

CALL FOR PAPERS: The Philosophy of Customary Law (Nice, 14-16 May 2018); DEADLINE 15 NOV 2017

The very expression of customary law brings us to a first, preliminary acknowledgment: speaking of a customary law compels to single out the genus (law) from the species (the so-called customary law). Customary law appears then like a specific form of law, sharing with it the general features and categories of a legal approach. However calling a law customary is not the same as to speak about contract or penal law.
Customary law is indeed not one of the sub-species of law, and can itself be called genus. It is also worth reminding that the expression “customary law” seems to single out a specific source among the four traditional ones – legislation, doctrine, custom and precedents. It would seem odd, indeed, to speak about a “legislative law”, “doctrinal law” or even “precedents law”. What matters then is to investigate the ambiguity behind the very idea of customary law. Does it point out one more sort of law, or does it designate an autonomous kind of law, with its own features and not reducible to the law?
Answering these questions requires without any doubts an enquiry about the peculiar dynamics of customary law, grounded on both empiricist and theoretical perspectives. To know whether it is a form among others of law or it is specific enough to be called a genus of law, it is crucial to define its principles. If this law is called customary it is because custom is key to it as a source of law. Understanding the specific features of customary law means therefore striving to understand what role custom plays to shape the very nature of customary law.
It will be necessary to investigate the way the main role assigned to customs determines the very existence of specific institutions and peculiar criteria of the bigger law frame that regulates the individual. As Blackstone’s Commentaries show, any legal system that includes custom as its element must establish spatial, temporal and logical frame of custom proofs. Nevertheless, Anglo-Saxon Common law and its peculiar principles mustn’t overshadow any attempt to grasp the principles and the peculiarities of customary law; and we will be particularly sensitive to the way the customary law settles in pluralist contexts, where different customary laws can be concurrent. In these conditions the interaction between law and custom takes the shape of a normative conflict more than of a coherent customary law.
Exploring the limits and the fictions of customary procedures adopted by the Common Law could be the first step of both a new deployment of the customary law potential and an enquiry about its foundations. Indeed, it would be of extreme interest to study the different forms of customary law in eras where the Common Law model is spreading at different levels and domains, especially in international law, and where customary law is adopted in de-colonized regions where the law system is marked by a strong plurality of contexts.
Peculiar stakes of these contexts force to investigate both the limits and the flexibility of customary law. Do evolutions of scales and domains concern the essence of customary law, if this nature exists? Or are they only variations of a single nature beyond the peculiarities of each embodiment? It will also be necessary – among other issues – to address the specific effectiveness of customary law, and to determine if it lays on the same constraint as the law; and if it is supported by peculiar institutions and applications. The question of the role of the sanction is in this respect essential. Underlying this is the very issue of the self-sufficiency of custom as a social regulation form.
In the wake of these reflections it is necessary to note that custom is reduced to the status of simple source of the law in every law called customary, and is therefore deprived of every autonomous form of normative power. It is not custom that is not acknowledged as custom according to the processes required and in the name of the institutions and criteria defined by law. In this case, custom is not anything more than one of the many possible sources of law, and concurring with them; it has not a primary juridical existence.
This is the reason why John Austin could so easily disqualify custom self-sufficiency, arguing – with Hobbes and against the historical school – that the very nature of law prevents custom to be effective on its own besides the implicit or explicit, direct or indirect acknowledgement by the sovereign. One of the main ambitions of this conference would be indeed to question Austin’s position. This could in turn allow to address the issue of the substantial or accessory priority of the phrase “customary law”. Beyond this lies the very issue of the autonomy of custom as a social regulation tool.
In order to do that, one could be tempted to consider what disappears of custom and what does not, in customary law, so as to really understand its very nature. This brings us to discuss the specific subject of the codification of custom, the cornerstone of customary law. This codification is never de facto a neutral act, and it will be more relevant to point out from every point of view all the implicit tensions of the codification, which standardize and stabilize power balances or social and economical struggles. One of the axes of the study, already well known in social science but
overlooked by philosophy, would be that of interaction between formal law and custom in de-colonized countries.
Legal codification is one of these moments when powers and knowledge meet with most intensity. The “historical school” of law maintained the necessity of combining law studies with humanities, and we can now include social sciences such as economy, anthropology and sociology. We will therefore investigate which place these disciplines can or should have within the codification and definition of custom; we will also enquiry about their legitimacy, methods and approaches.
Other domains of knowledge and creation cannot be excluded from the discourse we would like to build. We could especially ask ourselves if literature and other arts are able to produce introspective discourses about the nature of customary law, in the wake e.g. of Ismaël Kadaré Avril Brisé. An artistic perspective could actually open to other stakes of customary law and of societies concerned by it. Among these concerns we can find the issue of the “tradition” – “modernity” dialectics and the role and place of an individual. The way in which customary law of different peoples confronts the evolution of global communities is certainly a shared issue among many artists and authors, be their perspective nostalgic, aesthetic or critical.
The question arises of which place one should give to specific case studies during this conference. It is clear that they must be crucial while studying customary law as a theoretical object; but no discourse should be limited to a series of descriptions of different customary laws. It will be of particular interest to adopt a comparative approach, analyzing especially how specific branches of customary law – such as the property rights – codify all the issues we have seen, and how different law categories allow to reformulate.
Every example is an opportunity to explore these topics without excluding other issues. Besides, it is neither required to address only contemporary stakes of customary law nor to unfold historical processes. The topicality of customary law is acknowledged, and the history of its evolution is essential to understand the contemporary dynamics it implies. The various questions arising from this conference should reflect the historical deepness of customary law, without overlooking to explore how social sciences and humanities address the customary law from different perspectives.
The following, non-exhaustive list of questions should allow to prefigure various leads:
  • Does “customary law” locution show a specific mode of social regulation between the juridical and the customary?
  • Is custom a source of law? Or could be considered as an object beyond or before it?
  • Does a specific form of customary law exist despite its different expressions? Does a model of customary law exist – such as the international law?
  • Which transformations does custom endure when integrated with the “customary law”?
  • Which philosophical implications does codification of custom produce within customary law?
  • Which are the stakes of the very existence of customary law in pluralist and decolonized contexts?
  • What are the relationships between customary law on one side and moral or juridical standards such as human rights on the other?
  • What is the place of customary law within social change dynamics?
  • What is the place of the relations between law and custom in arts? Does a specifically artistic point of view exist about custom?
  • Does it consist in representing, criticizing or glorifying custom?
  • Which interactions and which concerns exist about humanities, social sciences and law with respect to custom?
  • Which are the links of customary law with localities, territories, their history and their social displaying?
  • How different disciplines of social and human sciences allow to reflect upon these phenomena and their conflict with law’s peculiar formality


