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  • Author: Rose Parfitt
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The editors of this impressive and timely volume, Anne Peters and Bardo Fassbender, begin their Introduction (at 2) with the following statement of purpose: [W]e, the editors and authors, [have] tried to depart from ... the 'well-worn paths' of how the history of international law has been written so far — that is, as a history of rules developed in the European state system since the 16th century which then spread to other continents and eventually the entire globe.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Nahed Samour
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Overcoming Eurocentrism is one of the self-proclaimed aims of the editors of The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law. In the following, I shall offer a critique of the Handbook from a largely Islamic international law perspective as (but) one example of a supranational non-European legal system. The depth of the volume covering a variety of times, spaces, and themes provides us with a much awaited tool against the 'gaps' and the 'forgetfulness' of how today's doctrines and practices of international law came about, not shying away from the voices that question the narrative of international law serving peace and justice. The Handbook is therefore laudable for a number of things.
  • Topic: International Law, Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Will Hanley
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The Oxford Handbook is a welcome and necessary intervention in the history of international law. In the introduction, the editors signal their reformist programme: out with the progressive, triumphalist narrative; in with the dark side of international law and its side tracks outside the European experience. In addition to this programme, the project displays two further signs of its serious intent to change the field. First, the authors embarked on a truly collective project, including a week of face-to-face consultation, in a rare effort to define a reasonably unified agenda. Scholarly redirection is a social as well as an intellectual undertaking, and the community built around this volume marks its purposefulness. Secondly, the book's scope is massive: more than five dozen chapters, more than three dozen authors, and more than 1,000 pages of text provide the bulk necessary to accomplish the paradigm shift that the editors intend. The extensive range of the book, especially in its 'Regions' section, does what is necessary to transform globalizing intent into actuality. It is a foundational volume, and any scholarly edifice building upon it will have a broader footprint than was previously possible.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Anne-Charlotte Martineau
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Last Spring, the Rechtskulturen programme, an initiative of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin at the Transregionale Studien Forum, invited me to participate in a symposium on the Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law – a robust book of 1250 pages. I was asked to 'critically assess' the Handbook's 'global history' approach, that is, to assess whether it was a successful step in 'overcoming Eurocentrism' in the history of international law. The symposium turned out to be a wonderful event, a gathering of historians, anthropologists, political scientists, and lawyers, where I became very conscious of my own professional language but where I also experienced a willingnesss to transcend disciplinary boundaries and biases. The following remarks should be interpreted as a continuation of that discussion. Before looking at some of the contributions in the Handbook that did depart from 'well-worn paths' (to use the editors' expression) (3), I would like to say few words about the 'global history' approach (1) and the unfortunate resilience of Eurocentric voices in the Handbook (2).
  • Topic: International Law
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Anne Peters, Bardo Fassbender
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: As we remarked in the Introduction to our Handbook, it is exciting but also risky to leave a well-worn path (at 2). It means meeting unforeseen obstacles. We were quite aware of the fact that if we wanted to shed light on historical developments in international law which so far had remained in darkness or obscurity, we had to be prepared to encounter the unexpected and not so readily understood – that is, accounts and narratives which call into question conventional wisdom and which, at least initially, pose additional problems rather than providing easy answers. We knew that new research on issues which had rarely been examined before would not be perfect or 'complete'. In other words, we expected, and in fact expressly invited, criticism of a work which tried to break new ground.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Susannah Wilcox
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: There is growing evidence that climate change-related impacts like rising sea levels, higher storm surges, and changing rainfall patterns are exacerbating existing vulnerabilities like poverty, isolation, and resource scarcity, and may eventually leave small island states uninhabitable, causing the displacement of entire populations. Among those particularly at risk are low-lying coral atoll states like Kiribati, Tuvalu, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean, and the Republic of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean.
  • Topic: Poverty
  • Political Geography: Europe, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, Maldives
  • Author: Anne Orford
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: International law emerged as a professional academic specialization in a 19th century European context of wide-ranging public debates about the nature and cultural significance of science. Ever since, the status of international law as an academic discipline has been intimately connected with the capacity of international lawyers to demonstrate that our discipline is properly scientific. Yet the ideals of science upon which international lawyers have drawn in seeking to demonstrate the scientific nature of our work have not remained static. This article explores how those shifting ideals of science have shaped the concerns, questions, methods, and theories adopted by professional legal scholars in different times and places, including the 19th century Cambridge of Whewell, the 20th century Vienna of Kelsen, the post-war New Haven of McDougal and Lasswell, and the globally networked university of the 21st century. In returning to the historical debates out of which today's highly stylized versions of positivist and policy-oriented international law emerged, the article shows that while scholars of international law have shared a commitment to scientific values of rationality, progress, and objectivity, they have understood those commitments as requiring different forms of conduct, different means of producing knowledge, and different relations to the state.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Wolfgang Hoffmann-Riem
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The article analyses the activities of the European Commission for Democracy through Law. Addressed are the standards applied in the Commission's opinions, especially on constitutional provisions and other legal norms or drafts. The article looks at the impact that these (non-binding) opinions have on the states concerned as well as on the European Court of Human Rights. Though recommendations are sometimes disregarded, most states do react positively, at least in part. To some extent the Commission could enhance the effect of its opinions by joining forces with other relevant institutions in the field, especially the Council of Europe and the European Commission. Endorsing and implementing recommendations gives states an opportunity to share in the reputation that comes with being part of a community founded on Human Rights, the Rule of Law, and Democracy. An overall assessment is made of the Commission's approach to its work.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jochen von Bernstorff
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Mark Mazower provides us with a very readable and highly stimulating intellectual history of Western internationalism starting with the Vienna Congress in 1815 and ending in 2012 with the ongoing Syrian civil war. The historical analysis focuses not only on the philosophical and political currents at the heart of 19th and 20th century internationalism but also on how Anglo-Saxon politicians and high ranking civil servants viewed and shaped international institutions during these two centuries; all of this is full of interesting biographical findings, illustrative contemporary quotations, and insightful historical judgement.
  • Topic: Civil War
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Milan Kuhli
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The book The Hidden Histories of War Crimes Trials – edited by Kevin Jon Heller and Gerry Simpson – is a compilation of 21 contributions to a conference convened in Melbourne at the end of 2010. The project aims at a scholarly recovery of accounts of war crimes trials that were ‘either neglected or under-rehearsed’ (at 1) in the discipline of international criminal law. Accordingly, the contributions tell ‘stories about familiar but under-explored and misunderstood landmarks in the conventional history of international criminal law’ as well as about trials that have been less analysed in this field (at 1). Gregory S. Gordon’s illustrative chapter on the trial of Peter von Hagenbach (chapter 2) is a story of the first kind, whereas Benjamin E. Brockman-Hawe’s comprehensive account of the Franco-Siamese tribunal for the Colonial Era (chapter 3) exemplifies the latter type.
  • Topic: International Law, War
  • Political Geography: Europe