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weaker states to its possessions, if with its own strong arm or with the potential help of an alliance like the Triple Alliance, it can keep its rivals from interference and from extension, a system that seems to have reached its culmination and to have begun its decline in our own time; the logical necessity, however, of alliances and of a balance of power so long as independent imperialistic nations exist; the wisdom of having kept the United States practically out of alliances up to this time; the desirability of still keeping our country clear of them, in the future; and the need of an international organization based upon the mutual interests of all nations rather than on the special interests of some of them; of juridical methods rather than methods of force; an organization in which alliances and secret treaties have no place.
That the whole arrangement of the Triple Alliance, therefore, has gone by the board is one of the greatest blessings of the worlds' upheaval; and it should be the hope of every lover of mankind that a better order of European relations may take its place.
JAMES L. TRYON.
Intervention in International Law. By Ellery C. Stowell. Washington,
D. C.: John Byrne & Co. 1921. pp. viii, 558.
In this volume Mr. Stowell has industriously and successfully gathered together data relative to many interventions which have taken place between nations, for purposes of redress, expiation, indemnity, security, or punishment, devoting much attention particularly to humanitarian intervention. In our point of view, and in the present chaotic state of what passes under the name of international law, the book has the value resultant upon industrious labor and judicious collection of instances. We can not believe, however, that it is written upon the theory of international law which, with growing civilization among men, must be accepted if sound reason and the highest ideals of justice are to prevail. The author accepts too readily, we conceive, the principle that might makes right, coupling this with the idea that that which has been done by nations, if repeated sufficiently often, makes law. Of course as to things indifferent in themselves the practices of nations may make sound customs, but the practice of the stronger to lay down rules of action for the weaker, which is almost universal in cases of intervention, is quite another matter. This distinction Mr. Stowell ignores, but may only be criticized for this to the same degree that other writers, who feel that they are laying down international law, may be subjected to the same criticism. Our position in this respect may be elucidated by examining some extracts from Mr. Stowell's work. He says, for instance:
It sometimes happens that a weak or harassed government is unable or unwilling to compel its nationals to observe International Law. In such a situation, the State whose nationals or whose interests are endangered may act directly to compel the observance of International Law.
If Mr. Stowell had simply said that in such cases States often use violence, he would have been more nearly correct, and if he had observed that nations only so act when they feel themselves to be very much stronger than the nation supposed to be in default, he would have made an observation justified by the instances he cites.
Mr. Stowell points out the difficulties which arise within a community when individuals seek revenge on their own account, and he finds that thereby the "avengers were constantly embroiling the community in order to gratify their more selfish lust for revenge.” That an infinitely greater and more intolerable evil exists when a nation becomes its own avenger, and that such action is in itself a violation of true international law, Mr. Stowell, we regret to say, does not appreciate. Particularly he regards a supposed loss of prestige as a justification for bloody intervention. Exactly why this should be true when similar actions are not justified on the part of an individual in like case, or why the wholesale slaughter of men to restore prestige should be more virtuous than individual killing does not appear.
An illustration of the repetition of the old idea that superior force is its own law is furnished by Mr. Stowell when he says that in settlement of the Alabama Claims the American demand for indirect losses was not allowed, "but if war, instead of arbitration, had settled the controversy, there would have been no legal objection to the collection of the indirect losses, provided that the result of the recourse to arms had been sufficiently favorable to the United States." It was by virtue of a general principle of law, thoroughly recognized in England and in the United States as between private individuals, that indirect losses were not allowed. In other words they were not treated as either legal or right. A successful war, however, in Mr. Stowell's opinion, would have changed the legal situation and converted that which was originally illegal into legality.
It can not be admitted that anything which may properly be called law can be changed in its nature by a show of superior force, and so long as what passes as international law recognizes the contrary, it will fail to be a science or worthy of respect.
Mr. Stowell finds that“when a State exacts redress for the injury to its prestige or interests, it protects society by making it certain to all who harbor evil designs that the transgressor will be brought to book.” Inasmuch as such exaction of redress never takes place except the attacking nation be stronger than the supposed offending nation, Mr. Stowell's statement can only be true when the offender is the weaker. He leaves, therefore, the nation superior in power with full liberty to harbor evil designs without fear of being brought to book. But after all, who is to determine that the weaker nation has wrongfully affected the “prestige or interests” of the stronger? So long as the stronger nation alone settles this matter, there can be neither law nor justice controlling the situation. The whole statement, therefore, amounts simply to an assertion that if the weaker nation does something that the stronger nation conceives prejudicial to it, the stronger nation can attack and inflict its own punishment. This may be true as a statement of fact, the fact being that the stronger nation is a law unto itself, but it is not a statement of anything that may be regarded as fundamental international law.
Again illustrating his idea, Mr. Stowell states that, “In view of the many instances in which bombardment and drastic measures have been employed, it is hard to deny that there is a presumption of legality in their favor.” In other words, it would seem from Mr. Stowell's declaration that the more often under circumstances of brutality, stronger nations have taken vengeance into their own hands, the more convincing the proof of their right to be judges in their own cause and to inflict death upon innocent people in no wise connected with the offense. It would seem that the multiplication of ciphers somehow creates a positive quantity. True international law can not be so written.
All we have said is not a discussion as to whether war is or is not proper or justifiable. It is simply to point out that law is one thing and that the organized chaos (paradoxically speaking) called war is another and entirely different thing. Confusion upon this point on the part of international law writers has made their teachings a mockery to the laymen, who will not regard international law seriously till a bill of divorcement has been signed between it and war in all its phases. The two do not belong in the same bed.
