Hermann Kantorowicz is mostly remembered for his contributions to legal history, legal theory and criminal law. In 1923, he was asked by a Committee of the German Reichstag to write an expert opinion on the "war guilt question". It took Kantorowicz several years to submit an extremely rich an detailed opinion which was, however, never published during his lifetime for political reasons. This contribution sheds light on this expert opinion from the perspective of international law. In particular, it asks whether Kantorowicz' views might be seen as forerunners of a later turn to international criminal law. On balance, this is not the case. The contribution focuses in particular on the methodological bases of Kantorowicz' opinion on the outbreak of the First World War. His approach can be characterized by a mixture between his preference for a "Freirecht" approach and a rather suprising turn to collective psychology. Although the opinion would have been a much needed counterpoint to the nationalistic discourse in wide circles of the Weimar international law community, it convinces less as a contribution to the doctrinal development of international law.
Monday, April 30, 2018
Aust: Zwischen Freirecht und Völkerpsychologie: Hermann Kantorowicz und die völkerrechtliche Kriegsschuldfrage
Helmut Aust (Freie Universität Berlin - Law) has posted Zwischen Freirecht und Völkerpsychologie: Hermann Kantorowicz und die völkerrechtliche Kriegsschuldfrage (in Hermann Kantorowicz' Begriff des Rechts und der Rechtswissenschaft, Ino Augsberg, Saskia Lettmaier & Rudolf Meyer-Pritzl eds., forthcoming). Here's the abstract: