Portalis the younger and the law of nations

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Joseph-Marie Portalis, who presided over the French Court of Cassation as its first president for 23 years, never published a global treatise on the law of nations, but had a strong interest in the law of nature and the law of nations. Hence, two of his publications can inform us on his deeper-rooted convictions. One is his famous report presented to the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques in 1840 on the prize question concerning the development of the law of nations since the Peace of Westphalia. A second example is his treatise on the nature of war, presented at the Academy during the Crimean War and published in 1856 by Vergé. I argue that national sovereignty, religion and a dislike of the perceived excesses of 18th century doctrine are essential to understand Portalis "the younger", even if he does not escalate his thinking to the likes of de Maistre.
Translated title of the contributionPortalis the younger and the law of nations
Original languageFrench
Title of host publicationJoseph-Marie Portalis, diplomate, magistrat et législateur
EditorsRaphaël Cahen, Nicolas Laurent-Bonne
Place of PublicationAix-en-Provence
PublisherPresses universitaires d'Aix-Marseille
ISBN (Print)978-2-7314-1174-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020
EventJoseph-Marie Portalis (1778-1858): diplomate, magistrat et législateur - Paris (Court of Cassation/Council of State), Paris, France
Duration: 13 Dec 201814 Dec 2018


ConferenceJoseph-Marie Portalis (1778-1858): diplomate, magistrat et législateur
Abbreviated titlePortalis le jeune
Internet address


  • legal history
  • history of international law
  • law of nature
  • 19th century history
  • French history


Dive into the research topics of 'Portalis the younger and the law of nations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this