1st submission deadline: November 15, 2018. Proposals (with a title) will be between 300 and 750 words and anonymous, but the applicant is asked to join a presentation with his or name, with the title of the proposal. CV are accepteds. Send your proposals to both
Marc Goetzmann : and Edoardo Frezet :
There is no registration fee for the conference.
We will provide accommodation (2 nights) and food for the whole conference, with a conference dinner included.
We will not systematically cover the cost of transportation. Depending on the available funds, we will prioritize junior researchers that cannot be supported financially by their institution.
Languages of the conference will be French and English.
Any researcher, junior or senior, may submit a proposal. The interdisciplinary nature of the conference calls for a broad number of subjects. Therefore, only the relevance of the proposal to the conference, and not the field of the potential speaker, will be evaluated. Please note that the organizers want this conference to be as inclusive as possible.
See here the complete call: Customary Law Conference Presentation CFP

Organizing Committee
  • Pierre-Yves Quiviger. Professor of legal philosophy at the Philosophy Department of the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis
  • Marc Goetzmann. PhD student at the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis
  • Edoardo Frezet. PhD student at the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis
 Scientific Committee
  • Philippe Audeagean. Professor of philosophy at the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis
  • Laetitia Guerlain. Associate Professor of Law at the University of Bordeaux
  • Philippe Hameau. Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis
  • Nader Hakim. Associate Professor of Law at the University of Bordeaux
  • Mélanie Plouviez. Associate Professor of philosophy at the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis
  • Pierre-Yves Quiviger. Associate Professor of philosophy at the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis

20 October 2017

BOOK: Martti KOSKENNIEMI, Mónica GARCÍA-SALMONES ROVIRA & Paolo Amorosa, International Law and Religion. Historical and Comparative Perspectives [The Theory and History of International Law, eds. Nehal BHUTA, Anthony PAGDEN & Benjamin STRAUMANN] (Oxford: OUP, 2017), 480 p. ISBN 9780198805878, £ 80

(Image source: OUP)

This book maps out the territory of international law and religion challenging received traditions in fundamental aspects. On the one hand, the connection of international law and religion has been little explored. On the other, most of current research on international legal thought presents international law as the very victory of secularization. By questioning that narrative of secularization this book approaches these traditions from a new perspective. From the Middle Ages' early conceptualizations of rights and law to contemporary political theory, the chapters bring to life debates concerning the interaction of the meaning of the legal and the sacred. The contributors approach their chapters from an array of different backgrounds and perspectives but with the common objective of investigating the mutually shaping relationship of religion and law. The collaborative endeavour that this volume offers makes available substantial knowledge on the question of international law and religion.
Table of contents:
Martti Koskenniemi, “International Law and Religion: no Stable Ground”

Part I: Natural Law and Ius Gentium
Sarah Mortimer, “Law, Justice and Charity in a Divided Christendom: 1500-1625”
Pia Valenzuela, “Between Scylla and Charybdis: Aquinas’ Political Thought and his Notion of Natural Law and Ius Gentium”  Mary M. Keys, “Religion, Empire and Law Among Nations in the City of God. From the Salamanca School to Augustine, and Back Again”
Janne Nijman, “Grotius’ Imago Dei Anthropology. Grounding Ius Naturae et Gentium
Ofir Haivri, “John Selden and the Jewish Religious Fountainhead of the International Law of the Sea”

Part II: Human Rights, Between History, The International and Religion
John Haskell, “The Religious/Secular Debate in Human Rights Literature. Constitutive Tensions between Christian, Islamic, and Secular Perspectives”
Monica García-Salmones, “Natural Rights in Albert the Great. Beyond Objective and Subjective Divides”
Pasquale Annicchino, “The Past is Never Dead. Christian Anti-internationalism and Human Rights”
Pamela Slotte, “Whose Justice? What Political Theology? On Christian and Theological Approaches to Human Rights in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries”

Part III: International Law, Religion, and Territory in the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean
Moussa Abou Ramadan, “Muslim Jurists’ Criteria for the Divisionist of the World intro Dar al-Harb and Dar al-Islam”
Nahed Samour, “From Imperial to Dissident. Approaches to Territory in Islamic International Law”
Reut Yael Paz, “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem. Religion, International Law and Jerusalem”

