Jus Post Bellum

The concept of ‘jus post bellum’ has an established tradition in just war theory. It forms part of the ethics of warfare since scholastic writing (e.g., Vitoria, Suarez) and classical works on the law of nations (e.g., Gentili, Grotius, Vattel, Wolff, Kant). The problem of the ending of conflict and the need for a proper organisation of post-conflict peace has become evident in the context of recent interventions and their aftermath (e.g., Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan). In this context, jus post bellum has witnessed a renaissance in military ethics and moral philosophy (Walzer). But it has traditionally been neglected in the conceptualization of the laws of war in the 19th and 20 century, which remains based on the classical division into jus ad bellum and jus in bello.

This project investigates whether and how a contemporary jus post bellum may facilitate greater fairness and sustainability in conflict termination and peacemaking. Pillar 1 establishes the historical and normative foundations of a modern jus post bellum, including its distinction from just war theory and its relationship to jus ad bellum and jus in bello. Pillar 2 identifies the contours, operation and impact of this concept, based on analysis of historical peace settlements, contemporary peace agreements and case-studies. Pillar 3 develops a catalogue of rules and principles of post-conflict peace in order to guide priorities and policy choices in a number of key areas: conflict termination and ending of conflict, the interplay between international humanitarian law and human rights law in post-conflict settings, the balance between ‘local ownership’ and foreign authority, reconstruction and rule of law reform, the treatment of individual criminal responsibility in peace settlements, and the allocation of property rights.


Calendar of EventsPost-Conflict JusticeGrotius PhD TrackAdvanced LLM Summer School ProgrammesLeiden Law SchoolSystematic Sexual Violence and Victims' RightsVisiting (PhD) ResearchersSupranational Criminal Law Lecture Series - Lectures in Honour of Judge Antonio CasseseGrotius DialoguesKalshoven-Gieskes Forum on International Humanitarian Law