11 January 2022

JOURNAL: Journal of the History of International Law / Revue d'histoire du droit international XXIII (2021), No. 4 (December)


(image source: Brill)

Spotlight-Interview with Maria Adele Carrai (Raphael Schäfer & Maren Körsmeier)
DOI 10.1163/15718050-12340200
First paragraph:
JHIL’s editorial board chose as its 2021 Spotlight, the article ‘The Politics of History in the Late Qing Era: William A. P. Martin and a History of International Law for China’ by Maria Adele Carrai (Journal of the History of International Law 22(2–3) (2020), 269–305). In the following interview, we take a closer look at the article ‘under the spotlight’, the motivations of its author and the research carried out. The interview was conducted by the managing editor of the JHIL, Raphael Schäfer, and JHIL’s student assistant, Maren Körsmeier.


Isidore of Seville on ius gentium: The View of a Theologian (Bart Wauters)
DOI 10.1163/15718050-12340182

In this article, my objective is to provide an understanding of Isidore of Seville’s enormously influential definition of ius gentium in its own right. Recent studies have primarily focused on the legal aspects of Isidore’s conception of ius gentium. However, while Isidore as a man of learning was familiar with the legal categories he used, it is by no means certain that his understanding of legal concepts would match that of a contemporary jurist. Isidore was a theologian, and there are strong indications that he was more than a mere transmitter of classical knowledge. In this article, I show that he was an original thinker whose conception of ius gentium contained several innovative features that could not be fully grasped without a deep understanding of his theological ideas based on Augustine and Gregory the Great.

From Context to Content of Human Rights: The Drafting History of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Enigma of Article 7 (Misha Ariana Plagis & Lena Riemer)
DOI 10.1163/15718050-12340173 (OPEN ACCESS°

The context that leads to human rights treaties being drafted or adopted has garnered much attention, especially concerning the developments in the 1970s. However, the link to the content of those human rights treaties is often missing in the analysis. In addition, less attention has been paid to one of the major developments at the time: The adoption of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The article engages with these gaps from the perspective of the drafting process of the African Charter, using the unique wording of article 7 to illustrate four significant political and historical factors that helped determine its content.

Legislating Utopia; Louis Bara (1821–1857) and the Liberal-Scientific Restatement of International Law in the Nineteenth Century Peace Movement (Wouter De Rycke)
DOI: 10.1163/15718050-12340146

This article deals with the contribution of one exponent of the first generation of institutional pacifist internationalism to the rise of ius contra bellum. Traditionally associated with events from the late nineteenth century onwards, this significant paradigm shift knew an extensive prehistory. Legal scholarship has long dismissed the ‘peace friends’ of the mid-century as either not legalistic or solely focussed on arbitration. The article will argue that this longstanding bias has precluded a profound engagement with legal discourse within the early international peace movement. It will do so through a contextual legal analysis of the works of Louis Bara, a young Belgian lawyer who won first prize for his lengthy and controversial peace essay at the famous Paris peace conference of 1849. This neglected jurist articulated an enduring popular desire to develop a liberal international legal project, which both the peace movement and international law as a discipline increasingly internalized.

Book reviews

  • War and Peace. Alberico Gentili and the Early Modern Law of Nations, written by Valentina Vadi (Peter Schröder)
  • ‘In the Cause of Humanity’. Eine Geschichte der humanitären Intervention im langen 19. Jahrhundert, written by Fabian Klose (Miloš Vec)
Read all articles with Brill.

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