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Chapitre D'ouvrage Année : 2024

Individuals and Group Identity in Medieval International Law

Dante Fedele
Alain Wijffels


Although Medieval law focused in many ways on collective, rather than individual, identities, various interest groups of Medieval societies also fostered the legal status of individuals. Two case studies show that legal theory and practice deployed norms which were adjustable to the needs and reality of both group identities and individual persons. The first case study, on the rules governing prisoners of war, makes clear that the individual status of the prisoner notwithstanding when a ransom had to be negotiated, his social position and networks played an essential role in determining the conditions of his detention and of his release. The second case study, on reprisals, reveals the tensions that existed in both legal theory and practice between a principle of communal solidarity, under which members of a wrongdoer’s community were meant to suffer the consequences of the wrong, and concerns for the legal position and rights of these innocent individuals.
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hal-04502912 , version 1 (13-03-2024)


Paternité - Pas d'utilisation commerciale - Pas de modification


  • HAL Id : hal-04502912 , version 1


Dante Fedele, Alain Wijffels. Individuals and Group Identity in Medieval International Law. Sparks, Tom; Peters, Anne. The Individual in International Law. History and Theory, Oxford University Press (OUP), pp.47-64, 2024, 9780198898917. ⟨hal-04502912⟩


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