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τροπος Ειράνα, ταμίαι
Παίδες ευβούλου Θέμιτος.' PIND. Olymp. xiii. 7.
disciplinam Christianorum.'-LEIBNITZ, xxxii. De Notionibus Juris et Justitiæ, p. 120.
Law Publishers to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty;
I. THE FIRST EDITION of this volume, which was published in 1854, has been for some time out of print. The third volume, which closed the Commentaries on Public International Law, was published in 1857 (a). In the preface to that volume a summary of the historical events which in the interval of these three years (1854 to 1857) had affected International Law was given. I propose to place that summary in the present preface, adding to it a brief notice of historical events of the like character which have happened during the second interval of thirteen years (18571870).
These events have not induced me to change the opinions which I had expressed in this volume as to the cardinal principles of International Law. On the contrary, I venture to think that they furnish a strong corroboration of them.
The “ violence, oppression, and sword-law,” which at this moment prevail in part of Europe, ought not
(a) The fourth volume, on Private International Law, was published in 1861.
to shake conviction in the truth of these principles, while on the other hand they are confirmed by the consideration of events which, unconnected with the present war, have happened during the interval mentioned.
There always have been, and always will be, a class of persons who deride the notion of International Law, who delight in scoffing at the jurisprudence which supports it, and who hold in supreme contempt the position that a moral principle lies at its root.
The proposition that, in their mutual intercourse, States are bound to recognize the external obligations of justice apart from considerations of immediate expediency, they deem stupid and ridiculous pedantry. They point triumphantly to the instances in which the law has been broken (6), in which might has been substituted for right, and ask if Providence is not always on the side of the strongest battalions.
But in truth these objections are as old as they are shallow; they leave untouched the fact that there is, after all, a law to which States, in peace and war, appeal for the justification of their acts; that there are writers whose exposition of that law has been stamped as impartial and just by the great family of States, that they are only slighted by those upon whose crimes they have by anticipation passed sentence ; that Municipal as well as International Law is often evaded and trampled down, but exists nevertheless, and that States cannot, without danger as well as disgrace, depart in practice from doctrines
(6) “ Sed nimirum historiæ non tantum quæ juste, sed et quæ inique, iracunde, impotenter facta sunt memorant.” – Grotius, De J. B. 1. 2 c. xviii. s. vii.