The Right of Humankind as Foundation for International Law
By Valentin Tomberg
About the Book
At the beginning of 1944, Valentin Tomberg (1900–1973), best-known at the time for his Christological works, moved to Cologne at the invitation of legal scholar Ernst von Hippel, and that same year was awarded the title of Doctor of Law for his dissertation, published by Angelico Press as The Art of the Good: On the Regeneration of Fallen Justice. Tomberg had come to regard the modern path away from a natural law founded upon religion and towards a legal positivism oriented towards power as a degeneration of the different levels of law, a “fall” he sought to reverse in the direction of regeneration. In his second jurisprudential work, here published as Jus Humanitatis: The Right of Humankind as Foundation for International Law, Tomberg presents the history of international law more broadly in such a way that it can serve the peaceful coexistence of all nations on earth.
Invoking Thomistic terms, he presents the step-by-step dismantling of the edifice of law as the eclipse of the lex divina and lex naturalis in the so-called “law of nations” or international law—to the point that the higher vocation of international law came to be understood as nothing more than a legitimizing of absolute power, which then led to the modern totalitarian state. In this inspired text, Tomberg equips us to set about reversing this degradation and establishing the right or law of humankind as foundation for international law.
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