Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

conditions of protection of industrial property within the Union, the right of priority of inventors, and the protection of trade marks.

A congress of governmental representatives met at Paris in June with the purpose of arriving at an understanding regarding the law of the air and aviation. The resolutions of the conference favored the principle of freedom of movement in the air across national boundary, the right of each state to protect its territory by proper police regulations, and the obligation of aviators to carry certificates of international validity.

In June, the First International Congress for Juvenile Courts was held at Paris, with the participation of seventeen governments. It passed several general resolutions and provided for the creation of a permanent international commission.

In October, the Maritime Law Conference was held at Paris. The International Opium Conference which has been in preparation for some time met at the Hague on December 1st. With the exception of Austria-Hungary, the powers which had been present at the Opium Conference at Shanghai in 1909 were again represented. The conference chose as its president Bishop Brent of the American Delegation.

The Commission of the International Sugar Union at its meeting in December discussed the demand of Russia that the quota of allowable sugar export from that country be increased to 300,000 tons. The question also arose whether such permission to increase the export from Russia might be made contingent upon the market price. The Commission adjourned until January, without arriving at a decision.

In the course of the year the officials and other representatives of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace developed detailed plans according to which the work of this institution is to be carried on. Three general divisions were formed, for International Law, for Economics and History, and for Propaganda. It is intended that the work carried on under the Endowment shall rest upon scientific investigation. Large sums will therefore be expended in the scientific study of international law, international relations, and the economic causes

and effects of warfare. In August a conference of twenty leading economists and publicists of the principal countries took place at Bern, where a program was elaborated for economic and historical studies connected with war and military preparations.

A matter of great importance is the rejection by the British House of Lords of the Naval Prize Bill. The bill had after long discussion been adopted by the House of Commons by the relatively small majority of 47; the House of Lords rejected it on December 13th by a vote of 145 to 53. The bill included the sanctioning, on the part of Great Britain, of the Hague convention relating to an international prize court, and of the London Declaration on the laws of warfare by sea. The chief objections made against these measures in Great Britain were that the court was too large, and that among its fifteen members Great Britain, the most powerful maritime nation, was to have only one representative. The arguments made against the Declaration of London centered about the provisions with respect to contraband, which make it possible for food to be treated as contraband, to the disadvantage of Great Britain in case of a war; another cause of dissatisfaction was that the conversion of merchantmen into war vessels on the high seas was not forbidden by the Declaration, as had been desired by Great Britain as against the practice of Russia. The Adverse vote of the House of Lords is not necessarily fatal to a ratification of the Hague convention by Great Britain, but it will undoubtedly have the effect of delaying this action for some time. The Declaration of London is not technically in need of ratification, as it will always have a certain inherent validity as a statement of principles agreed to by the authorized representatives of the powers who took part in the conference of London in 1909.

The events of the year 1911 have led to a great deal of discussion of the value and validity of the Hague agreements and of international law itself. The repeated disregard of treaties by various powers and the ruthless action of Italy in trying to possess herself of a Turkish province, have shaken the faith of the public in the power of treaties and international law to

restrain national forces when impelled by what may seem at the time a vital national interest. There is some danger that the conception may become current that international politics is the unrestrained struggle for national advantage. But on the other hand the unanimous condemnation with which the action of Italy was received, indicates that the idea of international right is strong and that a breach of international law is keenly felt. By the side of the impression that the institutions of international judicature thus far created are too weak to cope with the difficulties of the situation, the idea is gaining ground, not that these institutions will be abandoned as an experiment which has failed, but that the events of the past year serve only to emphasize the need of strengthening them. A condition of rightlessness, such as is threatened should action like that of Italy become general, would be intolerable. At the present state of its development the world would not submit to it. Should this mode of action threaten to become general, terrible struggles would be inevitable as a result of which the rule of law would be established either by a power strong enough to impose its rule or by a group of powers working jointly for a common purpose. It is a part of statesmanship to avoid profitless struggles and to work towards joint action by a group of responsible powers strong enough to give a sanction to international law. But only when such action is based upon the idea of justice unbiased by national interest, can good results be expected from it.

But in the current discussion of the validity of international law it is generally overlooked that one breach of international law actuated by supposedly vital national interests is by no means equal to an abolition of legality in the world. A multitude of relations continue to be governed day after day, year after year, by the rules of international law. Representative statesmen, before they take action in matters large or small, inform themselves in their chancellaries concerning international rules and rights in the matter, and even if in one case they should decide that an overpowering national interest demands a disregard of law, in hundreds of cases they will

be only too glad to have a definite rule whereby to govern their action. So, throughout the year 1911, notwithstanding the untoward happenings above discussed, the sway of international law was strengthened and extended; in the decisions of arbitration tribunals, of national courts, and of representative authorities dealing with international affairs, a multitude of precedents for our future guidance were created.

THE OPERATION OF THE RECALL IN OREGON

JAMES D. BARNETT

University of Oregon

The "final crowning act to complete the temple of popular government here” was the adoption of the “recall” by a constitutional amendment in June, 1908. This provision allows the recall of any elective public officer by the voters of the district from which he was elected. The recall is instituted by filing a petition demanding the recall, signed by twenty-five per cent of the number of electors who voted in the district at the preceding election for justice of the supreme court. The petition must set forth the reasons for the demand. The officer may avoid a recall election by resignation. If he does not resign within five days after the petition has been filed, a special election in practice it may be called at the same time as the general election) is called to determine whether he shall continue in office. He is virtually a candidate for reëlection without nomination, since others may be nominated for the office, and the person receiving the highest number of votes cast at the election is declared elected, whether he is the person whose recall is demanded or another. No petition may be circulated against an officer until he has held office for six months except in the special case of a member of the legislature, where it may be filed within five days from the beginning of the first session after his election. After one recall election no additional recall petitions may be filed against the same officer during the same term unless the petitioners pay into the public treasury the amount of the expenses of the preceding recall election.

There has been some uncertainty as to whether or not the constitutional amendment is operative without additional

« PředchozíPokračovat »