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International Law and Empire, Yesterday and Today

The Institute of Law at Birzeit University organized on 20 April 2011, with funding from Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, a legal encounter on the International Law and Empire, Yesterday and Today.

In the beginning of the meeting, Dr. Mosa Abu Ramadan introduced the speaker, Mr. Marti Koskimini, one of the most controversial international legal researchers in debates; he is professor of international law in the University of Helsenki and has worked as global professor of law at New York University/ Faculty of Law.

Professor Marti Koskinimi started his presentation on his research on international law that required five years of work to explain first the term “empire” and its relation to the Roman law and Christian ideologies. He also addressed the history of emergence of the international law attributing it to more ancient laws like the “law of nations”, which addressed human utilization of property under the rule of nations.

In his presentation, he mentioned a number of thinkers and philosophers who played a key role in establishing the international law across history including Aristotel, Jean-Luc, Adam Smith and others.

He then addressed the details of the wars that took place between the Hispanics and the aboriginal populations of the two Americas explaining the type of relations between the Hispanics and these native people. In his presentation he explained how they organized their rights including the right to property, mobility and other rights.

He also explained the relationship between the Church, international law and the empire and the opinions and declarations made by the church during such wars and human cleansings.

Marti addressed the colonial wars in the nineteenth century and its subsequent theories of modernism and development in addition to the concepts of “sovereignty” and “rule of law”.

Marti concluded his speech by explaining that the international law was born out of a normalized process to justify European control and expansion and that it is out of this law that mandate and protectorates systems were born in the League of Nations.
In the end of his presentation, Professor Marti thanked the audience and some interventions were made from the floor showing a great interest in the subject of debate.