Consent and the Ethics of International Law Revisiting Grotius’s System of States in a Secular Setting

In: Grotiana
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  • 1 Public Law, Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany

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In this article Grotius’s perception of the legal relevance of consent is analysed with respect to its ongoing importance for an ethical fundament of public international law. It is argued that Grotius views the function of consent as an aspect of human law, which is limited, but also supported by what he views as the overarching framework of divine law. This can be particularly illustrated by Grotius’s idea of a duty of granting consent: such duty reflects the ethical quality of individual interaction within international law.