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Vol 21 No 11 Nov/Dec 2016

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

Edited by: Jean Allain

ISBN13: 9780199660469
Published: October 2012
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £73.00



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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 Middle Ages, 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 a consistent interpretation of the legal definition of slavery for the future.

Subjects:
Human Rights and Civil Liberties, Legal History
Contents:
Bellagio-Harvard Guidelines on the Legal Parameters of Slavery
Introduction
SECTION 1: HISTORICAL READINGS OF THE LAW OF SLAVERY
1. The Nature of Slavery
2. The Law of Slavery in European ius commune
3. Definition and Conceptions of Slave Ownership in Islamic Law
4. The Definition of Slavery in Eighteenth-Century Thinking: Not the True Roman Slavery
5. From Consensus to Consensus: Slavery in International Law

SECTION 2: THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: BLURRED BOUNDARIES OF SLAVERY
6. Slavery in the United States: Persons or Property?,
7. To Indent Oneself: Ownership, Contracts, and Consent in Antebellum Illinois
8. Under Color of Law: Siliadin v. France and the Dynamics of Enslavement in Historical Perspective
9. The Rise, Persistence, and Slow Decline of Legal Slavery
10. The Abolition of Slavery in the United States: Historical Context and its Contemporary Application

SECTION 3: THE 1926 DEFINITION IN CONTEXT
11. The Definition of Slavery into the Twenty-First Century
12. Seeking to Understand the Definition of Slavery
13. The Concept of Property and the Concept of Slavery
14. Defining Slavery in all its Forms: Historical Inquiry as Contemporary Instruction

SECTION 4: CONTEMPORARY SLAVERY
15. Slavery in its Contemporary Manifestations
16. Contemporary International Legal Norms on Slavery: Problems of Judicial Interpretation and Application
17. Trafficking, Gender, and Slavery: Past and Present
18. Professor Kevin Bales' Response to Professor Orlando Patterson
19. Professor Patterson Rejoiner: A Response to Professor Kevin Bales

APPENDICES
1926. Slavery Convention
1956. Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery