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INTERNATIONAL LAW AND POLITICAL

SCIENCE

INTERNATIONAL LAW AND POLITICAL

SCIENCE

Reprinted from "The American Journal of International Law,” April,

1913.

'T is a truism that the science of law proper—the

science dealing with the national law of each nation

- is very different from the science of what is called international law. In the study of the law of the United States or the law of Great Britain, one finds the whole science based on the fact of the existence of a political society known as the United States or Great Britain, which formulates, applies, and enforces the law which governs these nations in their internal relations. When one enters upon the study of what is called international law, one finds himself expected to accept as a fundamental proposition that there is no political society which formulates, applies and enforces the law which he is told governs all nations in their external relations, and that this law is formulated, applied and enforced among or between the nations. This difference in fundamentals leads to corresponding differences in the derivative notions. Practitioners of law proper take little or no interest in what is called international law. From their point of view, that which is called international law is only a collection of the rules of a highly interesting game, success in which depends largely upon "face" and personality; nor can it be denied that there is much to justify this opinion. Students of law reflect the attitude of mind of the practi

tioner, and the great majority of students end their legal education when they finish the courses in national domestic law, giving no consideration to the law which governs the actions and relations of the nations.

In recent years, the development of what is known as political science, which is the science dealing with the structure and working of political societies, has accentuated the difficulties of students who wish to gain some knowledge of the political and legal affairs of the world. They study the structure and working of the town, the country, the state, and the nation for the purpose of making these political societies more economical and efficient. They even go beyond the confines of the nation and study the structure and working of vast political organisms like the British Empire for the same purpose. But when they seek to apply political science to the structure and working of the whole human society, they are confronted by a prevalent idea that beyond the limits of nations, or at least beyond the limits of political organisms like the British Empire, there is political chaos. They are taught that the nations are sovereign and independent, but that all the nations have the mutual attribute of solidarity. If the word solidarity is given its technical meaning, it seems not to imply a complete or a federal unity, but rather a mutual relationship of the persons or societies concerned under an implied contract of each with each, and with all, whereby all are the mutual guarantors of each other. In this technical sense, solidarity of the nations, seems, when analyzed, to imply a universal extension of the balance of power system, which for four centuries has drenched Europe with blood. If the nations are mutually guarantors of each other, it necessarily follows that if one nation becomes expansive or aggressive, "international solidarity" compels its sur

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