Part IV: Political Theology and International Legal Theory
Ileana M. Porras, "The Doctrine of the Providential Function of Commerce in International Law. Idealizing Trade"
Immi Tallgren, "The Faith in Humanity and International Criminal Law"
Michele Nicoletti, "Religion and Empire. Carl Schmitt's Katechon between International Relations and the Philosophy of History"
Elena Paris, "International Law-making and Metaphysical Foundations of Universality. Retrieving an Alternative Metaphysics"
Paul W. Kahn, "The Law of Nations and the Origin of American Law"
Paolo Amorosa, "Messianic Visions of the United States. International Law, Religion and the Cuban Intervention, 1898-1917"

On the editors:
Edited by Martti Koskenniemi, Academy Professor, University of Helsinki, Mónica García-Salmones Rovira, Post-doc Fellow, University of Helsinki, and Paolo Amorosa, Doctoral Candidate, University of Helsinki
Martti Koskenniemi is Academy Professor of International Law at the University of Helsinki and Director of the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights. He was a member of the Finnish diplomatic service in 1978-1994 and of the International Law Commission (UN) in 2002-2006. He has held visiting professorships in, among other places, New York University, Columbia University, University of Cambridge, London School of Economics, and Universities of Brussels, Melbourne, Paris, Sao Paulo and Utrecht. He is a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy and has a doctorate h.c. from the Universities of Uppsala, Frankfurt and McGill.
Mónica García-Salmones is adjunct Professor of International Law at the University of Helsinki and a Post-doctoral Fellow at the research project History of International Law: between Religion and Empire. She has published a monograph on the history of international legal positivism. More recently her research has focused in the early history of international law, with a focus in the study of the conceptual, philosophical and historical continuities between the moderns and previous theological theories
Paolo Amorosa is a doctoral candidate and a member of the research project 'Intellectual History of International Law: Religion and Empire' at the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights, University of Helsinki. Prior to that, he has been teaching international law and human rights at Tallinn Law School, Tallinn University of Technology. He received his LLM degree in Public International Law from Leiden University and worked as a research assistant at the Grotius Center for International Legal Studies and at the Italian Embassy to the Holy See. His recent work has focused on international legal thought in the United States in the early 20th century.
More information with Oxford University Press.

17 October 2017

Eric SCHNAKENBOURG (ed.), Neutres et neutralité dans l'espace atlantique durant le long XVIIIe siècle (1700-1820)/Neutrals and Neutrality in the Atlantic World during the Long Eighteenth Century (1700-1820). Une approche totale/A Global Approach (Bécherel: les Perséides, 2015), 491 p. ISBN 9782371250147

(image source: AHMUF)

Book abstract:
L’étude de la neutralité révèle les tensions entre les logiques de guerre et les logiques négociantes qui manifestent, autant l’une que l’autre, l’intensité des relations au sein du monde atlantique. C’est pourquoi la neutralité doit être étudiée comme une réalité transversale inscrite dans un espace marqué par la fluidité des circulations. Elle impose de dépasser les cadres nationaux pour promouvoir une approche ouverte des interconnections afin d’envisager à nouveaux frais les questions relatives à la neutralité et au rôle des neutres au cours du long XVIIIe siècle. Cette approche, qui participe du décloisonnement spatial et thématique de l’histoire atlantique, permet d’embrasser dans une même perspective aussi bien « les » Amériques, septentrionale, intertropicale et méridionale, que l’Europe. La neutralité atlantique est une arène au sein de laquelle se nouent des relations entre Européens, entre Américains, et entre Européens et Américains. Elle peut être envisagée comme une entrée dans la réflexion sur la formation d’un espace euroaméricain économique,juridique et diplomatique.

Table of contents:
Introduction :
Neutralité atlantique et atlantique de la neutralité
Atlantic neutrality and the neutrality of the Atlantic
Partie 1 : Les circulations et réseaux du commerce neutre / circulation and networks of neutral commerce
Ana Crespo Solana, Madrid, Cooperation or Neutrality? How the war affects business strategies: The case of Cadiz (1700-1740)
Holger Weiss, Turku, Trade and neutrality during times of war: An analysis of the Danish-European and Danish-African relationships on the Gold Coast during the second half of the eighteenth century
Eric Schnakenbourg, Nantes, Substitution aux échanges des temps de paix ou modalité de l’interlope ? Le commerce neutre et les colonies françaises des Antilles pendant la guerre de Sept Ans
Boris Deschanel, Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, Les neutres dans les stratégies négociantes : l’exemple des sociétés Chauvet à Marseille (1785-1802)
Silvia Marzagalli, Nice, La navigation américaine pendant les French Wars (1793-1815) : une simple reconfiguration des circuits commerciaux par neutres interposés ?

Partie 2 : Les acteurs de la neutralité atlantique / The actors of Atlantic neutrality
Barry Stiefel, Charleston, Jews as Neutral Middlemen in the Long XVIIIth century Atlantic World
Manuel Covo, Warwick, Droit de la neutralité, pratiques de mobilité marchande et catégorisation politique à l’ère des révolutions : entre Antilles et États-Unis (années 1790)
Dominique Goncalvès, Toulouse, Le commerce de Cuba avec les neutres à travers les Actes de sessions du Consulat royal, 1797-1807.
Clément Thibaud, Nantes, América libre : les Neutres et la naissance du premier républicanisme hispano-américain (1793-1820)

