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Casper Sylvest

the one hand, Kennedy’s argument about how the legacy of Christianity was generally seen as peaceful, moderating the calamities of and even preventing war, would not – as a historical claim – have disturbed later scholars. Interpreting all other sources of international law as having been influenced and positively furthered by Christianity – for example, Roman law, the spread of commerce, the general progress of civilisation – was an assumption that, although often implicit, seemed to stick. 30 On the other hand, later scholars would have distanced themselves from

in British liberal internationalism, 1880–1930
Casper Sylvest

rule of international law to this effect. The further question was, of course, from where did the customary rule originate? And here Oppenheim invoked a theoretical distinction between sources and causes. As sources of international law, he allowed only treatise and custom. Yet these sources had causes, and here elements of natural law crept into Oppenheim’s jurisprudential system. It was ‘religious and moral reasons’ that had, in this idiom, caused the custom. Likewise, it was a slow moral development which had caused many of the increasingly codified laws of war.17

in British liberal internationalism, 1880–1930