vrijdag, juli 22, 2016

PRE-ORDER Books on the Belgian-Dutch 1815 Constitution and on Legal argumentation and Diplomacy

(image source: Wikimedia Commons)

In the Fall, two collective books with papers by your humble servant will come out:

1. A. ALEN, D. HEIRBAUT, A. W. HERINGA & M. C. J. ROTTEVEEL MANSVELD (eds.). De Grondwet van het Verenigd Koninkrijk der Nederlanden van 1815. Staatkundige en historische beschouwingen uit België en Nederland. Den Haag/Brugge: Boom Juridische Uitgevers/Die Keure, 2016, 258 p. ISBN 9789462901810, € 49.

My contribution "Bij uitsluiting aan den Souverein, zonder eenige de minste ruggenspraak ?’ Soevereiniteit, grondwet en volkenrecht, van Verenigd Koninkrijk der Nederlanden tot Koninkrijk België" is an analysis of the discussions on the competence for foreign powers within the 1815 constitutional committee. It shelds light on checks on monarchical power, and on the link between Southern ("Belgian") conservative criticism on William I and later, Northern, liberal criticism of the same provision in the 1815 Constitution.

The book contains contributions by renowned experts on constitutional law and political history (A. Alen, A.W. Heringa, F. Stevens, E. Witte, R. Aerts... full list of speakers here) and will be an invaluable addition to any bookshelf.

The work can be pre-ordered for € 49 with Boom Juridische Uitgevers (here).

2. N. DROCOURT & E. SCHNAKENBOURG (dir.). Thémis en diplomatie : l’argument juridique dans les relations internationales de l’antiquité tardive à la fin du XVIIIe siècle [Collection "Histoire", ISSN 1255-2364]. Rennes: Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2016.

My paper "Équilibre et hiérarchie : l’argument juridique dans la diplomatie française et anglaise après la Paix d’Utrecht" (pp. 67-83) is presented as follows:
The Peace Treaties of Utrecht, Rastatt and Baden (1713-1715) marked the end of a century of bloodshed caused by wars among European monarchs. The exceptional period of stability from the War of the Spanish Succession to the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748), and the War for Jenkins’ Ear (1739-1748), has not yet received a satisfying overarching interpretation in the historiography. This article argues that part of the answer lies in a legal reading of the available diplomatic sources (I). Historiography of international law has thus far focused mainly on doctrine and published treaties. This contrasts with the importance accorded in present-day international law to States’ practices. Whereas lawyers recognise the importance of state acceptance and norm opposability, legal historians tend to leave this important element to diplomatic history. Yet, legal questions dominated both negotiations on the Spanish Succession (1659-1715) and the implementation of the peace treaties (1713-1740). Late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century diplomacy thus demonstrates the need for further research on the legal structure of diplomatic argument. Stability in Europe was only achieved through renunciation declarations, entrenched in public international law (II). In the French case, Philip V’s declaration was seen as a violation of loix fondamentales. Britain, on the other hand, needed international support in applying the 1701 Act of Settlement. Consequently, the consistent application of norm hierarchy between treaty law and internal law was the leitmotiv for Franco-British joint efforts to enforce the Utrecht consensus (III), starting with the bilateral Franco-British Alliance (1716), and the Triple (1717) and Quadruple Alliances (1718). The 1720s and 1730s witnessed an erosion of political backing for these policies. Yet, the combination of balance of power and norm hierarchy discourse survived during the War of the Polish Succession (1733-1738).
The book contains contributions by A. Becker, A. Beihammer, M. Bélissa, L. Bély, N. Drocourt, E. Fiocchi Malaspina, D. Gaurier, M. Kintzinger,  S. Lloret, E. Malamut, F. Micallef, J.-M. Moeglin, E. Nechaeva, S. Péquignot, E. Schnakenbourg, M. Schynder, F. Ternat, F. Toth, M.-C. Vignal-Souleyreau & N. Sallés Vilaseca. It is announced on the Fnac website for € 23.

maandag, juli 04, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: Revue Historique nr. 678/2 (Apr 2016), pp. 432-434

 (image source: CAIRN)

Eric Schnakenbourg (Nantes) reviewed my book Balance of Power and Norm Hierarchy. Franco-British Diplomacy after the Peace of Utrecht for the April issue of the Revue Historique, pages 432 to 434.

The fulltext can be consulted in open access on cairn.info.

Both of my books (see right side of this blog) were signalled in Bernardo J. Garcia Garcia's article "El tricentenario de los tratados de Utrecht, Rastatt y Baden (1712-1715)" in the Cuadernos de Historia Moderna XLI (2016), No. 1, pp. 199-224. Link here.

ESCLH Conference Gdansk

(image: Gdansk Faculty of Law and Administration)
The 4th Biennal Conference of the European Society for Comparative Legal History was held in Gdansk (Poland) last week. The organisers hosted a wonderful conference in the "three cities" (Gdansk, Gdynia, Sopot) by the Baltic shores. Especially the first day, in the Artus Court and Town hall, will be remembered. The conference started with a traditional gunsalvo in the magnificent Gothic Hall and featured inter alia meetings with Borislav Komorowski (president from 2010 to 2015) and the legendary Lech Walesa.

 (Gdansk Town Hall)

On the scientific side, the conference theme Culture, Identity and Legal Instrumentalism hosted multiple comparative legal historical panels, ranging from the history of commercial law to codification and constitutional culture. The keynotes by Ulrike Müssig (the Polish 1791 and American 1787 constitution, Passau, reply by my former supervisor Dirk Heirbaut, Gent) and Marju Luts-Sotak (split dominium, Tartu, reply by former International Franqui-Professor in Ghent Heikki Pihlajamäkki, Helsinki) illustrate the diversity of topics covered by the society and its members' research. 

I presented a paper on the Belgian publicist Jan-Jozef Raepsaet (1750-1831) in a panel on "constitutional high points in the low countries", with colleagues Klaas Van Gelder (UGent/FWO) and Brecht Deseure (Passau/VUB) and had the pleasure to chair a session on "axiological constitutionalism and 19th century identity building", with speakers Imre Kepessy (Budapest), Judit Beke-Martos (Bochum) and Stefan Huygebaert (UGent/FWO). The full program can be found here.

Finally, the Society honoured me greatly with the attribution of the Biennal Van Caenegem Prize 2016 for best article published in Comparative Legal History by a scholar under the age of 38. The article in question has been published in the first issue of the journal's third volume and treats the Belgian legal scholar Ernest Nys (ULB) and his role during the Great War (see earlier on this blog).

(Van Caenegem Prize Award)

The conference was at the same time an occasion to discover the city of Günter Grass and the Hanse, or to visit the impressive castle of Marienburg, a Unesco World Heritage Site.