Obrázky stránek

4. The advancement of agriculture and industries that can be developed to advantage in its different sections.

5. The uniformity of civil, commercial, and criminal legislation, recognizing as a fundamental principle the inviolability of life, respect for property, and the most absolute sacredness of the personal rights of man; uniformity in the system of custom-houses; in the monetary system, in such manner as to secure a fixed rate of exchange; general sanitation, and especially that of the Central American ports; the confidence in the Central American credit; uniformity in the system of weights and measures; the definition of what constitutes real property, in such a firm and unquestionable manner as will serve as a solid foundation for credit and permit the establishment of mortgage banks.

In addition to these two great institutions the conference recommended “the creation of a practical agricultural school in the Republic of Salvador, one of mines and mechanics in that of Honduras, and another of arts and trades in that of Nicaragua.” (Article IV, general treaty of peace and amity.) The steps taken for the professional education of the citizens of the republics can not be too highly commended, for upon the education of the people the industrial and, in large measure, the political development of the republics must depend. The establishment of Central American institutions in each one of the republics is as educationally sound as it is politically wise; because, while working for the common good, each republic is given a special interest in the institution established in its midst.

In accordance with the ideas set forth in the previous paragraph, that education should be Central American, it is provided in Article VII of the general treaty that professional degrees obtained in one country shall be recognized in the others, and all professionally qualified shall have the right to exercise their professions in the respective countries of Central America.

A further step in the unification of Central America, consciously taken and with a full understanding of its import, was the convention concerning future Central American conferences, the preamble and first article of which require quotation in full:

The Governments of the Republics of Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Salvador, desiring to promote the unification and harmony of their interests, as one of the most efficacious means to prepare for the fusion of the Central American peoples into one single nationality, have agreed to conclude a convention for the naming of commissions and for the meeting of Central American conferences, which shall agree upon the most efficacious and proper means to the end of bringing uniformity into their economical and fiscal interests; and to that end have named as delegates :


ARTICLE I. Each one of the contracting governments obligates itself to name within one month, counted from the last ratification of this agreement, one or more commissions, which shall occupy themselves preferably with the study of all that concerns the monetary system of their respective countries, especially in relation to those of the other states, and interchange amongst them; and, besides, the study of everything relating to the custom-house systems, the system of weights and measures, and other matters of an economic and fiscal nature which it may be deemed expedient to make uniform in Central America.

And finally, moved by the desire to come into closer relations and to open up their countries not merely to the citizens of each republic or to the republics as a whole, but also to the outside world, a convention on communications was adopted by which, through the appointment of commissioners, the respective countries might co operate in the realization of the Pan-American Railway and the establishment of various lines of communication between the separate republics, such as lines of " steamships, submarine cables, telegraph lines, wireless stations, telephones, and everything that may tend to bind closer their mutual relations." (Article IX of the convention on communications.) This convention is based upon the broad principle that people are enemies, or at least unfriendly, because they do not know each other, and that every means of communication, whatever be its kind or nature, is a means of peace.

The conference could not well hope to establish law and order upon a permanent basis unless some means were created to bring offenders against law and order to justice, not merely as a punishment to those who committed crime but as a deterrent to those who might seek safety in flight. The conference therefore drew up and signed a convention of extradition in which the subject was treated broadly and upon principle, and in which doubtful questions which might lead to controversy were resolved in advance. Article I provides who shall be extradited and Article II provides who shall not be, thereby viewing the subject from both sides. These articles are as follows:

ARTICLE I. The contracting republics agree to deliver up reciprocally the individuals who may take refuge in the territory of one of them and who in the other may have been condemned as authors, accomplices, or abettors of a crime, to a penalty of not less than two years of deprivation of their liberty, or who may have been indicted for a crime which, in accordance with the laws of the demanding country, carries a penalty equal to or greater than that above stated.


Extradition shall not be granted in any of the following cases :

1. When the evidence of criminalty presented by the demanding party would not justify, according to the laws of the place where the fugitive so charged is found, his apprehension and commitment for trial, if the offense had been there committed.

