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Title: The Right of Infidels to Protect their Goods from the Perspective of the 15th Century Polish School of Ius gentium
Author(s): BAŃCZYK, Wojciech
Journal: Ethical Perspectives
Volume: 24    Issue: 1   Date: 2017   
Pages: 39-58
DOI: 10.2143/EP.24.1.3200593

Abstract :
The present article deals with the right of infidels to protect their goods (mainly territory) and, in particular, to oppose military conversion directed against their ownership and governance, according to the doctrine of the Polish school of ius gentium created by Stanislas of Scarbimiria and Paulus Vladimiri. Based on theological and legal sources, the core of their doctrine is human dignity, which respects the equality of all individuals regardless of their faith. The said equality implied equal subjection to the provisions of natural law. Infidels thus had a right to live peacefully and to possess territories. In the opinion of Innocent IV, moreover, they were to receive a title to non-inhabited land they had once occupied. These rights were accompanied by the right to defend possessions against violation. The right to respond in self-defence to any invasion is also described as entirely natural, demonstrated by the Roman maxim vim vi repellere licet. But such a possibility remained limited. The entire doctrine aims at the confirmation of the right of infidels to protect their goods. While locating it in the context of applying these agreed rights to real situations in 15th century Europe, I conclude by contrasting it with the religious discrimination that has taken place throughout the ages.

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