dinsdag, februari 19, 2019

BOOK REVIEW: Howell A. LLOYD, Jean Bodin, This Pre-Eminent Man of France. An Intellectual Biography (Oxford: OUP, 2017) (Revue Belge de Philologie et d'Histoire/Belgisch Tijdschrift voor Filologie en Geschiedenis XCV (2017), nr. 4, pp. 1074-1082)

(image source: OUP)

I had the pleasure to review Howell A. Lloyd's excellent Jean Bodin, This Pre-Eminent Man of France for the RBPH-BTFG. The result can be found on the pages 1044 to 1052 of the fourth issue of the ninety-fifth volume of this journal. The text will appear in open access on Persée with a moving wall.

(see BTFG Website)

woensdag, januari 09, 2019

CONFERENCE PAPER: "The External Monarch: War Powers in the Droit public de l'Europe" [Conference Monarchy & Modernity, 1500-1945] (Cambridge: University of Cambridge, 8-9 JAN 2019)

(image source: conference website)

I presented a paper at the conference Monarchy & Modernity, 1500-1945 held in Cambridge today and yesterday.

The External Monarch: Royal War Powers in the Public Law of Europe

The power to declare war and make peace was one of the essential competences of old regime sovereigns. For Thomas Paine, continuous old regime warfare was an easy pretext to sideline national representations, and to rule without bonds.[1] The ‘modern’ American (1787) and French (1791) constitutions tied the executive branch to the legislators’ consent when declaring war.[2]
Yet, the reality was more nuanced, and these principles did not prevail everywhere. In Britain, cessions of territory were tied to parliamentary consent.[3] In Sweden, the Riksdag needed to consent in monarchical decisions regarding war and peace. By contrast, the “absolute” courts of Vienna, St Petersburg and Berlin were taken as an example to shield monarchs as William I of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands from parliamentary control in foreign affairs.[4]
Treatises on the law of nations provide a synthesis of the different solutions provided in the “Public Law of Europe”. Moreover, the horizontal conduct of international relations is affected by internal constitutional change, through the theory of recognition. [5]
I propose to examine the monarch’s position in the works of Georg Friedrich von Martens (1756-1821) and Johann Ludwig Klüber (1762-1837), emblematic figures of the so-called “positivist” school of international law.[6], against the backdrop of continuity with 18th century law of nations theory[7] and  resistance against the later establishment of the nationality principle.[8]

[1] Thomas Paine, Rights of Man Being an Answer to Mr. Burke’s Attack on the French Revolution. By Thomas Paine (printed for J S Jordan, 1791) 159–160.
[2] Marc Belissa, fraternité universelle et intérêt national (1713-1795) : Les cosmopolitiques du droit des dens (Kimé 1998); Willem Theo Oosterveld, The Law of Nations in Early American Foreign Policy. Theory and Practice from the Revolution to the Monroe Doctrine (Brill/Nijhoff 2016).
[3] David Armitage, ‘Parliament and International Law in the Eighteenth Century’ in Julian Hoppit (ed), Parliaments, nations and identities in Britain and Ireland, 1660-1850 (Manchester University Press 2003).
[4] Frederik Dhondt, ‘Inaugurating a Dutch Napoleon? Conservative Criticism of the 1815 Constitution of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands’ in Ulrike Müssig (ed), Reconsidering Constitutional Formation II: Decisive Constitutional Normativity. From Old Liberties to New Precedence, vol 12 (Springer 2018).
[5] Martin Clark, ‘A Conceptual History of Recognition in British International Legal Thought’ British Yearbook of International Law (published online at https://doi.org/10.1093/bybil/bry003).
[6] Martti Koskenniemi, ‘Into Positivism: Georg Friedrich Martens (1756-1821) and Modern International Law’ (2008) 15 Constellations 189; Georg Friedrich von Martens, Précis du droit des gens moderne de l’Europe fondé sur les traités et l’usage. Pour servir d’introduction à un politique et diplomatique (3rd edn, Dieterich 1821); Johann Ludwig Klüber, Droit des gens moderne de l’Europe (J G Cotta 1819).
[7] Emer de Vattel, Le droit des gens, ou principes de la loi naturelle, appliqués à la conduite & aux affaires des Nations & des Souverains (s.n 1758); Emmanuelle Jouannet, Emer de Vattel et l’émergence doctrinale du droit international classique (Pédone 1998); Gaspard Réal de Curban, La Science du Gouvernement, t. 5: contenant le droit des gens, qui traite les Ambassades; de la Guerre; des Traités; des Titres; des Prérogatives; des Prétentions, & des droits respectifs des souverains (Les libraires associés 1764); David Armitage, Foundations of Modern International Thought (Cambridge UP 2012).
[8] Terenzio Mamiani della Rovere, Rights of Nations, or, the New Law of European States Applied to the Affairs of Italy (Roger Acton tr, Jeffs 1860); Werner Daum and others (eds), Handbuch der europäischen Verfassungsgeschichte im 19. Jahrhundert: Institutionen und Rechtspraxis im gesellschaftlichen Wandel. Bd. 2: 1815-1847, vol 2 (Dietz ; 2012).

More information on the conference website.

vrijdag, januari 04, 2019

OPINIE: Macron en het riskante referendum (De Morgen, 4 Januari 2019)

Ik schreef een stukje voor De Morgen over de turbulenties van het eindejaar en de blijvende spanningen in het presidentiële systeem van de Vijfde Republiek.

