Hugo Grotius frequently occupies the title, '`father' of international law.' While the origins of professional lineage were a source of professional and personal conflict for jurists in the nineteenth century, scholars today tend to treat Grotius as either a symbolic marker of changing historical thought, or the symbolic figure of a style or school of global governance. In the first instance, Grotius is important because he made a methodological leap in one form or another from a theological to a secular frame of jurisprudential thinking, and in so doing, characterized the dilemmas of governance in familiar terms to modernity. For other authors, the legacy of Grotius is not directly this shift from ecclesiastic to secular authority, but rather that his efforts are remembered to spark the political aspiration, implied to be at the core of international law itself, towards a more liberal tolerance of difference and a sentiment of restraint towards over-aggrandizing political agendas.
John D. Haskell,
Hugo Grotius in the Contemporary Memory of International Law: Secularism, Liberalism, and the Politics of Restatement and Denial,
Emory Int'l L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarlycommons.law.emory.edu/eilr/vol25/iss1/7