History of International Law
The history of international law is one of the fields that have traditionally received less attention from researchers. Nevertheless, at the Institute there is a tradition of researching into international legal history. The Institute is involved in publishing the Journal of the History of International Law and, with the series of publications by Nomos Verlag Baden-Baden, devoted to the history of international law. As part of the local Cluster of Excellence "The formation of normative orders”, a Junior Research Group devoted to "International law and science, 1789–1914” has recently been established. The chronological emphasis of our study of the history of international law is on the last three hundred years.
Our research considers the processes by which legal norms are established and disputes settled, as well as the origins of joint international institutions. Our studies also extend to the universal spread of the complex of laws which, in the pre-modern era and partially also in the 19th century, could be described as the ius publicum europaeum but which has increasingly laid claim to global application. How did this process of universal acceptance take place? And how does it relate to developments, such as the demise of colonialism and regional political groupings? What exclusions accompanied the claim to universal application? Which legal institutions were deployed or developed? Answering these questions invites a study, on the one hand, of treaties and attempts to codify international law; and, on the other hand, of the origins as viewed from a historical perspective of the modern academic discipline of international law as it has become institutionalised at universities, in the founding of journals and ultimately in international academic groupings. In a study of international law in practice, it is above all an investigation of the role of the legal advisers to foreign ministries and international organisations that promises deeper insights. As always, a distinction is likely to be required between issues. Dependent on subject and on era, a variety of patterns can be identified, in view of parallel or divergent structures of juridification and judicialisation.