Common Rights of Mankind in Gentili, Grotius and Suàrez*

Theodor Meron

in War Crimes Law Comes of Age

Published in print January 1999 | ISBN: 9780198268567
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191683534 | DOI:
Common Rights of Mankind in Gentili, Grotius and Suàrez*

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Students of the concept of erga omnes trace its antecedents to the early recognition of the right of humanitarian intervention, which they often attribute to Grotius. Professor Hersch Lauterpacht asserted that Grotius's writings contained ‘the first authoritative statement of the principle of humanitarian intervention – the principle that exclusiveness of domestic jurisdiction stops when outrage upon humanity begins”. However, some of the other principal works on international law before the Peace of Westphalia (1648) reveal that the concept of community interests, and the modern right of humanitarian intervention it spawned, is pre-Grotian, that it appeared in the writings of Suárez, and that it figured prominently in those of its true progenitor, the earlier Gentili.

Keywords: erga omnes; humanitarian intervention; international law

Chapter.  4569 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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