Partie 3 : Les poles du commerce neutre / the centers of neutral commerce
Victor Enthoven, Amsterdam, ‘‘The unlimited cupidity of the Dutch merchants’’: St. Eustatius and Anglo-Dutch controversy over neutral rights, 1680-1780
François Antoine, Bruxelles, La guerre d’Indépendance américaine et la tentative de relance du commerce international des Pays-Bas méridionaux
Miguel Dantas da Cruz, Lisbonne, The Lisbon international trade and the ambiguities of the Portuguese Neutrality (1795-1807)
Ale Pålsson, Stockholm, Common Ground: Swedish neutrality and transit trade in S:t Barthélemy 1800-1820

Partie 4 : La neutralité dans les rivalités entre états / Neutrality in the interstate rivalry
François Ternat, Rouen, La neutralisation de la frontière. Un essai de solution diplomatique en Amérique du Nord à la veille de la guerre de Sept Ans
Marc Belissa, Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, Faire la guerre pour avoir le droit d’être neutre ? Les enjeux politiques de la neutralité américaine (1776-1812)
Nicolas Terrien, Nantes, Les neutres, la course maritime et l’effondrement de l’empire atlantique de la monarchie espagnole (1810-1824)

More information here (publisher's website).

16 October 2017

CALL FOR PAPERS: Latin America and International Law (8-9 Feb 2018, University of Hamburg/University of the Andes); DEADLINE 8 DEC 2017

(Image source:

From February 8 to 9, 2018, the Albrecht Mendelssohn Bartholdy  
Graduate School of Law (University of Hamburg) in conjunction with  
Professor José Manuel Barreto Soler (Universidad de los Andes,  
Universidad Externado) organizes a conference on the history of  
international law in Latin American.


The conference title is roughly borrowed from Alejandro Álvarez' very  
influential (but also controversially discussed) article "Latin  
America and Inernational Law" from 1909. Insprired by his work, we aim  
at exploring the complex relationship between Latin America and  
international law in the past centuries.

In the last few years, questions concerning Latin America's historic  
relationship to international law have moved to the focus of academic  
attention. Several outstanding treatises have been published on and  
conferences have dealt with this topic. But its study is still a  
comparably recent academic field (especially in Europe). The  
conference shall contribute to its further sharpening and to the  
creation of new perspectives on the study of the history of  
international law in Latin America.

Call for Papers:

We would like to invite everybody interested in the study of the  
history of international law in Latin America (doctoral students,  
early scholars, professors, practitioners, etc.) to participate in our  
call and to submit proposals for contributions on any of the listed  
subtopics (see below).

Please send your application in one single PDF file including

· your proposal of around 300 - 500 words and

· a brief CV (indicating also your institutional affiliation)

until December 3, 2017, to

The selection of speakers will be based on the quality of their  
abstracts and the abstract's suitability to the overall topic of the  
conference. Selected candidates will be informed by December 8, 2017.

List of Subtopics:

    International Law in the Americas before Independence

    International Law and the Independence in the Americas

    International Law, United States' Imperialism and Latin America

    The Particularity of Latin American International Law

    International Law, Globalization, and Latin America

    New Latin American Approaches to International Law?

    Germany and the History of International Law in the Americas

Further information and a more detailed call for papers are available  

CALL FOR PAPERS: Regulating Age of Consent and Child-Marriage in the British Empire (London, 15 June 2018); DEADLINE 08 January 2018

(Source: Wikipedia)

A call for papers for a conference, to be held at SOAS University of London, on the reform of the age of consent laws around the British Empire during the years 1880 to 1930, has been announced.

This is a call for proposals for a one-day interdisciplinary conference which aims to explore the debates that led to the reform of age of consent laws around the British Empire during the years 1880 to 1930. The conference is particularly interested in exploring the issues of age of consent and child marriage through interdisciplinary and comparative perspectives in law and history.

Intertwined within these debates are notions of gender, women's rights, biology, and attempts to understand the native psyche. These compete with tropes of cultural relativism, orientalism, the female victim, and the white man's burden amongst other concerns. For the purpose of this conference, consent is interpreted widely to include physical and intellectual consent to sexual activities as well as marriage.  The conference aims to bring together the growing number of scholars who are currently working on the histories of age of consent in the British Empire.

Recognising that the development and history of the age of consent debate is transnational, international, and multi-layered one, the conference is conceived of as a starting point for forming an international network of scholars working in the area. 

Themes of the conference include but are not limited to notions of consent-physical and/or intellectual; age of consent campaigns and national movements; religion/class/region based perspectives on consent; comparative or regional studies on age of consent/marriage; age of consent for males; consent, female body, and nationalism/imperialism.

Please send 300-word abstract with a short bio to The deadline is 08 January 2018.  Bursaries might be available for PG students.  Organisers: Dr Kanika Sharma (SOAS) and Dr Laura Lammasniemi (Anglia Ruskin University).

(Source: Legal History Blog)

12 October 2017

CALL FOR PAPERS: Legal History and Empires: Perspectives from the Colonized (Barbados, 11-13 July 2018); DEADLINE 15 JANUARY 2018

A call for papers for a conference on “Legal History and Empires: Perspectives from the Colonized” has been announced.

The conference is jointly sponsored by the Faculty of Law and Faculty of Humanities and Education of The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, and an international group of legal historians and historians of the law.

This conference follows the successful conference on the Legal Histories of the British Empire held at the National University of Singapore in 2012, and is similarly designed to bring together senior and emerging scholars working in the fields of imperial and colonial legal history.

We invite paper or panel proposals addressing legal histories of empires broadly, and encourage participants to think in particular how their research connects with the theme of the conference: perspectives from the colonized.

