According to Justinian, ‘Jus gentium’ is “that which natural reason has established among all men, that which all peoples uniformly regard.[1] ‘Jus gentium’ is common to the whole human kind.”[2] This idea of a body of law common to all men assumed a different meaning when states multiplied and writer after writer redefined and qualified its meaning. ‘Jus gentium’ became the subject of many controversies.[3] Among the qualifying terms were “internal,” “necessary,” “natural,””positive.”

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[1] “Inst.,” I., 2, 1.

[2] “Inst.,” I., 2, 2.

[3] Heffter, “Völkerrecht,” § 2.