CUHK LAW CCTL Transnational Legal History Group Seminar - 'What Makes a Global Classic of International Law?' by Prof. Dr. Ignacio de la Rasilla (Online)
31 Jan 2023
5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Online via Zoom
Prof. Dr. Ignacio de la Rasilla
Prof. Dr. Ignacio de la Rasilla is Han Depei Chair in International Law & One Thousand Talents Plan Professor, Wuhan University Institute of International Law; Chief Expert Wuhan Academy of International Law and Global Governance (National Top Think Tank); Editor-in-Chief, Chinese Journal of Transnational Law.
Based on an article recently published in the Asian Journal of International Law in 2022 “Looking Forward Through and Beyond the Western Classics of International Law“, this seminar will provide a gateway to Francisco de Vitoria and Hugo Grotius’s significance for international law and its history by providing and commenting critically on a tenfold list of attributes of what makes a classic of international law. The proposed ten distinguishing features of the “global” classics of international law are that: 1) they have been used as lenses to address a larger historical theme; 2) their prominent position in the intellectual canon and as landmark in the historical periodization of international law; 3) their broad interdisciplinary appeal; 4) the fact that they have become a shortcut for intellectual traditions of thinking about the international; 5) that they have become identified as the first expounders of international legal ideas and doctrines; and also 6) that they have been turned into an intellectual symbol of cultural patriotism over time. Moreover, the distinguishing traits of a classic of international law also include: 7) the multiple interpretations and reinterpretations to which their oeuvre have been subjected; 8) their hegemonically induced universal appeal; 9) the more recent diachronic use to which their works have been put to contextually investigate episodes of the history of international law from the nineteenth century up to the present; and last, but not least, 10) the semi-industrial quantity of academic commentary they have attracted over time.