History of International Law

Dr Amina Adanan initiated a conference on the 1943-1948 United Nations War Crimes Commission (UNWCC)  involving both her own, Maynooth University School of Law and Criminology, and the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy in SOAS. The online conference included presentations from scholars in a range of disciplines, including law, history, international relations and political science and was organised by Dr Adanan and SOAS’s Prof. Dan Plesch,...

[Karin Loevy is a fellow at NYU School of Law, where she serves as the manager JSD Program. She is also a researcher at the Institute for International Law and Justice (IILJ) where she leads the History & Theory of International Law workshop series. Her current work is in history of international law in the Middle East in the period leading to the mandate system.] One thing that...

[Katharine Fortin is an Associate Professor at the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights, Utrecht University. She is the founder and co-editor of the Armed Groups and International Law blog.]  The author is grateful to comments from Brianne McGonigle Leyh and Vivek Bhatt on an earlier draft of this post. Reading Boyd van Dijk’s Preparing for War at a time when the prospect of...

[Andrew Clapham is a Professor of International Law at the Geneva Graduate Institute. He has been a Commissioner with the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan since 2017. He is an Honorary Member of the International Commission of Jurists. In 2021 he published a book entitled War.] Preparing for War is a fascinating read. Dr Boyd van Dijk takes us to the heart...

[Doreen Lustig is a Senior Lecturer at Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law. She studies the history and theory of international law, global governance and constitutional law. She is the author of Veiled Power: International Law and the Private Corporation 1886-1980 (Oxford University Press, 2020).] Preparing for War is an insightful account of the history of the drafting of the four...

So far, the 2020s have been a great decade for books on the history of international humanitarian law. 2020 saw the publication of Giovani Mantilla’s exceptional Lawmaking Under Pressure, on the history of Common Article 3; 2021 gave us Samuel Moyn’s Humane, a powerful critique on the idea that war can be humanised; and now 2022 starts off with Boyd van Dijk’s Preparing for War. I...

Over the coming five days, we are happy to host a book symposium on Boyd van Dijk’s new book, Preparing for War: The Making of the Geneva Conventions, published by Oxford University Press. In addition to comments from van Dijk himself, we have the honor to hear from this list of renowned scholars and practitioners: Eyal Benvenisti, Andrew Clapham, Doreen Lustig, Katharine Fortin, Karin Loevy...

Announcements ABILA - Crisis in Ukraine: International Law and Accountability: The ABILA ICC Committee is pleased to co-sponsor a virtual panel on Crisis in Ukraine: International Law and Accountability on Thursday, March 31 at 12:15-1:45 pm ET. Given the tragic outbreak of war in Ukraine and Russia’s flagrant violation of the UN Charter and ongoing commission of crimes, this panel will...

What is the difference between a Marxist and a TWAILer (except for the class element)?Julia Emtseva, Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute* Posed on twitter, this question about Third World Approaches to International Law triggered a flurry of responses. 'Many TWAILers are grounded in historical materialism'; 'it’s about the ‘ultimate’ power relations…to TWAIL, it’s empire-colony, or race'; and 'most TWAIL draws heavily...

A Comment on Shiri Krebs’ chapter “The Invisible Frames Affecting Wartime Investigation: Legal Epistemology, Metaphors, and Cognitive Biases” [Emiliano J. Buis is a Professor of Public International Law at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) and at the Central University of the Province of Buenos Aires (UNICEN), and researcher at the National Research Council for Science and Technology (CONICET)] Introduction Shiri...

Introduction to the Symposium on Andrea Bianchi and Moshe Hirsch (eds), International Law’s Invisible Frames: Social Cognition and Knowledge Production in International Legal Processes (OUP 2021) [Alexandra Hofer is an assistant professor in public international law at Utrecht University and affiliated researcher at the Ghent Rolin-Jaequemyns International Law Institute (GRILI)] In their thought-triggering project, Andrea Bianchi and Moshe Hirsch bring together sixteen chapters that, each in...