First Edition of a Classic Study of International Law and the Laws of Armed Conflict Bynkershoek, Cornelius van [1673-1743]. Quaestionum Juris Publici, Libri Duo, Quorum Primus Est de Rebus Bellicis, Secundus de Rebus Varii Argumenti. Leiden: Apud J.V. Kerckhem, 1737. [xxiv], 384,  pp. Quarto (7-3/4" x 6"). Contemporary paneled vellum, corner fleurons and large central arabesques to boards, raised bands and early hand-lettered title to spine. Light soiling, boards slightly bowed, spine ends and corners bumped, later owner signatures (one "E. Sandoz," the other illegible) to recto and verso of front free endpaper. Title page, with large copperplate vignette, printed in red and black. Moderate toning, occasional light dampspotting to margins. $1,500. * One of the most important jurists and international lawyers of his time, Bynkershoek was a Dutch jurist who founded the positive school of international law, which favored principles drawn from usage and practice over theorems drawn from natural law. Quaestionum Juris Publici is one of his most important works on international law. The first and most important part, "De Rebus Bellicus," is one of the first modern assessments of the laws of war. Bynkershoek accepts that war encompasses violence against civilians and non-military targets. As Neff observes, he "candidly pronounced war to be an 'attempt to subjugate the enemy and all that he has by seizing all the power that the sovereign has over the state, that is to say, by exercising complete dominion over all persons and all things contained in that state. (...) [T]he whole state is placed in the legal attitude of a belligerent toward another state, so that every member of the one nation is authorized to commit hostilities against every member of the other, in every place and under every circumstance." Having acknowledged these facts, he goes on to condemn actions against civilians and advocates the fair treatment of prisoners of war. Beginning with Lord Mansfield, jurists and scholars have considered this to be Bynkershoek's greatest work. It was reissued in 1930 as a title in the Carnegie Classics of International Law series. Neff, War and the Law of Nations 204-205. Dekkers, Bibliotheca Belgica Juridica 16.
Book number 72066