Emer de Vattel

Emer (Emmerich) de Vattel (25 April 1714 – 28 December 1767[1]) was an international lawyer. He was born in Couvet in Neuchâtel (now Switzerland) in 1714 and died in 1767 of edema. He was largely influenced by Dutch jurist Hugo Grotius. He is most famous for his 1758 work The Law of Nations. This work was his claim to fame and won him enough prestige to be appointed as a councilor to the court of Frederick Augustus II of Saxony.

Vattel's masterpiece was largely influenced by a book titled Jus Gentium Methodo Scientifica Pertractum (The Law of Nations According to the Scientific Method) by Christian Wolff. Vattel's work began, in fact, by translating Wolff's text from Latin, and adding his own thoughts. Vattel's work was also heavily influenced by Gottfried Leibniz and Hugo Grotius. Focused largely on the rights and obligations of citizens and states, Vattel's work also had ramifications for Just War Theory as it outlined international diplomacy as we now know it.[2]

Vattel elucidated the "Golden Rule of Sovereigns":

One cannot complain when he is treated as he treats others.[3]

Vattel’s Law of Nations was translated into English in 1760, based on the French original of 1758. A Dublin translation of 1787 does not include notes from the original nor posthumous notes added to the 1773 French edition. Several other English editions were based on the edition of 1760. However, an English edition from 1793 includes Vattel’s later thoughts, as did the London 1797 edition. The 1797 edition has a detailed table of contents and margin titles for subsections.[4]

Charles W.F. Dumas sent Benjamin Franklin three original French copies of de Vattel's Le droit des gens (The Law of Nations). Franklin presented one copy to the Library Company of Philadelphia. On December 9, 1775, Franklin thanked Dumas: [5]

It came to us in good season, when the circumstances of a rising State make it necessary to frequently consult the Law of Nations.

Franklin also said that this book by Vattel, "has been continually in the hands of the members of our Congress now sitting".[6][7]

This page was last edited on 6 June 2018, at 11:36 (UTC).
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emer_de_Vattel under CC BY-SA license.

Related Topics

Recently Viewed