Writing assignment

Choose an assigned reading from this week and write a 1-2 page double spaced font 12 critical summary.

Week 4 March 23: The Emergence of International Law  

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Brown, “Hugo Grotius”

Brown, “Thomas Hobbes”

Grotius, Hobbes

Development of INR – Week 3

Relationship between Natural Law and Law of Nations?
Mediated by the idea of the state of nature as the predicament of insecurity:
Natural right: self-preservation.
Natural law: the observation of promises and contracts.
For states: minimum observation of natural law in the form of consenting to agreements.
Written agreement: treaty-making
Unwritten agreements: customary law

State of Nature: the condition in which individuals find themselves in a perpetual condition of war.
Natural right to self-preservation:
We each have the right to judge what is in our interest for self-preservation.
Conflict occurs because of:
Different meanings for words in the State of Nature; no ability in the State of Nature to determine whose judgment is valid (Wolin).
Life in the state of nature: “Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”

Commonwealth by institution:
Social contract: it is the collective agreement among all individuals in the state of nature to establish:
Sovereign power
Able to speak and act for a multiplicity of people (which becomes a unified group).
The unity of sovereign power and the unified people.
Sovereign is the man or assembly that carries the person of the State.
State is the Leviathan: the mortal God on earth.
Sovereigns come and go but the State remains.

The implication: fear is displaced from the condition of the state of nature to the relation between individual and state.
What continues to bind the state is fear of a return to the State of Nature:
the relation between individual and state is one of protection in exchange for obedience.
Private vs. public conscious: does one need to truly believe (i.e. like a Christian) or does the appearance of belief suffice?
“belief and unbelief never follow men’s commands.”
Loyalty only to those that are in power?
Historical context: The Norman Yoke and the English Civil Wars
Stability should not sacrificed as a result of ‘injustice’.
The rise of the ‘mechanical’ centralized administrative state.

Dutch legal theorist 16th century;
Along with Vitoria and Gentili laid the foundation for the Law of Nations (Public European Law) on Natural Law.
Moves away from a theological conceptualization of Natural Law to a secular one.
Develops the notion of Natural Rights which becomes key for understanding human morality and law.
Notion of natural right emerged out of the massacre of St. Bartholomew (25 August 1572).
Attempted to establish limitation on the Sovereign’s power:
notion of individual right that the state cannot transgress.
Grotius: “a RIGHT is a moral quality annexed to the person, justly entitling him to possess some privilege, or to perform some particular act”

Four Fundamental Rights
1) the right for others not to take my possessions.
2) the right of restoration of property in case of injury.
3) honoring promises.
4) punish wrongdoing.

Natural Law and the Law of Nations
Natural Law emerges out of two competing ideas about human beings:
Our “sociableness”
Our desire for self-preservation.
So important are these two aspects and so ingrained are they that they would constitute Natural Law even if God didn’t exist.
Law of Nations:
Derivable from the Natural law but more specific (fills the gaps of Natural Law).
Embodied in the very rules that define inter-state behavior.
Not an objective derivation form natural law, but reflective of historical and empirical knowledge.
Emanates from the “Will” hence it is reflective of the will of political communities.

Mare Liberum (1609)
The sea belongs to all of humanity and cannot be limited to a particular power (i.e. Spain and Portugal).
Denial of a “right” to deny access.
Possession is not applicable to the sea.
Also concerned with the English claim of sovereignty over their waters.
Dutch were concerned with the Straits of Malacca for East Indian trade routes.
“Every nation is free to travel to every other nation, and to trade with it.”
The sea cannot be occupied; destined for common use – no one can dominate it.

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