Class 1 international Law
It’s not a new law, it’s been around forever. It’s an accumulation or layers.
History provides the background of an element. This is why we’re going over the history
in the first class.
It’s important to know it because it helps you interpret and understand current laws.
Interplay between history and interpretation?
1SUM OF METHODS OR DEVICES WHICH GIVE AN ELEMNT OF
PREDICTIBILITY. (This goes back 3 to 4 thousand years B.C) this should go back to the
essence. To predict what is acceptable and what isn’t to avoid conflicts.
2SUBSTANTIVE CODE OF CONDUCT THAT WOULD APPLY TO NATIONS
(content and rules, codes of conducts defining what is acceptable and isn’t and
specifically to nations). Narrower than first one…this one fast forwards to the end of
antiquity (early stages of middle age around Constantinople era)
3SET OF SUBSTANTIVE PRINCIPLES THAT WOULD APPLY UNIQUELY TO
STATES AND THEIR QUALITY OF STATES (articulates the notion of state…goes a bit
further than nations and etc.) Thth is at the emergence of State and state is subject to
international law so around the 17 century. **STATE** distinctive notion.
4MORE ENCOMPASSIONG VISION OF INTERNATIONAL LAW UNIFYING
STATES UNDER A COMMUNITY GOVERNED BY THE RULE OF LAW ..19 TH
CENTURY **single community of states under the rule of law 19 century**
5LEGISLATIVE AND JUDICIAL DECISIONS OF A WORLD GOVERNMENT
RELATE THESE ON THE EXAM. RECONNECT THEM WITH THEIR ERAS
Now we’re going to the first one. Beginning of civilization. Based on the sum of methods
aND DEVICES THAT GIVE AN ELEMENT OF PREDICTIBILITY TO
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, we can go back to Mesopotamia, B.C., Northern India
Vedic, and finally classical Greece (Plato and Socrates era). THESE ARE THE 3
EXAMPLES RELEVANT TO WHEN INTERNATIONAL LAW STARTED.
They were constuted, into dense networks of independent states that would share similar
religious and cultural value systems (all 3 were marked by political fragmentation and
cultural unity ) EXAMPLE ATHENS AND SPARTHA…spoke same language and had
some save cultural values but hated each other. Use this on exam Political
fragmentation but cultural unity
Three particular areas provide evidence of this development :
1Diplomatic relations (Persian and Roman Empire. Or example of the guy hanging out
at the embassy)
3Conduct of War: Protocols to follow if you wanted to declare war. (4) This one is specific to Greek city0States and that is arbitration of disputes.
An important treaty text was between Egypt and Hittite from the 13 century B.C which
concerned an imperial division of spheres of influence, but also dealt with the extradition
of fugitives USING GODS ON THE TREATY.
Rome was the supreme exemplar of a multinational exemplar. Idea that there was a
certain rule of conduct for ALL human societies (this is taken for granted today but it was
a breakthrough by Aristotle back in the day). Romans used this idea which was used a lot
by the stoic school. They saw the world as a single “citystate” where all human beings
were part of a community governed by “the law of nature” seen through the writings of
Cicero. Everything was connected in some way.
Universal and eternal law was later adopted by TWO GROUPS (reuding the roman
2The Christian Church
Justinian code on how law should articulate itself.
**Distinction between natural law and law of peoples** first viewed as articulation of
natural law to human beings and later grew to be autonomous and even opposing it at
THE MIDDLE AGES: THE NATURAL LAW ERA
Reiterating that it came back through the Roman lawyers and the Catholic Church.
Feudalism: Infinitely decentralized interlocking layers of rights and duties and its
diffusion of governmental powers and jurisdiction.
They tried finding a set of principles applying to both of them by reviving roman law.
They have political fragmentation and feudalism vs. the other side saying we can’t just
have a million different laws so we search for universalism (which reemerged natural
It helped increase the influence of the catholic church (because they were as universal as
it gets). The natural law governs EVERYTHING which is great when you’re on a power
quest. There was a tension between the natural law and the law of the peoples: how to
articulate the relationship. It started as the law of the peoples being an extension of the
IMPORTANT DISTINCTION LISTEN TO READING : natural law being the law of
EVERYTHING and the law of peoples being a specific and isolated bubble that would
live and grow and evolve by itself where connecting to natural law would later become
difficult. Articulation that evolved in the middle ages where the law of peoples became
more specific on a human individual to individual scope or basis. It grew to become a
way of viewing the law of nations. SO THESE TWO SETS OF RULES KIND OF
CONVERGED TRYING TO REGULATE THE LAW OF NATIONS. HOWEVEER
THIS IS STILL UNCLEAR FOR NOW SINCE WE ARE STILL IN THE MIDDLE
AGES. Example: JUST WAR DOCTRINE: idea that states could wage war in an acceptable way
by selfdefense (would be viewed as morally just). However you couldn’t do it to
conquer or oppress. THIS IS TAKING SHAPE DURNG THE MIDEVIL TIMES
THE ITALIAN CITYSTATES:
Powerful cities during the renaissance broke down into citystates.
They had tensions that they often had to settle without war.
Frederick the 1 lost a few important battles and therefore granted substantial de facto
independence to citystates.
How to articulate this sovereignty : These citystates had conquered sufficient autonomy
to be deemed self governing and independent of one another although while remaining
subjects of the roan empire. Their relation towards nonroman empire entities still went
through the Roman Empire but amongst each other they were independent to one another
(THE IMAGE OF FEDERALISM). It’s an image of international law to these city states
individuals where they are subject to their city’s laws while their sovereigns have to be
mindful of Roman Empire’s rules when they are making their own laws.
Developments in State Practice
They create the law and their practice is important in interpreting it.
1)Reciprocal guarantees of fair treatment during the enactment of treaties were
innovations in State practice (bilateral treaties that spelled out various reciprocal
guarantees of fair treatment).
2)Also in Maritime trading, which made use of the laws of Oleron. Which were codes
that governed the broad range of maritime activities, including the earliest rules of the