Skip to main content

The Private History of International Law


The purpose of this article is to address two related false assumptions, or myths. The first is an assumption of public international law. It is the myth that the history of international law is one of progressive expansion, of increasing concern in public international law with matters traditionally considered private or internal to States, and that this expansion is a relatively recent phenomenon.1 The second is an assumption of private international law. It is the myth that private international law is not actually international, as it is essentially and necessarily a part of the domestic law of States.2 These assumptions, taken together, constitute the myth that public and private international law are discrete, distinct disciplines, with independent, parallel histories. This article addresses these myths through an analysis of the role played by international law theory in the history of private international law.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

International & Comparative Law Quarterly
  • ISSN: 0020-5893
  • EISSN: 1471-6895
  • URL: /core/journals/international-and-comparative-law-quarterly
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 88 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 395 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 21st January 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.