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The Law of Nations and Natural Law 1625-1800 offers innovative studies on the development of the law of nations after the Peace of Westphalia. This period was decisive for the origin and constitution of the discipline which eventually emancipated itself from natural law and became modern international law.

A specialist on the law of nations in the Swiss context and on its major figure, Emer de Vattel, Simone Zurbuchen prompted scholars to explore the law of nations in various European contexts. The volume studies little known literature related to the law of nations as an academic discipline, offers novel interpretations of classics in the field, and deconstructs ‘myths’ associated with the law of nations in the Enlightenment.

Abstract

The paper attempts to show that Vattel established a duty of sovereigns not to interfere in the internal affairs of other states. Although Vattel did not use the terms 'interference' or 'intervention' in any technical sense of the term, it seems justified to see him as an early proponent of what is called today the principle of non-intervention. This will be evidenced by reviewing how Vattel rejected some of the arguments put forward by previous theorists of just war (Gentili, Grotius) who defended the right of European states to intervene in states of the New World in order to punish gross violations of the law of nature and nations. Arguing that the laws of war ought to be applied in reciprocal manner, Vattel questioned the distinction between 'civilized' and 'barbarian' nations on which these previous theorists relied. For him, the true 'barbarians' were those nations who fought wars without even attempting to publicly justify their behaviour.

In: Grotiana
In: Migration und Ethik
In: New Essays on the Political Thought of the Huguenots of the Refuge
In: Scholars in Action (2 vols)

Abstract

This chapter deals with the five-volume edition of Hugo Grotius’ De jure belli ac pacis, published in Lausanne by Marc-Michel Bousquet in 1751–1752, which has so far never been commented upon in the literature. This edition comprises the commentaries of Gronovius, of Barbeyrac, and of Heinrich and Samuel Cocceji (father and son). The latter’s annotations to Grotius’ work as well as the 12 dissertations of Samuel Cocceji, which make up the fifth volume of the edition, had previously been published in Breslau as Grotius illustratus. The first part of the chapter deals with the edition in the context of the teaching and literary activities of the Swiss school (or école romande) of natural law. The second part exposes the Coccejis’ radical and very pronounced critique of Grotius’ concept of the voluntary law of nations (jus gentium voluntarium) and attempts to show how this critique strengthened the naturalist account of the law of nations of Pufendorf and his successors, which was the predominant line of thought in the école romande. The Coccejis’ position seems, however, to have had no reception in the Swiss – and indeed in the broader European – context in the second half of the eighteenth century. This was probably largely due to the influence of Christian Wolff and Emer de Vattel, who resumed Grotius’ dualist account of the law of nations.

In: The Law of Nations and Natural Law 1625-1800
In: The Law of Nations and Natural Law 1625-1800
In: The Law of Nations and Natural Law 1625-1800
In: The Law of Nations and Natural Law 1625-1800