International Law

The year 2019 will see the publication of Arthur Eyffinger’s major study of the life, thought and works of T.M.C. Asser (1838-1913), the outcome of a full decade of painstaking research. Tobias Asser, who was a professor of long-standing at Amsterdam University, is the jewel in the crown of an ongoing family tradition of well over two centuries of legal luminaries. He was a key figure in the so-called Oeuvre de La Haye and the rise of the Hague Tradition of international law. Asser was co-founder of the Institut de droit international (*1873) and the International Law Association (*1873), founder of the Conférence de La Haye (*1893), initiator of the Hague Academy of International Law (*1924) and the only Dutchman ever to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (1911). The two-volume monograph will be published with Brill Publishers in the series Studies in the History of International Law, under the directorship of Prof. Randall Lesaffer.

Asser presided over the silver jubilee session of the Institut in The Hague in 1898, on the eve of the First Hague Peace Conference (1899).In August 2019, the membres of the Institut will once again convene in The Hague under the chairmanship of their Dutch president, the current  professor of public international law at Leiden University, Nico Schrijver. On the occasion a two-volume monograph on the life and works of Tobias Asser will appear with Brill Publishers. The study presents a fresh new outlook based on a wealth of newly disclosed research material.

Grotian Studies

The year 2018 will see the publication, initially on this website, of the first issue of a series of fresh translations into Dutch of Hugo Grotius’s three biblical dramas with heavy political overtones: Adamus Exul (1601), on the controversial issues of Free Will, the Lord’s Grace and Predestination; Christus Patiens (1608) on the Atonement and Redemption; Sophompanes (1635) on Archfather Joseph’s realm as vice-roy in Egypt. The renderings into Dutch will be in the same metre and volume as Grotius’ Neo-Latin originals, which are mostly in the Senecan amble. The first drama to be made available, still in 2018, will be Christus Patiens.

Grotius’s Neo-Latin drama on the Christ’s Passion (Christus Patiens), was dedicated to the French diplomat who mediated in the ongoing negotiations between Spain and the Dutch Republic that ensued in the Twelve Years’ Truce  (1609-1621). The play with heavy political overtones is a strong plea for conciliation between rivalling parties.  Presented is a historical and literary introductory note, a Dutch translation in the same metres and volume as the Latin original, and a running commentary and inventory of allusions to Seneca, notably from his plays on Hercules, the son of god of classical, pagan antiquity and Grotius’s model for the figure of the Christ. A specimen of the forthcoming publication is found below.

Eyffinger has contributed a Chapter to The Cambridge Companion to Hugo Grotius (eds. R. Lesaffer and J. Nijman) to be published by Cambridge University Press in 2019. The Chapter will address the legal and political implications of Grotius’ literary writings and drama.