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¡Feliz año nuevo! Comenzamos el año con un seminario extraordinario. El próximo jueves 17 de enero de 2019 tendremos al profesor Eyal Benvenisti (Universidad de Cambridge) como protagonista del primer seminario de profesores de la Facultad de Derecho de la UAM.

El profesor Benvenisti presentará sus ideas volcadas en su trabajo crítico sobre la codificación del derecho internacional humanitario (escrito junto a Doreen Lustig). Aquí está el resumen:

Codifying the Laws of War to Preserve Empire

In this article, we challenge the canonical narrative about civil society’s efforts to discipline warfare during the mid-nineteenth century—a narrative of progressive evolution of Enlightenment-inspired international humanitarian law (IHL). We also reject the traditional realist explanation for IHL. On the basis of archival work and reading of protocols, we argue that in codifying the laws of war, the main concern of powerful European governments was not to protect civilians from combatants’ fire nor to ensure fair play among armies, but rather to protect combatants from civilians eager to take up arms to defend their nation—even against their own governments’ wishes. We further argue that the concern with placing “a gun on the shoulder of every socialist” extended far beyond the battlefield. Monarchs and emperors turned to international law to put the dreaded nationalist and revolutionary genies back into the bottle. Specifically, we propose that it was the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871 and the subsequent short-lived, but violent, rise of the Paris Commune that prompted governments to adopt the Brussels Declaration of 1874, the first comprehensive text on the laws of war. The codification of the laws of war, in this formative stage, reflected an aristocratic project to secure the political and economic order of Europe. Interpretations that resonate with the broader humanitarian cause and opt to defy the original intentions we unearthed will become the political projects of future generations but will in turn be challenged by governments facing new types of asymmetric warfare.

El seminario será en inglés el jueves 17 de enero a las 12 horas en el edificio de la Facultad de Derecho de la UAM. La entrada es libre y una versión del texto de investigación sobre el que se basará la presentación puede consultarse o descargarse en https://ssrn.com/abstract=2985781.