Georges Scelle (1878–1961)

Oliver Diggelmann

in The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199599752
Published online December 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Law

 Georges Scelle (1878–1961)

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Georges Scelle was a French theorist of international law and a member of the International Law Commission of the United Nations. He advocated a radically anthropocentric theory of international law termed ‘methodological individualism’, which focuses on the actions and responsibilities of individuals and aims to demystify the State. Scelle’s main work, Précis de droit des gens, and several other writings contrast positive international law with ‘objective law’, which consists of the rules he deems required by the social reality. Well-known elements of his theory are his concept of dédoublement fonctionnel (role splitting) and his reflections on ‘international constitutional law’. Scelle’s theory has gained the reputation of a ‘modern’ approach to international law.

Keywords: methodological individualism; French international law; international constitutional law; objective law; Scelle’s theory

Article.  1716 words. 

Subjects: Law ; History of Law ; International Law

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