Without in any way limiting the range of proposals topics and themes might include:  
  • relations between Empires;
  • histories from the peripheries of empire;
  • mobilities, networks and transplants;
  • law and gender;  
  • Indigenous histories and the law;    
  • Slavery and indentured labour;  
  • Regulation of labour;  
  • Histories of immigration law;
  • Administration of justice and rule of law; 
  • Histories of public or private law;
  • Colonial law and local circumstances;
  • Settler colonialism;
  • Crime;    
  • The professions.

Individual paper proposals should be maximum 300 words (and include a bio of no more than 100 words); panel proposals should consist of an overall panel theme (300 words), the titles of individual papers and short bios (no more than 100 words) of each presenter. Panels may include commentators.

Proposals should be sent to Prof Shaunnagh Dorsett, University of Technology Sydney ( by 15 JANUARY 2018.

General inquiries about the Conference should be addressed to Dr. Asya Ostroukh, UWI, Cave Hill (

A website will be available with all information, including accommodation options and additional optional activities on the 10th and 14th July.

More information can be found at the page of the Law Faculty of the University of the West Indies

10 October 2017

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: Historians Without Borders: Writing the Histories of International Organizations (Leiden: Leiden University, 22-23 Mar 2018); DEADLINE 13 Nov 2017

(image source: Leiden University)

Writing Histories of International Organizations
Leiden University – 22-23 March 2018
This workshop is organized by the ERC project ‘Rethinking Disability’. It is intended to bring together early-career researchers from different fields working on international organizations, to discuss methodological challenges together with peers and established scholars. A combination of a master class, keynote lectures, and roundtable discussions aims at providing an informal and interactive setting for the exchange of ideas and perspectives. Confirmed speakers include:
  • Davide Rodogno (The Graduate Institute, Geneva)
  • Corinne Pernet (University of Geneva)
  • Kiran Patel (Maastricht University)
Call for abstracts
Ever since the paradigm of ‘globalization’ has found its way into the field of history, ways of writing histories beyond borders have proliferated. Today, historians no longer need to justify enlarging their geographical scope beyond the national, but it can nonetheless be a daunting task to decide on how to do this. While we are going beyond borders, the choice for a translocal, transnational, transregional or global history still reveals our preference for a certain scale. Methodologically, our toolbox now offers us concepts such as comparisons, transfers, connections, entanglements and circulations. As different approaches focus on different concepts, choosing one approach often entails a rejection of other possible approaches. Transnational historians will distance themselves from comparative history; global history, as any global historian will tell you, is not the same as world history. The further we seem to get in advancing the call for breaking with our ‘methodological nationalism’, the more we seem to split up into different subfields, where fruitful dialogue becomes increasingly difficult. The purpose of this workshop is to open up this dialogue, to see what specific advantages different approaches can offer and how they can be best put to use.
In order to do this, the workshop will focus on the history of international organizations (IOs), as they are “extremely stimulating heuristic objects for historians of globalism in that they represent a true laboratory of the accords and tensions at work between the international, national, and local scenes and frames of reference” (Kott, 2011, p. 449). Therefore, writing their history automatically compels us to think about methodologies of doing ‘history beyond borders’. Although they automatically force historians to think about international connections, it is equally important to consider the continuing role of local or national scales within international organizations. Research objects in this regard can encompass both the main intergovernmental organizations (IOs) – such as the League of Nations, the UN or the NATO – and the vast field of International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs), spanning a diverse range of causes from the environment (Greenpeace), over human rights (Amnesty International), to humanitarianism (Médecins sans frontières).
For this workshop, we are looking for original contributions on the history of IOs and INGOs, based on empirical research, but with explicit methodological reflections on transnational, global, comparative, etc. approaches. Questions raised can include (but are not limited to):
  • What specific advantages do different approaches bring to the history of international organizations?
  • Are these approaches mutually exclusive, or do we need to combine different perspectives and concepts?
  • What are some of the methodological challenges in writing the history of international organizations, in terms of analyzing connections, entanglements, comparisons, etc.?
  • What are some of the practical challenges in writing the history of international organizations, in terms of mobility, language barriers, cultural sensitivity, etc.?
  • How can we deal with the fact that levels can be used both as analytical concepts (used by the      historian) and as historical concepts (used by the historical actors)?
  • How can we deal with different uses of terms like international, national, local, e.g. as level, geographical or spatial unit or loyalty of a historical actor?
  • How can we deal with the (hidden) hierarchy of terms or levels like global, national, etc.?
The workshop will offer a combination of a master class, keynote lectures, and roundtable discussions. It will start on 22 March in the afternoon, with a master class by Davide Rodogno (The Graduate Institute, Geneva), followed by a keynote lecture by Corinne Pernet (University of Geneva). The second day (23 March) will consist of roundtable sessions, where participants present their research and enter into discussion. Senior researchers will chair these sessions and Kiran Patel (Maastricht University) will deliver a closing keynote.
Submission of abstracts
Please send an abstract of max. 500 words and a short CV to the following email address: by 13 November 2017. Questions to the organizers can be sent using the same address. Authors will be notified regarding the acceptance of their contribution by 20 November. Invited participants will be expected to submit a short draft version of a more substantial paper two weeks prior to the event, which will be circulated among all other participants. Participants who are accepted to present their paper are also automatically accepted to participate in the master class. If you are unable or do not wish to attend the master class, kindly indicate this in your application.
The workshop is initiated and hosted by the research team of the ERC project ‘Rethinking Disability: the Global Impact of the International Year of Disabled Persons (1981) in Historical Perspective’, based in the Institute for History at Leiden University. It is supported by the Huizinga Institute, the national Dutch research network for Cultural History.
Contact Email: 

(source: HNet)

