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KENT'S COMMENTARY

ON

INTERNATIONAL LAW,

,

FLEXIOTHER

JAN 878

PODLEIANBY
J. T. ABDY, LL.D.,

EDITED BY

JUDGE OF COUNTY COURTS,
AND LAW PROFESSOR AT GRESHAM COLLEGE, LATE REGIUS PROFESSOR OF LAWS

IN THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE,

SECOND EDITION, REVISED AND

BROUGHT DOWN TO THE PRESENT TIME.

CAMBRIDGE: DEIGHTON, BELL, AND CO
LONDON: STEVENS AND SONS, CHANCERY LANE.
GEORGE BELL AND SONS, YORK STREET,

COVENT GARDEN.

Cambridge: PRINTED BY C. J. CLAY, M.A.

AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS.

PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.

The science of International Law has never lacked able and eloquent exponents from the times of Ayala and Alberic Gentili down to our own. But it must be acknowledged that, among modern authors at all events, there are three whose learning and labour, as judges and writers, have shed glory over the legal literature of the United States, and have earned the singular distinction of being recognized as authorities on International Law throughout Europe. I need scarcely say that I speak of the honoured names of Story, Wheaton, and Kent.

Of these three, the expressed views and opinions of the first on public International Law have not been put forth in any regular connected shape, but are to be found in short essays, and in those admirable judgments which have made his name a household word among English lawyers. The second has indeed published an able, a learned, and an impartial treatise, but the notes that now accompany the author's text, laborious and exhaustive as they are, render the work too large and unwieldy for the student, and too discursive and fatiguing to the general reader; in addition to which they are open to the charge of strong prejudice and partial judgment. The third, Mr Chancellor Kent, has given us the result of years of professional

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labour, and a life spent in study, in a work which, if small so far as International Law is concerned, contains within its pages wisdom, critical skill, and judicial acumen of the highest kind. For my part, I have so often derived pleasure as well as gain from Kent's Commentaries on Law, in every part of that treatise, that I feel a kind of veneration for his name; and I do most cordially assent to the language of praise in which a modern writer? speaks of him, “as the greatest jurist whom this age has produced, whose writings may safely be said to be never wrong."

I have therefore selected that portion of his Commentaries which relates to public International Law, and have edited it as a separate volume, for two reasons: one, because no other writer on International Law is so safe, so impartial, and so recognized a guide and authority, whether in this country, or on the continent of Europe, or across the Atlantic; the other, because, in the course of my duties as a teacher of Law, International Law having formed a considerable portion of them, I have found the want of a book that shall not be too large, or diffuse, or expensive. I venture to hope I have succeeded in one thing, at all events, that of keeping my subject down to comparatively moderate proportions; and I venture also to hope that I have noticed the principal topics of public International Law. In order to keep within that range, I have adhered, as closely as I could, to the order and arrangement of the work I have edited, adding only one new chapter, that on Foreign Enlistment Acts, which recent events have invested with peculiar importance, and throwing all fresh matter, not into notes, which are often passed over unread, and if read interrupt the thread of the narrative, but into the text itself. I have also aimed at one

· Letter on Neutral Trade in Contraband of War, by Historicus.

thing above all, that of not merely preserving the sentiments and opinions of the learned author, but his very language, changing only the style of the original work from the familiar one of lectures, in which the present tense is used, and in which American readers are specially addressed, to a more general and formal one.

All fresh matter coming from my own pen is contained in brackets [ ].

I venture further to hope that the work now given to the public will be useful to the practitioner, as well as to the student. With this view I have added the most recent documents, decisions, and cases on the different topics comprised in it. Let me also add, what perhaps may seem superfluous, that should the book be successful, the praise belongs to him whose treatise I am now presenting to an English public in an English shape; its faults must be mine, its merits his.

One word more, by way of preface, and then I have done. It would be unbecoming in me not to offer my thanks to those from whose kindness I have received assistance in the course of my labours. I therefore now tender my thanks, first and foremost, to Mr Hertslet, the able, the skilful, and the learned Librarian of the Foreign Office. From him I have received valuable suggestions, on his time I have trespassed, and to his kindness I am indebted for documents supplied to me in the course of my work. I therefore seize this opportunity to express my gratitude and my sense of his invaluable kindness towards me, and to say

that I am sure that such kindness has been shewn, not to me on personal grounds merely, but as a writer on a subject which he loves, and is thoroughly versed in, public International Law. I have also to thank the learned author of « Letters of His

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