Tag Archive for: Colonialism

PIL and (De)coloniality: For a Case-by-Case Approach of the Application of Postcolonial Law in European States

Written by Sandrine Brachotte who obtained a PhD. in Law at Sciences Po, Paris and is a Guest Lecturer at UCLouvain (Saint-Louis, Brussels).

1. PIL and (De)coloniality in Europe

This post follows Susanne Gössl’s blog post series on ‘Colonialism and German PIL’ (especially s. 3 of post (1)) and offers a French perspective of the issue of PIL and (de)coloniality – not especially focused on French PIL but based on a francophone article to be published soon in the law and anthropology journal Droit et Culture. This article, called ‘For a decolonisation of law in the global era: analysis of the application of postcolonial law in European states’, is addressed to non-PIL-specialist scholars but builds on a European debate about PIL and (de)coloniality that has been nourished by scholars like Ralf Michaels, Horatia Muir Watt, Veronica Ruiz Abou-Nigm, as well as by Maria Ochoa, Roxana Banu, and Nicole Štýbnarová, notably at the occasion of the 2022 Edinburgh conference (reported about on this blog, where I had the chance the share a panel with them in relation to my PhD dissertation (see a short presentation on the EAPIL blog)).

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Colonialism and German PIL (3) – Imagined Hierachies

This post is part of a series regarding Colonialism and the general structure of (German) Private International Law, based on a presentation I gave in spring 2023. See the introduction here.

As mentioned in the introduction, this series does not intent to automatically pass judgment on a norm or method influenced by colonialism as inherently negative. Instead, the aim is to reveal these influences and to initiate a first engagement with and awareness of this topic and to stimulate a discussion and reflection.

The first post (after the introduction) dealt with classic PIL and colonialism and already sparked a vivid discussion in the comments section. This second considered structures and values inherent in German or European law, implicitly resonating within the PIL and, thus, expanding those values to people and cases from other parts of the world.  The third category discusses an imagined hierarchy between the Global North and Global South that is sometimes inherent in private international law thinking, for instances where courts or legislators abstractly or paternalistically apply the public policy to “protect” individuals from foreign legal norms. This is especially evident in areas like underage marriages and unilateral divorce practices found inter alia in Islamic law.

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Colonialism and German PIL (2) – German and European Structures and Values

This post is part of a series regarding Colonialism and the general structure of (German) Private International Law, based on a presentation I gave in spring 2023. See the introduction

Colonialism and German PIL (1) – Colonial Structures in Traditional PIL

This post is the first of a series regarding Colonialism and the general structure of (German) Private International Law, based on a presentation I gave in spring 2023. See the introduction here.

As mentioned in the introduction, this series does not intent to automatically pass judgment on a norm or method influenced by colonialism as inherently negative (I emphasise this because my experience shows that the impression quickly arises). Instead, the aim is to reveal these influences and to initiate a first engagement with and awareness of this topic and to stimulate a discussion and reflection.

The first category, to be discussed today, relates to the (sometimes unconscious) implementation and later continuation of the colonial structure in PIL – now and then.

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Colonialism and German Private International Law – Introduction to a Post Series

In March 2023 I gave a talk at the conference of the German Society of International Law. The conference had the title “Colonial Continuities in International Law“ and my presentation focused on  “Continuation of colonialism in contemporary international law? – Foundations, structures, methods from the perspective of PIL“. Thus, I was exploring those foundations, basic structures, and fundamental methods of mainly German Private International Law (PIL) and whether and how they have been influenced by colonialism.

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