On Wednesday 23 May, the WIPSS seminar welcomes Dr Jean-Paul De Lucca of the Philosophy Department, University of Malta. He will be giving a paper entitled:
At loggerheads or in dovetails?
The individual and the state from the early modern jus gentium to contemporary international jurisprudence
– On the fourth centenary of Francisco Suárez's Tractatus de legibus.
Jean-Paul De Lucca writes:
'The Spanish philosopher and theologian Francisco Suárez (1548-1617) is often described as one of the founding fathers of modern international law. However, this contribution will suggest that such a depiction is only partially correct: while international law came to be seen as an exclusively inter-state law after the Treaty of Westphalia (1648), Suárez and other theorists of the early modern jus gentium emphasised its character as a law concerning both the relations between states and humanity as a whole. The state-centric conception of international law and politics started being reversed with the rise of international humanitarian and human rights law following World War II, a process which was accelerated by globalisation in the last decades. Together with the emergence of supra-state international and regional, political and legal institutions, these developments ushered in a new season of gradual recognition of individuals as true subjects of international law. The international legal personality of individuals is a concept which will continue to evolve in international jurisprudence. Taking its cue from a 'Separate Opinion' submitted by a judge during the proceedings of a recent case before the International Court of Justice – which makes reference to Suárez and other theorists of the jus gentium – this contribution will place the spotlight on the Spanish philosopher with a view of showing how a better appreciation of the philosophical underpinning of the pre-Westphalian concept of jus gentium may serve to debunk the dichotomy which in later centuries placed individuals and states at loggerheads. A dovetail approach which favours the strong complementary connection between individuals and states as holders of rights and bearers of obligations may be better suited to what the judge in question has described as "the conceptual universe of the jus gentium of our times".'
Wednesday 23 May, 1800hrs - 1900hrs followed by discussion. Mediterranean Institute Room 122, at the end of the glass corridor behind HSBC on campus. Entrance from Carpark 4. The public is cordially welcome.
21 May 2013