2 janvier 2017

OUVRAGE : M. van der Linden, The Acquisition of Africa (1870-1914): The Nature of International Law

Mieke van der LINDEN 

Over recent decades, the responsibility for the past actions of the European colonial powers in relation to their former colonies has been subject to a lively debate. In this book, the question of the responsibility under international law of former colonial States is addressed. Such a legal responsibility would presuppose the violation of the international law that was applicable at the time of colonization. In the ‘Scramble for Africa’ during the Age of New Imperialism (1870-1914), European States and non-State actors mainly used cession and protectorate treaties to acquire territorial sovereignty (imperium) and property rights over land (dominium). The question is raised whether Europeans did or did not on a systematic scale breach these treaties in the context of the acquisition of territory and the expansion of empire, mainly through extending sovereignty rights and, subsequently, intervening in the internal affairs of African political entities.



I. New Imperialism: Imperium, Dominium and Responsibility under International Law
1. Introduction
2. New Imperialism
3. New Imperialism in International Legal Discourse
4. Dominium and Imperium
5. Legal and Social Relevance
6. Methodology and Case Studies
7. Plan
II. Dominium
1. Property Rights: Theoretical Premises
2. European and African Perspectives
3. Concluding Remarks: New Imperialism and Natives’ Property Rights
III. Imperium
1. Introduction
2. Theoretical and Conceptual Framework
3. Nineteenth-century European International law: Sovereignty, Territory and State
4. The African Perspective
5. Concluding Remarks
IV. Territorium et Titulus
1. Introduction
2. Treaties, Cession and Protectorates
3. Conclusion
V. British Nigeria
1 Introduction
2 Historical Background
3 Treaties and Contracts between Britain and African Natives
4 Legislation in the Wake of the Acquisition of Sovereignty over Territory
5 The Judiciary and Its Case Law
6 Conclusion
VI. French Equatorial Africa
1. Introduction
2. Historical Background
3. French Treaty Practice in Equatorial Africa
4. Legislation in the Wake of the Transfer of External Sovereignty
5. Case Law and the Interpretation of Treaties
6. Conclusion
VII. German Cameroon
1. Introduction
2. Historical Background
3. Treaties between Germany and Cameroonian Rulers
4. Legislation Following the Conclusion of Treaties
5. Treaty Interpretation and Execution
6. Conclusion
VIII. Ex facto ius oritur?
1. International Law in Practice: Treaties between European States and African Polities 216
2. The Legality of the Treaty-based Acquisition and Partition of Africa
3. Theory versus Practice: What was International Law in the Nineteenth Century?
4. Conclusion
IX. A Reflection on the Nature of International Law: Redressing the Illegality of Africa’s Colonization
1. Introduction
2. The Inter-temporal Rule
3. Impossibility of Establishing Responsibility?
4. Recognition
5. Conclusion
X. Evaluative Summary and Conclusion

Chronological List of Treaties and Other Agreements
Case Laws

Mieke van der LINDEN, The Acquisition of Africa (1870-1914): The Nature of International Law, Leiden, Brill/Nijhoff, 2016 (352 pp.)

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