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Hugo Grotius and International Relations$
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Hedley Bull, Benedict Kingsbury, and Adam Roberts

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780198277712

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198277717.001.0001

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Grotius and International Equality

Grotius and International Equality

(p.221) 7 Grotius and International Equality
Hugo Grotius and International Relations

Hidemi Suganami

Oxford University Press

The doctrine of the equality of sovereign states is one of the central postulates in the theory and practice of international law and international relations in the contemporary world. Grotius's major work, De Jure Belli ac Pacis, is consistent with the view that all states have equality before the law. Grotius is less clear that all states have equal capacity for rights, but nothing in his work suggests that he believed in an international caste system that would divide sovereign states into separate classes with varying degrees of capacity for rights. Even those non‐state entities that do not have full sovereignty are nonetheless under the protection of natural law.

Keywords:   capacity for rights, equality before the law, non‐state entities, sovereign equality, sovereign states

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