« PreviousContinue »
one, the Revista Mexicana de Derecho Internacional, published in Mexico City, the capital of the Republic of Mexico, since March, 1919, and the Revista Argentina de Derecho Internacional, published since September, 1920, in the City of Buenos Aires, the capital of the Republic of Argentina.
It has, therefore, been decided that with the completion of the tenth year, the Spanish translation of the American Journal of International Law should be discontinued, and that it should be replaced by the Revista de Derecho Internacional, a quarterly periodical to be composed of original articles edited by the distinguished publicist, Dr. Antonio S. de Bustamante y Sirven, and to be published in the City of Habana, the capital of the Republic of Cuba.
It has further been decided that it should appear as the organ of the American Institute of International Law, which suspended its sessions during the war, in which the United States and some of the Latin-American Republics were involved, and which will shortly resume its activities, just as the Institute of International Law suspended its meetings during the war and has already held one official session.
The Revista de Derecho Internacional will be independent of the Spanish edition of the American Journal of International Law which it succeeds. It will, however, in one respect resemble the American Journal of International Law, in that it will be the organ of the American Institute just as the English Journal is the organ of the American Society of International Law. There is another point of resemblance. Stress will be laid upon International Law as it is understood and applied in the American Republics. It will, like the American Journal, be a journal of International Law, not of politics. It will have a more fortunate effect than the American Journal. It will appeal to the publicists of 18 American Republics speaking the language in which it appears, and it is hoped that Spanish publicists will, from time to time, honor its pages with their contributions. Edited by Dr. Bustamante it is sure to be worthy of the subject which it professes. Appearing in the Spanish language and in a Latin-American atmosphere, it will assuredly set forth and embody the views and aspirations of Spanish-speaking publicists. It will, it is hoped, find favor in the sight of Spanish-American publicists, serving as a convenient means of communication, and interpreting the enlightened views of the Spanish-speaking world to the world at large.
The Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law welcomes the entry of the Revista de Derecho Internacional into the field of foreign relations, wishes it the greatest of success and influence in its exposition of the principles of International Law as a guide to the conduct of nations; for, notwithstanding the differences of language and the national traditions, Americans one and all, stand for the principles of justice expressed in rules of law, which shall control the conduct of nations in the future, as they have the actions of individuals in the past and the present.
JAMES BROWN Scott.
THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF INTERNATIONAL LAW
The Sixteenth Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law was held, according to the program sent to the members and printed in the last number of the Journal, pages 274–275, at Washington, April 27-29, 1922.
The Honorable Elihu Root, President of the Society, opened the meeting on the evening of April 27 with a carefully prepared address on the subject of "International Law at the Arms Conference", in which he reviewed the general nature of the Conference work as a whole. Speaking of the FourPower Treaty, concluded between Great Britain, France, Japan and the United States, he said:
I doubt if any formal treaty ever accomplished so much by doing so little. It provided that we should all respect rights, which we were bound to do already, and that if controversy arose about the Pacific islands (it was quite immaterial what islands), the parties should get together and talk it over, which was the very thing they were then doing in Washington. The consent of the Senate was not necessary to such an agreement. It merely arranged for following an ordinary form of diplomatic intercourse. The President had done the same thing at Algeciras and at The Hague and at the Conference of London without asking the consent of the Senate, and the Senate had ratified the conclusions reached at those conferences. It was important, however, that the Senate should give its approval in this case because the instrument was a formal certificate to all the people of Japan and all the people of the United States and all the civilized Powers that the parties to the treaty had abandoned their mutual distrust and had ceased to think about war with each other and had resumed relations of genuine
friendship. Mr. Root then described the work of the Conference in removing further causes of irritation incident to the contacts of Western civilization with the peculiar and widely different civilization of China and other Oriental countries. "It is difficult to determine”, he said, just how far China and the other countries “have been admitted to the family of nations who are entitled to the benefits and subject to the obligations of international law", and, after pointing out that the conditions out of which China's present difficulties have arisen were created in the early years when China was unable to comply with the rules of international law and her relations with other Powers could only be governed by "the moral right to be treated fairly and decently and her obligation was a moral obligation to treat others in the same way", Mr. Root said, “It is also clear that the continuance of the same inability to perform international obligations has down to the present time prevented the full admission of China to the circle of states governed by international law, notwithstanding her inclusion in diplomatic conferences and regular diplomatic intercourse".
He reviewed the treaty relations between China and the Western countries and the action of the Conference at Washington with relation to the subjects covered by these treaties. Referring to the Washington treaties and resolutions, Mr. Root said:
Any one examining the treaties and resolutions will find that they uniformly sought a double object, first, to relieve the limitations and inconveniences flowing from the old conventional relations as far as was then practicable under the existing governmental conditions in China, and second, to afford to all sections and parties of the Chinese people a helpful incentive to unite in the establishment of an effective and stable government by making specific provisions under which such a government, competent to perform its national duties, will be the means of bringing China into the full possession of the rights and liberties assured by international law to the members of the family of nations, just as
Japan has been brought into that family. In concluding this section of his address, Mr. Root paid the following tribute to the Chinese people:
Personally I am a believer in the coming of that event. It will be a long difficult process, for it requires the new education of more than four hundred million people, but I look to the future of that industrious, kindly, peaceable people, with their inveterate respect for individual and family rights, not as a yellow peril, but as a great reinforcement to the power of ordered liberty upon the domination of which the future of our civilization depends.
