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Author: Dante Fedele

Abstract

This chapter investigates the plurality of agents involved in premodern diplomacy by considering the dialectic between juridico-political doctrines and diplomatic practice. After an initial consideration of the topic’s medieval roots, the article focuses on the literature on the ambassador in early modern times and argues that while their primary focus has always been the fully accredited official ambassador, jurists and political thinkers have inevitably also had to tackle the question of other diplomatic figures, as well as issues raised by the latter’s involvement.

In: Beyond Ambassadors
Author: Dante Fedele

Abstract

This paper explores the presence of late medieval ius commune in Grotius’s thought on the use of force in internal strife and war, based on De iure belli ac pacis (1625). To this end, it examines Grotius’s use of ius commune sources, and considers some similar sources, which he does not actually cite, but which relate to his discussion. By clarifying Grotius’s selection and use of ius commune sources, the paper intends to contribute to the achievement of a double aim: firstly, to determine the place of rebellion and civil war in De iure belli ac pacis, especially in relation to (external) war; and, secondly, to assess Grotius’s approach to the two former issues, particularly with regard to the criteria by which a distinction between rebellion and civil war can be drawn, and to the effects of this distinction.

In: Grotiana
Author: Dante Fedele

Abstract

This chapter outlines a history of the concept of ius gentium. It is intended to serve as a contribution to the intellectual history of international law, from Late Antiquity to Early Modern Times. The historical role played by the concept in the framing of international law is not easy to evaluate, as the oldest traces of Roman ‘public international law’, in the sense of law regulating relations between polities, are actually found within ius fetiale. It is, in fact, difficult to arrive at a clear understanding of ius gentium in the history of Ancient and Medieval legal thought, due to a semantic stratification dating back to Roman Antiquity: on the one hand, a fundamental ambiguity exists in the relationship between ius naturale and ius gentium (as in Gaius’ definition, Dig. 1.1.9, possibly under Ciceronian influence) – on the other, the latter, first classified as a branch of the ius privatum (Ulpian, Dig. 1.1.1.4), was later understood as including public law institutes (Hermogenian, Dig. 1.1.5) and even institutes mainly relating to foreign relations (Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae V.6 = Decretum c. 9, d. 1). The simple juxtaposition of these definitions within Justinian’s compilation and Gratian’s Decretum raised several theoretical issues for Medieval jurists, and generated a significant scholarly debate. Firstly, following Dig. 1.1.4 and Dig. 1.1.5, glossators argued that ius naturale and ius gentium – not, as would be claimed by later jurists, Roman law as a whole – formed the ius commune. Secondly, commentaries on Dig. 1.1.5 analysed the various legal institutes listed within the passage, focusing particularly on dominium and obligations. Thirdly, both jurists and theologians elaborated extensively upon the connections between ius gentium and ius naturale: they first drew a distinction between ius naturale primaevum and secundarium, and then reformulated this distinction in such a way that ius gentium itself was split into ius gentium primaevum and secundarium. Many words were to be expended on this distinction until well into Early Modern Times, in the course of a discussion which recent scholarship has studied in depth. This chapter, however, will focus less on this doctrinal debate during the the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries than on the transformation undergone by ius gentium as it developed into a ius inter gentes specifically regulating relations between political communities. Special attention will be paid to diplomatic theory, which has proven to be a particularly interesting field within which to fully evaluate the slow emergence of the state as the only legitimate subject of international law.

In: Empire and Legal Thought
Author: Dante Fedele
Dante Fedele’s new work of reference reveals the medieval foundations of international law through a comprehensive study of a key figure of late medieval legal scholarship: Baldus de Ubaldis (1327-1400). A student of Bartolus de Sassoferrato, Baldus wrote both extensive commentaries on Roman, canon and feudal law and thousands of consilia originating from particular cases. His writings dealt with numerous issues related to sovereignty, territorial jurisdiction, diplomacy and war, combining a rich conspectus of earlier scholarship with highly creative ideas that exercised a profound influence on later juristic thought. The detailed picture of the international law doctrines elaborated by a prominent medieval jurist offered in this study contributes to our understanding of the intellectual archaeology of international law.

"Dr. Fedele’s monograph will no doubt become a necessary work of reference for any scholar interested in the history of international law. [...] Beyond the specific doctrines on particular areas of international law, Dr. Fedele’s study of Baldus shows how in the area of international governance, jurists sought to marshal different expressions of normativity." - Alain Wijffels, Foreword
In: The Medieval Foundations of International Law
In: The Medieval Foundations of International Law
In: The Medieval Foundations of International Law
In: The Medieval Foundations of International Law
In: The Medieval Foundations of International Law
In: The Medieval Foundations of International Law