International Law in Portuguese
- LAST MODIFIED: 25 August 2021
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199796953-0224
- LAST MODIFIED: 25 August 2021
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199796953-0224
Despite the current prevalence of English as a lingua franca in international law, many international lawyers in countries such as Portugal, Brazil, Mozambique, and Angola have written a number of works in Portuguese. While more than ever, scholars from Portuguese-speaking countries have contributed to international legal journals and edited volumes in English, international legal scholars still insist on writing in Portuguese for several reasons. Portugal and Brazil have a long history of engagement with international legal concepts, institutions, and rules, which also stems from their long and well-established diplomatic traditions. For centuries, Portuguese international lawyers, followed by those in Brazil, have dealt with international legal issues and reflected upon them in the Portuguese language. In addition, states where Portuguese is spoken that emerged after the decolonization movement have made the language relevant, especially in several African countries. Factors related to the editorial market are also noteworthy. Portuguese-speaking countries have populations that total nearly 300 million. A stable demand exists for works written in Portuguese: a significant number of international law textbooks are written in the language. One cannot underestimate the deliberate interest shown by some scholars in writing in Portuguese to stimulate a necessary polyphony in the international legal discipline and, in many cases, to give form to acts of resistance to what is seen as the prevalence of English in the current international law literature. International law literature written in Portuguese has shown a slight preference for specific topics, such as the law of the sea, sources, the relationship between international and domestic law, and human rights. The oceans have been economically and strategically crucial for Portugal and its former colonies for centuries. Preference given to sources is due also perhaps to the strong relevance that Romano-Germanic legal systems attach to formal legal sources. As seen in different parts of the world, the growing call for domestic actors, including courts, to interpret and apply international law helps to explain the increasing volume of work on the relationship between international and domestic law and human rights. This article has three main parts. The first part deals with Textbooks, Treatises, and Encyclopedias. The second concerns specific chapters of international law in which relevant literature written in Portuguese is identifiable. Although this article is mainly focused on books, the last section is devoted to the most pertinent international legal Journals and Blogs published in Portuguese. Most of the works are written by Brazilian scholars. However, this choice detracts in no way from the quality of scholarship in other Portuguese-speaking countries; rather, it derives from an attempt to present a wide variety of works, in different subfields of the discipline, in the Portuguese language. The higher number of books and journals published in Brazil derives from that country’s population of over 200 million and, consequently, to the presence of a large legal community there. Additionally, the existence of hundreds of law schools in that country and the fact that international law is a mandatory subject in their curricula are relevant factors.
Textbooks, Treatises, and Encyclopedias
A significant number of textbooks are available in Portuguese. They usually follow a traditional structure—found in many European textbooks—presenting the subjects and sources and treating the relationship between international and domestic law, responsibility, and peaceful settlement of disputes (Cunha 2019 and Rezek 2018). Some works, such as Mello 2004 and Amaral Júnior 2015, contain chapters on select fields, such as human rights, environmental law, and international economic law. Although some textbooks have relied strongly on international judicial cases, such as Cançado Trindade 2017 and Varella 2019, their methodology usually depends on the deductive method. Of particular interest is the innovative attempt in Gouveia 2017 to present a Portuguese-language perspective on international law and that of Lukamba 2017, which introduces an African one. It is worth mentioning the effort made in Ribeiro, et al. 2011 to produce an international law encyclopedia. Accioly 1956 is also an encyclopedic endeavor in three volumes.
Accioly, Hildebrando. Tratado de direito internacional público. 2d ed. 3 vols. Rio de Janeiro: IBGE, 1956.
Accioly's treatise is possibly the most comprehensive analysis of international law ever written in Portuguese. It is also translated into Spanish and French. The three volumes are full of references of historical relevance to Brazilian international legal practice. Accioly was a diplomat and legal adviser to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His professional and academic contributions, mainly summarized in the treatise, significantly influenced Brazilian positions held in international fora in the 20th century.
Amaral Júnior, Alberto do. Curso de direito internacional público. 5th ed. São Paulo, Brazil: Atlas, 2015.
A well-written and didactically designed volume both for undergraduate and for graduate students, this textbook presents the basic tenets of the international legal discipline. Also, it provides in-depth analysis of some subfields (such as international human rights, environmental law, and international trade law).
Cançado Trindade, Antônio Augusto. Princípios do direito internacional contemporâneo. 2d ed. Brasília: FUNAG, 2017.
This book is an original attempt to read several international law chapters through the lenses of some of its principles as delineated in international case law. Initially published in 1980, its current relevance lies in showing that a simple rule-based reading of international law may lead international lawyers to downgrade the role of principles, and justice, in international relations.
Cunha, Paulo Ferreira. Repensar o direito internacional: Raízes e asas. Coimbra, Portugal: Almedina, 2019.
