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BOARD OF EDITORS OF THE AMERICAN JOURNAL
Chandler P. Anderson, New York, N. Y.
Editor in Chief
James Brown Scott, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace,
Washington, D. C.
Secretary of the Board of Editors and Business Manager of the Journal George A. Finch, 2 Jackson Place, Washington, D. C.
THE QUOTATION FROM THE JOURNAL IN THE DECISION OF THE BRITISH PRIZE COURT IN THE CHICAGO MEAT PACKERS' CASES
In the course of the opinion of the British Prize Court in the cases of the Kim, the Alfred Nobel, the B. Bjornson and the Fridland, the learned President of the court, Sir Samuel Evans, took occasion to make the following statement:
Before I conclude I will make reference to an opinion expressed towards the end of last year by a body of men eminent as students and expositors of International Law in America, in the editorial comment in the American Journal of International Law, to which my attention was called by the Law Officers. Amongst them I need only name Mr. Chandler Anderson, Mr. Robert Lansing, Mr. John Bassett Moore, Mr. Theodore Woolsey, and Mr. James Brown Scott.
It is as follows:
"In a war in which the nation is in arms, where every able-bodied man is under arms and is performing military duty, and where the non-combatant population is organized so as to support the soldiers in the field, it seems likely that belligerents will be inclined to consider destination to the enemy country as sufficient, even in the case of conditional contraband, especially if the Government of the enemy possesses and exercises the right of confiscating or appropriating to naval or military uses the property of its citizens or subjects of service to the armies in the field."
I cite this, not of course as any authority, but of showing how these eminent American jurists acknowledge that International Law must have regard to the actual circumstances of the times.
I have not in this judgment followed the course thus indicated by them as a likely and reasonable one in the present state of affairs. I have preferred to proceed on the lines of the old recognized authorities.
The passage quoted from the Journal appears in an editorial comment on Contraband of War in the January, 1915 number, page 210 at page 212.
According to the statement of the court, the quoted passage from the Journal's editorial comment was not cited as having any authority in the decision of the cases and was not followed in the judgment which was delivered, but the learned judge's characterization of the passage "as showing how these eminent American jurists acknowledge that international law must have regard to the actual circumstances of the times" and his assumption that the course indicated was regarded by the editors of the Journal "as a likely and reasonable one in the present state of affairs" does not seem to the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal, who was solely responsible for the contents of the comment in question, to be borne out by the language used and quoted. The phrase in question was chosen to avoid an expression of opinion of jurists of neutral countries and it confined itself to the belligerents, and it is not fairly open to be interpreted as in any sense a statement or acknowledgment by American jurists of what "international law must" or ought to "have regard to." The United States is not a belligerent, and as far as the writer's information goes, it does not expect to be.
Nor is the language fairly susceptible of the interpretation that, should belligerents adopt the course referred to, their action would be regarded by American jurists "as a likely and reasonable one in the present state of affairs." Any statement or reference, either directly or indirectly, as to the probable attitude of the members of the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law, or of any other American jurists, was foreign to the intention of the writer of the comment. The words quoted were intended to indicate and did indicate in concise form the probable attitude of the belligerents in the circumstances referred to. The language used was not suggested by any expressions on the subject, either oral or written, by any member of the Board of Editors or by other American jurists, but was based upon expressions contained in the notes of Great Britain to the United States, on the subject of neutral trade.
THE NINTH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF INTERNATIONAL LAW
The annual meeting of the American Society of International Law, which usually takes place in the last week of April, was, as announced in the April number of the Journal, postponed by the Executive Committee until the meeting of the Second Pan-American Scientific Congress in Washington, December 27, 1915 to January 8, 1916, so that the Society might accept the invitation of the Congress to meet in connection with its Sub-Section on International Law. The Committee on the Ninth Annual Meeting of the Society has recently held a meeting and decided upon the arrangements which should be made for the annual meeting. The Committee had the choice of adopting the topics of the Sub-Section on International Law of the Congress as the program for the Society, and thus merge the two meetings into one. Inasmuch as the American international lawyers who have consented to speak upon the subjects of the program of the Sub-Section on International Law are all prominent members of the Society, and since it would be highly desirable for the Society to have as speakers at its meeting some of the eminent South American publicists who will attend the Congress, the proposition of consolidating the two meetings into one seemed entirely feasible and desirable in some respects. The plan, however, was open to serious objection from the point of view of the Society, which has not failed to hold an annual meeting regularly each year since its organization nearly a decade ago, and the printed proceedings of its annual meeting are the most important part of its remarkable and useful career. It was felt that to merge the two meetings would result in the loss of the identity of the Society's meeting this year and deprive the Society of its customary printed proceedings, except, perhaps, in the form of reprints of the proceedings of the Sub-Section on International Law of the Congress.
