The Rights of War and Peace establishes a system of international law based on the concept of natural law. Natural law, as Grotius describes it, is law that applies to all people, regardless of country or nationality. This law establishes concepts like "justifiable war" and "natural justice."
Grotius discusses situations under which countries should go to war, and then further explains the proper way in which wars should be prosecuted. There are, he says, certain rules in warfare that must be observed, regardless of whether the parties involved have signed any specific agreement to do so.
Philosophy and law students, as well as those with an interest in international politics, will be amazed at how modern many of Grotius's ideas seem and intrigued by this foray into international law that still has repercussions in the world today.
HUGO GROTIUS (1583-1645) was born in the city of Delft in the Dutch Republic. Astoundingly intelligent, he entered the University of Leiden at age eleven and graduated at age fifteen. He was a philosopher and Christian apologist now remembered for his work in establishing a philosophical basis for international law.