Grotius and International Equality

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The doctrine of the equality of sovereign states is one of the central postulates in the theory and practice of international law and international relations in the contemporary world. Grotius's major work, De Jure Belli ac Pacis, is consistent with the view that all states have equality before the law. Grotius is less clear that all states have equal capacity for rights, but nothing in his work suggests that he believed in an international caste system that would divide sovereign states into separate classes with varying degrees of capacity for rights. Even those non‐state entities that do not have full sovereignty are nonetheless under the protection of natural law.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHugo Grotius and International Relations
EditorsHedley Bull, Benedict Kingsbury, Adam Roberts
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9780198277712
Publication statusPublished - 1992


  • capacity for rights
  • equality before the law
  • non-state entities
  • sovereign equality
  • sovereign states


Dive into the research topics of 'Grotius and International Equality'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this