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to by foreign states for the judicial settlement of their disputes. So also federal states or empires may form their own courts for the administration of this supreme law as between their own constituent states, and may provide for the resort of foreign states to these tribunals.
By the establishment of such national, federal or imperial courts having jurisdiction over states by administering this supreme universal law, the supreme international court—when one shall be established by agreement of the nations—will be safeguarded, as the Supreme Court of the United States is safeguarded by the fact that every court in the United States administers this universal supreme law. Under such an arrangement the Supreme Court becomes “the last resort, on appeal," in disputes between states, and has the benefit of the consideration and action of other courts.
Such an international supreme court would of course need to be safeguarded in every possible way, so that its attention might be invoked only when the sifting process has been carried to the last extremity and when the final issues have been determined and the material facts on both sides have been stated in the most succinct form. During the Colonial period, England and Great Britain found it necessary to have the King in Council assisted by a subordinate council to act as master in chancery or referee, and to investigate social and economic questions. It was also found necessary that the King in Council should have power to appoint commissioners for investigating facts at a distance from Great Britain and should have, indeed, all the powers necessary to make its jurisdiction effective. Such powers, it would seem, an international supreme court ought to have.
In view of the fact that states may represent the
claims of their citizens against foreign states, the volume of business of a supreme international court will tend to be increasingly large, and it will become increasingly necessary as it has in the case of the Supreme Court of the United States, that the jurisdiction of such a court should, so far as possible, be limited to deciding questions which it has been impossible to decide by agreement or by resort to any other tribunal.
If it be the case, as it appears to be, that one of the functions of such an international supreme court would be to administer this supreme universal law, it would follow that it ought to have jurisdiction, similar to that which the Supreme Court of the United States has under the fourteenth amendment, in cases where a citizen of the state complains against his own state for its violation of his fundamental rights as an individual. Jurisdiction of such cases, would, it would seem, be as useful for doing away with the necessity of civil war as would the jurisdiction of cases between states for doing away with the necessity of foreign war.
This examination of the development of the American doctrine of jurisdiction of courts over states will, it is hoped, have served to show that the Supreme Court of the United States exists not merely as a part of the Federal Union for the interpretation of the Constitution, but that it has a reason for its existence which appeals equally to all the nations of the world, in that it expounds and applies the supreme universal law securing the fundamental rights of the individual, which the Constitution recognizes and which binds all nations and peoples; and in that it upholds the fundamental rights of the states is the best means of upholding this law.
It would seem, therefore, that it is immaterial whether the nations of the world shall federate in the same way that the United States have federated or in any other way; or whether they shall remain substantially as they are at present. The close relationship of federal union under a general government may be too intimate for the separated and diverse nations of the world, and the most efficient bond of union may be this supreme universal law securing the fundamental rights of the individual against all governmental action, administered by the courts of all the nations, federal states, and empires of the world, and in the last resort on appeal by an international supreme court established by the nations.