The Asian Jurist and the Empire: Radhabinod Pal, Anticolonialism, and the Counter-Discourse of International Law


ACLS Fellowship Program




The Asian Jurist is the first comprehensive book-length project on the life and work of Radhabinod Pal, arguably the most important Asian jurist of the twentieth century. Pal won worldwide attention with his lone dissenting judgment in the Tokyo Trials of 1946, held by the victorious powers of the Second World War to try Japanese wartime leaders. In this dissenting opinion Pal mounted the most significant legal challenge from the colonized world to the very foundation of existing international law grounded in empire. This project locates Pal’s counter-discourse of international law within the long history of anticolonialism and Pan-Asianism, and highlights the critical role non-western thinkers have played in the history of international law.