This book aims to present, mostly to undergraduate students, the central tenets of international law. Adopting a post-disciplinary perspective (that assumes the unity of knowledge) and what the author calls a “notional topic” (which presents international law through definitions, notions, and concepts), the book represents an original account of contemporary international law.
Gouveia, Jorge Bacelar. Manual de direito internacional público: Uma perspectiva de língua portuguesa. 5th ed. Coimbra, Portugal: Almedina, 2017.
Perhaps the only textbook explicitly adopting a perspective that aims to study international law as practiced in Portuguese-speaking countries. The book also presents an extensive analysis of the main tenets of international law based on a comprehensive bibliography of authors from different Portuguese-speaking countries.
Lukamba, Paulino. Direito internacional público. 4th ed. Lisbon, Portugal: Escolar Editora, 2017.
In this textbook, Lukamba presents international law considering African perspectives and, specifically, Angolan ones. Didactically introducing the main chapters of international law, the author adopts a critical perspective, contesting, for example, the remaining influence of the notion of civilization in the discipline.
Mello, Celso D. de Albuquerque. Curso de direito internacional público. 15th ed. 2 vols. Rio de Janeiro: Renovar, 2004.
Although its last edition dates from fifteen years ago, this book is still an essential resource for international law teachers and students. Mello's textbook encompasses virtually all subfields of international law in more than seventy chapters. The literary culture of the author is evident from the multiple quotations he provides in different languages. Mello shows a strong affinity for Third World readings of the international legal order of his time.
Rezek, José Francisco. Direito internacional público: Curso elementar. 17th ed. São Paulo, Brazil: Saraiva, 2018.
This well-written volume is one of the most reissued textbooks in Portuguese. Its author, a former Brazilian Supreme Court and International Court of Justice judge, is a strong supporter of international law’s voluntarist conception.
Ribeiro, Manuel de Almeida, Francisco Pereira Coutinho, and Isabel Cabrita, eds. Enciclopédia de direito internacional. Coimbra, Portugal: Almedina, 2011.
This is the first encyclopedia of international law ever written in Portuguese. It is instrumental given its multiple entries on many topics related to international law and the deliberate accessible language adopted by the different authors.
Varella, Marcelo D. Direito internacional público. 8th ed. São Paulo, Brazil: Saraiva, 2019.
In this accessible textbook, written primarily for undergraduate students, the author grounds his vision of the discipline on the process of internationalization of law. Such an approach deals with expanding international law and the growing sharing of values and perspectives among different domestic legal systems.
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.
How to Subscribe
Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions. For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here.
- Act of State Doctrine
- Africa and Intellectual Property Rights for Plant Varietie...
- African Approaches to International Law
- African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights and the Af...
- Africa’s International Intellectual Property Law Regimes
- Africa’s International Investment Law Regimes
- Agreements, Bilateral and Regional Trade
- Agreements, Multilateral Environmental
- Applicable Law in Investment Agreements
- Archipelagic States
- Arctic Region
- Armed Opposition Groups
- Aut Dedere Aut Judicare
- Balance of Power
- Bandung Conference, The
- British Mandate of Palestine and International Law, The
- Children's Rights
- Civil Service, International
- Civil-Military Relations
- Cold War International Law
- Collective Security
- Command Responsibility
- Common Heritage of Mankind
- Complementarity Principle
- Compliance in International Law
- Conspiracy/Joint Criminal Enterprise
- Constitutional Law, International
- Consular Relations
- Contemporary Catholic Approaches
- Continental Shelf, Idea and Limits of the
- Cooperation in Criminal Matters, Cross-Border
- Courts, International
- Crimes against Humanity
- Criminal Law, International
- Cultural Rights
- Cyber Espionage
- Cyber Warfare
- Debt, Sovereign
- Decolonization in International Law
- Development Law, International
- Disarmament in International Law
- Disputes, Peaceful Settlement of
- Drugs, International Regulation, and Criminal Liability
- Early 19th Century, 1789-1870
- Ecological Restoration and International Law
- Economic Law, International
- Effectiveness and Evolution in Treaty Interpretation
- Enforced Disappearances in International Law
- Enforcement of Human Rights
- Environmental Compliance Mechanisms
- Environmental Institutions, International
- Environmental Law, International
- European Arrest Warrant
- Extraterritorial Application of Human Rights Treaties
- Fascism and International Law
- Feminist Approaches to International Law
- Financial Law, International
- Forceful Intervention for Protection of Human Rights in Af...
- Foreign Investment
- Freedom of Expression
- French Revolution
- Gender and International Law, Theoretical and Methodologic...
