Navigation auf


Faculty of Law Lehrstuhl Fiocchi

The Origins of Modern International Law and the Revue de droit international et de législation comparée

joint seminar with Prof. Dr. Frederik Dhondt (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels)


The 19th century is the century of the professionalization of international law, when it became an autonomous discipline detached from natural law and diplomacy.

The process of its scientifization and professionalization was realised through the publication of journals and textbooks and the creation of associations, institutes of jurists, specialised in international law. The first issue of the Revue de droit international et de législation comparée appeared in 1869, aiming to establish a scientific platform concerning some of the most relevant topics international law, such as the legitimation of war, arbitration, international treaties and peace. The editors of the journal Gustave Rolin-Jaequemyns (Belgium), John Westlake (England) and Tobias Asser (Netherlands) were well renowned experts of international law. Some years later in 1873 Gustave Rolin-Jaequemyns was one of the eleven founders of the Institut de droit international. The objectives of it included the development of general principles of international law and its codification.

The aim of the seminar is to investigate some specific features of the development of international law in the long 19th century, taking as a case study, the establishment and impact of the Revue de droit international et de législation comparée on the development of international law. 

The journal is accessible online on Gallica.  


I. Academic Requirements

Writing a paper and presenting it at the seminar is required. In addition, active participation in the discussions of the papers of the other participants is expected. The oral performance will be factored into the final grade. At the seminar students from the University of Zurich and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel will present their papers. 


II. Place and Time

The seminar will take place online (Zoom or Teams) on the 15 May 2020. Detailed information concerning the organization of the seminar will be announced soon. For further information please contact Prof. Dr.  Elisabetta Fiocchi Malaspina.


III. Proceeding of the Seminar

The seminar will be held in English and consists of presentations of student papers and ensuing discussions.


IV. Admission

A maximum number of 20 students will be admitted. Students can be at the Bachelor or Master level. Students from other faculties are welcome.


V. Master Thesis

Students have the option to write a master thesis. A presentation of results of the thesis is expected at the seminar. 


VI. Application and Registration

Please apply by emailand indicate name, address and matriculation number (privacy will be observed) and suggest a topic you are interested in. Topics will be discussed with professor Elisabetta Fiocchi before this date.

Registrations are binding.


VII. Paper Deadline

The final date to submit papers will be two weeks before the seminar takes place.