Universität KonstanzExzellenzcluster „Kulturelle Grundlagen von Integration“

Neuerscheinung: Beyond the Law. The Image of Piracy in the Legal Writings of Hugo Grotius. Von Michael Kempe

4. Mai 2009

In: Hans W. Blom (Hg.): Property, Piracy and Punishment. Hugo Grotius on War and Booty in De iure praedae – Concepts and Contexts, Leiden / Boston: Brill 2009, S. 379-395.

It is still underestimated to what extent in his main works Hugo Grotius not only sketched and developed a system of private, state and international law; but also has outlined a general philosophy or theory of law itself. By asking questions concerning the law of property, the law of prize and booty, the law of peace and war or the legal status of sovereignty he did not only refer to the ‘right side’, i.e. to actions that can be labeld as rightful and legal. He also dealt with many aspects of what is not right and unlawful, not just to give mere examples of crossing the border to the ‘non right side’. It was a part of Grotius’ methodological approach to systematically reflect on the law from the perspective of its violations. One example of such a violation is the act of piracy and the figure of the pirate.

To outline this is the aim of the following paper. By showing that the pirate and his ‘legal brother’, the privateer, were linked together as two sides of the same coin, they come to symbolize in an exemplary way the differenciation between ‘right’ and ‘non right’ as the unity of law in the legal philosophy of Grotius. (Abstract)

Dr. Michael Kempe ist Wissenschaftlicher Koordinator des Doktorandenkollegs „Zeitkulturen“ und habilitiert sich zu „Fluch der Meere. Piraterie, Völkerrecht und Internationale Beziehungen in der frühen Neuzeit (16.-19. Jh.)“.