2. When the offense charged is of a political character, or, being a common crime, is connected therewith.

3. When under the laws of the demanding country or of that of asylum, the action or the penalty has been barred.

4. If the accused demanded should have been already tried and sentenced for the same act in the republic wherein he resides.

5. If in the latter, the act because of which extradition is requested should not be considered a crime.

6. When the penalty corresponding to the crime for which extradition is requested shall be that of death, unless the demanding government binds itself to apply the next lower penalty.

Article III deals with the vexed question as to whether a crime ceases to be a crime merely because the criminal has a political purpose in mind. For example, is the murder of the chief of a nation any the less a murder because he happens to be the chief executive of a country? Article III represents the sober sense of the question.

The attempt against the life of the head of the government or anarchistical attempts shall not be considered a political crime, providing that the law of the demanding country and of the country of which extradition is requested shall have fixed a penalty for said acts. In that case extradition shall be granted, although even when the crime in question shall carry a penalty of less than two years of imprisonment.

Article IV likewise represents the weight of opinion in holding that a nation shall not be bound to surrender its own citizens, but the nation in which the fugitives are found obligates itself to “try them for the infractions of the penal code committed in any of the other republics, and the respective government must communicate the corresponding proceedings, information, and documents, and deliver the articles which constitute the corpus delicti, furnishing everything conducive to the investigation necessary for the expedition of the trial.”

Articles V and VI wisely provide that violations committed by the fugitive in the place of his refuge shall be punished and sentence served before extradition will be granted for a prior offense committed in the extraditing country (Article V), and if several countries make request for the same fugitive priority of application shall determine the surrender (Article VI). From this brief analysis it will be seen that the extradition convention reflects distinct credit upon the conference.

These conventions would have been sufficient in themselves to justify the calling of an international conference to deal with Central American affairs, but the crowning glory is the convention for the establishment of a Central American court of justice.

| The convention in its preamble happily says that the court is established" for the purpose of efficaciously guaranteeing their rights and maintaining peace and harmony inalterably in their relations without being obliged to resort in any case to the employment of force.” And the constitution of the court, to consist of a judge from each of the contracting nations, is broad enough to permit it to assume jurisdiction whether the controversy arises between the contracting states or whether it be a controversy arising from the violation of treaties or conventions and other cases of an international character submitted by individuals with or without the support of the home government, provided, however, that the remedies which the laws of the respective country provide against such violation shall have been exhausted and that a denial of justice shall be shown. (Articles I and II.)

Nor is this all. Article III provides that

It shall also take cognizance of the cases which by common accord the contracting governments may submit to it, no matter whether they arise between two or more of them or between one of said governments and individuals.

It shall also have jurisdiction over cases arising between any of the contracting governments and individuals, when by common accord they may have been submitted to it.

[ocr errors]

The court therefore is not merely a court of arbitration as it would be were sovereign states the only suitors; but it is a court of justice because individuals may apply to it for a judicial remedy to be administered or found by judges acting under a sense of judicial responsibility. The court is not created to decide cases which governments or individuals may be pleased to refer to it, but the contracting states (Article I)bind themselves to submit all controversies or questions which may arise among them, of whatsoever nature and no matter what their origin may be, in case the respective departments of foreign affairs should not have been able to reach an understanding.

The duty to submit is in this case obligatory, but the jurisdiction of the court is broadened so that

The court may likewise take cognizance of the international questions which by special agreement any one of the Central American governments and a foreign government may have determined to submit to it. (Article IV.)

In other words, the court is not to be solely a court for the settlement of disputes between the governments of Central America and between governments and individuals of Central America, but it may become an international court in the largest sense of the word by reason of the jurisdiction especially conferred upon it by Article IV, just quoted. The court is to be permanent, composed of five judges, with its seat in the city of Cartago, in the Republic of Costa Rica, but it may sit elsewhere provided a change be deemed necessary or advisable.

Article XX provides that the contracting governments formally bind themselves to obey, and compel to be obeyed, the orders of the court, furnishing all the assistance that may be necessary for their

« PředchozíPokračovat »