The Legal Understanding of Slavery: From the Historical to the Contemporary

Hardcover | October 5, 2012

EditorJean Allain

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"Slavery is the status or condition of a person over whom any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised." So reads the legal definition of slavery agreed by the League of Nations in 1926. Further enshrined in law during international negotiations in 1956 and 1998, this definition has been interpreted in different ways by the international courts in the intervening years. What can be considered slavery?Should forced labour be considered slavery? Debt-bondage? Child soldiering? Or forced marriage?This book explores the limits of how slavery is understood in law. It shows how the definition of slavery in law and the contemporary understanding of slavery has continually evolved and continues to be contentious. It traces the evolution of concepts of slavery, from Roman law through the MiddleAges, the 18th and 19th centuries, up to the modern day manifestations, including manifestations of forced labour and trafficking in persons, and considers how the 1926 definition can distinguish slavery from lesser servitudes.Together the contributors have put together a set of guidelines intended to clarify the law where slavery is concerned. The Bellagio-Harvard Guidelines on the Legal Parameters of Slavery, reproduced here for the first time, takes their shared understanding of both the past and present to project aconsistent interpretation of the legal definition of slavery for the future.

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"Slavery is the status or condition of a person over whom any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised." So reads the legal definition of slavery agreed by the League of Nations in 1926. Further enshrined in law during international negotiations in 1956 and 1998, this definition has been interpreted in dif...

Jean Allain is Professor of Public International Law at Queen's University, Belfast. He is Extraordinary Professor, Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, South Africa. He is founding Editor of the Irish Yearbook of International Law and the author of The Slavery Conventions (2008) and Slavery in Internation...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:430 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.01 inPublished:October 5, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199660468

ISBN - 13:9780199660469

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Table of Contents

Bellagio-Harvard Guidelines on the Legal Parameters of SlaveryIntroductionSection 1: Historical Readings of the Law of Slavery1. Antony Honore: The Nature of Slavery2. Richard Helmholz: The Law of Slavery in European ius commune3. Bernard Freamon: Definition and Conceptions of Slave Ownership in Islamic Law4. John Cairns: The Definition of Slavery in Eighteenth-Century Thinking: Not the True Roman Slavery5. Seymour Drescher: From Consensus to Consensus: Slavery in International LawSection 2: The American Experience: Blurred Boundaries of Slavery6. Paul Finkelman: Slavery in the United States: Persons or Property?,7. Allison Mileo Gorsuch: To Indent Oneself: Ownership, Contracts, and Consent in Antebellum Illinois8. Rebecca Scott: Under Color of Law: Siliadin v. France and the Dynamics of Enslavement in Historical Perspective9. Stanley Engerman: The Rise, Persistence, and Slow Decline of Legal Slavery10. William M. Carter, Jr.: The Abolition of Slavery in the United States: Historical Context and its Contemporary ApplicationSection 3: The 1926 Definition in Context11. Jean Allain: The Definition of Slavery into the Twenty-First Century12. Robin Hickey: Seeking to Understand the Definition of Slavery13. J. E. Penner: The Concept of Property and the Concept of Slavery14. Joel Quirk: Defining Slavery in all its Forms: Historical Inquiry as Contemporary InstructionSection 4: Contemporary Slavery15. Kevin Bales: Slavery in its Contemporary Manifestations16. Holly Cullen: Contemporary International Legal Norms on Slavery: Problems of Judicial Interpretation and Application17. Orlando Patterson: Trafficking, Gender, and Slavery: Past and Present18. Professor Kevin Bales' Response to Professor Orlando Patterson19. Professor Patterson Rejoiner: A Response to Professor Kevin BalesAppendices1926 Slavery Convention1956 Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery