Conclusion
in International law in Europe, 700–1200
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"The conclusion confirms that it is possible to speak of international law in the period 700 to 1200. By exploring the content of treaties and by comparing this to domestic law and customary practices, a framework of international rules emerges that reflects the interactions and issues arising from those interactions across centuries of practice. Peaceful relations between entities was a goal that could be pursued in many different ways, and rulers frequently did so using well-known institutions (e.g., arbitration, expulsion, and redress), a plethora of customs and legal practices (e.g. amnesty, reprisal, and consent), and a combination of domestic and international legal instruments and diplomatic documents (e.g. treaties, laws, and letters). Rulers, their supporters, and whole communities not only considered themselves bound by this ‘system’, such as it was, but they also bear testament to its success, however small, as evidenced by its frequent and sustained use throughout the medieval period. By exploring the specific customary practice of safe conduct in a global perspective, the chapter further highlight the difficulties of tracing changes to the international rules across space and time, even where the details were adapted to individual circumstances. Ultimately, the chapter highlights that significant further research on the history of international law, treaties, and customary practice, offering both global and chronological perspectives, is needed to determine what might be truly specific to Europe and to the medieval period.

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