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International criminal law and the slave trade: the past and the present

Lobban, Michael (2022) International criminal law and the slave trade: the past and the present. London Review of International Law, 10 (1). 143 - 150. ISSN 2050-6325

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Identification Number: 10.1093/lril/lrac006


There has been much interest in recent years in the work of the Mixed Commissions which were set up under bilateral treaties between Great Britain and a number of slave-trading countries in the early nineteenth century.1 These treaties authorised the capture of ships and the liberation of the slaves held on board, after a determination by a Mixed Commission court that the ship had been carrying slaves in violation of the terms of the particular treaty. Some historians have taken an optimistic view of the role of these institutions. Jenny S Martinez, for instance, says that ‘these slave trade courts were the first international human rights courts.’ They ‘applied international law’ and ‘explicitly aimed to promote humanitarian objectives.’ For Martinez, the story of these courts is one that ‘sheds important light on the origins of our contemporary system of international legal protection for human rights and also provides insight...

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Author
Divisions: Law
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2022 12:30
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2024 01:27

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