- Gender and International Security
- General Customary Law
- General Principles of Law
- Georgia and International Law
- Grotius, Hugo
- Habeas Corpus
- Hijaz and International Law, The
- History of International Law, 1550–1700
- Hostilities, Direct Participation in
- Human Rights
- Human Rights and Regional Protection, Relativism and Unive...
- Human Rights, European Court of
- Human Rights, Foundations of
- Human Trafficking
- Hybrid International Criminal Tribunals
- Immunity, Sovereign
- Indigenous Peoples
- Individual Criminal Responsibility
- Institutional Law
- Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and Inte...
- International and Non-International Armed Conflict, Detent...
- International Committee of the Red Cross
- International Community
- International Court of Justice
- International Criminal Court, The
- International Criminal Law, Complicity in
- International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR)
- International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia ...
- International Fisheries Law
- International Humanitarian Law
- International Humanitarian Law, Targeting in
- International Investment Agreements, Fair and Equitable Tr...
- International Investment Arbitration
- International Investment Law, Expropriation in
- International Law, Aggression in
- International Law, Amnesty and
- International Law and Economic Development
- International Law, Anthropology and
- International Law, Big Data and
- International Law, Climate Change and
- International Law, Derogations and Reservations in
- International Law, Dispute Settlement in
- International Law, Ecofeminism and
- International Law, Espionage in
- International Law, Hegemony in
- International Law in Greek
- International Law in Italian
- International Law in Northeast Asia
- International Law in Portuguese
- International Law in Turkish
- International Law, Marxist Approaches to
- International Law, Military Intervention in
- International Law, Money Laundering in
- International Law, Monism and Dualism in
- International Law, Peacekeeping in
- International Law, Proportionality in
- International Law, Reasonableness in
- International Law, Recognition in
- International Law, Self-Determination in
- International Law, State Responsibility in
- International Law, State Succession in
- International Law, the State in
- International Law, The Turkish-Greek Population Exchange a...
- International Law, the Turn to History in
- International Law, Trade and Development in
- International Law, Unequal Treaties in
- International Law, Use of Force in
- International Regulation of the Internet
- International Rule of Law, An
- International Territorial Administration
- International Trade and Human Rights
- Intervention, Humanitarian
- Investment Protection Treaties
- Investor-State Conciliation and Mediation
- Iran and International Law
- Iraq War, Britain and the
- Islamic Cooperation, International Law and the Organizatio...
- Islamic International Law
- Islamic Law and Human Rights
- Jurisprudence (Judicial Law-Making)
- Jus Cogens
- Just War
- Landlocked Countries and the Law of the Sea
- Law of the Sea
- Law of Treaties, The
- Law-Making by Non-State Actors
- League of Nations, The
- Lebanon, Special Tribunal for
- Legal Status of Military Forces Abroad
- Liability for International Environmental Harm
- Liberation and Resistance Movements
- Mandates in International Law
- Maritime Delimitation
- Martens Clause
- Medieval International Law
- Mens Rea, International Crimes
- Middle East Boundaries and State Formation
- Military Necessity
- Military Occupation
- Modes of Participation
- Most-Favored-Nation Clauses
- Multinational Corporations in International Law
- Nationality and Statelessness
- Natural Law
- New Approaches to International Law
- New Haven School of International Law, The
- Non liquet
- Noninternational Armed Conflict (“Civil War”)
- Nonstate Actors
- Nuclear Non-Proliferation
- Nuremberg Trials
- Organizations, International
- Pacifism in International Law
- Palestine (and the Israel Question)
- Peace Treaties
- Political Science, International Law and
- Private Military and Security Companies
- Protection, Diplomatic
- Public Interest, Human Rights, and Foreign Investment
- Rational Choice Theory
- Recognition of Foreign Penal Judgments
- Rendition, Extraterritorial Abduction, and Extraordinary R...
- Russian Approaches to International Law
- Sanctions, International
- Sanctions, International
- Soft Law
- Space Law
- Spanish School of International Law (c. 16th and 17th Cent...
- Sports Law, International
- State of Necessity
- Superior Orders
- Taba Arbitration, The
- Teaching International Law
- Territorial Title
- The 1948 Arab-Israeli Conflict and International Law
- The Ottoman Empire and International Law
- Theory, Critical International Legal
- Tokyo Trials, The
- Transnational Constitutionalism, Africa and
- Transnational Corruption
- Treaty Interpretation
- Ukrainian Approaches
- UN Partition Plan for Palestine and International Law, The
- UN Security Council, Women and the
- Underwater Cultural Heritage
- Unilateral Acts
- United Nations and its Principal Organs, The
- Universal Jurisdiction
- Uti Possidetis Iuris
- Vatican and the Holy See
- Victims’ Rights, International Criminal Law, and Proceedin...
- War Crimes
- Watercourses, International
- Western Sahara