In the present state of barbarism in international law, or pseudo international law, the usefulness of Mr. Stowell's book and the occasion for its writing may not be denied.
JACKSON H. RALSTON.
La Liga de las Naciones-Trabajos de la Segunda Asamblea. By Cosme de
la Torriente. Habana: Imprenta y Papelería de Rambla y Cía., 1922.
The above is a report made to the President of Cuba by Señor Cosme de la Torriente in his capacity of president of the Cuban Delegation to the Second Meeting of the League of Nations. The report is divided into fourteen parts followed by several appendices, eight in number, which complete and illustrate the text. The first twelve parts of the report cover some explanatory and historical antecedents, organization of the Assembly, personnel of the various committees created and the proceedings and resolutions and recommendations adopted.
Part XIII of the report contains some interesting remarks in respect to the League:
The League has already accomplished something, but has not as yet carried out all the program announced in the Covenant either expressly or by implication. For instance, little has been accomplished in the
way of centralization, the true internationalization of all offices, commissions or international unions existing under general conventions. It is, however, impossible at the present time to accomplish anything really complete from an international point of view, unless the world can be assured of the great spiritual and material support of the United States of America; moreover, the absence of this powerful State from the League is solely responsible for the perplexities felt in some quarters in respect thereof, and specially for the present delay in accomplishing two of the most far-reaching reforms which the League is endeavoring to introduce in the relations between nations, namely, the practical reduction of armaments and the establishment of the economic blockade.
The Covenant is not, nor can it be, perfect. The necessity of amending its provisions is quite evident; and in the amendments to be introduced, attention should be given to the organization of the Council, reěnforcement of the authority of the Assembly, over certain questions, without thereby giving rise to situations which might be inconsistent with the sovereignty and individual interests of the States members of the League. There is urgent need, on the other hand, of special reforms to facilitate, in the future, the admission of the United States to the League; and these reforms should come from, or rather originate with the delegations of the American members. Perhaps the American foreign offices should not further delay the work of drafting a plan of amendments to the Covenant with this end in view.
There is a great Pan-American interest, and a universal interest as well, in facilitating at the same time, by all possible means, the admission of Mexico, Ecuador and San Domingo as members of the League of Nations. When all the American countries come to be thus represented in the League, the influence of this Continent over the work and progress of the Association will be decisive in respect to the preservation of peace and the establishment of justice and equality among nations.
And referring to the personnel of the offices of the League, it is said:
A greater number of non-European nationals must be included in the personnel of the offices of the League, without overlooking the proportion of Latin-Americans. When the occasion arises to fill vacancies in the League calling for a knowledge of the Spanish language, spoken and written, these positions should not be filled by the nationals of only two or three out of the sixteen Spanish-speaking members, but should be distributed proportionally; and when it becomes necessary to appoint experts on Latin-American questions, only citizens of the Latin-American Republics should be eligible for appointment, as the only possible and competent candidates to these positions.
Europe is still in need of the League of Nations more than any other part of the world; but, without intending to make a selfish declaration, it is to be hoped that the interest of the League in strictly non-European problems will continue to grow. For this reason it is desirable that the personnel of the offices of the League be modified as above suggested.
Then follows a number of recommendations intended to "create and promote, through the League, relations of solidarity, appreciation and respect founded upon the strict fulfillment of international obligations and discharge of the responsibilities which are imposed upon Cuba by her own status as a sovereign state.”
The appendices refer to the personnel of the several delegations to the Assembly, order of business and proceedings of the plenary sessions, Covenant of the League of Nations, and list of original members thereof and States invited to join the same, by-laws of the Assembly and of the Permanent Court of International Justice, and a report of the proceedings of the third committee of the Assembly.
PEDRO CAPO RODRIGUEZ.
Le droit international public positif. By J. de Louter. Oxford: Oxford
University Press. 1920. 2 vols. pp. xi, 576; vi, 509.
In the year 1910 Professor de Louter, the veteran occupant of the chair of public international law at the University of Utrecht, in the Netherlands, published in the Dutch language his Het Stellig Volkenrecht (Positive International Law), a work which was promptly accepted as one of the best treatises on the subject in recent times, by reason of the scrupulous fairness and the scientific method with which all questions were approached and the thoroughness with which they were treated consistent with limitations of space. For an extended review of that work reference is made to an earlier volume of this JOURNAL.'
The French edition which has now appeared is a translation by the hand of the author himself, thus rendering his work accessible to students of international law throughout the world. Some modifications have been made to bring the work forward to the date of the commencement of the World War, in order to present a faithful statement of public international law as it existed in 1914, with the expectation that its status at that date will be the foundation for its further development.
The importance of Professor de Louter's treatise is indicated by the fact that it is the third to appear in the Bibliothèque de Droit des Gens of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
International Relations. By James Bryce. New York: The Macmillan
Co. 1922. pp. viii, 275. $2.50.
This volume, the last published work of the distinguished author, contains the eight lectures delivered by him before the Institute of Politics at Williamstown, Mass., in the summer of 1921. The preface written by the author on December 22, 1921, exactly one month before his death, states:
Painfully struck by the fact that while the economic relations between nations have been growing closer, and the personal intercourse between their members far more frequent, political friendliness between States
i Volume 5, page 834.