Time: 31.1.2020 13:00-14:00
Place: Room 229, Psychologicum (Siltavuorenpenger 1 A, 00170 Helsinki)
Martti Koskenniemi: What is the History of International Law a History of?
The idiom “international law” has been used in varying ways bearing upon the histories composed about it. For example, translated into Roman ius gentium its long pedigree includes the development of the shared principles of private law while as Droit public de l’Europe it connotes especially the diplomatic mores of European nations since the 15th century. The “law of nations” appearing in the books of philosophers and political thinkers looks very different from the professional international law known to administrators of international institutions. Is the “history of international law” a history of books or practices – and of which books, precisely, and whose practices? The talk will examine some of ways in which the notion of “international law” has been imagined in texts that purport to provide histories of that notion.