Author: Alonso Gurmendi

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...

[UPDATE: I've updated the information regarding the number of Latin American journals in the Scimago Ranking. Thanks to Sergio Verdugo for pointing out the actual numbers!] Back in May last year, I was asked to co-coordinate the 63rd issue of Ius et Veritas, a leading open-access, peer-reviewed, student-led, law journal in Peru. The way things work in Peru, law journals are...

Recently, US President Joe Biden gave a press conference where he was asked about the US’ approach to Latin America. In an I-can’t-believe-he-actually-said-this moment, Biden responded as follows: “We used to talk about, when I was a kid, in college, about ‘America’s Backyard’. It’s not America’s backyard. Everything south of the Mexican border is ‘America’s Front Yard’. And we’re equal...

[Alonso Gurmendi is a contributor for Opinio Juris and Assistant Professor at Universidad del Pacífico Law School, in Lima, Peru.] I am a long-time fan of 4X games. For the uninitiated, that stands for Explore, Expand, Exploit & Exterminate Games – a (lame) 1990s pun turned game-genre, coined by Video-Game reviewer Alan Emrich who wanted to promote his Master of Orion review by saying...

Part I set out the fundamentals of the debate, explaining that a key part of the contextualist critique of Orford’s view of legal history centres on the difference between doing history of international law and using history in international law. This is where the two sides get stuck, because Orford presents the TWAIL critique as “correctives to problems with earlier...

I am a big fan of Başak Etkin and Kostia Gorobets’ Borderline Jurisprudence podcast. I am also very interested in the intersection between law and history. Since Borderline Jurisprudence’s latest episode featured a discussion with Anne Orford on her latest book, International Law & the Politics of History(hereinafter ILPH), I could not resist to offer some comments. Anne Orford is, without a doubt, one of...

Despite the publication of the MMIWG Report and its findings of an ongoing “race-based genocide” against Canada’s First Nations, issues of indigenous genocide and (neo)colonial oppression have remained side-lined from political discourse in the rest of the American continent. In fact, the situation has arguably worsened: at the same time as Canada protested the unmarked graves of hundreds of indigenous...

My friend Chiara Redaelli has produced an impressive volume, thoroughly analysing the topic of intervention in civil wars. As others in this symposium have already pointed out, it is usually difficult to offer comments on what one mostly agrees with. In this post, therefore, apart from congratulating Chiara for a fantastic book, I wanted to add to the conversation by briefly telling the story of...

While results have not yet been officially announced, it is now a fact that Pedro Castillo, a rural farmer and schoolteacher from the town of Chota, in the northern Peruvian Andes, won Peru’s Presidential Election. Let me say this from the get-go: this is a historical moment. Peru is an immensely centralised, deeply racist country. Castillo’s meteoric rise to the...

The past few days have been dominated by the horrible images of destruction coming out of Palestine. As is painfully visible to anyone with an internet connection, Israel has been targeting residential and commercial buildings in Gaza under the argument that they are used by Hamas militants. As one tweet by the Israeli Defence Forces put it, according to Israel,...