Jurisdictional Colonisation in the Spanish and British Empires: Some Reflections on a Global Public Order and the Sacred
in Hélène Ruiz Fabri, Rüdiger Wolfrum and Jana Gogolin (eds), Select Proceedings of the European Society of International Law, Vol. 2 (Oxford, Hart Publishing, 2010), pp 53-81.
29 Pages Posted: 6 May 2012 Last revised: 2 Mar 2013
Date Written: February 1, 2010
A public legal order that aspires to be global must involve the possibility of the sacred. The international legal system should thus be open to the sacred if it strives to create order among states in global governance. These claims arise from a reflection on international law in which we have tried to move beyond imperialistic conceptions of order and modern fears about the role of religion in international law. Here we examine the relation between religion and international law by applying a genealogical approach to two important legal international projects for ordering the world: one theological, the other humanist. Two imperial stories of universalism, redemption, conquest and conversion are recounted. The first occurred during the initial conquest of the New World, and its main characters are the Spanish Empire and the indigenous people of South America. The second story concerns the British Empire and European colonisation in North America.
Keywords: International Law, Global Justice, Global Order, Religion, Spanish Empire, British Empire, Jursidiction, Colonization, Public International Law, International Relations, Political Economy and History
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