LAW OF THE SEA: THE PRODUCT OF EUROPEAN CIVILIZATION There is a widespread belief amongst Western, especially European, scholars that the law of the sea, like other rules of interstate conduct of modern international law, is a product of Western European Christian civilization to which non-European countries have contributed practically little or noth- ing. It is asserted with a sense of pride that international law is a "product of the conscious activity of the European mind" and "European beliefs" and is based on European state practices that were developed and consoli- dated during the last three centuries.' Thus, relating the story of the develop- ment of international law, Professor J.H.W. Verzijl states: The body of positive international law once called into being by the concordant practice and express agreement of European states, has since the end of the eighteenth century onwards, spread over the rest of the world as a modern ratio scripta, to which extra-European states have contributed extraordinarily little. International law as it now stands is essentially the product of the European mind and has practically been 'received' ... lock, stock and barrel by American and Asiatic states.' Relying entirely and almost exclusively on European history
Ocean Yearbook Online – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1
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