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date: 08 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the history of international humanitarian law (law of war) and the history of international human rights law before 1945. It notes that that a fully fledged protection of the individual at the international level arrived relatively late in legal history. It began in the 19th century and grew enormously in the 20th. Keen attention for the fortunes of individuals supposes a high degree of civilization. At early stages, social ideology is caught up in the categories of group solidarity and morale close. It is only through a long historical evolution that morality developed into the more refined flower of compassion and care for the individual and its personal fate. The international society is no exception to that rule. It is therefore only in the last two centuries that the individual could fully catch the attention of its particular legal order, namely, public international law.

Keywords: legal history, law of war, international human rights law, group solidarity, public international law

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