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United States. Service militaire obligatoire aux États-Units et les étrangers. Clunet, 45:128.
United (The) States and the war. Sir Gilbert Parker. Harper's M., 136:521. War. French (The) and German theories of war. Barthélemy Edmond Palat. Atlantic, 121:408. March.
Guerre (La) et la paix d'après le droit naturel chrétien. Marcel Chossat. Études, 154:264. Feb.
Usages of war in ancient Greece. H. R. James. Edinburgh R., 227: 68. Jan.
THE MEMBERSHIP OF A WORLD TRIBUNAL FOR
PROMOTING PERMANENT PEACE
It is generally believed that some kind of an agreement between some, at least, of the different governments of the world, for the better regulation of their mutual relations, must follow the close of the present wars in order most effectively to promote permanent peace. Such an agreement would naturally take the form of a treaty. It is not too soon for all peoples to consider what should be its essential nature. From a state of peace to a state of war is a short step. From a state of war to a state of peace is a long one. Official overtures of a more or less informal character must come first. A preliminary protocol of some kind must then be framed, either with or without a suspension of hostilities. One or more peace conferences naturally follow, to make more definite and permanent arrangements, and their work must practically be ratified by the legislatures of the Powers concerned. Meanwhile public opinion in each of these countries must be considered and clarified. All this takes time, and the most enduring peace is apt to be one that has not been hurried to a conclusion.
It required more than seven years of negotiation to put an end to the Thirty Years' War. Three were spent in feeble and sporadic attempts at a settlement. Four followed which laid, by the Peace of Westphalia, the foundation of modern political history. Meanwhile fighting continued, and with the bitterness which has always characterized wars of religion. The very men who finally agreed on terms of peace met in separate congresses, one Protestant and the other Catholic, one in Münster and the other in Osnabrück.
They would not have agreed on them so soon had not, early in that war, international law been systematized by Grotius. Every treaty rests on public law. The public law of the world is continually growing. Its essential principles are receiving new applications and interpretations from year to year. Their relations to society are shifted.
New rules are added. Old rules are modified. The treaty that is to end the present wars will relate itself to the public law of the day. And how is it to be determined what this law is? It will, on important points, be for those making that treaty to exercise that power, in behalf of those for whom they act; and, if they exercise it wisely, they may thus permanently affect the course of legal history as to the entire family of nations.
But this family as a whole has a direct interest of its own in whatever belongs to public law. The present wars have shown that there is a grave question whether some of the rules attributed to it have ever existed or, if they once existed, exist now. The restoration of peace will present a great opportunity to restate that law, authoritatively, by general consent.
The restatement of public and of international law would be of the greatest potential value if an agency existed by which, as restated, it could and would be applied to settle future disagreements between nations. The Hague Peace Conferences of 1899 and 1907 made substantial progress in these directions. So did the London Naval Conference of 1908, at which, in 1909, the Declaration of London was framed. We must not allow the advantages thus gained to be lost. Ground once secured must not be surrendered. Half the world met for a friendly interchange of views as to the best way to promote international peace, at the first Hague Conference. All the world met at the second. A new point of departure was thus attained.
Whatever new provisions for the maintenance of peace are devised, they will be most apt to endure if there is some historical foundation on which to rest them. They must be a product of evolution from former rules affecting international relations. These rules are part of the international capital of mankind. It is a capital to be carefully guarded with a view to its gradual increase.
It may be assumed that there will ultimately be either a peace congress to close the present wars, composed of representatives of the leading belligerents on each side, and probably of all the belligerents; or two peace congresses for that purpose: one composed of all the nations which are at war with Germany and her allies, and one representing the latter. The second plan would be that which was adopted
to close the Thirty Years' War, — two congresses sitting at the same time, and communicating with each other through some sort of mediation. The first plan is the simpler and more direct.
But whichever may be adopted, the main work to be undertaken will be to accomplish a general pacification by common agreement on reasonable terms. The office of a peace congress is to make peace. Whatever more it might effect in defining or improving the public law of the world, or creating new facilities for defining or improving it, could probably be better effected by a congress called specially for that purpose, and proceeding with the deliberation necessarily to be expected from such a body.
It is also true that a peace congress, after bringing a war to a close, can adjourn for a considerable period, to be reconvened as a congress for the settlement of general principles of international conduct. It may be doubted, however, whether a congress of the latter kind, even with large changes in its membership, could ever approach the subject with the freedom from influences occasioned by the war, and the juristic sense and power, that might be expected from a body newly and specially constituted for its consideration.
It is fortunate that we have already a world tribunal, created by a common agreement for the settlement of international disputes, and which has proved its right to exist by what it has already accomplished. The Permanent Court of Arbitration, commonly called the Hague Tribunal, is the work of two peace congresses. As revised in the second, it is the voice of an association of nations universal in character. Notwithstanding the pending wars, its functions continue the same, though for the time being it has not been called on to exercise them. One of its distinctive features is that its members are a panel of between one and two hundred, coming from all nations. Not all sit in every instance. The particular nations which may be parties to a dispute choose each two of the members to constitute with an umpire the tribunal in that particular case. The fundamental requirement here is the absolute equality of the contending nations before the court and in the preparation for the court.
As to the court itself, no one, except the umpire, is eligible as a member unless he be of recognized competency to pass on questions