Thursday, April 10, 2008

On April 10

On this day in ...
... 1583 (425 years ago today), in Delft, Netherlands, Hugo Grotius was born, on an Easter Sunday, into a family that "was moderately prosperous, well-educated and ambitious." At age 8, "he began writing skilful elegies in Latin," at 11 "he was a student in the Faculty of Letters at the University of Leiden," and at 15, he took part in his 1st diplomatic mission, as part of a delegation to France. There, about the time of the 1599 portrait at right, he "earned (or possibly just bought) a law degree from the University of Orléans." Before his death in 1645 Grotius would write an immense body of work -- including Mare Liberum/Freedom of the Seas (1608) and De iure belli ac pacis/On the Law of War and Peace (1625) -- that established him as, among many other things, a foreparent of international law. As we've posted, ASIL-West will be celebrating his birthday this evening; if you're in D.C., join us. (portrait credit)
... 1972, at London, Moscow, and Washington, the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction was opened for signature. The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, as it's known, entered into force on March 26, 1975, also the date of U.S. ratification of the treaty. It has 158 states parties.

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