After carefully considering both plans the Committee decided that the Society should have a meeting of its own with a separate program and different speakers, but in order to prevent a congestion of speakers and topics it was thought best to make the Society's program a little shorter than usual and to adopt the topics of the Sub-Section on International Law of the Congress as a part of the program of the Society. This will, of course, include the printing of the addresses and discussions in the Sub-Section on International Law as a part of the proceedings of the Society. This arrangement will enable the members of the Society to accept the invitation of the Congress to attend and take part in the meeting of the Sub-Section on International Law, and the courtesy will be reciprocated by the Society extending an invitation to the visiting publicists to attend and participate in its meeting.
The program of the Sub-Section on International Law of the Scientific Congress, which has been made a part of the program of the meeting of the Society, is as follows:
I. The relation of international law to national law in American countries.
II. The study of international law in American countries and the means by which it may be made more effective.
III. How can the people of the American countries best be impressed with the duties and responsibilities of the state in international law?
IV. Are there specific American problems of international law?
V. The attitude of American countries toward international arbitration and the peaceful settlement of international disputes.
VI. Should international law be codified? And if so, should it be done through governmental agencies or by private scientific societies?
It has been frequently suggested that the Society should give a larger consideration to questions of international law which are of especial interest in the American countries, but the committees in charge of the annual arrangements have not heretofore adopted a continuous plan for covering a certain field of international law and have preferred to select subjects which each year seem likely to be most interesting and useful for discussion at that particular time. Very often subjects of especial interest to American countries have been chosen. The program of the Sub-Section on International Law of the Pan-American Scientific Congress deals primarily, as would naturally be expected, with topics of international law from an American point of view, and the incorporation of these topics into the program of the Society will, no doubt, be pleasing to those members who take a special interest in Latin-American affairs and problems.
There is also a feeling among the members that the Society should not confine its work to certain branches of international law to the exclusion of other branches, that international law is or should be of general application the world over, that whatever affects one nation will affect the others and that it would not be good policy for the Society to create or encourage, even inadvertently or unconsciously, the feeling that certain branches of international law are especially applicable to certain localities and that, therefore, subjects of equal interest to the science in general should form a permanent part of the Society's programs.
The European War has raised a number of questions of fundamental importance wherever nations recognize international law as having any application in their relations with other states. A meeting of the Society at this time, which would ignore the discussion of these questions, would, it is believed, consciously overlook one of the chief objects of the Society. The most important of these questions have accordingly been included in the following program which has been adopted by the Committee for discussion by the members of the Society and which, taken in connection with the topics of the Sub-Section on International Law of the Congress, forms the completed program of the Ninth Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law:
1. Opening address of the President.
2. The duties and obligations of neutral governments, parties to the Hague conventions, in case of actual or threatened violations by belligerents of the stipulations of the said conventions.
3. What means should be provided and procedure adopted for authoritatively determining whether the Hague conventions or other general international agreements, or the rules of international law, have been violated? In case of violations, what should be the nature of the remedy and how should it be enforced?
4. What modifications, if any, should be made in the law and practice as now applied by the principal maritime nations concerning the following subjects of international naval law, in order, under the conditions of the modern interdependence of nations, adequately to safeguard the interests of both neutrals and belligerents: (a) Contraband, (b) Blockade, (c) Continuous Voyage, (d) Visit and Search?
5. Is a uniform law of neutrality for all nations desirable or practicable? If so, what are the principles upon which such a law should be based,, and what generally should be its provisions?
6. How can the American Society of International Law best co-operate with similar societies in the other American Republics in promoting their common objects?
It will be observed that the sixth question of this program contemplates co-operation between the American Society of International Law and similar societies in other American Republics in promoting their common