The history of international law is often told in terms of the rise and fall of great powers or as a mechanism of colonial subjugation. To the extent that these accounts consider justice, it is usually to demonstrate its absence. This paper points out that justice has been integral to the evolution of international law in the era of the United States. Individuals and members of civil society in the US and Europe have influenced systemic developments in international law through their efforts to realize a vision of justice in interstate relations, their vision being of a body of international law and a world court which together obviate the need for war. To suggest the possibility of an historical narrative constructed around justice is not to deny the validity of other histories focused on inequitable relations of power, but to point to the scope for nuance in the frameworks within which we portray international law and its history.