• Born on April 10, 1583
  • Deft, Holland
  • Worked as a jurist in the Dutch republic
  • Laid the foundations for the international law
  • With Francisco de Vitoria and Alberico Gentili
  • Philosopher, Theologian, Christian apologist, Playwright and Poet
  • Key works: Mare Liberum and De Jure Belli ac Pacis

Early Life

  • Born in Deft, Holland
  • First child
  • Jan de Groot and Alida van Overschie
  • Groomed at early age in a traditional humanist and Aristotelian education
  • Entered University of Leiden
  • He was 11 years old
  • Earned an appointment as advocate in 1599

To The Hague

  • Third largest city in Netherlands
  • Seat of the Dutch parliament, government, and royal court
  • Became official historiographer
  • For the states of Holland in 1601
  • Wrote about the issues of international justice in 1604

Natural Law

  • A perspective judgment where things can be considered good or bad according to their own nature
  • Hypothetical argument:
  • Natural Law is still valid if God does not exist or if God is not interested in human affairs
  • Believed that God was no longer the only source of ethical qualities

Key Works

  • Mare Liberum
  • Translated as The Free Sea
  • Formulated a principle
  • Sea was international territory
  • All nations are free to use it for sea surfing trade
  • Provided ideological justification for the Dutch to break up various trade monopolies
  • Argued that freedom of sea is key aspect in communications between people and nations
  • Believed that ruling over the sea is against natural law
  • War is violating Natural Law
  • But necessary
  • Produced Just War doctrine
  • Jus ad bellum
  • Rightful causes of war
  • Jus in bello
  • Rightful conduct of war
  • If nation wants to enter war
  • Ensure that purpose of war = obtain rights
  • War is the last resort when conciliation failed
  • Religious war is unjust
  • Religion is inner conviction

Conference and negotiations

  • Concessions
  • Single combat/Choosing by lot
  • Moral conducts during war
  • Protect non combatant
  • Treat hostages and prisoners humanly
  • Protect property from destruction
  • Recognized sovereign states as basic units of international law
  • Law of nations have more extensive rights
  • Authority from all, if not, many nations
  • Grotius’ personal motto was:
  • “Ruit Hora” which means “Time is running away”
  • Last words were:
  • “By understanding many things, I have accomplished nothing.”

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