09 October 2017

LECTURE SERIES: Société d'Histoire du Droit (Paris, 28 October 2017; 18 November 2017; 16 December 2017; 13 January 2018; 17 February 2018; 24 March 2018)

The Société d'Histoire du Droit announced the programme for its lecture series during the academic year 2017-2018 


Salle des Conseils de l’Université Panthéon-Assas, 12 place du Panthéon, 75005 Paris


Samedi 28 octobre 2017, à 15h.00: Antonio PADOA-SCHIOPPA, professeur émérite de l’Université de Milan, vice-président de la Société d’Histoire du Droit : « Leibniz, théoricien et réformateur du droit »

Samedi 18 novembre 2017, à 14h.30 : Jean-Luc FOURNET, professeur au Collège de France : « Entre grec et copte : les documents juridiques dans l’Égypte de l’Antiquité tardive ». 
Luisa BRUNORI, chargée de recherche HDR au CNRS, attachée au Centre d’Histoire Judiciaire (UMR 8025) : « Mesure et démesure : la Seconde Scolastique face à la pratique commerciale du XVIe siècle ». 

Samedi 16 décembre 2017, à 14h.30 : Alexandre DEROCHE, professeur à l’Université de Tours François Rabelais : « Le roi et la féodalité foncière sous l’Ancien Régime. La question du retrait féodal ». 
Mia KORPIOLA, professeur à l’Université de Turku : « Le rôle de l’iconographie médiévale et moderne dans la culture juridique suédoise ».

Samedi 13 janvier 2018, à 14h.30 : Mathieu TILLIER, professeur à l’Université Paris IV : « Rendre la justice aux premiers temps de l’islam ». 
Massimo MECCARELLI, professeur à l’Université de Macerata : « Penser la loi au temps de l’autonomie du droit : itinéraires doctrinaux durant l’époque moderne ». 

Samedi 17 février 2018, à 14h.30 : Mathias SCHMOECKEL, professeur à l’Université de Bonn : « Le contrat comme fondement de l’autonomie privée : du droit canonique médiéval à la tradition protestante ». 
Fred STEVENS, professeur émérite de l’Université catholique de Louvain : « Langage et droit. Politique et terminologie juridique néerlandaise en Belgique (1795-2017) ». 

Samedi 24 mars 2018, à 14h.30 : Séance thématique : « Les libertés devant le Conseil d’État : perspectives historiques et contemporaines », présidée par Mme Martine DE BOISDEFFRE, présidente de section au Conseil d’État, avec MM. Maurice QUÉNET, recteur honoraire et conseiller d’État honoraire, Grégoire BIGOT, professeur à l’Université de Nantes.

More information can be found at the website of the Société d'Histoire du Droit 

08 October 2017

CONFERENCE: Dynamiken der Viktimisierung - Opferschaft in historischer Perspektive (16.-20. Jahrhundert) (12-14 October 2017, Regensburg)

                                            (Source: Universität Regensburg)

The University of Regensburg is organising a conference on the dynamics of victimhood in a historical perspective. 

Event venue 

Universität Regensburg, Vielberthgebäude H 25


Thursday October 12, 2017

11.00 Grußwort des Präsidenten der Universität Regensburg, Prof. Dr. Udo Hebel 
Eröffnung durch die Organisatorinnen 
11.15-12.45 Sektion I: Opferkonzeptionen in den Geisteswissenschaften in (inter-) disziplinärer Perspektive
Harriet Rudolph (Regensburg): Geschichte der Sieger? Opferkonzeptionen in der Geschichtswissenschaft
Isabella von Treskow (Regensburg): Das Problem der Wertung: Opferkonzeptionen aus literatur- und kulturwissenschaftlicher Perspektive
Henning Ernst Müller (Regensburg): Das Straftatopfer im Strafrecht und in der Kriminologie
12.45-14.00 Mittagspause
14.00-15.30 Sektion II: Konstruktionen von Opferschaft im frühneuzeitlichen Drama
Moderation: Matteo Galli (Ferrara)
Christiane Hansen (Freiburg i. Brsg.): Rekonfigurationen des Opfer(n)s um 1700: Relationale und prozessuale Perspektiven auf Logiken der Viktimisierung in der englischen „she-tragedy“
Simon Aeberhard (Basel): Kleists Penthesilea: Das Literaturtheater als ambivalente Institution des Gewaltaufschubs.
15.30-16.00 Kaffeepause
16.00-18.00 Sektion III: Opferkonstruktionen in anderen literarischen Gattungen
Moderation: Silke Segler-Meßner (Hamburg) 
Ursula Regener (Regensburg): Ökonomien soldatischen Lebens. Stimulantien und Rechtfertigungen der Opferbereitschaft im Kontext der Befreiungskriege
Matteo Galli (Ferrara): Pathologisierung als Absolution? Opfer-Täter-Diskurse bei E. T. A. Hoffmann
Sabine Koller (Regensburg): (Auto-/Anti-)Viktimisierung in der jiddischen Literatur
19.30 Gemeinsames Abendessen (ReferentInnen und ModeratorInnen)
Friday October 13, 2017

