The Grotius Society. Volume III. Problems of the War

The Grotius Society. Volume III. Problems of the War

Bibliographic Details

London: Sweet & Maxwell, Limited. 1918

Book Review

Brief, pointed, impartial and informing, several of the papers in this collection would serve as articles for an encyclopaedia of international law. Very little discussion that followed the reading of the papers is printed, but whatever appears has the compactness of text-book style which contrasts favorably with that of the diffuse stenographic reports that usually record the debates of an American convention. With one or two exceptions, the papers are confined to technical questions that have been raised by the war, and all of them are of a practical nature. Sober in treatment and neither speculative nor sentimental in substance, they include neither projects for a United States of the World nor a scheme for the enforcement of the decrees of an international court; but in 1917 the topic of a league of nations was growing in the British mind. “Treaties of Peace,” by Commander Sir Graham Bower, deals with treaties that brought to a close the War of the Spanish Succession, the Napoleonic War and the Congress of Vienna, the Anglo-American War of 1812, and the Crimean War.

Introduction to The Grotius Society. Volume III. Problems of the War

Viewing them from the standpoint of effecting permanent peace, and not merely of temporarily ending a conflict, Commander Bower dwells upon the good example of the Treaty of Ghent. Although he refrains from making proposals as to the present treaty of peace, he makes a summary of the lessons that he has drawn, which might be taken as suggestions by the peace commissioners of the associated Powers.

Context of The Grotius Society. Volume III. Problems of the War

“Belligerent Merchantmen in Neutral Ports,” by Sanford Cole, who cites the controversy between Germany and Portugal, takes the ground that a neutral is not obliged to give unconditional hospitality to belligerent ships in time of war, either by admitting them to its ports or by refraining from requisitioning them if they are already in port. “The Black List,” by J. E. G. de Montmorency, derives that list, which some people have thought a British invention; from prize court cases decided in American courts during the Civil War.

Thesis Statement

In “The Deutschland” Judge Atherley-Jones holds that the submarine of that name, not from its warlike buil d only, but also as the announced organ of the German state, should be given both by neutrals and belligerents the status of a warship. “International Law Teaching,” by E. A. Whittuck, one of the most interesting papers in this collection, shows that in theBritish Empire generally, international law, which is not required as a qualification for the foreign office, the diplomatic or the consular services, and is lightly regarded by the Council of Legal Education that represents the Inns of Court, is taught in a few educational centers like Oxford, Cambridge and London by a few great men to a few students to whom it is usually an optional subject for a university degree.

More about The Grotius Society. Volume III. Problems of the War

Salaries of instructors in international law are generally small, and in some instances their status in the academic world is lower than it should be. The Admiralty is the only government department that has provided direct instruction in international law, employing authorities like Dr. Lawrence and A. Pearce Higgins; but it is hoped that it will become a more popular study in the future and be better known than it is to British statesmen, who, as a rule, have to depend upon the advice of specialists, only a limited number of whom may now be called upon for assistance. Mr. Whittuck pays tribute to the efforts of the American Society of International Law to put the teaching of this subject on a scientific basis. “The Control of Air Spaces,” by J. E. G. de Montmorency, takes the ground that the sea-law of effective occupation, as laid down by the British writer Hall, applies to the air and that, therefore, the law of the air gives to a nation that in time of war can effectively occupy or strategically control by exclusion the high air spaces in super ocean areas or above such seas and straits as the Black Sea, the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, the right of temporary ownership in them, subject to regulated rights of innocent passage. “Legal War Work in Egypt,” by Sir Malcolm McIlwraith, describes the simplification and unification by tht military authorities, during the present war, of the complex laws of Egypt and shows that discriminating privileges and obstructions to justice which existed under the Capitulations have been eliminated and may be permanently abolished later by civil legislation. Emphasizing the necessity of common markets, L. P. Rastorgoueff, in “The Revolution and the Unity of Russia,” offers a solution of problems of nationality in that country through a federation rather than a separation of its states.

Analysis of the Text

“The Relations of the Prize Court to Belligerent Policy,” by Sir Francis Piggott, raises the question whether it is expedient for prize courts to be given the power to declare invalid Orders in Council which carry out the policy of the government. A discussion, showing some misunderstanding of the writer's meaning, but on the whole affirming thevalidity of international law and its superiority to government policy, follows. H. S. Q. Henrique's alnd Dr. Ernest J. Schuster differ radically in discussing the relative merits and the basic ideas of the two systems of citizenship that are elucidated in their studies entitled “The Jus Soli or the Jus Sanguinis?” “Reciprocity in the Enjoyment of Civil Rights,” by Wyndham A. Bewes, closes this valuable series of papers with a recommendation of generosity toward foreigners, whether as individual litigants seeking to enforce judgments in court or as persons needing judicial assistance, the benefits of workmen's compensation acts, the copyright or the bankruptcy laws.

Book Review Details

This legal book review was published in:

The American Journal of International Law,Vol. 13, No. 2 (Apr., 1919), pp. 375-377

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