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In the General Interest of Peace? British International Lawyers and the Spanish Civil War

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image of Journal of the History of International Law / Revue d'histoire du droit international

This article reviews the core issues and different doctrinal positions present in the international legal debates triggered by the Spanish Civil War. It pays particular attention to the contributions of the first two British judges at the International Court of Justice, A. D. McNair (1946–1955) and H. Lauterpacht (1955–1960) to these debates. Their writings can be seen as respectively representative of the two stages through which British international lawyers went in the international legal debates on the Spanish Civil War. The article concludes with an analysis of the case for British “benevolent neutrality to the Nationalists” in the Spanish Civil War, reviewing the underlying motives which historians have highlighted as lurking behind the British-led non-intervention policy in the war.

Affiliations: 1: Brunel Law School, Brunel University LondonUnited Kingdom


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