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The Evolution towards a New Jus Gentium: The International Law for Humankind

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Chapter Summary

Jus gentium (of Roman law) had its origins in private law, having subsequently entered also the realm of the conceptual universe of the law of nations. As jus gentium transcended its original private law sense, and began - in the late Middle-Ages - to be associated with the emerging law of nations, it came to be conceived as the law common to all peoples and human beings, and fostered the belief in the existence of a set of "common notions"; it became related to humankind (itself), pledged to secure its unity and the fulfilment of its needs. The jus communicationis of Vitoria was conceived as a law for all human beings. In the conception of one of the founding fathers of International Law, Francisco de Vitoria, jus gentium pertained to the law of nations and peoples organized in political communities, as well as to a universal law for humankind.

Keywords:Francisco de Vitoria; humankind; international law; Jus Gentium



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