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date: 14 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the evolution of sovereignty, universal jurisdiction, and state authority prior to the existence of the Westphalian international legal order, studying three cases from the Roman and medieval practice. The first case is a reply by Roman emperor Antoninus Pius on the limits of his jurisdiction with regards to the high seas. The second case revolves around the Constitutio Antoniniana, a disputed legal rule that gave citizenship to all inhabitants of the Roman Empire, for the first time invoking the territoriality principle. The third case relates to the principle of universal jurisdiction and the pope’s universal authority and its implications for the development of international jurisdiction. These cases highlight that the traditional image given in the literature of the history of the world being divided into a premodern world based on the personality principle and the ‘post-Westphalian’ world dominated by nation states and the territorial principle is misleading.

Keywords: international courts, international tribunals, jurisdiction, statehood, jurisdiction of states, organs of states, territoriality principle, sovereignty, territoriality, passive personality principle

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