Staff Contact Information

The Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights
Faculty of Law
P.O. BOX 4 (visiting address: Yliopistonkatu 3)
Tel: +358 (0)29 4123140




Martti Koskenniemi

LL.D. , Diploma in Law, Professor of International Law

P.O. Box 4, Yliopistonkatu 3, (6th floor, room 649)
00014 University of Helsinki, FINLAND
Preferred method of contact: via email
E-mail: firstname.surname(at)

Martti Koskenniemi is Academy Professor of International Law at the University of Helsinki and Director of the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights. He is presently leading a research project on “The History of International law: Empire and Religion”. Within that project Koskenniemi’s own research traces the development of thinking about the role of law in the international political world in 1300-1800. His research commences with an examination of arguments during late medieval state-formation, especially the “legists’” recourse to a political theology of French kingship in the 13th century.  He also studies the influences of Spanish scholasticism, raison d’état –thinking and (especially) political economy in international law in the relevant periods. A key role is played by the traditions of "jus naturae et gentium" in Germany, "Droit public de l'Europe" in France and the royal prerogative in external affairs in Britain. The research focuses on how the idiom of ius gentium (“law of nations”) has been used in order to buttress state power and rights of property in Europe and the colonies.

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