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Chinese and European Origins of a Rule of Law for World Order

Detail Summary
Start date 20 December 2012
End date 21 December 2012

The ACIL (Janne Nijman) together with Anthony Carty, Sir Y K Pao Professor  in Public International law (University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law) will organize a symposium on ‘Morality and Responsibility of Rulers: Chinese and European origins of a rule of law for world order’. OUP will publish a jointly edited book under this title.

This symposium is the very first endeavour of Chinese and Western scholars to engage in a joint examination of the philosophical foundations of international law. Specifically the project looks at the common ground in Chinese and Western approaches to the idea of a rule of law for world order. The project is not about the reception of modern Western international law thinking in China in the sense of a linear development. Rather, it aims to explore the history of two distinct, and sometimes interacting, moral and legal traditions in order to identify commonalities and contribute to a meaningful exchange on the (philosophical) foundations of world order.

The examination of the common Chinese and ‘European’ foundations of international law may have important explanatory power regarding the future development of international law and doctrine, among other by preventing an automatically Eurocentric conceptualization of international legal principles. On a practical level, especially in view of the shifting geo-political concentration of power in today’s world, mapping the common ground in legal thought world-wide is increasingly relevant for a truly global authority and legitimacy of international law.

The event is sponsored by the KNAW, the Chiang Ching–Kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange (Taiwan), the Hong Kong Kamer van Koophandel Nederland, and the law firm Van Diepen van der Kroef.


For more information please contact Janne Nijman: