Skip to main content

International Criminal Law and Legal Memories of Abolition: Intervention, Mixed Commission Courts and “Emancipation”

Haslam, Emily (2016) International Criminal Law and Legal Memories of Abolition: Intervention, Mixed Commission Courts and “Emancipation”. Journal of the History of International Law, 18 (4). pp. 420-447. ISSN 1388-199X. E-ISSN 1571-8050. (doi:10.1163/15718050-12340074) (KAR id:56099)

PDF Author's Accepted Manuscript
Language: English
Download (377kB) Preview
[img]
Preview
Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/15718050-12340074

Abstract

This article provides a critical reading of four cases that took place before nineteenth century Mixed Commissions on the Slave Trade at Sierra Leone, namely the Sinceridade, Activo, Perpetuo Defensor and Maria da Gloria cases. Mixed Commissions were early institutional sites where international law was confronted with victims on a multiple scale. Although they had the power to emancipate slaves, Mixed Commissions did not do so as a result of rights attributed to slaves as human beings. Rather this article shows that the capacity of Mixed Commissions to emancipate slaves was dependent upon the legality of the search, seizure and detention of the slave ship on which slaves were found. This legal link between emancipation and lawful intervention left slaves in a potentially precarious legal position even at the point of “rescue”. However, in two of the cases examined here the worst effects of this precariousness were avoided through slave resistance. This article aims to contribute to ongoing scholarly critiques of international criminal legal histories by interrogating how abolition has been remembered in international law.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1163/15718050-12340074
Uncontrolled keywords: International Legal History; International Criminal Law; Mixed Commission Courts; Slavery and Abolition; the Sinceridade, Activo, Perpetuo Defensor and Maria da Gloria Cases
Subjects: K Law
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Law School
Depositing User: Sarah Slowe
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2016 03:40 UTC
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2020 04:11 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/56099 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Haslam, Emily: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8125-2466
  • Depositors only (login required):

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year