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Grotian Moments and Appeals to Authority in Law and History

In: Grotiana
Authors:
Matthew Cleary Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg, Germany

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Pablo Nicolas Dufour Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg, Germany

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Emanuele Salerno Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg, Germany

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Mark Somos Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg, Germany

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Abstract

This article examines whether the publication of Hugo Grotius’s De iure belli ac pacis (ibp) constitutes a Grotian Moment. After a brief sketch of ibp’s early reception, we focus on the book’s uses in teaching, identifying and creating international law in the twenty-first century, and that ibp’s authority looms large in State practice, in opinio iuris, and in both scholarly and applied understandings of customary international law. While the publication of ibp meets the technical definition of a Grotian Moment, unquestioned invocations of ibp’s authority and contents are anachronistic and should be discontinued.

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