Mr. Root then gave a detailed explanation of the objects and purposes of the treaty relating to submarines, which he described as "an appeal to the public opinion of mankind to establish and maintain a fundamental rule of morals applied to international conduct in the form of a rule of international law”. “We are all familiar”, he said, "with the assertion that international law is not really law because it has no sanction. That is only a half truth and therefore misleading. The real sanction of international law comes from the punishing power of public opinion, a power which has been growing with great rapidity in recent years and bids fair to grow still more rapidly with the increased public participation in the conduct of foreign affairs." He continued:
I have no doubt that the provision of this treaty which serves to put such acts as the sinking of the Lusitania in the same class as piracy correctly registers and formally declares the deliberate opinion of the civilized world outside of Germany and of many people in Germany, and that this formal solemn declaration of the criminal quality of the
act will very greatly decrease the probability of its repetition by any nation hereafter because it will present the practical certainty of uni
versal public condemnation which no nation can afford to incur. Similar considerations, he said, applied to the provisions of the treaty prohibiting the use of poisonous gases. Mr. Root summarized his remarks as follows:
It will be seen from what I have said that while the Washington Conference had no concern with the making of international law, it did naturally and effectively, as incidental to giving effect to its policy of limiting armament, take quite important steps in the direction of developing and strengthening international law.
It took one further step by resolution providing for the appointment of a commisssion to consider and report upon the condition and requirements of international law affecting the other new agencies of warfare which have produced so startling an effect upon military and naval conflicts.
The time has not yet come when international affairs are sufficiently settled to make immediately practicable a general conference to consider, clarify, extend and strengthen the law of nations, but it is already high time for those who believe in a world controlled by law, to begin their preparation for such a conference, and the Washington Conference on Limitation of Armament, as a by-product of its own special work, has
contributed materially towards that preparation. In a carefully prepared paper, Rear Admiral Harry S. Knapp, of the United States Navy, Retired, gave a professional analysis of, and comments on, the Treaty for the Limitation of Armament. He pointed out in what respects the Conference had fulfilled its purpose and in what respects it had failed of its purpose, as indicated in the American program. It appeared from his remarks that the American Navy had eventually made a greater sacrifice of naval power than was contemplated in the generous proposal of Secretary of State Hughes made at the opening of the Conference.
In a paper entitled “Principles of International Law and Justice raised by China at the Washington Conference”, Professor Westel W. Willoughby, of Johns Hopkins University, who was the legal adviser to the Chinese Republic in 1916 and 1917, raised the following questions without attempting to answer them:
First, the circumstances under which, or the principles in accordance with which, the validity of existing agreements between sovereign nations may be attacked. The query had reference, of course, to the treaties and agreements between China and Japan of 1915, growing out of the so-called twenty-one demands of the latter. As subsidiary to the main question, Professor Willoughby queried: (a) Will China be justified, whenever she is in a position to do so with the possibility of success, in declaring the abrogation of these agreements? (b) Can it be said that these treaties and agreements of 1915 were invalid by reason of the fact that, taken in connection with the circumstances under which they were signed, they were in violation of those fundamental principles of right upon which the whole body of international law is founded?
The second main question raised by Professor Willoughby was as to the binding force of treaties which have not been ratified by one or more of the parties signatory to them in accordance with the mandatory provisions of their respective systems of constitutional law, involving also a query as to the extent to which one Power in dealing with another Power is held to know the constitutional provisions of that other Power. The speaker asserted that, “It is a notorious fact that none of the treaties and other agreements entered into during recent years with China have received that parliamentary approval which its constitution requires.” In this connection Professor Willoughby also queried as to the continuing force of executive understandings, such as the Root-Takahira agreement of 1908 and the Lansing-Ishii agreement of 1917. These kind of agreements, he stated, were the only evidence of some of China's alleged international obligations.
Professor Willoughby then raised a series of questions regarding the effect of China's declaration of war against Germany upon the treaties then existing between them. He also brought up the question of the right of China to denounce unilaterally trade agreements made with other Powers, and the principle of international law with reference to the right of one state to send into or to station its troops within the territory of another state for the protection of its nationals.
The opening session was concluded with an address by Mr. Frederick Moore, Foreign Councillor to the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who briefly discussed some of the questions raised by the preceding speakers, and then entered upon not, as he stated, a justification of all that Japan had done in the Far East" because they are human and they have their difficulties, and their temptations also”, but a statement in mitigation of the charges which have been made against them, many of which, he said, are unfair. The speaker discussed various matters and incidents relating to the relations of Japan and China which, together with official statements regarding Japan's foreign policy, he thought "ought to make clear the two vital interests of Japan in international affairs,-first, the necessity of seeing that no other great Power shall lodge itself in China that will become a menace to Japan; secondly, the necessity for Japan to obtain raw materials and agricultural supplies from the neighboring mainland and of marketing her manufactured goods there."
Mr. Moore quoted the following extract from the statement by Admiral Baron Kato, ranking Japanese delegate to the Washington Conference, in a public speech in New York on January 14, 1922:
An effort has been made for a number of years to present Japan to you as a military nation designing to dominate the Pacific. Some of us Japanese have tried to disabuse the minds of those who were wont to believe this calumny, but with many the charge remained unrefuted up