620287 :GLB: History of International Law


Voertaal Engels
Werkvorm: (Collegerooster)
Tentamenvorm: (Tentamenrooster)
Studielast:6 ECTS credits
Blackboard informatieLink to Blackboard (Als u de melding 'Guest are not allowed in this course' krijgt, dient u nog bij Blackboard in te loggen)


prof. dr. R.C.H. Lesaffer (Coordinator)

A. Delic
No photo available
I. Van Hulle

mr. H.J. Nho LLM

Doel van de cursus (alleen in het Engels beschikbaar)

After the successful completion of ‘International Legal History (GLB),’ the student is able: 1. To describe and outline the emergence, evolution and expansion of international legal systems; 2. To explicate and comprehend the ways in which law structures international systems and operates within international systems; 3. To outline and critically analyse the legal consequences of interaction, collision and integration of international systems; 4. To understand and elaborate upon the relevance of structural and cultural aspects of the international order and relate this to the nature and operation of law from an historical perspective; 5. To relate insights of international relations theory on international systems and international law to historical cases; 6. To understand, explain and discuss fundamental changes in international legal orders from a historical perspective; 7. To provide insights on international legal history in written form; 8. To answer poignant questions related to the mandatory readings during sporadic quizzes; 9. To actively discuss and debate key topics of international legal history during seminars.

Inhoud van de cursus (alleen in het Engels beschikbaar)

Since the earliest beginnings of recorded history, political entities have regulated their relations in accordance with normative and legal standards. While the dominant strand of inter-power law became the Western tradition of international law, which also had the greatest impact on current international law, throughout history almost every major civilisation also developed its own ‘international law’. The course covers the history of international law from Antiquity to the present. While the focus is on the West, the main developments relating to other civilisations (e.g. medieval Sharia law, colonial encounters, etc.) are also discussed. The evolution of international law is mainly but not solely traced through its intellectual history. The nature of international law and its relation to transnational law – the law regulating the relations between private persons belonging to different states – as well as the impact of globalisation are scrutinised.

Bijzonderheden (alleen in het Engels beschikbaar)

Open Book Written Exam (80%)

The final exam is comprised of four essay questions. The exam is open book, meaning that compulsory literature (highlighted not written on) is allowed. Notes and powerpoints are not allowed. 

Seminar Research Paper (15%) and In-Class Assignments and Participation (5%)

Students will research primary and secondary materials in order to write an short paper on a topic relevant to the history of international law. During seminars, students will be asked to participate in classroom discussions and group assignments, which will be evaluated. 

In-Class Quizzes (Bonus 5%)

Quizzes to test knowledge of the compulsory reading will be sporadically given during the lectures. Achieving a 5/10 or above on at least four quizzes will result in the bonus grade of 0.5. Students who pass less than two quizzes will loose 0.5.

Verplichte literatuur

  1. Stephen Neff, Justice among Nations. A History of International Law, Harvard University Press, 2014.
  2. - Sourcebook History of International Law, edited by Randall Lesaffer, to be downloaded from Blackboard, Course Documents, Sourcebook..
  3. - Text by Randall Lesaffer, ‘Europe whole and free’ (draft chapter for book in progress), to be found on Blackboard as a pdf under course documents..
  4. Relevant articles for seminars will be included in the seminar syllabus on Blackboard.

Verplicht voor

  • Global Law track Global Law ( 2017 )