chapter  16
15 Pages

Forgotten, but nevertheless relevant! Gustave Moynier’s attempts to punish violations of the laws of war 1870–1916

ByDaniel Marc Segesser

Legal historians at law faculties or law schools and historians of law at arts faculties often take different approaches when looking at the past development of law in general and international law in particular. Starting from this assumption, this contribution analyses the almost forgotten proposals made by leading jurist and long-term ICRC-president Gustave Moynier in regard to the punishment of violations of the laws of war in the period between the Franco-Prussian War and the first two years of the First World War. The interplay between the principle of state sovereignty and that of bringing about justice in international relations is at the centre of this contribution. It looks at the importance of an individual in the development of international legal doctrine and brings a historical analysis of legal developments into dialogue with a legal perspective that wonders about the relevance of history for present-day law.