Frederik Dhondt - Speaker

The power to declare war and make peace was one of the essential competences of old regime sovereigns. For Thomas Paine, continuous old regime warfare was an easy pretext to sideline national representations, and to rule without bonds.[1] The ‘modern’ American (1787) and French (1791) constitutions tied the executive branch to the legislators’ consent when declaring war.[2] Yet, the reality was more nuanced, and these principles did not prevail everywhere. In Britain, cessions of territory were tied to parliamentary consent.[3] In Sweden, the Riksdag needed to consent in monarchical decisions regarding war and peace. By contrast, the “absolute” courts of Vienna, St Petersburg and Berlin were taken as an example to shield monarchs as William I of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands from parliamentary control in foreign affairs.[4] Treatises on the law of nations provide a synthesis of the different solutions provided in the “Public Law of Europe”. Moreover, the horizontal conduct of international relations is affected by internal constitutional change, through the theory of recognition. [5] I propose to examine the monarch’s position in the works of Georg Friedrich von Martens (1756-1821) and Johann Ludwig Klüber (1762-1837), emblematic figures of the so-called “positivist” school of international law.[6], against the backdrop of continuity with 18th century law of nations theory[7] and resistance against the later establishment of the nationality principle.[8] [1] Thomas Paine, Rights of Man Being an Answer to Mr. Burke’s Attack on the French Revolution. By Thomas Paine (printed for J S Jordan, 1791) 159–160. [2] Marc Belissa, fraternité universelle et intérêt national (1713-1795) : Les cosmopolitiques du droit des dens (Kimé 1998); Willem Theo Oosterveld, The Law of Nations in Early American Foreign Policy. Theory and Practice from the Revolution to the Monroe Doctrine (Brill/Nijhoff 2016). [3] David Armitage, ‘Parliament and International Law in the Eighteenth Century’ in Julian Hoppit (ed), Parliaments, nations and identities in Britain and Ireland, 1660-1850 (Manchester University Press 2003). [4] Frederik Dhondt, ‘Inaugurating a Dutch Napoleon? Conservative Criticism of the 1815 Constitution of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands’ in Ulrike Müssig (ed), Reconsidering Constitutional Formation II: Decisive Constitutional Normativity. From Old Liberties to New Precedence, vol 12 (Springer 2018). [5] Martin Clark, ‘A Conceptual History of Recognition in British International Legal Thought’ British Yearbook of International Law (published online at [6] Martti Koskenniemi, ‘Into Positivism: Georg Friedrich Martens (1756-1821) and Modern International Law’ (2008) 15 Constellations 189; Georg Friedrich von Martens, Précis du droit des gens moderne de l’Europe fondé sur les traités et l’usage. Pour servir d’introduction à un politique et diplomatique (3rd edn, Dieterich 1821); Johann Ludwig Klüber, Droit des gens moderne de l’Europe (J G Cotta 1819). [7] Emer de Vattel, Le droit des gens, ou principes de la loi naturelle, appliqués à la conduite & aux affaires des Nations & des Souverains (s.n 1758); Emmanuelle Jouannet, Emer de Vattel et l’émergence doctrinale du droit international classique (Pédone 1998); Gaspard Réal de Curban, La Science du Gouvernement, t. 5: contenant le droit des gens, qui traite les Ambassades; de la Guerre; des Traités; des Titres; des Prérogatives; des Prétentions, & des droits respectifs des souverains (Les libraires associés 1764); David Armitage, Foundations of Modern International Thought (Cambridge UP 2012). [8] Terenzio Mamiani della Rovere, Rights of Nations, or, the New Law of European States Applied to the Affairs of Italy (Roger Acton tr, Jeffs 1860); Werner Daum and others (eds), Handbuch der europäischen Verfassungsgeschichte im 19. Jahrhundert: Institutionen und Rechtspraxis im gesellschaftlichen Wandel. Bd. 2: 1815-1847, vol 2 (Dietz ; 2012).
8 Jan 2019

Event (Conference)

TitleMonarchy and Modernity since 1500
Web address (URL)
LocationCambridge University
CountryUnited Kingdom
Degree of recognitionInternational event

ID: 43642237