09.00-11.00 Sektion IV: Nationen und Staaten als Gegenstand von Opferdiskursen
Moderation: Anne Mariss (Regensburg)
Volker Depkat (Regensburg): Opferkonzepte im Kontext des American Exceptionalism 
Rainer Liedtke (Regensburg): Ewige Opfer: Viktimisierungsdiskurse im modernen Griechenland
Marek Nekula (Regensburg): Tod und Auferstehung einer Nation: Religiöse Sprache im tschechischen ethnonationalen Opfernarrativ
11.00-11.15 Kaffeepause
11.15-13.00 Sektion V: Opferbilder – Visuelle Konstruktionen von Opferschaft in der Kunst
Moderation: Julian Jachmann (Regensburg)
Ruth S. Noyes (Middletown): “One of those Lutherans we used to burn in Campo de Fiore.” Refugee Convert Engravers and the Trans-cultural Dynamics of Victim[izing] Imprints ca. 1600
Francisco J. R. Chaparro (New York): Goya and the Humanitarian Revolution. The Construction of Victimhood in Late Modern Spain
Christoph Wagner (Regensburg): Visuelle Verstrickungen: Opfernarrative und Opferbilder in der Kunst seit Goya
13.00-14.30 Mittagspause
14.30-16.30 Sektion VI: Opfer-Täter-Relationen im Kontext von militärischer Gewalt
Moderation: Ger Duijzings (Regensburg)
Irène Herrmann (Genf): Mapping the Contexts of Victimhood
Sarah Thieme (Münster): “Unser Dank für sein Opfer sei die Rache!“ – Opfernarrationen im nationalsozialistischen Märtyrermythos
Nena Mocnik (Turku): “I was victim, but now I am survivor”: War-rape Survivors from Changing Narrative to Changing Identity 
16.30-17.00 Kaffeepause
17.00-19.00 Sektion VII: Kontexte von Opferschaft im regionalen Fokus – Viktimisierungsdiskurse in Russland
Moderation: Ulf Brunnbauer (Regensburg)
Elena Smolarz (Bonn): Repräsentationen „unglückseliger russischer Sklaven“ in Zentralasien im 19. Jahrhundert: Historisch-semantische Analyse von akademischen Konstrukten und historischen Darstellungen
Julia Herzberg (München): Eiskalt. Autokratie und politische Verbannung im Zarenreich
Tanja Penter (Heidelberg): Das Ende der Sowjetunion und die Entdeckung der Opfer
Saturday October 14, 2017

09.30-11.00 Sektion VIII: Opferdiskurse und (über-)staatliche Institutionen in globaler Perspektive
Moderation: Henning Ernst Müller (Regensburg)
Lucky Igohosa Ugbudian (Uyo): Dynamics of Victimhood. The Nigerian Perspective
Christina Ullrich (Marburg): Opfer-Anerkennung als globalisierter Normbildungsprozess? Der Fall Kambodscha
Robert Uerpmann-Wittzack (Regensburg): Viktimisierung und Empowerment, oder: Staatliche Souveränität vs. Menschenrechte – Internationales Behinderten- und Flüchtlingsrecht im Vergleich
11.00-11.20 Kaffeepause
11.20-12.30 Abschlussdiskussion
More information can be found at the website of H/SOZ/KULT

07 October 2017

ARTICLE: Oona A. HATHAWAY, William HOLSTE, Scott J. SHAPIRO, Jacqueline VAN DE VELDE & Lisa LACHOWICZ, War Manifestos (U Chicago Law Review)

International Law Reporter references the following article:

This Article is the first to examine “war manifestos,” documents that set out the legal reasons sovereigns provided for going to war from the late-fifteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries. We have assembled the world’s largest collection of war manifestos — over 350 — in languages as diverse as Classical Chinese, German, French, Latin, Serbo-Croatian and Dutch. Prior Anglophone scholarship has almost entirely missed war manifestos. This gap in the literature has produced a correspondingly large gap in our understanding of the role of war during the period in which manifestos were commonly used. Examining these previously ignored manifestos reveals that states exercised the right to wage war in ways that would be inconceivable today. In short, the right to intervene militarily could be asserted in any situation where a legal right had been violated and all peaceful channels had been explored and exhausted. The Article begins by describing war manifestos. It then explores their history and evolution over the course of five centuries, explains the purposes they served for sovereigns, shows the many “just causes” they cited for war, and, finally, considers the lessons they hold for modern legal dilemmas. The discovery of war manifestos as a set of legal documents offers lawyers and legal scholars something rare: a new window into the international legal universe of the past. That is not only valuable in itself, but it also casts entirely new light on several long-standing legal debates.

More information on SSRN.

ARTICLE: Edward CAVANAGH, Charters in the Longue Durée: The Mobility and Applicability of Donative Documents in Europe and America from Edward I to Chief Justice John Marshall, Comparative Legal History (forthcoming)

(Image source: Blogger)

Edward Cavanagh posted “Charters in the Longue Durée: The Mobility and Applicability of Donative Documents in Europe and America from Edward I to Chief Justice John Marshall” on SSRN. This article is forthcoming in Comparative Legal History, the journal of this society, published by Taylor&Francis.

 Colonial charters prompted new ways of thinking about constitutionalism, jurisdiction, and imperialism. Explaining this requires engagement with a series of micro-incidents across several hundred years of legal history. The evolution of written legalism is hereby explored from the European High Middle Ages to the early American Republican period. The article begins from the basic and uncontroversial premise that charters were valid only within the realm of a prince or overlord endorsing its issuance in the first place. If charters, like sundry other documents designed to advertise the donation or transferral of some privilege, were specific to particular jurisdictions and subjects in medieval legal history, what changed during the ‘age of discovery’? This article does not pretend to offer the definitive word on colonial charters, but rather exemplifies the kind of insights that are revealed by zooming out to appreciate legal and political change across the longue durée.
Source: Legal History Blog.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Arguing for the Rule of Law: Using the Hebrew Bible and Caricatures of Foreigners in British and Spanish America (Chicago, 26 Oct 2018); DEADLINE 8 Nov 2017