Eerste paragraaf:
Emmanuel Macron deed op 10 december een aantal opmerkelijke beloftes om de gilets jaunes te sussen: een extra toelage voor wie het minimumloon krijgt en een belofte om via een groot nationaal debat de vertrouwenscrisis in de politiek op te lossen. Het Elysée denkt dat de kiezers niet goed begrepen hebben waarvoor ze hebben gestemd in 2017: een omvattend programma van hervormingen dat de Franse economie bij de beste leerlingen van de klas moet brengen.
Lees meer hier.

woensdag, december 12, 2018

REVIEW: Christophe Wampach (Bonn) on Balance of Power and Norm Hierarchy. Franco-British Diplomacy after the Peace of Utrecht (Brill, 2015)

(image source: De Gruyter)

A review of my book Balance of Power and Norm Hierarchy. Franco-British Diplomacy after the Peace of Utrecht (Brill, 2015) appeared in the Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte. Kanonistische Abteilung CIV (2018), nr. 1 (DOI 10.26498/zrgka-2018-1040130).

dinsdag, december 11, 2018

RADIO: interview op Radio 1 (de Ochtend) over Macron's toespraak van 10 december 2018

(bron afbeelding: Libération)

Ik sprak vanochtend met Xavier Taveirne (de Ochtend/Radio 1) over de concessies van Emmanuel Macron aan de "Gilets Jaunes".

Wie wil, kan dit hier herbeluisteren (vanaf 41:28).

VRTNWS publiceerde een uitgeschreven versie later op de dag (hier).

maandag, december 10, 2018

CALL FOR PAPERS: XXVth Annual Forum of Young Legal Historians (Brussels: VUB/ULB/USL, 5-8 JUNE 2019); DEADLINE 15 JAN 2019

Identity, Citizenship and Legal History

XXVth Annual Forum of Young Legal Historians
Brussels, 5 – 8 June 2019

(image source: Wikimedia Commons)

Historically, the concept of citizenship encompassed three distinct, yet interconnected dimensions. The first and foremost dimension was of a legal nature: citizenship was a legal status which allowed one to act freely in accordance with the law and, when necessary, to claim its protection. In its second dimension citizenship presupposed one’s active participation in society’s political institutions. And last, though certainly not least, citizenship was closely linked to membership of a specific community that provided a distinct source of identity. All three dimensions were closely related to each other. This can perhaps be most aptly exemplified in the ancient boast of ‘Civis romanus sum!’, which encapsulated simultaneously a plea for legal rights, a republican sense of duty, and a distinctly Roman feeling of the imperial pride. Since the nineteenth century, these dimensions have been linked predominantly to the modern nation-state, a model which is nowadays increasingly challenged on the internal as well as the external level. Internally, many states are seen to be struggling with federalism, separatist movements, legacies of colonialism and right-wing identity politics. Externally, today’s governments are confronted with issues, such as climate change, demographic shifts, migration streams and a global and interdependent economic system, that require international cooperation or even supranational institutions.

The XXVth Annual Forum of the Young Legal Historians aims to shed light on these questions by looking at the legal history of the closely intertwined concepts of citizenship and legal history. Throughout history, citizenship and identity has been defined in different ways and at different levels. For instance, in antiquity the often smallish Greek poleis could hardly be compared to the expansive Roman Empire. Medieval life in Europe consisted of a feudal patchwork of kingdoms, principalities and free city-states, yet all were considered part of Christendom. Identity could also be determined by social class (e.g. aristocratic families) or by profession (e.g. the guilds). The nineteenth century saw the rise of nationalism and revolution, whilst at the same time European powers expanded their colonial empires. Despite these evolutions, it cannot be denied that there is also much continuity to be found. Although diversity and globalisation have reached an unprecedented scale and form today, these phenomena are not entirely new. Each era has had its international relations, its trades, wars, economic discrepancies, migrants and refugees.

There is, in short, enough reason to expect that we can learn from history. Such an endeavour necessitates a multidisciplinary approach since legal constructions can be fully appreciated only when combined with insights from the related fields of history, philosophy, political science and sociology. Therefore, the organizers welcome both traditional approaches in legal history and methodologically innovative research.

If you would like to present a paper during the conference, please send an application including an abstract of not more than 250 words and your CV to aylh2019@gmail.com before 15 January 2019. It is also possible to apply for a full panel. In that case, your proposal should also include, in addition to individual paper proposals, an abstract introducing the theme of the panel. Presentations have to be in English and should not exceed 20 minutes each. The conference fee will be € 100,- and does not include accommodation. Further information about the upcoming forum can be found at the website of the conferenceInformation about the Association of Young Legal Historians and the past Annual Forums is available at the AYLH-website.

We look forward to welcoming you to Brussels.

Wouter De Rycke (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, CORE)
Marco in ’t Veld (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, CORE)
Maxime Jottrand (Université libre de Bruxelles, CHDAJ)
Romain Landmeters (Université Saint-Louis Bruxelles, CRHiDI)

Stephanie Plasschaert (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, CORE)
This conference received the generous support of the Committee for Legal History of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts.

(source: ESCLH Blog)

zondag, december 09, 2018

COMMENTAAR: Twee lessen uit vier weekends gilets jaunes (De Morgen, 9 December 2018)

(bron afbeelding: De Morgen)

Ik becommentarieerde voor De Morgen de protestbeweging in Frankrijk.

Eerste paragraaf:
Frankrijk is nog steeds in de ban van de gilets jaunes. Toch kunnen we twee vaststellingen doen, die elkaar versterken. De eerste is dat Emmanuel Macron de sociale kloof tussen gegoede en minder gegoede middenklasse zwaar heeft onderschat. Nicolas Hulot, die als minister voor Ecologische Transitie dramatisch ontslag nam uit de regering, ging al bij het begin van de gele hesjes-beweging op tv om uit te leggen hoezeer Macron zich vergist had. Wie ecologie gebruikt als een smoes om de belastingen op de kleine man op te drijven, slaat tegelijk zijn voor- en achterruit in.
Lees verder hier.