Peace Settlements and International Law: From Lex Pacificatoria to Jus Post Bellum

59 Pages Posted: 18 May 2012

See all articles by Christine Bell

Christine Bell

University of Edinburgh - School of Law

Date Written: May 17, 2012


This paper will examine the ways in which peace settlements are producing a lex pacificatoria, a new 'law of the peacemakers', in a range of different areas relating to international conflict and security law. The essay illustrates how the practice of fashioning and implementing peace settlements is forcing a revision of relevant international law, as the traditional assumptions and boundaries of the relevant bodies of law do not fit within post-settlement political landscapes, are inadequate for enabling and regulating peace settlement implementation and do not contain guidance for the dilemmas faced post-settlement. The paper describes the ways in which a lack of fit between peace settlement dilemmas and international legal doctrines have generated new practices and new articulations of how international legal regimes regulate settlement implementation. Building on earlier arguments, I argue that these revisions constitute a new lex pacificatoria, or 'law of the peacemakers', in the form of a normativized practice of conflict resolution. The extent to which these new practices constitute 'law' at all is critically evaluated throughout the chapter. In conclusion, I consider whether it is possible, useful and desirable to frame and develop the 'new law' as a new jus post bellum drawing across existing regimes, to supplement the jus ad bellum and jus in bello.

Keywords: Peace settlement, lex pacificatoria, international conflict, security law, international law, jus ad bellu, jus in bello

Suggested Citation

Bell, Christine, Peace Settlements and International Law: From Lex Pacificatoria to Jus Post Bellum (May 17, 2012). Edinburgh School of Law Research Paper No. 2012/16, Available at SSRN: or

Christine Bell (Contact Author)

University of Edinburgh - School of Law ( email )

Old College
South Bridge
Edinburgh, EH8 9YL
United Kingdom
00441316502012 (Phone)


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