(Image source: Newberry library)

Call for Papers: Arguing for the Rule of Law: Using the Hebrew Bible and Caricatures of Foreigners in British and Spanish America
Date: Friday, October 26, 2018
Location: Newberry Library, Chicago
Deadline for Applications: November 8, 2017

This is a call for papers in anticipation of a one-day conference to be organized by Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra (University of Texas) and Richard Ross (University of Illinois)through the Symposium on Comparative Early Modern Legal History [].  The conference, to be held at the Newberry Library in Chicago on Friday, October 26, 2018, is entitled, “Arguing for the Rule of Law: Using the Hebrew Bible and Caricatures of Foreigners in British and Spanish America.”  It will address the following topic: How did settlers, imperial officials, indigenous peoples, and Africans in the New World seek to demonstrate, or disprove, that a polity respected the rule of law?  (The phrase “rule of law” is modern; but the core of the idea is not).  Colonial rule invited accusations of arbitrary government and systematic lawlessness.  This conference will focus on two common techniques used to assess whether a polity respected the supremacy of law.  First, controversialists asked whether governance accorded with God’s expectations of justice as laid out in Scripture, particularly the Hebrew Bible.  Second, caricatures of other societies could be held up to make one’s own appear lawful and just, or the reverse.  British American settlers applauded the civility of their law by reference to the presumed barbarism of the Irish and Amerindians.  They saw liberty in their exploitive legal order by opposing it to the supposed absolutism of the Spanish and French empires.  Spanish settlers justified their rule and derecho by contrasting them to the law of indigenous polities and of their New World rivals.  The conference will bring together historians, law professors, and social scientists to think about the complex debates about the rule of law in the English and Iberian Atlantic.   

Interested presenters should submit an abstract of between 200 and 500 words and a c.v. by November 8, 2017.  Please send submissions and inquiries to Richard Ross []; 217-244-7890.  No previously published work will be acceptedApplicants will be notified by email shortly after the submission deadline.  Accepted participants will be required to submit a full paper of no more than 10,000 words by the end of September 2018. Papers will be pre-circulated and read by all participants.  The conference will pay for travel and hotel expenses.  

05 October 2017

WORKSHOP: Neo-Thomism in Action. Law and Society Reshaped by Neo-Scholastic Philosophy, 1880-1960 (Leuven: KULeuven, 8-10 Oct 2017)

(image source: Meeting Leuven)

The KULeuven and the KADOC (Documentation and Research Centre for Religion, Culture and Society) organise an international workshop in the Irish College on Neo-Thomism in Action. Law and Society reshaped by neo-scholastic Philosophy, 1880-1960.


Sunday 8 October
19 h. Guided visit to the Institute of Philosophy, the Leo XIII seminar and the Sacred Hart House, by Jan De Maeyer (KU Leuven). Welcome adress by Bart Raymaekers, vice-rector of KU Leuven.

Monday 9 October

Chair: Emmanuel Gerard (KU Leuven)

Key-notes Emiel Lamberts (KU Leuven) Religious, Political and Social Settings of the Revival of Thomism (1870-1960).

James Chappel (Duke University) Contraception, Usury, and the Formation of Modern Catholic Ethics, 1880-1940.

Cajetan Cuddy, O.P. (Université de Fribourg) A Neo-Scholastic Scientific Revolution.

Jo Deferme (KU Leuven) The influence of Neo-Thomism on Catholic Social-Policy Making in Belgium, 1880-1914.

Chair: Andrea Robiglio (Institute of Philosophy KU Leuven)
Keynote Rajesh Heynickx (KU Leuven) Into Neo-Thomism. Reading the Fabric of an intellectual Movement.

Cinzia Sulas (La Sapienza, Roma)
Luigi Taparelli d’Azeglio's Thomism: semantic History of a Graft.

Erik Sengers (Bonifatiusinstitute, Diocese HaarlemAmsterdam) Joannes Aengenent: the Appeal of a thomistic Sociologist for a more humane Economy.

Jean-Pierre Delville (Diocese of Liege)
Antoine Pottier and the neo-thomist Roots of Christian-democracy.

Conference dinner (20-22 h.)

Tuesday 10 October
Chair: James Chappel (Duke University)

Piotr H. Kosicki (University of Maryland) Between Lublin and Leuven: Transnational Neo-Thomism and Europe’s Twentieth-Century Personalist 'Revolution'.

Kasper Swerts (University of Edinburgh) A forgotten Connection. The Influence of the Catholic University of Leuven and Neo-Thomism on interwar Quebec Nationalism.

Jakub Štofaník (Masaryk Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences) Reception and Adaptation of Neo-Thomism in East-central Europe, between the intellectual and social Involvement of the Catholic Church.

Chair: Cécile Vanderpelen (CIERL-ULB)

Faustino Martinez Martinez (Universidad Complutense de Madrid) Moderate, Conservative, Neo-Scholastic. Bravo Murillo’s Reformal Projects on the Spanish Constitution: Goals and Influences.

Milinda Banerjee (Presidency University Kolkata / LMU Munich) Thomas Aquinas, Neo-Thomism, and the TransnationallyEntangled Emergence of the Indian Judiciary as a PoliticoTheological Institution, 1973-2015

Adolfo Giuliani (Roma III / University of Helsinki) What a Legal Historian can learn from the Neo-Thomist Revival of John Poinsot’s Tractatus de Signis (1632-4).

Closing discussion (17-18 h.)
Panel of the keynote speakers chaired by Wim Decock (KU Leuven)

(source: Prof. dr. W. Decock (KUL/ULg))